Only you, Lord God, are worthy of praise and honor and glory. I worship you as I come to your Word today.
Read 2 SAMUEL 24:18-25
David Builds an Altar
18 On that day Gad went to David and said to him, “Go up and build an altar to the Lord on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.” 19 So David went up, as the Lord had commanded through Gad. 20 When Araunah looked and saw the king and his officials coming toward him, he went out and bowed down before the king with his face to the ground.
21 Araunah said, “Why has my lord the king come to his servant?”
“To buy your threshing floor,” David answered, “so I can build an altar to the Lord, that the plague on the people may be stopped.”
22 Araunah said to David, “Let my lord the king take whatever he wishes and offer it up. Here are oxen for the burnt offering, and here are threshing sledges and ox yokes for the wood. 23 Your Majesty, Araunah[a] gives all this to the king.” Araunah also said to him, “May the Lord your God accept you.”
24 But the king replied to Araunah, “No, I insist on paying you for it. I will not sacrifice to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.”
So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen and paid fifty shekels[b] of silver for them. 25 David built an altar to the Lord there and sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings. Then the Lord answered his prayer in behalf of the land, and the plague on Israel was stopped.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Reflect‘Fear not to enter his courts in the slenderness of the poor wealth thou wouldst reckon as thine: truth in its beauty and love in its tenderness, these are the offerings to lay on his shrine.’*
This reading effectively marks the final major incident in David’s life. Given a choice between three punishments for grieving God in the matter of the census, he opts for the shortest. It is probably the deadliest: a three-day pandemic that will sweep through the country. But when David sees the angel of the Lord poised to destroy Jerusalem, he pleads for mercy and is allowed to make a burnt offering to the Lord.
All this takes place on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. This was on Mount Moriah, the hill to the east of Jerusalem, and was the site upon which the temple was built afterward (2 Chronicles 3:1). Jewish tradition identifies this with the mountain that was the scene of the sacrifice of Isaac (Genesis 22:2).
Some places carry memories of worship and encounter with the living God. David’s last act is his remembrance of meeting the grace of God in the midst of his failure. This is where the temple will be built, but not by him.
Have there been places where you have met God and the course of your life has changed direction? Call them to mind, remember the story, and thank God for his involvement in your life.
Almighty God, thank you for your presence with me this day. Regardless of my circumstances, I choose to trust you, to worship you, and declare your faithfulness.
*’Sanctissimus,’ John SB Monsell (1811–1875)
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