Wednesday, July 12, 2006
Cost in Every Sacrifice
David received an instruction from a prophet called Gad saying that the Lord has given King David three options of punishment: 1.) plague, 2.) constant defeat from conquering enemies or 3.) three years of famine, and David chose the first. This happened after the Lord, Almighty expressed His disappointment to the Israel nation. True indeed, God swept the nation of Israel with a plague quickly causing the death of thousands of people. After seeing the devastating effects of the calamity, God felt compassion and had it stopped. Instead, he commanded David to build Him an altar on the threshing floor of Araunah, the Jebusite. Araunah, upon knowing king David’s plans, volunteered his place, oxens, and other possessions at no cost. David insisted to pay for them and spoke very vital words that so appropriately describe true and sincere SACRIFICE:
“…I will not sacrifice to the Lord, my God, burnt offerings that cost me nothing.” – 2 Samuel 23:37.
David understood that truthful sacrifice involves surrendering and losing. It means giving-up of anything that is valued. The higher the value, the greater the sacrifice.
We, people, reflect the resemblance of this story’s event to our experiences of falling and standing back up, getting lost and finding our paths, or of leaving and coming back. And everytime we purpose to change our ways it entails letting go… giving up of things we have for a long time kept. Usually, we attempt to win God’s heart back by releasing a promise— making a vow— a vow to change and leave behind the wrongs we have for so long discreetly enjoyed doing. It’s funny how sometimes we think that we can successfully sneak out from God when honestly, we can’t. Ironically, what was thought as sin done behind God’s back were the very sins God so visibly saw which caused Him to turn His back on to us in despair and disappointment.
If we are honest in saying “God, forgive me… I want to gain your favor again..”, we must be willing to let accustomed lifestyle go. To sacrifice is to spend away. It translates to our willingness to suffer in behalf of another’s victory, our sorrow for another’s joy, our loss for another’s gain.
Oftentimes, people find it hard to take the stigma of loss. Most find surrender an awful defeat. Perhaps in a worldly perspective, it is. In God’s view, however, it is tantamount to a win-win scenario. When we suffer for righteousness sake, we gain a stronger hold of eternity.
My prayer is for all of us to understand sacrifice the way David did. Giving up something that matters less to us is no sacrifice at all. The five virgins didn’t sleep the night away because they knew that the groom will be pleased to see them awake when he comes. It didn’t cost God just anybody to sacrifice for our salvation. It took His only begotten Son to die for the entire humanity making Jesus a paragon.
How will we answer God should He ask us one day, “Child, how much are you willing to sacrifice?”
at 10:06 PM