You may or may not have heard this story before, but I want to look at two men who both did something honorable. Remember, righteousness isn’t only what Christ has done for us, but what we now do for Him. Righteousness is an action as well as a position.
In the Second Book of Samuel, we find that King David made a mistake and is in need to set things right. But in this account, there is another man who is often overlooked, who also did the right thing.
And [the Prophet] Gad came that day to David and said to him, “Go up, erect an altar to the Lord on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.” So David, according to the word of Gad, went up as the Lord commanded. Now Araunah looked, and saw the king and his servants coming toward him. So Araunah went out and bowed before the king with his face to the ground.
Then Araunah said, “Why has my lord the king come to his servant?”
And David said, “To buy the threshing floor from you, to build an altar to the Lord, that the plague may be withdrawn from the people.”
Now Araunah said to David, “Let my lord the king take and offer up whatever seems good to him. Look, here are oxen for burnt sacrifice, and threshing implements and the yokes of the oxen for wood. All these, O king, Araunah has given to the king.”
And Araunah said to the king, “May the Lord your God accept you.”
Then the king said to Araunah, “No, but I will surely buy it from you for a price; nor will I offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God with that which costs me nothing.” So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver. And David built there an altar to the Lord, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. So the Lord heeded the prayers for the land, and the plague was withdrawn from Israel. (2 Samuel 24:18-25)
I want to have a heart like both these men. Araunah saw his King coming and immediately stopped what he was doing, bowed in honor, and asked “What can I do for you?”
In all honesty, I am still learning this. So often, I get in “work-mode” and my flesh is tempted to be irritated when I’m interrupted. Our work ethic can start with good intentions, but if we’re not careful, it can consume us and even appear to be more important than people.
But I also love how quickly Araunah was willing to give everything away. He refused to be attached to his “stuff.” And last, but not least, he desired to show honor where honor was due. King David was God’s chosen, a man of God. Araunah recognized this and wanted to bless him–freely without anything in return.
This is how I want to respond when I’m in the presence of those who have been placed in authority over me–naturally or spiritually.
But King David’s response is also one I want to emulate. As noble as Araunah’s offer was, King David said no– “I will not offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God with that which costs me nothing.”
I heard a teaching one time on the “Precious.” It was a reminder that the best offerings (the precious) are those which cost us something. Sometimes we sow in tears, but the Bible promises we will reap in joy, meaning our sacrifice will always be worth it.
Honor. It’s a two-way street. I hope to travel well in both directions. How about you?