How Much Does Your Worship Cost?
Written February 2020
But King David said to Ornan, “No, but I will buy them for the full price. I will not take for the LORD what is yours, nor offer burnt offerings that cost me nothing.”
1 Chronicles 21:24 (ESV)
In 1 Chronicle David sins against the Lord by being prideful and taking a census of the people. Basically David was substituting the strength of the armies he had for the trust he was supposed to have in God for the security of the nation. Because of this sin, David and the nation of Israel were judged harshly by God and God sent an angel to bring forth an epidemic and about 70,000 people died. Right before the angel entered into Jerusalem God, in His mercy, relented and a message was conveyed for David to build an altar to God on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite. At this threshing floor, David was going to worship and sacrifice to God.
Upon meeting David, Ornan bowed deeply and showed great respect to king David and after learning of what David wanted, Ornan offered to give his threshing floor, an ox, his tools as firewood, and his grain to David all to offer to God freely. David however, refused to receive these items as a gift and here is where the words of verse 24 come in that David would not offer to God a burnt offering that cost him nothing.
David understood that worship which has no element of sacrifice or cost involved cannot be counted as worship. The very definition of sacrifice is to surrendering a possession as an offering to God. If David simply took what was offered to him it would not have been a sacrifice at all. David in turns insists on paying full market price for everything that he is going to use and paid six hundred shekels of gold for the property. Afterwards he worshipped God and offers sacrifices there.
In our everyday lives, we don’t go around buying threshing floors or enter the temple to make burnt offerings to God as they did in the Bible, but we are called to worship God in our everyday lives. In our lives, we are called to sacrifice to Him each and every day by the way in which we live. Romans 12:1 says “Dear friends, God is good. So I beg you to offer your bodies to him as a living sacrifice, pure and pleasing. That’s the most sensible way to serve God.” So, the question is, “How much does your worship cost you?” We might not pay in dollars and cents though, in giving our tithes and offerings, we do give monetarily to God and to the work of His church. We do, however, incur costs in other ways. We sacrifice time and effort as we use our talents for the work of the ministry. We give of our strength in singing to God and worshipping Him through song.
How about you? Does your worship have a cost to it? For our worship to mean something it has to cost something for the very word worship means to ascribe worth. Let us with our live worship God, not in the cheapness of convenience or obligation, but with the very best that we have for He alone is worthy of our praise.