Highlights In Today's Reading:
Sacrifice is indispensable to all spiritual growth. This is a wonderful principle needed for all worship and service before God. A sacrifice to God which cost you nothing is lacking an essential element necessary to satisfy God for it is not truly a sacrifice.
Three mighty men with David . . . defied the Philistines that were there gathered together to battle, and the men of Israel were gone away: He arose, and smote the Philistines (23:9-10). Often in our lives, following a great victory, Satan is quick to appeal to our pride: The king said to Joab the captain of the host . . . Go now through all the tribes . . . that I may know the number of the people (who are eligible to be soldiers) (24:2). God permitted David to be moved by Satan to do this (see I Chronicles 21:1). Joab knew it was an insult to God who alone was the reason they had never lost a war. Joab said unto the king, Now the Lord thy God add unto the people . . . an hundredfold . . . why doth my lord the king delight in this thing? (II Samuel 24:3). David's heart smote him after that he had numbered the people (24:10).
After he repents, the Lord offers him a choice of three different punishments and he prays to save the people from the plague: David said unto the Lord, I have sinned greatly in that I have done (24:10). He knew he must offer a Sin Offering and Araunah offered all that was needed. But the king (David) said unto Araunah, Nay; but I will surely buy it of thee at a price: neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the Lord my God of that which . . . cost me nothing. So David bought the threshingfloor and oxen for fifty shekels of silver. And David built there an altar unto the Lord, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. So the Lord was intreated (accepted David's prayer) for the land, and the plague was stayed from Israel (24:21,24-25).
The greatness of a person's life is measured by his surrender to the Lord's will and purpose and then gives God the credit for any success. Not what we get but what we give with no ulterior motives for personal gain is the measure of our spiritual maturity. The true spirit of Christ is to be motivated by love and is practiced by those in whom Christ truly dwells.
There is a glorious harmony between sacrifice to God and sacrifice for others. Your relationship with God needs to be one of sincerity, and wholly to honor Him. Therefore, our daily association with others becomes an opportunity of offering ourselves to meet their needs, then thanking the Lord for the privilage.
Walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given Himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savour (Ephesians 5:2).
Thought for Today:
The blessing of sacrificial giving comes when our giving is truly a sacrifice. All they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living (Mark 12:44).
Through the silver which David used to purchase the threshingfloor upon which he built . . . an altar unto the Lord (II Samuel 24:24-25). Silver symbolizes Christ's redemption offered for all on the cross. Judas said unto them, What will ye give me. . . . And they covenanted (agreed) with him for thirty pieces of silver (Matt. 26:15).
23:10 clave =clung; spoil =plunder, loot; 23:13 chief =foremost, captains; 23:14 hold =stronghold, fortification; 24:14 a great strait =great distress, difficulty; 24:16 stay =do no more.
Pray for The International Shortwave Radio Broadcasts sponsored by Thomas & Mary Beaghen • Government Officials: Sen. Pat Roberts (KS) and Justice John Paul Stevens • Country: Macedonia (2 million) in southeastern Europe • Major languages: Macedonian and Albanian • strongly Orthodox country • 67% Macedonian Orthodox; 23% Muslim; 3% Catholic; 2% Protestant; 5% Other • Prayer Suggestion: Pray for boldness to tell others about the Lord (Acts 4:29).
Optional Reading: Acts 21
Memory Verse for the Week: James 1:22