Cover to Cover
Reading: 2 Samuel 23:1-24:45
Focus: 2 Samuel 24:18-25
Have you ever received something for free, without any cost, or been given a gift which you thought to give to someone else? For whatever reason, regardless, if people knew that you “re-gifted” something, just how would they feel? How would you feel? You’d feel cheated and worthless. You were only good enough to be given a second-hand gift, something people didn’t want…
At the end of his time, David made some mistakes for which God punished the people. To stop the on-going plague punishing the people, David was told to go to a particular place and offer sacrifices there. Upon arriving at the location, it belonged to Araunah, who was willing to give David the land and necessary provisions for the offering. However, David responded in kind: “I will not offer sacrifices to the LORD my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.”
This response has become somewhat of a mantra repeated in churches when it comes to the giving of offerings. Yet, in these words is a deep truth which Christians must wrestle with. For if all things are given and provided by God, then where is the cost in offering? Well, I think it safe to say that our salary is something that we have worked for, God has provided us with the means to earn an income, but it is something we work for and earn.
But deeper than that, what about our gifts and abilities? It is easy for those who are naturally gifted to simply offer their talents to serve others, but where is the work in that? I think of the parable of the 10 talents (Luke 19:11-27) where three servants were given responsibility of different amounts. However, the principle is the same, regardless of what you are given, how will you nurture and develop it for further use? The servant who did nothing with his talent was rejected and his talent given to another. Naturally, isn’t the gift which we invest time and energy worth a whole lot more?
Next Reading: 1 Chronicles