An Amazing Fact – When King David offered to buy the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite so that he could sacrifice to the Lord to end the plague that was on Israel, Araunah offered it to him as a gift. He even offered to provide the oxen for sacrifice and the ox yokes as wood for burning. David replied to him and said “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,” 2 Samuel 24:24. David then paid 50 shekels of silver, roughly $1,067 in today’s terms, to Araunah for the threshing floor and the oxen. The story is also told in 1 Chronicles. It tells that the altar was built and the sacrifice was made. David called upon the Lord and He answered him with fire from heaven on the altar of burnt offering. 1 Chronicles 21:25 says, “So David gave Araunah six hundred shekels of gold by weight for the place.” It is hard to imagine either David or the owner of the threshing floor confusing 50 shekels of silver (~$1,067 today) with 600 of gold (~$594,198). So, does this mean that 1 Chronicles has the correct exchange while 2 Samuel is in error? Not at all! If we read just a little further in the Bible, we find the resolution to our conflict in David’s need to pay a fair price. 1 Chronicles 22:1 explains that David also bought the land surrounding the threshing floor with the intention of ultimately building the temple there, which his son Solomon later did. What a price David paid – over half a million dollars in today’s terms. What about you? What worth do you place on your relationship with God? Can you say with David, “neither will I offer unto the Lord my God that which costs me nothing.”?
Elder Eck Ulrich’s message Sabbath was entitled “Choices”. The backdrop for the story behind his message is the Kingdom of Israel during the time of David.
In the life of David as King of Israel we see such a dichotomy between his public victories and his personal failures. His years of service under Saul’s leadership had taught him his need for total reliance on God’s protection and guidance. But slowly, as the security of the kingdom was established, he began to seek for more. His sinful behavior with Uriah’s wife – the murder of Uriah ordered by David – had weakened the confidence of the nation in David’s judgment and actions. The rebellion of Absalom was a punishment to David, and after he was reinstated as king it would be demonstrated once again that his character, once so noble, was all too human.
In the scriptures, both 2 Samuel 24 and 1 Chronicles 21 record the story of the census David enacted, God’s punishment for this action, and the subsequent restoration of the nation.
The census was undertaken by David because the people had desired national greatness – a desire for pre-eminence among the nations – a game changer. “Look at us, we have arrived as a nation,” so to speak. David picked up on that desire, and instead of asking Jehovah, the real leader of the nation, David did the census. Like any “good” political figure, David wanted to demonstrate how much had been accomplished during his rule, forgetting that the prosperity, status and victories were only accomplished because of God’s directions and interventions.
The plague that God sent as punishment was swift and severe – but we can see that God’s purpose was not to destroy Israel, but to restore it. God desired that His people should return to a correct understanding of their spiritual identity and calling.
The people were called to repentance, and the plague was stayed because the Lord accepted the true repentance of David and the leaders of Israel. This happened on Mount Moriah, where Abraham had once offered his son as a sacrifice, and where God had demonstrated that only He could provide the true sacrifice.
In the larger context the plan of salvation can only be accomplished by and through God’s actions. So here again, in a Holy Place on Mount Moriah, the lesson was once again made evident to the world that only by true repentance and a turning from sin to a full reliance on God can a nation or an individual find full restoration.
The Community Services Center located on the church property is here to be of assistance and gives away clothing every Tuesday from 10:00 – 2:00. In September, 106 people were served and 1098 items were given away. We appreciate your donations enabling us to assist those in need.
If we can be of assistance to you, please contact the church at 683-5713, or Elder Eck Ulrich at 683-3343. Check us out at www.avaadventistchurch.org and follow us on Facebook!
May God bless and keep you!