A Costly Sacrifice

No One Gives as Generously as God
Few blemishes are on the record of David, king of Israel. Most familiar is his sin with Bathsheba and the subsequent plot to kill Uriah, her husband. But David’s decision to conduct a census of the armies of Israel had the greatest direct impact on his nation. 70,000 men of Israel died as a result of God’s punishment for David’s sin (1 Chronicles 21:14, NKJV).
To atone for his sin, David was commanded to build an altar to God on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite. Ornan offered to donate the land free of charge, as well as the oxen and the wooden implements for the sacrifice. David’s response to this offer deserves wide publication: “No, but I will surely buy it for the full price, for I will not take what is yours for the Lord, nor offer burnt offerings with that which costs me nothing” (1 Chronicles 21:24). 600 shekels of gold was the price paid for Ornan’s land, a very costly sacrifice.
2 Chronicles 3:1 tells us that “Solomon began to build the house of the Lord at Jerusalem on Mount Moriah, where the Lord had appeared to his father David, at the place that David had prepared on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite.” We’ve often noted that Mount Moriah was the location of another costly sacrifice. It was the place to which God sent Abraham to offer his beloved son Isaac (Genesis 22:1,2). Here, however, is another God-directed sacrifice offered in the same location. Have we grasped the significance of David’s act, and what it says to us about God?
When David vowed not to make a sacrifice which cost him nothing, was he not mirroring the awesome grace of God? How easy it would have been for the Lord to create an angel to be the sacrifice for mankind’s sins! If God could provide a ram caught in a thicket so Isaac would not have to die, then he could also provide a created heavenly being to stand in our place for atonement.
It is God’s voice that we hear resounding from the threshing floor on Mount Moriah: ” … I will not take what is yours … nor offer … that which costs me nothing.” The cost of the sacrifice God made for us? His only Son, one of the Godhead, was given for our sins. To give a being that God could easily create from nothing would have been painless. To give his only Son was an excruciatingly high price.
“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). David’s costly sacrifice gives us a faint understanding of what God did for us.

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