Again, David made a mistake that would put the whole nation in jeopardy. He overruled Joab’s opposition and ordered a census of Israel and Judah. This kindled the anger of the Lord and when David realized it, it was too late. He had to choose one of three punishments brought by the prophet Gad. David chose three days of pestilence in the land over three years of famine or three months of defeat in the hands of the enemy. When a leader sins and makes a wrong decision, the people under him would suffer pain and loss.
David chose to fall under the hand of God because of His great mercy. He was right. After 70,000 perished and as the angel of destruction stretched out his hand toward Jerusalem, the Lord relented from the calamity and restrained the angel from destroying Jerusalem. The angel was by the threshing floor of Araunah as David cried out to the Lord and the prophet Gad told him to build an altar there to the Lord. Araunah, realizing what the king was about to do, generously offered his oxen, the yokes and his land to David.
Although the king was supposed to own everything in the kingdom, although it was convenient for him to do so, although Araunah was sincere in his offering and contribution in stopping the plague, David did not take up his offer but said, “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.” He was the one who had caused the plague in the first place and he should be the one who paid for the reparation of his sins. No one could do that for him. Using the resources of another for one’s personal worship of God is not acceptable in God’s sight and David knew well about it. He would not offer any sacrifice that would cost him nothing.
Many of us are good bargainers and always looking for a discount when we buy goods and services. It is not so with our worship of the Lord. When we offer anything to the Lord, it must be the best and we have to pay full price and not a discounted price. An offering of convenience or offering anything that does not belong to you becomes a mockery of the Almighty God who owns everything in the first place. None of us can take a shortcut or cut corners in serving God. Whatever we offer to Him are to be our best and from our heart.
Whenever you give to the Lord, ask, “Is this the best I can do? Am I withholding anything from Him? Am I paying the full price or just part of the price? How can I give less when Christ has given His all for me?” Be a total giver now and give of your best to the Lord. If you want God to give you full blessings, you also must pay your full price to Him.
Ps 127:1-2 2 Sam 23:24-24:25 Acts 3:1-26 Prov 16:21-23