And just like that, 10 days into The Bible in Lent we’ve come to the end of David’s reign. While there are many highs and certainly some lows in David’s reign, I want to focus in today on the very end of the 2nd Book of Samuel.
A plague has fallen upon the people and the prophet at the time, Gad, instructs David to go to the threshing floor of Arau′nah the Jeb′usite to offer sacrifices to God.
When David arrives, he tells Arau′nah that he wants to buy the threshing floor, build an altar, and sacrifice to God. But Arau′nah quickly tells David that he doesn’t need to buy it, he can simply accept it and the animals for the sacrifice as a gift.
But David will not accept the gift and replies, “No, but I will buy it of you for a price; I will not offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God which cost me nothing” (2nd Samuel 24:24).
David’s response makes me wonder, what I am offering the Lord that costs me? Am I offering up things to the Lord that are convenient and easy or do I offer up something of value?
There are so many New Testament passages that came to mind as I read this. The rich young ruler who Jesus told to sell all he had on behalf of the poor (Mark 10), the exhortation to care for the least of these (Matthew 25), and the call in Hebrews 12 to offer ourselves up as living sacrifices.
Am I offering myself up as a living sacrifice today or just the parts that are convenient to me?
Lent is a unique season in the call to penance through prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. Am I offering up things that are costly or things that I wanted to do apart from this season/any spiritual benefit?
Is God my priority or my afterthought?
If David had accepted the gift, his priority would have been financial, the sacrifice wouldn’t have matter because it wouldn’t have affected his life. As we’ve seen over and over again throughout Scripture, God wants our hearts.
David shows here that he is willing to give his heart to God. That’s where his treasure truly lies.
As we finish up reading 2nd Samuel and move into 1st Kings today, where we see Solomon build a splendid temple for the Lord, we need to ask ourselves where our treasure, where our hearts lie.
Today, am I offering up a living sacrifice to God or simply a sacrifice of convenience?
Lord, give me eyes to see and ears to hear.