PASTORS' DAILY DEVOTIONAL
A Leader's Responsibility and SacrificeTim Savage
15 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. 16 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. 17When 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.”
|24 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 silverfor the threshing floor and the oxen. 25 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. 2 Samuel 24|
This account of King David in Samuel and Chronicles is a sobering and powerful lesson of the responsibilities of a leader. Because of the census that David took, against God’s will, over 70,000 Israelites died by plague. At the last minute God stopped the angel of death from further decimating Jerusalem and David then realized the full consequence of his sin. I don’t really understand the sin of the census, but suffice it to say that David sinned and the sin of the leader caused widespread death and tragedy. The second important lesson from this passage came from David’s insistence to pay Araunah for the sacrifice. I was convicted by David saying, “No, I insist on buying it, for I will not present burnt offerings to the Lord my God that have cost me nothing.” I wonder how many times I’ve offered or “sacrificed” something to Christ that really cost me nothing. So often we talk about giving up our time, our money, our efforts for the sake of the cross or for the work of the ministry, but from God’s perspective, the larger kingdom view, it costs us nothing to help, but it could cost us everything not to.
I’m certainly not saying that the church doesn’t appreciate the work of the saints, we absolutely do and in New Hope’s case, we couldn’t do church without them, but from my own personal standpoint, my sacrifice to the Lord should cost me something. God is more highly valued than everything; therefore my gift to Him should be valuable. Money, time and effort are valuable, but giving these things to God shouldn’t be considered a sacrifice because God turns right around and blesses us for them. We cannot out give Him.
Dear Heavenly Father, Please forgive me when I’ve thought that I’ve sacrificed so much for You. You are the provider and You bless me so much. Anything I’ve given up You have returned 10, 100, 1000 times over. It is not a sacrifice to follow and serve You. Thank You for all of the blessings, I am so undeserving and unworthy. In Jesus name, Amen