2 Samuel 24:18-25
18 On that day Gad went to David. Gad said to him, “Go up to the threshing floor of Araunah, the Jebusite. Build an altar there to honor the Lord.” 19 So David went up and did it. He did what the Lord had commanded through Gad. 20 Araunah looked and saw the king and his officials coming toward him. So he went out to welcome them. He bowed down to the king with his face toward the ground. 21 Araunah said, “King David, you are my master. Why have you come to see me?” “To buy your threshing floor,” David answered. “I want to build an altar there to honor the Lord. When I do, the plague on the people will be stopped.” 22 Araunah said to David, “Take anything that pleases you. Offer it up. Here are oxen for the burnt offering. Here are threshing sleds. And here are wooden collars from the necks of the oxen. Use all of the wood to burn the offering. 23 King David, I’ll give all of it to you.” Araunah continued, “And may the Lord your God accept you.” 24 But the king replied to Araunah, “No. I want to pay you for it. I won’t sacrifice to the Lord my God burnt offerings that haven’t cost me anything.” So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen. He paid 20 ounces of silver for them. 25 David built an altar there to honor the Lord. He sacrificed burnt offerings and friendship offerings. Then the Lord answered prayer and blessed the land. The plague on Israel was stopped.
The context of this passage can be summed up in three points: David had sinned, David had recognised his sin and humbled himself before God, and now the people are suffering the effects of the sin in the form of a devastating plague. In this situation God reaches out to David, He uses Gad to direct David to build an altar on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. David obeys God and builds an altar, paying for the threshing floor and all the materials needed, as David knows that a sacrifice to the Lord must cost something. God accepts the offering David has made and David is once again right with God. In this state of right relationship God answers David’s prayer and stops
the plague from any further destruction.
What strikes me in this passage is the fact that God takes the initiative; He shows David a way back to Him, a way to restore their relationship. Our God is an initiating God, He sent Jesus to the cross so that through our faith in Him our relationship with God is restored. What a powerful message that God wants to be in relationship with us.
Thank you God for taking the first step and opening up a way for me to be in right relationship with you. Thank you God that my shortcomings don’t prevent me from enjoying your goodness and faithfulness.
Written by Beth Waugh