15 So the Lord [g]sent a pestilence upon Israel from the morning until the appointed time, and seventy thousand men of the people from Dan to Beersheba died. 16 When the angel stretched out his hand toward Jerusalem to destroy it, the Lord relented from the calamity and said to the angel who destroyed the people, “It is enough! Now relax your hand!” And the angel of the Lord was by the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. 17 Then David spoke to the Lord when he saw the angel who was striking down the people, and said, “Behold, it is I who have sinned, and it is I who have done wrong; but these sheep, what have they done? Please let Your hand be against me and against my father’s house.”
David Builds an Altar
18 So Gad came to David that day and said to him, “Go up, erect an altar to the Lord on the threshing floor of [h]Araunah the Jebusite.” 19 David went up according to the word of Gad, just as the Lord had commanded. 20 Araunah looked down and saw the king and his servants crossing over toward him; and Araunah went out and bowed his face to the ground before the king. 21 Then Araunah said, “Why has my lord the king come to his servant?” And David said, “To buy the threshing floor from you, in order to build an altar to the Lord, that the plague may be held back from the people.” 22 Araunah said to David, “Let my lord the king take and offer up what is good in his sight. Look, the oxen for the burnt offering, the threshing sledges and the yokes of the oxen for the wood. 23 Everything, O king, Araunah gives to the king.” And Araunah said to the king, “May the Lord your God accept you.” 24 However, the king said to Araunah, “No, but I will surely buy it from you for a price, for I will not offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God [i]which cost me nothing.” So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver. 25 David built there an altar to the Lord and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. Thus the Lord was moved by prayer for the land, and the plague was held back from Israel.
Just as it was with David, God doesn’t ask us to give of what has cost us nothing. The challenge in giving ought always to be that it costs us something. But the reality is that it gains us so much more.
David’s sacrifice saved his people from further harm at the hand of God. You may never know the benefit of your gift, but God doesn’t ask us to give because He needs anything. He does it because it makes us better people. Giving of ourselves makes us more like Him, and sheds a little of our selfish flesh each time.
So do not be afraid to give, do not be wary of the cost of giving. Do what God asks, and let Him worry about the end result, both for the recipient and for you.