And then, we have yet another scene where the man after God's own heart, David, commits another sin in the Lord's eyes. This time, the Lord gives him a choice as to how he will receive the punishment for his sin - and David chooses to submit himself, and his people, to the Lord's hand directly, rather than into the hands of men.
An angel of the Lord then comes and begins to destroy the nation of Israel, killing men left and right until he comes to the threshing floor of a little-known (to this point) man. Then, God's mercy takes over and He calls the angel off. Enough vengeance for now.
David then journeys out to the threshing floor and arranges to buy it from its owner so that he can build an altar to the Lord there and offer sacrifices on it. The owner tries to give him the threshing floor for God's glory, and even some animals for sacrifice, but David refuses. He will not accept it as a gift; he insists on buying it.
I will not sacrifice to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing (2 Samuel 24:24).
Oh, how much we have to learn from David.
See, for most of us, we're content to offer God whatever we have leftover. Whatever we have that's extra, that's for Him. That's true of our money. It's true of our time. It's true of our talents. We invest them first in ourselves, and then we take what we have that we don't need and we won't miss, and we give it to God.
And we call it a gift.
As though it's somehow pleasing to Him that we remember Him after all of our own needs are taken care of.
David had a chance here. He could have taken another man's stuff and given it to God, and it wouldn't have touched his own wealth at all. And we know from earlier this week that he's really not particularly opposed to doing this. He took Uriah's wife, after all. What're a few cows between friends? Or, you know, between a king and his subject?
But David says no. He won't give it to God if it doesn't come from him. He won't offer something that cost him nothing. It's the right thing to do. And so, even though the owner of the threshing floor says it's not that big of a deal, that the total price is not that much (and names the price), David accepts the price and pays it before he even strikes the match to light the holy fire.
What does your offering to God cost you? What price are you willing to pay to give it to Him? Or do you only give God what's leftover, what you don't think you'll miss? Do you give to God first, or only after your needs are met? What if you trusted Him to meet your needs?
I won't give to God what cost me nothing. How about you?