Wednesday, January 3, 2018

A Godly example from an imperfect Man

Read 2 Samuel 24.

We are not told why the LORD was angry with Israel, nor are we told the reason for the census.  It appears that because only fighting men were counted that, perhaps, David was looking to boast of his military might.  In any case, there was something here that crossed a serious line in David's relationship with God.  So much so, that God used this to deal with both David and the sin in the nation.  70,000 men died.

David's desire to publicly repent, stay the plague, and worship God led him to Araunah's threshing floor.  Here he wanted to build an altar and make a sacrifice to the LORD.  The humility and generosity of Araunah is worthy of meditation in and of itself.  He offered the king his property, his livelihood for the burnt offering, and even the wood for the fire.

David was not a perfect man.  He made some moral and leadership decisions that displeased the LORD.  Yet, the scriptures refer to him as "a man after God's own heart" (Acts 13:22).  What made him such a godly man and leader was when he knew he had done wrong he knew how to repent and did so.  It was never a cheap grace that he sought.  Each recorded time the cost was high and painful.

The king refused Araunah's offer with this famous statement in verse 24: "I will not offer burnt offerings to the LORD my God that cost me nothing."  The result was peace with God and the people.

This was not his systematic worship of giving to the LORD of his tithe.  This was sacrificial giving out of generosity.  Sacrificial giving may be characterized as-
1. "Freewill" offering, as in Exodus 35:5, 22, and 29 when building the Tabernacle.
2. "Over and above", as David stated it in 1 Chronicles 29:3 when building the Temple.
3. "Cheerful", as Paul described such a giver in 2 Corinthians 9:7 when meeting the needs of the poor.

The tithe belongs to the LORD.  Those monies support the on-going ministry.  However, giving generously beyond the ten percent requires one to rethink personal plans.  It means that repurposing money for what God wants instead.

Generous giving is a discipline of one who is learning spiritual maturity.

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