God tells David, "Don't count my people". David counts the people.
God tells David, "'Cos you were naughty you gotta pick your punishment, will it be 'a' 7 years of famine, 'b' 3 months of national humiliation or 'c' 3 days of pestilence? Choose Davey boy!"
Davey can't pick so God chooses option 3 for him and kills 70,000 Israelites.
Rightly miffed, Dave says to God, "Hey! God! It was my fault, what are you picking on them for? What have they done?"
But God is pissed off now, no answer - tell it to the hand King Dave!
Well that learned him, don't mess with God. Dave thinks he better play it cool and keep the big guy sweet . . .
(2 Samuel 24:1-25) 24And again the anger of Jehovah came to be hot against Israel, when one incited David against them, saying: "Go, take a count of Israel and Judah." 2 So the king said to Jo´ab the chief of the military forces who was with him: "Move about, please, through all the tribes of Israel, from Dan to Be´er-she´ba, and YOU men register the people, and I shall certainly know the number of the people." 3 But Jo´ab said to the king: "May Jehovah your God even add to the people a hundred times as many as they are while the very eyes of my lord the king are seeing it. But as for my lord the king, why has he found delight in this thing?" 4 Finally the king’s word prevailed upon Jo´ab and the chiefs of the military forces. So Jo´ab and the chiefs of the military forces went out from before the king to register the people Israel. 5 Then they crossed the Jordan and took up camping at A·ro´er to the right of the city that is in the middle of the torrent valley, toward the Gad´ites, and to Ja´zer. 6 After that they came on to Gil´e·ad and the land of Tah´tim-hod´shi and continued on to Dan-ja´an and went around to Si´don. 7 Then they came to the fortress of Tyre and all the cities of the Hi´vites and of the Ca´naan·ites and came to the terminating point in the Neg´eb of Judah at Be´er-she´ba. 8 Thus they went moving about through all the land and came to Jerusalem at the end of nine months and twenty days. 9 Jo´ab now gave the number of the registration of the people to the king; and Israel amounted to eight hundred thousand valiant men drawing sword, and the men of Judah were five hundred thousand men. 10 And David’s heart began to beat him after he had so numbered the people. Consequently David said to Jehovah: "I have sinned very much in what I have done. And now, Jehovah, let your servant’s error pass by, please; for I have acted very foolishly." 11 When David proceeded to rise up in the morning, Jehovah’s word itself came to Gad the prophet, David’s visionary, saying: 12 "Go, and you must say to David, ‘This is what Jehovah has said: "Three things I am laying upon you. Choose for yourself one of them that I may do it to you."’" 13 Accordingly Gad came in to David and told him and said to him: "Should there come to you seven years of famine in your land, or three months of your fleeing before your adversaries, with them pursuing you, or the occurring of three days of pestilence in your land? Now know and see what I shall reply to the One sending me." 14 So David said to Gad: "It is very distressing to me. Let us fall, please, into the hand of Jehovah, for many are his mercies; but into the hand of man do not let me fall." 15 Then Jehovah gave a pestilence in Israel from the morning until the time appointed, so that out of the people from Dan to Be´er-she´ba seventy thousand persons died. 16 And the angel kept his hand thrust out toward Jerusalem to bring it to ruin; and Jehovah began to feel regret over the calamity, and so he said to the angel that was bringing ruin among the people: "It is enough! Now let your hand drop." And Jehovah’s angel himself happened to be close by the threshing floor of A·rau´nah the Jeb´u·site. 17 And David proceeded to say to Jehovah, when he saw the angel that was striking the people down, yes, he proceeded to say: "Here it is I that have sinned and it is I that have done wrong; but these sheep—what have they done? Let your hand, please, come upon me and upon the house of my father." 18 Later Gad came in to David on that day and said to him: "Go up, set up for Jehovah an altar on the threshing floor of A·rau´nah the Jeb´u·site." 19 And David began to go up in accord with the word of Gad, according to what Jehovah had commanded. 20 When A·rau´nah looked down and saw the king and his servants passing along toward him, A·rau´nah at once went out and bowed down to the king with his face to the earth. 21 Then A·rau´nah said: "Why has my lord the king come to his servant?" At that David said: "To buy from you the threshing floor for building an altar to Jehovah, that the scourge may be halted from upon the people." 22 But A·rau´nah said to David: "Let my lord the king take it and offer up what is good in his eyes. See the cattle for the burnt offering and the threshing sledge and the implements of the cattle for the wood. 23 Everything A·rau´nah, O king, does give to the king." And A·rau´nah went on to say to the king: "May Jehovah your God show pleasure in you." 24 However, the king said to A·rau´nah: "No, but without fail I shall buy it from you for a price; and I shall not offer up to Jehovah my God burnt sacrifices without cost." Accordingly David bought the threshing floor and the cattle for fifty silver shekels. 25 And David proceeded to build there an altar to Jehovah and offer up burnt sacrifices and communion sacrifices, and Jehovah began letting himself be entreated for the land, so that the scourge was halted from upon Israel.