Sacrifice

It’s been a while since my last post! Busy, busy, busy…

I just finished 2 Samuel today in my RttBiaY program, and here are some thoughts on the last chapter:

2 Samuel 23-24 begins the record of the close of David’s life. In chapter 24 we see God giving David three options – three choices for judgment for his sin. The choices are: famine in the land, to be pursued by his enemies for three months, or three days of plague. He chooses the last one:

14 Then David said to Gad [the prophet delivering this news], “I am in great distress. Let us fall into the hand of the LORD,(DX) for his mercy is great; but let me not fall into the hand of man.” (ESV)

That’s an interesting way to look at the choice, certainly – and the topic for another post… but for today I’m much more interested in what happens at the end of the three days of plague, after 70,000 men (and who knows how many women and children) had died, and God relented as the destroying angel turned toward Jerusalem:

18 And Gad came that day to David and said to him, “Go up, raise an altar to the LORD on the threshing floor of(EE) Araunah the Jebusite.” 19 So David went up at Gad’s word, as the LORD commanded. 20 And when Araunah looked down, he saw the king and his servants coming on toward him. And Araunah went out and paid homage to the king with his face to the ground. 21 And Araunah said, “Why has my lord the king come to his servant?” David said, “To buy the threshing floor from you, in order to build an altar to the LORD, that the plague(EF) may be averted from the people.” 22 Then Araunah said to David, “Let my lord the king take and offer up what seems good to him. Here are the oxen for the burnt offering and the(EG) threshing sledges and the yokes of the oxen for the wood. 23 All this, O king, Araunah gives to the king.” And Araunah said to the king, “May the LORD your God(EH) accept you.” 24 But the king said to Araunah, “No, but I will buy it from you for a price. I will not offer burnt offerings to the LORD my God that cost me nothing.” So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels[ac] of silver. 25 And David built there an altar to the LORD and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings.(EI) So the LORD responded to the plea for the land, and the plague was averted from Israel. (ESV)

“I will not offer burnt offerings to the LORD my God that cost me nothing.” Oh, there’s a lesson! How often do I “sacrifice” something to God that costs me nothing? How often do I withhold that which God really wants me to at least offer to Him, to be willing to part with, to show that it is not an idol to me – and instead, offer something that is not costly and dear to my heart? And how often do I not even consider giving back anything at all, when everything I have is from God, giver of every good and perfect gift?

Lord, may I have the proper perspective on the things I “own”, my talents, my time, and my very life – for they all come from You and belong to You.   May I glorify You and You alone in word and in deed.  May I not strive to claim glory belonging only to You as my own.  May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.

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