Many years ago, I was involved in an organization that collected food for different homeless shelters. As part of the collection process, we were tasked with going to the local farmer’s market and at the end of the market day, we would introduce ourselves and ask each vendor whether they had any extra food they were willing to donate to us so that we could distribute it.
Many of the vendors were happy to participate in this program. I was pleasantly surprised to learn the majority of the vendors hand picked the choicest fruits and vegetables to be donated. I knew the recipients would never know the source of the produce but I was impressed by the care they took to ensure they would receive the very best they could offer, usually reserved for paying customers.
The selfless attitude of the vendors reminded me of a story in the Bible when King David desired to faithfully honor God. David was tasked by God to build an altar to the Lord on the property of Araunah to halt a horrible plague that was afflicting the kingdom. When Araunah learned why David was there, he was willing to give David the property for free.
“Take it, my lord the king, and use it as you wish,” Araunah said to David. “Here are oxen for the burnt offering, and you can use the threshing boards and ox yokes for wood to build a fire on the altar. I will give it all to you, Your Majesty, and may the LORD your God accept your sacrifice.”
But the king replied to Araunah, “No, I insist on buying it, for I will not present burnt offerings to the LORD my God that have cost me nothing.” So David paid him fifty pieces of silver for the threshing floor and the oxen.
2 Samuel 24:22-24 (NLT)
David graciously refused the generous offer of Araunah. He knew that it would not be a true sacrifice to God if it cost him nothing. If we truly desire to honor God, we will give him a sincere offering, one that demands a true sacrifice from us. We must always ask ourselves, what did it cost me? Even if no one else knows, we know that God knows.
Love and trust in the Lord; seek His will in your life.