Summary: Here are four principles that should govern the way ordinary people like you and me give to the Lord.
When Ordinary People Give
Today in our service I want to share with you four principles that ought to guide your giving. Our services are going to be a little different this morning because during the course of the sermon you will be hearing some personal accounts from some of the members about how God has impressed upon them the need to give and the blessings they have received from doing so. I’m not going to try to hide this from you – God wants you to join Him in His work through faithful and generous giving, and so do I. The success of our ministries and the amount of work we do for the Lord through them is directly dependent on tithes and offerings.
In our sermon text, we are jumping into the middle of an account where King David is going to make an offering to God. Some of you will remember that David was feeling proud of his accomplishments during his latter years, so he had his military general take some men and go through the country and number the people. The Lord punished Him for doing this. What difference should it have made how many people David had? Was his trust in numbers or in God? When God got ready to punish David, He told him to choose one of three options, either three years of famine, three months to be destroyed by his enemies, or three days of judgment by the angel of God. David chose the three days, and during that time 70,000 people died. We are told that God in His mercy stopped the angel when it came to Jerusalem, a place known to us as the threshing floor of a Jebusite man named Ornan. David was deeply sorrowed because his sin had caused so much pain, and as he prayed we begin our text:
"Then the angel of the Lord commanded Gad to say to David, that David should go up, and set up an altar unto the Lord in the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite. And David went up at the saying of God, which he spake in the name of the Lord. And Ornan turned back, and saw the angel; and his four sons with him hid themselves. Now Ornan was threshing wheat. And as David came to Ornan, Ornan looked and saw David, and went out of the threshing floor, and bowed himself to David with his face to the ground. Then David said to Ornan, Grant me the place of this threshing floor, that I may build an altar therein unto the Lord: thou shalt grant it me for the full price: that the plague may be stayed from the people. And Ornan said unto David, Take it to thee, and let my lord the king do that which is good in his eyes: lo, I give thee the oxen also for burnt offerings, and the threshing instruments for wood, and the wheat for the meat offering; I give it all. And king David said to Ornan, Nay; but I will verily buy it for the full price: for I will not take that which is thine for the Lord, nor offer burnt offerings without cost. So David gave to Ornan for the place six hundred shekels of gold by weight."
One of the most well known statements about giving in the Bible is found in our text – I won’t make an offering to God that doesn’t cost me something. I think that’s a great principle – and its one that we’ll come back to another time, but today I don’t want to look at David’s offering, because as great as it was, I don’t think it was the greatest act of giving in the passage. I believe it was what Ornan gave that was great! Think about it – David was king – if he wanted he could have taken the land. David was one of the wealthiest men alive at that time. It would be like Jerry Jones coming to buy your house and land. Sure he bought it, but did it really cost him anything? Ornan on the other hand was a man just like you and me. He was a hard working family man who was making a living. He wasn’t poor, but he wasn’t necessarily rich either. When David told him he wanted his threshing floor, what did Ornan do? He gave it – and that’s the act of giving I want us to consider for a few minutes this morning. So, with all that said, let’s consider four principles that ought to govern our giving. When ordinary people give…
It should be done out of a healthy fear of God.
Look at verse 16,
"And David lifted up his eyes, and saw the angel of the Lord standing between the earth and the heaven, having a drawn sword in his hand stretched out over Jerusalem."