From Consumer to Contributor - Part 5

OPENING PRAYER:

Father God, you are worthy of my praise and blessing.  Show me today what pleases you and give me the courage to choose according to your will.  Amen

 

READ:  II Samuel 24:23-24

“I will give it all to you, Your Majesty, and may the Lord your God accept your sacrifice.”  But the king replied to Araunah, “No.  I insist on buying it, for I will not present burnt offerings to the Lord my God that have cost me nothing.” So David paid him fifty pieces of silver for the threshing floor and the oxen.

 

REFLECT:

Joab, the commanding general of Israel’s army, cautioned David when the king ordered a census of Israel and Judah.  In spite of Joab’s concerns, David persisted and his generals proceeded to number the people.  It took nine months and twenty days to complete the assignment.

When Joab delivered the report to the king, David’s conscience began to bother him and he declared, “I have sinned greatly by taking this census. Please forgive my guilt, Lord, for doing this foolish thing.”

The next day the Lord sent a message to David through the prophet Gad.  The choice of punishment was up to David – three years of famine, three months of intense battle with Israel’s enemies, or three days of severe plague throughout the land.  David chose to submit himself and the nation to the mercy of God and chose three days of plague.  Seventy thousand people died.  But before there was complete destruction, God gave the order for the plague to stop.

Gad returned to David telling him he was to, “Go up and build an altar to the Lord on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.”  Araunah offered to give David the threshing floor, material to build the altar and the animal for the sacrifice but David refused.  Just as David recognized the great cost of his sin to the nation of Israel, he understood that he could not present an offering to the Lord that had cost him nothing.

We no longer offer animal sacrifices.  Jesus was the final sacrifice for sin.  Hebrews 12:24 urges us to “be thankful and please God by worshiping him with holy fear and awe.”  Hebrews 13 describes such worship in practical terms.  The sacrifice we are urged to make is a sacrifice of praise to God and loyalty to his name, to do good and share with those in need. 

 

APPLY:

There are days it would be easier to let our sacrifice of praise be accomplished vicariously through others.  The idea of laying our agenda aside in order to put the good of others before our own goes against the message we encounter daily in this self-obsessed culture.   David knew the value of giving personally to God.  Will you find the blessing in doing likewise by stepping out in faith during Restore?

 

CLOSING PRAYER:

God, the world I live in urges me to put myself first above those around me.  But my desire is to live a life that embraces your values.  Strengthen my will to praise you with my actions.  Help me bring you a sacrifice of praise.  Amen.

Terry Schneider