2 Samuel 24:24 – “But the king said to Araunah, ‘No, but I will buy it from you for a price. I will not offer burnt offerings to the LORD my God that cost me nothing.’ So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver.”
An offering is anything given out of a person’s free will. It could be considered a gift, a contribution, or a donation, and does not require anything in return. Churches take a financial offering during services to allow people to give what they want to God. In the Old Testament, David wanted to offer a burnt sacrifice to God in the field of a person named Araunah. David wanted to buy the threshing floor for the sacrifice, but Araunah wouldn’t hear of it. He freely offered David the threshing floor, oxen and even the yokes of the oxen as wood for the sacrifice.
David’s response in the verse above says a lot about his heart to give to the Lord. He refused to accept Araunah’s gift because he didn’t want to offer God a sacrifice that didn’t cost him anything. Often, we’re happy to give God our time, talents and treasure – but only if it doesn’t cost us anything.
The widow in Mark 12:44 gave the Lord two copper coins which was all she had. Her sacrificial offering costed her everything! It’s easy to offer a little of of our time, talents and treasures to God, but it wouldn’t be a sacrificial offering. When we’re running short of time, do we still stop to read the Bible and pray? When we use our talents to serve God, do we give it our all? When we have a lot of expenses lined up, do we still give God our tithes in faith? May we never be guilty of offering the Lord things that cost us nothing.