Read the Bible in One Year: OT – 2 Samuel 23-24 NT – Luke 19:1-27
2 Samuel 24:24 – But the king replied to Araunah, â€œNo, I insist on paying you for it. I will not sacrifice to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.â€
God desires and is infinitely worthy of our true worship.
Late in his reign, King David, sins again and this time with pride. Seeing how Israel had grown and prospered during his reign, which indeed it had, David decided to take a count. The count was a way to take credit for himself. Joab and the captains of his army tried to dissuade David, but he wouldnâ€™t listen. The census took almost ten months to complete. Though David had enough time to call it off, he chooses not to. Arenâ€™t there times when we have the all counsel and opportunity to turn away from doing wrong, and yet we go ahead anyways?
David the man after Godâ€™s own heart was not sinless, but he had a heart that was sensitive to sin, and was quick to repent. He soon recognises the foolishness of his actions and turns to the Lord. The Lord, through the prophet Gad, gives David three options to choose from for his punishment. David chooses three days of plague. In the other two options, Israel would either be at the mercy of neighbours (famine) or attacked by enemies. David chose to fall into the hands of God, knowing that God was far more merciful and gracious than man.
A devastating plague stuck down seventy thousand men. David the true shepherd that he was prays asking that the punishment be upon him and his household. Gad the prophet instructs him to build an altar and offer burnt offerings to Him at the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. Araunah offered to give the land and animals for the sacrifice freely to the king, but David insisted on buying them at full price, stating that he would not offer to God burnt offerings that cost him nothing.
David knew that it would not be a gift or sacrifice for the Lord if it did not cost him something. He didnâ€™t look for the cheapest way to please God. And the Bible in 1 Chronicles 21:26 tells us that God honoured Davidâ€™s desire to be right with God and accepts his sacrifice by consuming it with fire from heaven.
True worship means is from the heart. God seeks worshipers who worship in spirit and truth (John 4:23-24). True worship is not merely external rituals or empty gestures; it flows from the heart, driven by genuine love and devotion to God. Just as David refused to offer something that cost him nothing, God desires us to offer Him our heartfelt devotion, putting in the effort to honor Him with our actions and attitudes.
True worship means sacrifice: Paul, urges believers to present their bodies as living sacrifices (Romans 12:1). True worship involves sacrificing our own desires, selfish ambitions, and sinful inclinations on the altar of God’s will. It is a daily surrender of our lives to Him, making a conscious effort to live in obedience to His Word and follow His ways.
True worship means give God our best: God, being just and righteous, deserves better than what is second-rate or half-hearted (Malachi 1:6-8). In our worship, God desires our best, not just in material offerings, but in our time, talents, and love for Him and others. When we offer our best to God, we demonstrate our genuine love and respect for Him.
True worship means a broken and contrite heart: David pours out his heart in repentance after his sin with Bathsheba (Psalm 51). What matters to God is a broken spirit and a contrite heart – true authenticity in worship.
Worship is not a mere routine or obligation, rather our opportunity to express our love, reverence, and dedication to the Almighty God. May we present ourselves as living sacrifices, with a heart of worship, offering God our best, and worshiping Him with authenticity and truth.
- Reflecting on the story of King David’s pride and repentance, are there any areas in your life where pride may be hindering your relationship with God? How can you cultivate a sensitive heart towards sin and be quick to repent, just like David?
- Consider the three options David had for his punishment and his choice to fall into the hands of God. How do you respond when faced with the consequences of your actions? Are you willing to trust in God’s mercy and grace, even in difficult circumstances?
- In your worship, do you sometimes find yourself going through the motions without genuine heartfelt devotion? How can you shift your focus to worshiping God in spirit and truth, offering your true self and emotions to Him?
For more daily devotions like this â€“ At the Potterâ€™s Wheel (Kindle)