And when Araunah looked down, he saw the king and his servants coming on toward him. And Araunah went out and paid homage to the king with his face to the ground. And Araunah said, “Why has my Lord the king come to his servant?” David said, “To buy the threshing floor from you, in order to build an altar to the Lord, that the plague may be averted from the people.” Then Araunah said to David, “Let my Lord the king take and offer up what seems good to him. Here are the oxen for the burnt offering and the threshing sledges and the yokes of the oxen for the wood. All this, O king, Araunah gives to the king.” And Araunah said to the king, “May the Lord your God accept you.” But the king said to Araunah, “No, but I will buy it from you for a price. I will not offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God that cost me nothing.”
So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver. And David built there an altar to the Lord and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. So the Lord responded to the plea for the land, and the plague was averted from Israel.”
David messed up pretty bad. He wanted to count up the size of his army and his prophet, his top military leader, and maybe even his conscience all warned him against it.
But he did it anyway.
Afterward, God brought the wrath. (This is Old Testament, so God hadn’t poured out all of His wrath on Jesus once and for all yet.) As part of God’s wrath for King David’s disobedience, a plague or disease or a fire (we’re not totally sure) wiped out 70,000 of his fighters. Then, before the appointed time that God said it would be over, God ended it early.
On the spot where the destruction stopped, David wanted to build an altar, confess his sin, and make offerings to God. He wanted to worship God in that spot and recognize his sin and God’s grace and mercy.
So he went to the spot and found that it was owned by the last king of the land of Jebus. Jerusalem was being built all around it, but this little patch of land that had begun to be under attack by Joshua centuries earlier was now all that was left in the middle of the great growing city of Jerusalem.
So David, after losing 70,000 of his fighting men to his own pride, conquers Jebus and makes this mountain and the acreage around it part of Jerusalem.
While the Jebusite king offers it all for free, which is noble, David won’t have it. He won’t make a sacrifice that cost him nothing. He knows, of course, that worship involves sacrifice.
He also may remember that this mountain that was previously owned by the Jebusites was also the site of Mt. Moriah. The site of Abraham taking Isaac up to be sacrificed.
And since it was that place where Abraham worshipped with a sacrifice that wasn’t free, David would not worship in that site for free either. He paid full price and worshipped, and according to 2 Chronicles 3:1, that is also where Solomon built the temple, the place that Bret talked about a few Sundays ago.
Even there, many years later, Jesus would offer Himself as a sacrifice of obedient worship, costing Him everything to gain us.
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