2 Samuel 24:14 NLT - “I’m in a desperate situation!” David replied to Gad. “But let us fall into the hands of the Lord, for his mercy is great. Do not let me fall into human hands.”
2 Samuel 24:15–17 NLT - So the Lord sent a plague upon Israel that morning, and it lasted for three days. A total of 70,000 people died throughout the nation, from Dan in the north to Beersheba in the south. But as the angel was preparing to destroy Jerusalem, the Lord relented and said to the death angel, “Stop! That is enough!” At that moment the angel of the Lord was by the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. When David saw the angel, he said to the Lord, “I am the one who has sinned and done wrong! But these people are as innocent as sheep—what have they done? Let your anger fall against me and my family.”
David has been humbled
The king has once again become a shepherd
2 Samuel 24:18–25 NLT - That day Gad came to David and said to him, “Go up and build an altar to the Lord on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.” So David went up to do what the Lord had commanded him. When Araunah saw the king and his men coming toward him, he came and bowed before the king with his face to the ground. “Why have you come, my lord the king?” Araunah asked. David replied, “I have come to buy your threshing floor and to build an altar to the Lord there, so that he will stop the plague.” “Take it, my lord the king, and use it as you wish,” Araunah said to David. “Here are oxen for the burnt offering, and you can use the threshing boards and ox yokes for wood to build a fire on the altar. I will give it all to you, Your Majesty, and may the Lord your God accept your sacrifice.” But the king replied to Araunah, “No, I insist on buying it, for I will not present burnt offerings to the Lord my God that have cost me nothing.” So David paid him fifty pieces of silver for the threshing floor and the oxen. David built an altar there to the Lord and sacrificed burnt offerings and peace offerings. And the Lord answered his prayer for the land, and the plague on Israel was stopped.
I will not present what cost me nothing
Count the Cost
Luke 14:25–35 NLT - A large crowd was following Jesus. He turned around and said to them, “If you want to be my disciple, you must, by comparison, hate everyone else—your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple. And if you do not carry your own cross and follow me, you cannot be my disciple. “But don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it? Otherwise, you might complete only the foundation before running out of money, and then everyone would laugh at you. They would say, ‘There’s the person who started that building and couldn’t afford to finish it!’ “Or what king would go to war against another king without first sitting down with his counselors to discuss whether his army of 10,000 could defeat the 20,000 soldiers marching against him? And if he can’t, he will send a delegation to discuss terms of peace while the enemy is still far away. So you cannot become my disciple without giving up everything you own. “Salt is good for seasoning. But if it loses its flavor, how do you make it salty again? Flavorless salt is good neither for the soil nor for the manure pile. It is thrown away. Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand!”
So much for a church growth strategy...
Jesus said, don’t even begin until you count the cost.
Romans 6:23 NLT - For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 10:9 NLT - If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
It’s a free gift that cost you everything.
Romans 12:1 NLT - And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.
Counting the C.O.S.T
How much of your life is spent pursuing comfort?
Yet, this is quite the contrast from the life Jesus calls His followers into:
Luke 9:58 NLT - But Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place even to lay his head.”
We’re called to embrace the uncomfortable. Uncomfortable people. Uncomfortable situations.
1 Peter 4:10 NLT - God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.
Galatians 2:20 NLT - My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Surrender my will, my dreams, my emotions, my proclivities, my habits, my addictions, etc
Revelation 12:11 NLT - And they have defeated him by the blood of the Lamb and by their testimony. And they did not love their lives so much that they were afraid to die.
The most powerful witness you can offer to a world desperate for hope, is your testimony—a life given completely to Christ. The story of what God, through Christ, has done in and through you.
John 16:33 NLT - I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”
Following Christ means giving up the pen. I am no longer the author of this story. Instead, God is writing His-Story through me.
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith… Hebrews 12:2 (BSB)
No One Higher
Only a God who is worth it all could implore His followers to count the cost.
David understood that an offering given unto God that costs us nothing, isn’t worth giving.
Faced with three terrible options, King David chooses to fall into the hands of a gracious God. In his moment of repentance, he declares he will not present an offering to the Lord that cost him nothing. David understood the importance of counting the cost, a task Jesus would charge His followers with as well. Have you truly counted the cost of following Christ? It's a free gift that cost you everything.