Summary: Before the Holy Spirit can build a temple within the heart and before we can experience God’s best there is a price that must be paid. David gave us the example of the right attitude toward paying the price.
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Pastor James May
PAYING THE PRICE
2 Samuel 24:18-25, "And Gad came that day to David, and said unto him, Go up, rear an altar unto the LORD in the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. And David, according to the saying of Gad, went up as the LORD commanded. And Araunah looked, and saw the king and his servants coming on toward him: and Araunah went out, and bowed himself before the king on his face upon the ground. And Araunah said, wherefore is my lord the king come to his servant? And David said, to buy the threshing floor of thee, to build an altar unto the LORD, that the plague may be stayed from the people. And Araunah said unto David, Let my lord the king take and offer up what seemeth good unto him: behold, here be oxen for burnt sacrifice, and threshing instruments and other instruments of the oxen for wood. All these things did Araunah, as a king, give unto the king. And Araunah said unto the king, The LORD thy God accept thee. And the king said unto Araunah, Nay; but I will surely buy it of thee at a price: neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the LORD my God of that which doth cost me nothing. So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver. And David built there an altar unto the LORD, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. So the LORD was intreated for the land, and the plague was stayed from Israel.”
David had sinned a great sin by numbering the people of Israel and God had sent the death angel that had already destroyed 70,000 men before David could find a place to build an altar of repentance.
The sin was not in the counting of the people, but it was in David’s disobedient heart. First, the death angel was sent to bring judgment for disobeying God’s command to not number the people and, secondly, because David had more faith in his army than in God to deliver Israel.
I have often wondered just what blessings I have missed or how much trouble I have brought upon myself because I failed to hear and obey God.
God, would my children be living different if we had spent more time in prayer or daily family devotions? Would I be walking a different path than I am right now? What would be different had I learned early to obey your voice? How much time have I wasted? How much money have I wasted on frivolity?
We can’t go back and correct the past, but we can do what is right from now on. Yes, we can repent and make things right with God but we will forever suffer the consequences of making some bad decisions.
Just as David did when he realized the price for his failure, we must also stop and count the cost of what has happened already and see where God wants us to go now.
David began to search for a place to build an altar and God told him where to build it. I believe that God is always pointing us to the place of our altar. His Spirit is drawing and seeking those who would serve Him and repent, then turn and follow His leading.
In the first place, you can build an altar anywhere that you are. You can stop anywhere, anytime and begin to pray but unless the Spirit of God is there with you your words are for nothing. We can’t conjure up that Spirit! We can’t force God to move! God moves in His own time and in His own way.
God, show us where to build that altar of prayer and sacrifice of our own lives in service to you. Show us where we have failed that we may repent.
Then we must realize that if we are to serve God, there is a price to pay! Jesus bought our salvation. Our part is to repent believe, and receive!