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With New Testament Eyes: 33 - I Will Not Offer to God that which Cost me Nothing

By Henry Mahan

      2 Samuel 24:10-24

      Regardless of the circumstances found in Verse One, a condition which we find hard to explain, David sinned in numbering Israel (v. 10). The Lord gave David a choice of three punishments: seven years of famine, three months of fleeing before his enemies, or three days of pestilence in the land (vv. 12-13). David refused to make a choice but rather said, 'Let us fall into the hand of the Lord, for his mercies are great; let me not fall into the hand of man' (v. 14). The Lord sent a pestilence upon Israel and destroyed 70,000 men (v. 15). When the angel stretched out his hand to destroy Jerusalem, the Lord said, 'It is enough' (v. 16); and David was commanded to build an altar at the threshingfloor of Araunah, the Jebusite (vv. 18-19). When Araunah saw David and his servants coming to him, he bowed himself before the king and asked his mission. David said, 'I am come to buy your threshingfloor to build an altar unto the Lord, that the plague may be stopped' (vv. 20-21). Araunah replied, 'Here is the threshingfloor, the wood, and the oxen; take them all without charge; they are yours' (vv. 22-23). The king said, 'No! but I will buy it of thee at a price; I will not offer burnt offerings unto the Lord of that which cost me nothing.'

      A thankful heart will not come to God bearing a gift which cost him nothing. If it is of no value to you, it will not be received nor blessed of God.

      When the Apostle Paul taught the early church the grace of giving (2 Cor. 8:7-9), he referred to the gift of Christ for us-- Christ gave himself. 'Though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.' This is the reason our Lord commended the widow's gift (Mark 12:41- 44). She gave sacrificially, she gave what she needed and was of great value, and she gave all she had! Like David, her love for God demanded a gift worthy of him--her all!

      Churches and professed Christians today insult God with many of their so called gifts and efforts to raise money for Christian causes. They give that which costs them nothing.

      Bakery and candy sales, car washes, rummage sales, used clothing, furniture, and articles which no one needs are given.

      Bond sales, with high interest to the buyer, are conducted.

      Worthless hillside land is given as a church site. One thing all of these projects have in common is that they cost the giver nothing. There is not in any of them the element of grace, selfdenial, nor sacrifice. Let us look at five lessons learned from

      David's example.

      1. Our example in the old testament is that the first fruits belonged to God, the firstling of the flock, the choice lamb, and the firstborn son.

      God rebuked the priests of Israel for offering molded bread, lame and sick sheep upon the altar. He said, 'Offer these kinds of gifts to your governor and see if it pleases him (Mal. 1:6-8).

      2. A gift which costs nothing reveals a lack of faith in Christ, while gifts of true value and sacrifice reveal a genuine faith in the Lord's power to supply our need (Phil. 4:19; Matt. 6:31-33). Abraham was willing to give his well-beloved son because he believed God (Gen. 22:12). Many in the early church were so strong in faith that they sold their possessions and goods and divided them with poor believers (Acts 22: 44-45) . No true gift of faith and sacrifice goes unnoticed by our God (Mark 10:28- 30).

      3. A gift which costs nothing reveals a lack of love for Christ, while true love considers no labor, no cost, no sacrifice too great. 'Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed unto him but a few days, for the love he had to her' (Gen. 29:20). True love is always liberal and open-hearted; and when love is missing, what men give is considered an investment, a charity, or a loss. 'For God so loved .... He gave his only Son.'

      4. A gift which costs me nothing reveals a lack of regard for the majesty and glory of God. Dare I offer anything to the Lord of glory which is less than my best? The quality and value of our gifts depend largely on the esteem and respect we have for the recipient.

      If you were selected to provide a gift for the President and one for the paperboy, would there be more thought and sacrifice in one than in the other? A gift given in the name of God demands our best.

      5. A cheap, part-time, and selfish course of religion, which costs nothing, is an abomination to God and will never be accepted.

      The man who found one pearl of great price sold all that he had and bought it (Matt. 13:45-46). Christ said, 'If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me' (Matt. 16:24-26).

      Read about Elijah's instructions to the widow who only had enough ingredients for one cake of bread. 'Make me a cake first,' he said (1 Kings 17:9-16). She did, and her blessings were multiplied.

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See Also:
   Foreward & Acknowledgements
   1 - The Fall
   2 - Abel's Offering
   3 - The Ark Of Noah
   4 - Sarah and Hagar; Law and Grace
   5 - The Lord Will Provide
   6 - A Bride for the Heir
   7 - Bethel - The House of God
   8 - Peniel - The Face of God
   9 - Joseph Opens the Storehouses
   10 - Joseph and His Brothers
   11 - Shiloh
   12 - The Passover
   13 - The Manna
   14 - Water from the rock
   15 - The Blood Before the Lord
   16 - The Ram of Consecration
   17 - The Day of Atonement
   18 - Caleb - The Faithful Dog
   19 - The High Priest Intercedes
   20 - The Brazen Serpent
   21 - A Prophet Like Moses
   22 - The Cities of Refuge
   23 - Joshua
   24 - The Scarlet Line in the Window
   25 - The birth of Samson
   26 - The Kinsman Redeemer
   27 - The Song of Hannah
   28 - Give us a King
   29 - Saul's Great Sin
   30 - David and Mephibosheth
   31 - Why God Permitted David to Fall
   32 - Comfort from God's Covenant
   33 - I Will Not Offer to God that which Cost me Nothing
   34 - The Queen of Sheba Comes to Solomon
   35 - Three Examples of Faith
   36 - Where is the Lord God of Elijah?
   37 - Empty Vessels Filled
   38 - Naaman, the Leper
   39 - Open his Eyes that He may See
   40 - Four Lepers Teach us a Lesson
   41 - Nehushtan--A Piece of Brass
   42 - Bringing Back the Ark
   43 - Uzziah's Great Transgression
   44 - Four Things Learned in Trouble
   45 - How Can Man be Just With God?
   46 - Three Vital Questions
   47 - I Know that my Redeemer Liveth
   48 - Now Mine Eye Seeth Thee
   49 - The Psalm of Messiah the King
   50 - God's two great books
   51 - The Psalm of the Cross
   52 - The Lord is my Shepherd
   53 - True God - True Israel - True Redeemer
   54 - Eight Great Precepts
   55 - My Hope is in Thee
   56 - Many, O Lord, Are Thy Wonderful Works
   57 - A Song of Love
   58 - The Sinner's Prayer
   59 - My Rock and my Salvation
   60 - Our Lord's Sufferings for Our Sins
   61 - Mercy and Truth are Met Together
   62 - The Victory of the Messiah
   63 - Bless the Lord, O my Soul
   64 - Let the Redeemed of the Lord Say So
   65 - The King-Priest
   66 - The Chief Cornerstone
   67 - The Observer and the Observed
   68 - Praise the Lord O my Soul
   69 - Wisdom in Christ
   70 - The Conclusion of the Whole Matter
   71 - Remember Now Thy Creator
   72 - My Beloved is Mine and I am His
   73 - What is Thy Beloved more than Another Beloved?
   74 - The Lord Our Righteousness
   75 - The Believers Hope
   76 - From Nothing to Everything
   77 - Lost, Driven Away, Broken, Sick
   78 - Can These Bones Live?
   79 - Four Things God Taught Nebuchadnezzar
   80 - Thy God Will Deliver Thee
   81 - Hosea--Type of Christ
   82 - A Famine to be Feared
   83 - Salvation is of the Lord
   84 - A Fountain Opened for Mourners
   85 - The Messenger of the Covenant


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