2 SAMUEL 24:18-25
The Lord not only stayed the plague, but through Gad He also instructed David to build an altar to
the Lord on the threshing floor of Ornan, the Jebusite (1 Chron. 21:18). The Lord was very
specific about this and left no alternative in the matter.
Why this particular spot was chosen does not appear in the narrative, but later on in 2 Chronicles
3:1 we have this statement: “Then Solomon began to build the house of the Lord at Jerusalem in
mount Moriah, where the Lord appeared unto David his father, in the place that David had
prepared in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite.”
If David had been a grasping, selfish man, he might have looked on this as an opportunity to fulfill
the will of God without any cost to himself. He had been passed over when the plague struck men
in Israel, and now a rich man had offered him a threshing floor for an altar and animals and grain
for the offerings.
But David refused to bring before the Lord that which cost him nothing. “And the king said unto
Araunah [Ornan], 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 doth cost me nothing” (2 Sam. 24:24).
What a tremendous lesson for us. It is one thing to serve on boards and committees that handle the
affairs of others; it is quite another to make decisions that affect us personally. It is not a sacrifice
to the Lord if we give of that which costs us nothing.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not
despise (Ps. 51:17).