Monday, June 1, 2009

The Cost of Sacrifice, Menu Plan Monday

School is out, and summer break has officially begun! I don’t know who is more excited, Olivia or me. I will be happy when my habit of awaking at 5:50 a.m. is broken, however.

During my Bible reading this morning the middle part of this verse jumped out at me:

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.

II Samuel 24:24

(emphasis added)
David had taken a census of his “fighting men” and felt guilty afterwards. My assumption is that he was feeling his oats a bit and not giving God the credit for the sheer numbers. Because of this, the Lord punished Israel. He had given David a choice of punishments, and David said he would take anything except for having his life pursued by others. So the Lord sent a plague over Israel.

After 70,000 Israelites died, the Lord stopped the plague, because it “grieved” him.

Gad the prophet told David to go to the threshing floor of a man named Araunah to build an altar and offer a sacrifice. Araunah was so honored to have the king in this household that he offered to donate the animals and materials for the altar and sacrifice. The verse above was David’s reply to him.

I think, however, the statement had deeper meaning for David. Of course, the literal interpretation applied. But David had to sacrifice another costly item that day, and that was his pride. David saw the Israelites being struck down as a result of his pride over the size of his army. And he chose a punishment that didn’t directly affect him.

Others were bearing the cost of his pride.

Jesus bore the cost of my pride at Calvary.

God stopped the plague on the Israelites, but He didn’t stop the sacrifice at Calvary. He couldn’t. And He couldn’t watch. Jesus felt the abandonment.

I’ve always heard from the pulpit that God turned away because He couldn’t look on sin. Which is true. But maybe God couldn’t look for an additional reason.

Would watching have caused Him to feel the same way He did in II Samuel 24? Could He possibly have wanted to stop the entire process?

I don’t know. It’s just a thought. He was a daddy. He loved His boy. I’m certainly not trying to make up something that isn’t so. God knew the sacrifice must be made. There was no other way. But He didn’t watch.

In another vein, I must remember that the daily offerings I make are more meaningful when they have a cost associated. If I give something that means nothing to me, then what have I offered?

Thank you, Father. As great as the cost was, thank You for loving me enough that You were willing to pay for my soul with Your Son’s life. Keep me ever mindful that nothing I have done or ever will do is enough to save myself. Remind me that I must be thoughtful when I give to You or others, whether it’s of my time, abilities or from my bounty. I want my offerings to be pleasing to You.

Menu Plan

- Leftovers (in preparation for grocery shopping Tuesday)

Tuesday - Rotisserie chicken from Sam’s, steamed broccoli, baked potatoes

Wednesday - Smoked sausage, black beans, rice

Thursday - Spaghetti, salad, bread

Friday - Out

Saturday - Pizza

Sunday - Ham, scalloped potatoes, green beans, bread

Daily Bible Reading Plan

I Kings 1; Psalm 119:1-8; Luke 1:1-25; Ephesians 1:1-14

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