But the king replied to Araunah, ‘No, I insist on paying you for it. I will not sacrifice to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.’ So David bought the threshing-floor and the oxen and paid fifty shekels of silver for them. 2 Samuel 24:24 (NIV)
David wanted by buy a piece of land from Araunah so that he could build an altar to God on it. Araunah was ready and willing to give the land, wood and oxen to King David as a gift. David could have been justified in accepting these gifts and even seeing in it that God had provided them. But no, he insisted on paying for them and he makes this insightful statement – ‘I will not sacrifice to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.’
What would you have done in the circumstances? Accepted the gift, relieved that you didn’t have to spend money? Insisted on paying, knowing that it cost you something to do so?
What is the application of this to our lives today? Perhaps its real application is with regard to how we use our time, talents and money. Do you give sacrifically? Do you give to God a proportion of your time, talents and money and feel comfortable with it, or does it cost you something to do so?