Tuesday, July 14, 2009

2 Samuel 24:24 -- On Meaningful Sacrifice

"And the king said unto Araunah, Nay; but I will surely buy it of thee at a price: neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the Lord my God of that which doth cost me nothing. So David bought the threshingfloor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver."
2 Samuel 24:24

Interesting. Araunah offered David everything that he needed to make the appropriate sacrifice... but David wouldn't do it. Seems that even back then, a sacrifice meant more than just a burnt offering. And today... I wonder if we try to offer things at times that don't mean much to us. We are hyper-obedient about things that are easy for us, and we think that we are sacrificing. :) Sacrifice means a lot more than that. It is a very real commitment, made because we love. Think about the person that you love most in the world. If you were going to surprise that person on a special occasion, what would you do? I know that if it were me, I would make sure it was perfect. Front-row seats, a favorite meal... the perfect gift... whatever it took to make it the perfect day. it wouldn't matter what it cost me, in time or money, if I could coax a smile. I think that is what sacrifice is about. Not about being a martyr, or cutting out part of yourself for someone else... it's about real caring, and doing anything you can to create that perfect moment. David couldn't honor his God with a sacrifice that cost him nothing; it wasn't a gift that he was giving that way. The same for us. The broken heart and the contrite spirit that we offer to God has to be real... sincere. It has to cost us something. Not monetarily, and it doesn't have to bring us pain... but it has to be valuable to us. The commitment that we make has to be deep and true. We can't just give God the leftovers... the excess emotion that we have left over after doting on our loved ones and friends... the extra cash we have after we have paid all of our bills... the few minutes we have to communicate after we've talked to everyone on earth that we know. :) If God matters to us, then we have to offer him time, and space in our lives. When we offer him our broken hearts, he returns them to us whole. When we offer him our contrite spirit, he strengthens us and gives us confidence. ... He loves us too. :)

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