2Samuel 24:1 And again the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them to say, Go, number Israel and Judah.
The "he" in this scripture is NOT God… but Satan. How do I know this? By scripture interpreting itself.
Go to 1 Chronicles 21 and verse 1 for clarification: And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel.
Here, 1st Chronicles interprets the "he" of 2 Samuel. Both are describing the same happening.
Here’s another scripture explanation.
Romans 9:17 & 18
17For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.
18Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.
God did not harden Pharaoh’s heart. It was the condition of Pharaoh’s heart that caused his heart to become hard when the pressure to let Israel go (via the plagues) came upon him.
This can be explained like this.
Suppose it is bright and shiny day with a 100-degree temperature. You can take a lump of clay that you formed in the shape of a brick, put it out in the sun and it’ll become hard via the heat of the sun.
Now, take a brick of wax. It’s hard when you purchase it, but by placing it in the same sunlight, it becomes soft – or pliable.
The sun (God) shined on BOTH but - because of the characteristic of each - one became hard and the other soft (pliable). It was the condition (characteristic) of Pharaoh’s heart that caused it to become hard.
Continuing with Romans 9:19-24; 28-33
19Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will?
20Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?
21Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?
22What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:
23And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,
24Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?
28For he will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth.
29And as Esaias said before, Except the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a seed, we had been as Sodoma, and been made like unto Gomorrha.
30What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith.
31But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness.
32Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone;
32As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
A potter takes a lump of clay and starts to soften it making it pliable. Within that lump, there may be portions that, even with water added, don’t respond like the rest – they’re harder. So the potter separates the hard part from the soft part, using the soft part for the "finer" products (china, for example) – this is the "more honorable" usage that one would bring out for those special occasions, etc.
When the harder portions are used, they’re more apt to be used for the everyday-type of use – called the "non honorable" in category. These are usually thicker, maybe a little more ‘rough’ than the "honorable" clay. It is the characteristic of the clay that produced both types of vessels.
2 Timothy 2:15 – 26 speaks on this subject:
15Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
16But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.
17And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus;
18Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.
19Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.
20But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour.
21If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work.
22Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
23But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes.
24And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,
25In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
26And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.
Verse 15 – Study to show YOURSELF approved unto God… YOU DO IT (it’s a personal thing).
Notice verse 21 – "If a man purge himself from these things…" (referring back to verse 20). You decide what type of vessel you’ll become. Purge out (Apostle Paul uses the term "put off") things of the flesh. As you do, you are getting rid of (purging) the ‘hard lumps’ in you leaving the soft, pliable clay of which God can accomplish great and marvelous things.
Verses 24 through 26 tells us that if we fail to acknowledge the truth (the Word – John 17:17), we oppose ourselves (v25) and that puts us in the snare (taken captive) of the devil (v26).
YOU DECIDE. YOU ACT. YOU WILL BECOME.