2 Samuel 24 relates the numbering of the Israelites as commanded by David. To make a long story short, this sin caused a pestilence sent from God as punishment. God then told David to offer up a sin offering at a threshing floor owned by Araunah.
Aranauh saw the king’s entourage headed his way and went out to greet them, wondering what he could do for his king. When David explained and asked to buy the property so he could offer the sacrifice, Araunah said, “Oh no, lord. Everything is yours for the taking, including the oxen for the burnt offering.”
Then David uttered those words above, “I will not offer burnt offerings to the Lord which cost me nothing.” It isn’t worship, David meant, when it isn’t mine to give. It isn’t worship when it’s an extra I keep on the shelf for emergencies. It isn’t worship if it isn’t something I need for myself. Service to God should cost me something.
I wonder what David would say were he alive today. I bet I know some things he would not say.
“We have a gospel meeting this week? I’ll go if it’s convenient.”
“The price of gas has gotten too steep to make that extra Bible study this week.”
“That’s just too early for me to have to get up in the morning.”
“It’s a song service tonight? I don’t like to sing anyway.”
“It’s on the way to my activity, so I can stop by the hospital for a quick visit, otherwise...”
“My neighbor mentioned wanting to ask me about some problems he is having, and I wanted to watch that ball game. Maybe tomorrow night.”
It doesn’t have to be inconvenient to count as service; if it did, the most pious time to assemble would be 2:00 AM. However, if convenient service is all we ever give, you wonder if it truly deserves that description, “service.”
Did you ever offer assistance and have someone say, “Well, only if it isn’t any trouble?” Have you said it yourself? Don’t deny someone the right to “pay” for the offerings they give. It is often trouble to help someone out—it’s supposed to be! How much trouble they go to for someone else is a measure of their commitment to the Lord (Matt 25: 40). The same standard is a measure of your commitment as well.
Since we do operate our assemblies on a system of expedients, it is too easy to think that everything should be convenient. Surely God doesn’t really expect our service to Him to cost us time, money, or pleasures and recreation that are good and wholesome. We may understand the concept of sacrificial giving on the first day of the week, but how much do we understand the concept of sacrificial giving every day of our lives?
Because of all He has done for me, I should be willing and anxious to say, “I will not offer to the Lord that which costs me nothing.”
Wherefore, receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us have grace, whereby we may offer service well-pleasing to God with reverence and awe: for our God is a consuming fire. Heb 12:28,29.