But the king replied to Araunah, “No, I insist on paying for it. I will not sacrifice to the LORD my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.” 2 Samuel 24:24
Around the world there are millions of people who give money or other types of donations to people who are in need. Many of these people often give out of their excess or things no longer wanted. As they give, they often make it look like they are sacrificing something for someone else.
While there is nothing wrong with giving out of excess, it cannot be portrayed as a sacrifice. There really is no cost to giving it.
David had sinned against God and realized it. He had to make a burnt offering sacrifice to God. Araunah was going to provide the oxen and the wood for the sacrifice at no cost to David. David refused it, because he did not want to offering a burnt offering that did not cost him. He knew that he had done God wrong and had to pay for it.
Sacrificing is more than just giving something up or away. It is giving up or giving something away that will cost to be given up. It may hurt some to give it up.
There are believers who give up things for God, but only those things that they really do not want. There is no real cost in giving it up.
The purpose of a sacrifice is to give up self to let God have control. It is to humble oneself before God. It is to show God that one is not worthy of anything.
God sees the heart of people when they give. He knows when they are giving a sacrifice for show, or when they are giving it from the heart.
Jesus gave the greatest sacrifice of all–His life. It cost Him everything, so that you and I may have eternal life and forgiveness of our sins. He demonstrated what it means to sacrifice something.
Although the sacrificial system is no longer used or needed, you can still sacrifice to God and for God. As with Jesus, the greatest sacrifice you can give is your life. Allow God to have complete control over your life.
Lay your life and sins on the altar for Jesus to remove them and replace everything with His life. It will be worth it all in the end.
I pray today that you will know what Jesus did for you; that you will know the value of what God has given you; that you will give God your whole life; and that you will allow God to live in you.
But Samuel replied: “Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the LORD? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.” 1 Samuel 15:22
Obedience is something that most people find difficult to do. Wanting to do their own thing, the majority of people choose not to be obedient. They want to twist or bend the rules to their own favor. People want to do their own thing, their own way, in their own time. It is about self, not about God or others.
Saul had been told to completely destroy all of the people and animals of the Amalekites as he and his army went to battle against them. Instead of destroying everyone and everything, the men kept some of the animals for a sacrifice. Saul thought it would be good to keep those animals to be able to offer a great sacrifice to God. However, that was not what God had commanded him to do.
Although most people do not like to sacrifice anything, they will quickly sacrifice something rather than obey. In churches there are people who will donate a lot of money to the church or organizations or they will offer help in some ministry on a regular basis. Yet, at home or work, they do not live for God or obey His commands on purpose. They feel that their large offerings cover up their sins and puts them in right standing with God.
God does not want sacrifice if there is no obedience. In this case, sacrifice is trying to earn one’s way into heaven, rather than trusting Jesus for salvation. Believers are to obey everything God says and trust what He says first. Once the obedience occurs, then sacrifices can be done to worship and honor God.
Take a look at your own life and see how well you are doing at obeying what God has told you to do. God is interested in you obeying His every word, His word in little things as well as in the great things.
If there is no obedience, there is no love. Jesus said that if you love Him, you would obey Him. Love is greater than any sacrifice.
Once you love and obey God, then you may do the sacrifices as God leads you. Not the other way around.
Are you obeying God today?
I pray today that you will know God’s commands for your life; that you will obey what God tells you to do; that you will trust everything God tells you; and that your heart and life will obey God first before any sacrifice.
Do not sacrifice to the LORD your God an ox or a sheep that has any defect or flaw in it, for that would be detestable to him. Deuteronomy 17:1
Giving to others is something that some people do on a regular basis. It often appears good and that they are being very generous, that is until what they are really giving is looked at.
There are many people who bring things to Goodwill or to Salvation Army that are not worth giving. They often give wore out or have broken things to those in need. It is rare, to never, that the best things are given to any one in need. Only the leftovers or rejects are given.
This can often happen in the church in the same way. There are many people who give tithes and offerings to God, but they are only giving the leftovers or the rejects to God. They do not give the best.
These offerings are not only the physical cash offerings, but their time and efforts. Time and thought is not put into working in a ministry. Focused effort is rarely done with studying God’s word or being a witness. The focus of many people is self or this world, rather than on God and His kingdom. The busyness of this world often leads people to give what is left, and not the best.
