II Samuel 24:20-25 “And Araunah looked, and saw the king and his servants coming on toward him: and Araunah went out, and bowed himself before the king on his face upon the ground. And Araunah said, Wherefore is my lord the king come to his servant? And David said, To buy the threshingfloor of thee, to build an altar unto the Lord, that the plague may be stayed from the people. And Araunah said unto David, Let my lord the king take and offer up what seemeth good unto him: behold, here be oxen for burnt sacrifice, and threshing instruments and other instruments of the oxen for wood. All these things did Araunah, as a king, give unto the king. And Araunah said unto the king, The Lord thy God accept thee. And the king 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 doth cost me nothing. So David bought the threshingfloor and the 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 for the land, and the plague was stayed from Israel.”
David was commanded to build an altar at the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite (see vs.18). After informing Araunah of his intentions, the Jebusite offers to give David all the necessary materials to build an altar and offer the sacrifice. David’s response was, “neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the LORD my God of that which doth cost me nothing.” The phrase “cost me nothing” means to be devoid of cost. David is saying, I will not lift up or bring any gift to God that is devoid of cost to me personally! Therefore, David would buy before he built. Why did David feel it necessary to purchase these items rather than accept them from the hand of Araunah? David knew that the value of the offering is no greater than the sacrifice required to make it! You will never give any more to something than the value you place upon it! Little worth, little sacrifice!
David’s willingness to purchase the materials reflects the worth David placed upon the person to whom he was offering; “the LORD.” David’s offering was not going to just any god, but to Jehovah; the Eternal and Self-Existent God. It was this God that called him from tending sheep and made him the king of Israel.
David’s willingness reflects the worth he placed on the position the LORD occupied; “God.” The LORD was more than the national God of Israel; He was Eloheem, the Supreme God! David recognized that God has no equal; there is none like Him. Jesus said, “The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment” (Mark 12:29-30).
David would not offer some worthless sacrifice because it was personal; “my God.” This Eternal, Self-Existing, Supreme God was not some abstract being, but one with whom David had a personal relationship with. David could say, “The LORD is my shepherd” (Psalm 23:1). The word “shepherd” not only means to tend a flock or to pasture it, but to associate with as a friend. David saw himself as a friend and companion of “God.”
David perceived the opportunity of sacrifice as being either, worthy or worthless; the difference being personal cost. A worthless sacrifice is something received from one’s hand; a worthy sacrifice is something received from one’s heart. Because of His person, His position, and because it was personal; David’s heart wouldn’t permit him to offer “that which doth cost me nothing.” What will your heart allow you to offer your God?