Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Power of Sacrifice

1 Chronicles 21 tells the story of King David choosing to place his trust in the strength and size of his kingdom rather than to trust God in all things.  God was angry with him and ultimately, David’s decision cost 70,000 Israelites their lives.

That night, David stood outside watching the death angel make its way towards Jerusalem and that’s when he had had enough.  He cried out for God to have mercy on the people and only punish himself instead.

The angel stopped above a threshing floor, sword still drawn, and called out to David to build an altar there on the threshing floor below.  David quickly went to the owner of the property and asked to purchase it.   Honored, the man said, “No, my king, you can just have it!   Anything you want of mine is yours!”

David’s response was amazing, “No, I will pay you the full market price!  You see, sir, to offer God something that cost me nothing is no sacrifice at all.”

The man then sold David the land and there, the king was able to build an altar before God.

What I find interesting is that this took place on a threshing floor – a place where the chaff is separated from the wheat. 

Sometimes our sins take us to a place of painful separation… a place where we can only surrender ourselves to the process… a place that can remove the useless matter, leaving us refined and of higher worth.

God refined David’s heart there on that threshing floor and after David had prepared the altar, fire fell from heaven and consumed his sacrifice.

God revealed His heart that day.  He desires to refine us, and when we surrender ourselves to His way… when we prepare ourselves to be used by Him… when we are willing to make the sacrifices He’s called us to, it is there that His fire will fall.