David, having been instructed by God to build an altar and make sacrifices to Him at the threshing floor of Araunah, approached Araunah and told him he wanted to buy his threshing floor. Araunah wanted to give it to David as a gift, “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’” (II Samuel 24:24a, NLT).
If what we offer to the Lord costs us nothing, that’s exactly what it’s worth. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Zero. Worshiping God seems to have gotten completely turned around these days. So many folks call it “worship” because they show up for church on Sunday. Or they “worship” because they’re expecting something in return. How many times have I heard someone say, “I’m believing God for…”
And before y’all go getting all bent out of shape on me, let me clarify a bit. I firmly believe that God will fulfill every promise He’s ever made to you. But there are a heap of folks out there who think of the Lord kinda like Stepin Fetchit, a character from a number of early “talking” movies. This poor bumbling guy had one purpose: he was to “step ‘n’ fetch” according to the whims of his employers. News flash: God doesn’t work for us – we’re to work for Him. He won’t hand you whatever you “believe” for UNLESS what you’ve asked is according to HIS will and HIS purpose.
On a side note, Lincoln Theodore Monroe Andrew Perry (yes, that’s his real name) who portrayed Stepin Fetchit was anything but the bumbler people thought of him. He was the first black actor to receive screen credit and to become a millionaire. You can’t know a person without doing your homework. You can’t know God if you don’t spend time talking with Him and studying His Word.
We’d left off in Second Samuel 24 where David bought the threshing floor. Now “David built an altar there to the Lord and sacrificed burnt offerings and peace offerings. And the Lord answered his prayer for the land, and the plague on Israel was stopped” (II Samuel 24:25).
David’s disobedience resulted in the deaths of over 70,000 people. David’s obedience stopped the plague before even more people died. What’s the takeaway from all this? David was responsible for the murder of Uriah and the other men who were fighting alongside him as well as the plague that had taken the 70,000. And yet GOD LOVED HIM and FORGAVE HIM.
And used him for His glory. Even sent His Son through David’s lineage. If that doesn’t give you a grasp of God’s overwhelming love, grace and mercy, I don’t know what will! No one reading this is beyond the reach of God’s great love. No true child of God can do something so horrible that God will no longer call him His child. As His forgiveness of David is mind-boggling, so is His love for the world. Every person has equal value in God’s eyes. Every person is worth saving, worth dying for, in God’s eyes.
Never doubt your value to the One who died that you might be free.
“I have loved you, My people, with an everlasting love” (Jeremiah 31:3b).
“Everyone whom the Father gives Me will come to Me. I will never turn away anyone who comes to Me. What My Father has given Me is more important than anything, and no one can snatch it from the Father’s hand” (Jesus speaking, John 6:37, God’s Word; John 10:29, ISV).
Copyright © 2013
Judy Woodward Bates