15 Nov Giving that Costs us Something
When David decided (incited by Satan, 1 Chronicles 21:1) to take a census, it was clear, the Lord was not pleased. God had promised He would be Israel’s defender, so no matter the power of Israel’s enemies nor the limitations of her armies, God would prevail; no need to “count” just to be assured, by human evaluation and reckonings.
So, David was sorry for his action (sin) and God offered him a choice of three punishments, though I don’t see that term in the Word. Three years of famine, three months of being pursued by human enemies, or three days of pestilence.
David’s response is well remembered, “I am in great distress. Let us fall into the hand of the Lord, for His mercy is great; but let me not fall into the hand of man.” (2 Samuel 24:14)
Pestilence came from Dan to Beersheba (an idiom as I understand, meaning from north to south, the entire country was struck) and 70,000 died. Thankfully, as the angel lifted his hand to strike Jerusalem, God intervened and said, “Stop!”
The location was the threshing floor of Araunah (Ornan in 1 Chronicles) the Jebusite. Here, David takes the blame, even though the Israelites suffered, which no doubt caused him even more grief. And the prophet of God and David’s seer, Gad, instructs David to make a substantial and costly offering, probably to help David know how just how painful sin is. Perhaps Araunah was trying to help David, or share the guilt, we do not know his exact motive, but he offers to give David not only the materials for the offering but the entire site as well.
David’s response to Araunah is also well remembered, and teaches us a great lesson about giving to the Lord. David says, “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.” (2 Samuel 24:24)
It is my belief that our tithes and offerings should be given with this attitude as well. After all, God offered the life of His Son for us, right? If that is not the GREATEST offering gift ever given, I don’t know what is.
But to take this idea a little farther and deeper, not only should we offer costly financial gifts to God, but also, our gifts of time, talent, and testimony should cost us something. So, when we are called to help with teaching Bible school, or VBS, or in LSM, when we are asked to host the annual prayer walk on Good Friday or be a counter at Global Vision Night, whatever it would be, it is very reasonable for us to want to serve, especially when it COSTS US SOMETHING!
Because, what would we do if God had decided that we were not WORTH dying for? That should give us all pause.
Blessings to you all, in the Blessed Name of our Father, His Son, and the Holy Spirit, who Loved us and Gave His Son as our personal Atonement for Sin! Amen and Amen!
Joe Mack is one of our elders and attends the Lee’s Summit Campus.