Cost Me Nothing
2 Samuel 24:24 (ESV) -- But the king said to Araunah, “No, but I will buy it from you for a price. I will not offer burnt offerings to the LORD my God that cost me nothing.” So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver.
Generosity is a Christian virtue. It has a distinct flavor. It is not simply the act of giving that’s generous, but the amount of giving in proportion to what has been received. Someone who gives $100 to their church who only made $500 on their paycheck is more generous than someone who gave $1,000 who made $20,000 on their paycheck. The amount alone doesn’t determine generosity. The amount of sacrifice does.
We see this lesson played out in our passage today. We read in 2 Samuel 24:24, “But the king said to Araunah, ‘No, but I will buy it from you for a price. I will not offer burnt offerings to the LORD my God that cost me nothing.’ So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver.”
In this passage, David is looking for supplies to build an altar and sacrifice to the LORD to stop the plague on Israel. This particular plague came because David took the census. His pride angered the LORD. As David approaches Araunah, the man bows before David, his king. When David tells him what he is needing, Araunah is ready to give him anything he wants. He is prepared to give it away to the king. But David refuses. He wants to buy it. He is not going to present an offering before God that doesn’t cost him anything. This is huge.
David recognizes that his offering before the LORD cannot be provided by someone else. A truly generous heart requires sacrifice from himself. He realizes that. He says he cannot give an offering “that cost me nothing.” The same is true for us. Our giving should be from a generous spirit. We do not want to give an offering that costs us nothing. There’s no joy or reward in that. The offering that pleases God will be sacrificial and given joyfully.
Consider your financial stewardship. Are you generous? What does your giving reflect about your heart and obedience?
Reflection & Journal:
- Why does David say he can’t give an offering that costs him nothing?
- What is the danger in giving financially, but not really giving sacrificially?
- How are you personally challenged by this passage?
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