2 Samuel 24:18-25
18 On that day Gad went to David and said to him, “Go up and build an altar to the Lord on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.” 19 So David went up, as the Lord had commanded through Gad. 20 When Araunah looked and saw the king and his officials coming toward him, he went out and bowed down before the king with his face to the ground. 21 Araunah said, “Why has my lord the king come to his servant?” “To buy your threshing floor,” David answered, “so I can build an altar to the Lord, that the plague on the people may be stopped.” 22 Araunah said to David, “Let my lord the king take whatever he wishes and offer it up. Here are oxen for the burnt offering, and here are threshing sledges and ox yokes for the wood. 23 Your Majesty, Araunah[a] gives all this to the king.” Araunah also said to him, “May the Lord your God accept you.” 24 But the king replied to Araunah, “No, I insist on paying you for it. I will not sacrifice to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.” So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen and paid fifty shekels[b] of silver for them. 25 David built an altar to the Lord there and sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings. Then the Lord answered his prayer in behalf of the land, and the plague on Israel was stopped.
David is overwhelmed by the impact his sin (of taking a census) is having on the whole nation of Israel – 70,000 men have died because of his actions and he is filled with sorrow. He pleads with the Lord to end the plague because the people shouldn’t suffer because of his wrong doing. The Lord hears him and tells him to make a sacrifice of burnt offerings to atone for his sin.
This time David fully obeys the Lord. He goes to Araunah, who wants to provide everything that David needs. While this might be generous of Araunah, David does not want to choose the easy way out – v24 “I will not present burnt offerings to the Lord my God that have cost me nothing”. David already knows what happens when he does things his way. This time, David takes full responsibility and pays the full price for his wrongdoing. The result? The Lord is pleased and ends the plague.
For such a public sin and consequence, we also get another glimpse into the personal relationship David has with the Lord. That even though he made a very costly mistake, the Lord provides a way out for him by asking him to make a sacrifice. David’s heart response is to also make a peace offering, or fellowship offering, to the Lord to express his thankfulness and gratitude for the Lord’s generosity and kindness.
Father God, I thank you that when I sin, I can ask for forgiveness because of Jesus’ sacrifice for me. I thank you that because of Your actions our relationship can continue.
Written by Gab Martin