God had told the Israelites not to offer any sacrifice that had a defect in it. During that time, they offered physical sacrifices of animals. What people would do would be to offer a defective sheep or ox to God as their offering to Him for one of the festivals. God would find this detestable, because they were giving to get rid of, not to honor and bless God.
Every believer needs to give God his best and trust God for the rest. Give the best of time, money, and effort.
Take time today to focus on what you are giving God. Allow God to have the first and best of everything you have, your time, energy, abilities, and money. Do not give Him only the leftovers or what you really don’t want anyways.
Take time to give God the best of you. Allow God to change the worst in you, but give Him the best, while in the process of change.
How is your giving to God today?
I pray today that you will give to God with a willing heart; that you will give God all of yourself; that you will give God the best; and that you will honor God in all of your giving.
Say to the Israelites: Any Israelite or any foreigner residing in Israel who sacrifices any of his children to Molek is to be put to death. The members of the community are to stone him. Leviticus 20:2
One of the commands that God gives the Israelites is to not sacrifice any children to Molek. It was a common practice to burn the child to get the favor of the false god, Molek. Neither the Israelite, nor the foreigner living in the land was allowed to do this detestable practice.
Since that time, the majority of the world is willing to accept that physically sacrificing children is not an acceptable practice, at least in word. Many nations have rules against sacrificing a child. Yet, the majority of the world does sacrifice children on a daily basis.
The first thing most believers think of when talking about sacrificing children is with abortion. In America, this had become an acceptable thing to the point, that today abortion is accepted for any reason at all, right up to the point of actual birth. This practice has even crept into the church as acceptable.
However, there is another also another method of sacrificing children that occurs daily in many homes, even Christian homes. It is the sacrifice of time spent with a child. For the same reasons that many children are aborted, many are left alone in the search for money, position, fame, or more. Children are left to be raised by the school, nannies, day cares baby sitters, or older siblings, rather than by the parent.
This is a type of sacrifice people make in order to make money or survive in life. Abortions are done out of fear and to survive in life, to make money, have fun. Not spending time with children is also sacrificing their lives for the same reasons.
God is a God of relationships of love. Love is spending time with others. If one is aborted or ignored, then there is no love and there is a sacrifice.
If you have children, NOW is the time to tell them that you love them. NOW is the time to take the time to spend time with them. Prove that you do love them, by spending time with them. Prove that you love by allowing your child to have life.
God is a God of life, not death. Are you allowing your child to have life?
I pray today that you will know the love God has for all people of all ages; that you will not sacrifice children or others for selfish reasons; that you will trust God to help you make the time for others; and that you will trust God to provide for your needs.
The LORD said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites: ‘When anyone sins unintentionally and does what is forbidden in any of the LORD’s commands–‘ Leviticus 4:1-2
One common phrase for many people with young children is asking if what they did was done on purpose or not. The child had done something wrong, such as hitting another sibling, and parents always asked if it was done on purpose or not. Did the child want to hit, or did he hit by accident in the moment?
This question is often asked to determine how the situation is handled. If it was on purpose, the punishment will be more severe and focused differently. If it was an accident, the focus will not be so much on punishment, but upon correction and redirection.
The same type of question is often asked of adults in situations of crimes or injuries caused. There is less mercy for the one who does something wrong on purpose, than the person who did it on accident.
As God is giving Moses the directions of what sacrifices are required and how to do them, one thing He points out is that these are done when someone does something unintentionally. God does not expect His people, His followers to purposely sin against Him.
Every believer needs to be focusing his life in a way that when he does sin, and he will, it was done by accident, not on purpose. No believer should be able to be accused of purposely sinning against God.
When a believer truly knows God, he will never want to sin against God. God’s love and mercy in his life will be so great that he will keep a reign on his life to keep from sinning against God. Sinning will happen, but not with a purposeful intention as the world does.
God has provided a sacrifice for every person who has sinned–Jesus Christ. Any time you sin by accident, you have the ability to seek forgiveness from God through the blood of Jesus. This is showing God’s great love and mercy on you.
In light of that great love and mercy, keep your life focused on following Jesus. Do not allow yourself to be caught up in purposefully sinning against God. Do not give God a reason to have to punish you or correct you.
Keep your eyes on God to keep from sinning on purpose.
I pray today that you will know God’s love and mercy for you; that you will love God with all of your life; that you will seek to turn from all sin against God; and that you will never be guilty of intentional sin against God.