We’re back in Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles after an Easter break. Catch up on the back catalogue here.
One often-used quote of David is found in 1 Chronicles 21:
“King David replied to Ornan, “No, I insist on buying it for top price. I will not offer to the Lord what belongs to you or offer a burnt sacrifice that cost me nothing.”
(v.24, NET, emphasis added)
David is instructed via a prophet (v.9) to build an altar for the Lord on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite (v.18). Received with the respect fit for a king (vv.19-21), David is then offered the site for free (vv.22-23). It’s then that we read that David insists on paying full price for the property, saying he doesn’t want to offer anything to God that cost me nothing.
Is there something in this exchange for us?
David knew that it is not a gift, an offering, a tithe, or a sacrifice worth giving if it did not cost him something (cf. 1 Corinthians 16.2). Are we sometimes guilty of looking for the cheapest way to give, to please God? F.B. Meyer wrote this:
“Where there is true, strong love to Jesus, it will cost us something. Love is the costliest of all undertakings…. But what shall we mind if we gain Christ?”
Loving the Lord with all we’ve got (Deuteronomy 6.4-5) costs us something, as David shows here. This standard of giving is perhaps best seen in the incarnation of Jesus who, though He existed in the form of God emptied Himself, humbled Himself, and gave His life as a ransom for many (Philippians 2, Matthew 20). From the view of the Father, John 3.16 summarises this giving so well. I love how the Amplified Bible explains this:
“For God so [greatly] loved and dearly prized the world, that He [even] gave His [One and] only begotten Son, so that whoever believes and trusts in Him [as Savior] shall not perish, but have eternal life.”
Very simply, we give to what we love.
“…God so [greatly] loved and dearly prized the world, that He [even] gave His [One and] only begotten Son…”
We often don’t think twice about buying things for our kids or treating our partners to something they’ve wanted for a while. The same should be true, the same has to be true, for the God that gave so generously and so completely to redeem you (Ephesians 1.7).
For more on tithing, try these articles.
For finance, these.
General money-talk, these.