Another Bible Contradiction

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2 Samuel 24:1 says that the anger of the Lord burned against Israel and it incited David to number the fighting men of Israel and Judah.

1 Chronicles 21:1 says that Satan stood up against Israel and moved David to number Israel.

This has been pointed out by atheists or skeptics who believe it to be a Bible contradiction. Even Muslims point out these scriptures and say they are contradictions as you can see in this video clip.

Dekanozov, the Soviet Union Ambassador rose to his feet. He realized that the German Ambassador was declaring war on the Soviet Union. Oddly though, the German Ambassador never actually used the word ‘war’. “You’ll regret this insulting, provocative and thoroughly predatory attack on the Soviet Union. You’ll pay dearly for it!” Dekanozov had no idea how true his words would be. Ribbentrop, the German Ambassador, hurried after the quickly departing Soviet Ambassadors; when Ribbentrop reached them he whispered, “Tell them in Moscow, I was against this attack.” 1
It was Sunday morning, June 22nd, 1941. Eighteen months later, the German 6th Army was frozen from the bitter Russian winter, without supplies, and surrounded outside of Stalingrad. German General Paulus surrendered on January 31st, 1943.

Who was responsible for Germany attacking Russia early in WWII, when prior the two countries were actually allies? Hitler? His various generals? The millions of participating German soldiers? It certainly was not Stalin. He was terrified of provoking Hitler, and despite warnings of a German invasion, Stalin felt it was misinformation from Churchill, who was hoping the two countries would go to war. 2

Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto planned and executed the attack on Pearl Harbor. He also was the commander in chief of the Japanese Navy during the battle of Midway. Is Yamamoto responsible for the attack on Pearl Harbor? Or was it Emperor Hirohito? Or was it the commanders of the various air craft carriers? The pilots themselves?

In April of 1943, the U.S. Intelligence discovered the whereabouts and schedule of Admiral Yamamoto. President Franklin D. Roosevelt met with the Secretary of the Navy, Frank Knox, to take out Yamamoto. Knox in turn contacted Admiral Nimitz. Nimitz met with Admiral Halsey and they authorized a mission to do just that. 3

On April 18th, 1943, a flight of P-38’s intercepted and shot down the Japanese bombers carrying Admiral Yamamoto. Who was responsible for that? Roosevelt, Knox, Nimitz, Halsey? The P-38 pilots?

Keep in mind, the question is who is responsible for inciting David to count the fighting men of Israel? God or Satan?

Marcus Luttrell was a Navy Seal Sniper who served in Afghanistan. He was the only survivor of a mission to take out a notorious al Qaeda leader. Prior to the mission, Chief Healy would comb through the photographs looking for the best plan of action and deciding if the mission could be successful. Chief Healy also worked with the Operations Officer, Commander Pero, and Lieutenant Commander Eric Kristensen.

Finally Operation Redwing was a go and the team was dropped into the Afghan Mountains. Early on, they ran into some goat herders and had to decide if they were to kill them. Luttrell had the deciding vote and opted to let them go because of his fear of reprisals back home. He regrets his decision to this day. A short time later, Luttrell and his team were out numbered and in a running fire fight that took the lives of his 3 team mates. 4

A rescue was attempted in a MH-47 helicopter, but it was hit by an RPG and everyone was killed, including Eric Kristensen. Who was responsible for this failed mission? Former President Bush, who awarded Luttrell the Navy Cross for combat heroism in 2006? The base commanders? The seal team?

Is it a contradiction to state that Hitler was responsible for the annihilation of the 6th Army outside of Stalingrad and then to blame German General Paulus, who surrendered the 6th Army? Ultimately, it was Hitler’s decision, but it would not be a contradiction.

Is it a contradiction to state that Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto attacked Pearl Harbor, but also say it was Emperor Hirohito? Hirohito’s decision, but also Yamamoto.

Is it a contradiction to say President Franklin D. Roosevelt was responsible for the successful mission to kill Yamamoto, and then for someone to say Admiral Nimitz was also responsible?

Finally, is it a contradiction to blame President Bush and Marcus Luttrell for the failure of Operation Redwing?

God’s authority has no limits and it extends over Satan. He can and does use Satan to accomplish His final goals. 2 Samuel 24:1 and 1 Chronicles 21:1 are not contradictions. God wanted to teach David to not trust in the number of fighting men Israel and Judah had, but to trust in Him. To rely, depend, and look to his Lord for all things.

God used Satan to move David to count his fighting men. Both passages are true and do not contradict each other. The Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry puts it this way, “God can use Satan to accomplish His ultimate will by simply giving permission to Satan to do that which Satan already desires to do. We see this in the crucifixion of Christ where evil men brought Jesus to death. Yet, at the same time, it was the predetermined plan of God that this be done.” 5

Another account of God using Satan can be found in the book of Job and in the book of Exodus. You may recall how God hardened the heart of the Pharaoh. The Apologetic Press writes, “Pharaoh made up his own mind to resist God’s demands. God merely provided the occasion for Pharaoh to demonstrate his unyielding attitude. If God had not sent Moses, Pharaoh would not have been faced with the dilemma of whether to release the Israelites. So God was certainly the initiator of the circumstances that led to Pharaoh’s sin, but He was not the author (or direct cause) of Pharaoh’s defiance.” 6

We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. – Simon Peter

1. Beevor, Anthony. Stalingrad. New York: Penguin Books, 1998. Print.
2. Ibid.
3. Caidin, Martin. Fork-Tailed Devil. New York: Ballantine Books, 1971. Print.
4. Luttrell, Marcus. Lone Survivor. New York: Little Brown and Company, 2007. Print.
5. Slick, Matt “Who incited David to count the fighting men of Israel? God or Satan?” Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry. CARM, 2014. Web. 22 Oct. 2014
6. Lyons, Eric. “Who Incited David to Number Israel?”Apologetic Press., 2003. Web. 23 Oct. 2014


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Another Bible Contradiction by James Glazier is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
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