1 Chronicles 21:22-25 And David said to Ornan, "Give me the site of the threshing floor that I may build on it an altar to the LORD--give it to me at its full price--that the plague may be averted from the people." (23) Then Ornan said to David, "Take it, and let my lord the king do what seems good to him. See, I give the oxen for burnt offerings and the threshing sledges for the wood and the wheat for a grain offering; I give it all." (24) But King David said to Ornan, "No, but I will buy them for the full price. I will not take for the LORD what is yours, nor offer burnt offerings that cost me nothing." (25) So David paid Ornan 600 shekels of gold by weight for the site.
When David wanted to buy Ornan's land to build an altar, Ornan generously offered it as a gift. But David refused, saying, "I will not take what is yours and give it to the LORD. I will not present burnt offerings that have cost me nothing!" David wanted to offer an offering (or sacrifice) to God. An offering should cost the giver in terms of self, time, or money. To give sacrificially requires more than a token effort or gift. God wants us to give voluntarily, but he wants it to mean something. Giving to God what costs you nothing does not demonstrate commitment.
At first he bought only the cattle and the threshing instruments, for which he paid fifty shekels of silver (2 Samuel 24:24); afterwards he purchased the whole property, Mount Moriah, on which the future temple stood. High in the center of the mountain platform rises a remarkable rock, now covered by the dome of "the Sakrah." It is irregular in its form, and measures about sixty feet in one direction and fifty feet in the other. It is the natural surface of Mount Moriah and is thought by many to be the rock of the threshing-floor of Araunah, selected by David, and continued by Solomon and Zerubbabel as "the unhewn stone" on which to build the altar
Through Gad, the Lord directed David to acquire the threshing floor of Ornan (Araunah in 2 Sam.), a Jebusite, and to build an altar there and offer sacrifices. Ornan offered the land to David as a gift, but the king insisted on paying for it. Verse 24 is an important spiritual principle: Effective sacrifice is always costly. This threshing floor later became the site of the temple (2 Chronicles 3:1)
I am so troubled with this passage. I am afraid that too often we have begun to live for the right NOW and not for the LATER. We live for the NOW, give for the NOW, think for the NOW, pray for the NOW, plan for the NOW, preach for the NOW, and because of this it has become very easy for God's children to become very selfish and self absorbed. David made an investment in the NOW for LATER dividends.
The land he purchased would one day be the place where his son Solomon would build the great Temple for God. Generation after generation were introduced to Jehovah God in this temple. Sacrifices were made for generations from this great Temple. It came about because David said, I will not just live for the NOW, but I am making an investment for LATER.
David refused to allow this land to just be given to him. He refused to offer anything to God that cost him nothing. David paid a great price to pave the way for God's plan to come to fruition. This great Temple was a shadow of things to come through the Messiah, Jesus Christ.
Too often, we give God my leftovers: leftover worship, leftover monetary offerings, leftover service, leftover corporate worship, leftover faithfulness, leftover commitment. I will attend Sunday worship, IF I don't have anything else to do. I will give my tithes and offerings, IF I have money leftover by the time I make it to church. I will worship God IF they play the right song, or set the right atmosphere. I would commit to prayer meeting night, BUT I am tired after getting off of work.
And we continue to live in the NOW only concerned about THIS moment, and we forget that we are helping to make our TOMORROW'S by what we do TODAY. We have children and grandchildren who are learning how important God is and should be in their life's by how important He is in YOUR life.
There were other times when God's people lived only for the NOW and were not concerned for the LATER and listen to what happened:
Judges 2:10 And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the LORD, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel.
This verse breaks my heart everytime I read it. My friends, we MUST stop giving to our Lord things that cost us nothing. We must stop living only for NOW. We have generations that are depending upon us LATER. I am determined to REFUSE TO GIVE GOD MY LEFTOVERS. Generations that live LATER are depending upon what we do NOW!
"Lord, my heart is so stirred this morning with these verses. Forgive me for the times I have just given You my leftovers and only lived for the here and NOW. I must begin to live for the LATER as well. LATER being my eternal life, but also the eternal life of generations who will come along behind me. Will those who come behind me find me faithful? I desperately hope so. But for that to happen I must examine my actions and habits of the NOW so that the LATER will be what You want it to be. In Jesus' name, amen!"