Equal Sacrifice, Not Equal Gifts
2 Samuel 24:24; Hebrews 12:2
Araunah’s threshing floor was located at the same place were God had been faithful to provide the sacrifice when Abraham was called upon to offer Isaac (Gen 22:1-19). David is sent by God through the instruction of the prophet Gad to build an altar to the Lord on the threshing floor of Araunah
(2 Sam 24:18). Feeling the pressure of judgment on his sin associated with the census of Israel and Judah (2 Sam 24:1f) David responded obediently (2 Sam 24:18).
When presented with the opportunity Araunah generously offers more than what is requested by David. He gave willingly from his material possessions and he earnestly sought God’s blessing upon David the king (2 Sam 24:22-23). Araunah’s generosity and blessing represented a great sacrifice that was far different from the one Abraham was called upon to make earlier in that place.
David recognized the significance of the moment for himself graciously refused the gift, “No, I insist on paying the full price. I will not take for the LORD what is yours, or sacrifice a burnt offering that costs me nothing” (1 Chron 21:24, which is a parallel account). David gave sacrificially in his worship as he purchased the land and the oxen, built the altar and offered up the gifts before the Lord (2 Sam 24:24-25a).
God responded faithfully to David’s prayer for the land and the plague on Israel was stopped
(2 Sam 24:25). God is always faithful. The Chronicles account of this story identifies this location as the site of the Temple yet to be built in Jerusalem.
We are not all called to the same gift but we are called to equal sacrifice. “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb 12:2, NIV84). If we prayerfully seek God, he will lead us to a gift that will not be so small as to insult him or so large that it will crush us.