Tuesday, August 21, 2007

A Calling that Costs

Read 2 Samuel 24: 9-25. Take your time, I'll wait!

This is another story about David, the man after God's own heart. God had instructed David to gather an army with a certain number of men in it. David had increased the army well unnecessarily and placed heavy burdens upon the people in order to support his increases. God became dissatisfied with his motives, goals, and actions and He brought judgement.

Here's an interesting twist....God allowed Satan to incite David to do this through a census of the potential military force of Israel. But, God did not approve of the census or the motives behind it. David either wanted to make himself look good because of the vastness of his army or he wanted to capture more land that the Lord intended for him. David shifted his focus and trust from the Lord to military power.

Look at verse 1o...David's conscience catches up with him....
"David was conscience-stricken after he had counted the fighting men, and he said to the LORD, "I have sinned greatly in what I have done. Now, O LORD, I beg you, take away the guilt of your servant. I have done a very foolish thing."

He recognized with the counting of these men he had begun to rely on numerical strength instead of on the Lord, who win the battle with few or many!

The Lord then gives David 3 choices of possible punishments for his sin.

  1. 3 years of famine

  2. 3 months of fleeing from his enemies

  3. 3 days of pestilence in the land

David knew the Lord would be more merciful than his enemies, so he chose option 3. As David watches his people suffer a plague for his sin, he cries out to God to place the wrath on him alone. God relents and asks David to build an altar on a threshing floor where the plague stopped. My commentary indicates this was the Lord's choice was for the building of His temple. The man who owns the threshing floor offers to give him the land and the oxen for free but David says this in verse 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 of silver for them."

Ok....here's the main point....

SACRIFICE is an essential part of
worship and service to God.

Choir and orchestra family and other readers, if you are a child of God you were created to worship and serve the Lord. There is no negotiation! But we have to realize, worship and service will not always be easy. We don't serve and worship because it's convenient and meets our needs. If that was the case, very little would ever get done.

In my life, when I need an example what God requires, my focus always shifts back to Jesus. How did He worship? by following the will of God in all He did...How did He sacrifice? He was obedient even unto DEATH.

Let's strive to make the music ministry a covenant ministry...we are COMMITTED to the cause and willing to make sacrifices that cost us something...our time, talents and finances. We will not make sacrifices that don't cost us anything.

Thanks for hanging to the end....had to do a little preaching this afternoon.


Chris said...

You speak words to me in more ways than you can know JuJu!! David's words about offerings that cost me nothing bring me to my knees. Sacrifice is an essential part of worship, and that becomes clearer everday. It's figuring out what God wishes for me to sacrifice that is the hard part!