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Why was it okay for David to count the priests and Levites but not to count the army?


The Levites thirty years old or more were counted, and the total number of men was thirty-eight thousand. David said, “Of these, twenty-four thousand are to be in charge of the work of the temple of the Lord and six thousand are to be officials and judges. Four thousand are to be gatekeepers and four thousand are to praise the Lord with the musical instruments I have provided for that purpose.” 1 Chronicles 23:3-5
            The Levites were counted because their job was to serve in the temple.  They were in charge of the courtyards, rooms in the tabernacle/temple, the purification of all the articles used and performing the duties of sacrifice.  They also led the worship of God every day, every Sabbath and every feast.
            They were being counted for organization purposes to make sure constant worship occurred.  David counted the armies putting his power as a top priority.   The Levites controlled the real power—worshipping God and running the temple.