Today we come to another failure in David’s life in his old age.
Foolishly, even though advised otherwise, David chose to take a census of his people. We are not sure why and what made David want to do it but he was very insistent that this be done.
The moment the census was completed, David realised that he had done foolishly and sinned against God. And like the man of God he was, he repented and asked God for forgiveness. But he knew that he had to pay a price for his sin…
Prophet Gad came back with 3 scenarios for David to choose as his punishment and David chose to leave his fate in the hands of God. And a great plague fell on Israel and many innocent people died…. until the Lord relented and Jerusalem did not fall under the plague.
David was then told to make an sacrificial offering in the land of Araunah . Now as a king, he could have taken the piece of land and the animals there to make the offering. In fact, Araunah offered all things in his land to the king for free.
But David purchased them.
David said …
“No, but I will surely buy it from you for a price; nor will I offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God with that which costs me nothing.”
~ 2 Samue 24:24
This reminds me a story I read some time ago.
There was a doctor that worked in a remote place in America and one day, a native American family came and begged him to help their gravely ill grandmother. So he went, diagnosed her and provided instructions on how they ought to care for her.
Weeks passed and the grandmother recovered.
So thankful was the family that all of them came to see the doctor again and presented him a 150-year old pair of moccasins made by their great great grandfather. The doctor tried to protest because this was such a valuable gift but the head of the family replied that since you have saved my mother, we must insist that you accept this gift as we do not express great appreciation with a cheap gift.
A sacrifice – by definition – has a price and cost.
So when we make our offerings to God, there needs to be a price that we must pay. Or it must have a cost to us.
If it does not hurt us or cost us anything in our sacrifice, it may mean nothing to us at all. And also would mean that we are not sincere in our sacrifice.