Why was taking a census of the armies a sin?


So David said to Joab and the commanders of the troops, “Go and count the Israelites from Beersheba to Dan. Then report back to me so that I may know how many there are.” But Joab replied, “May the Lord multiply his troops a hundred times over. My lord the king, are they not all my lord’s subjects? Why does my lord want to do this? Why should he bring guilt on Israel?” 1 Chronicles 21:2-3
            For a king to count his armies meant he wanted to know just how strong he was militarily.  David was put into power by God in a nation God established throughout history.  David should have only counted on God for power and protection.
            Counting to keep track or counting for organization purposes is not wrong.  Counting to remind oneself of one’s power and trusting in those numbers for strength is a problem.  Others around David saw the discrepancy and yet David didn’t. 
We too must be careful not to count how much money we have in our account as security or the number of people in our business to remind ourselves of our power.   High Wall Street numbers make us feel rich until the stock market crashes and we realize it was just a number.  God’s “numbers” never fluctuate.  He’s always there and always faithful.