Giving God the Best
Author: F. Duane Lindsey
Week of May 24, 2015
2 Samuel 24:1-25
David sent Joab throughout all Israel to take a census of the fighting men. Afterward Joab reported that there were 500,000 fighting men in Judah and 800,000 in the rest of Israel.
David suddenly realized his military census reflected a confidence that instead should have been placed in the Lord to fight Israel’s battles. He prayed, “I have sinned greatly in what I have done. Now, O Lord, I beg you, take away the guilt of your servant. I have done a very foolish thing” (2 Sam. 24:10).
Through Gad the prophet, the Lord gave David three options for retribution on his sin—“three years of famine...three months of fleeing from your enemies...or three days of plague in your land?” (v. 13). David chose the third option, believing it was better to “fall into the hands of the Lord, for His mercy is great” (v. 14). After the plague took the lives of 70,000 people from Dan to Beersheba, David said, “I am the one who has sinned....These are but sheep. What have they done? Let your hand fall upon me and my family” (v. 17).
Gad told David, “Go up and build an altar to the Lord on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite” (v. 18). Araunah offered to give all he had to David, even “oxen for the burnt offering” (v. 22). But David insisted on paying for it: “I will not sacrifice to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing” (v. 24).
After David “sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings...the Lord answered prayer in behalf of the land, and the plague on Israel was stopped” (v. 25).
Think about it: We do not sacrifice oxen on altars to the Lord. But we do have a stewardship to give the Lord the best of our time, talent, and treasures. Instead, do we give Him the leftovers, or even what costs us nothing? Our service and gifts to the Lord should be sacrificial, beginning with giving Him ourselves.