“But the king replied to Araunah, ‘No, I insist on paying you for it. I will not sacrifice to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.’ So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen and paid fifty shekels of silver for them.” (2ndSamuel 24:24)
David had called for a census of fighting men in Judah and Israel, and knew he had sinned against God. He had never before sought a census of fighting men, instead he trusted in the Lord that no matter how many he had, it would be sufficient for the task.
God had told Gad to tell David to build an altar and make a sacrifice on Araunah the Jebusite’s threshing floor and sacrifice his oxen. David realized this action had to be done to appeal to God’s mercy for his sin, and though Araunah offered to give all this to the king, David knew he must pay for this privilege to sacrifice all to God and seek His forgiveness and mercy.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, here we see that You used Gad to give him Your command to go to Araunah, pay for his threshing floor and oxen, and sacrifice this all because David had dishonored God by demanding a count of fighting men. David had heretofore trusted completely in God’s provision, and that no matter how many fighting men he had, God would used them to display His power by providing the necessary help to defeat any enemy that David went up against. How often do we do this same thing in our own lives, beloved? Instead of trusting for God’s provision, we seem to think we need to “help Him!” Let us always place our trust and faith in the One who has always provided for our needs. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“God has never lacked the power to work through ordinary available people.”
“He urged them to plead for mercy from the God of heaven concerning this mystery, so that he and his friends might not be executed with the rest of the wise men of Babylon. During the night the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision. Then Daniel praised the God of heaven.” (Daniel2:18–19)
Daniel had asked all of his friends to pray to God, for the mystery of king Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. No one else had been able to interpret the king’s dream, but David asked for time to go to his God for the answer. This intercessory action is always a good idea for proper discernment and we honor God for coming to Him.
The answer was immediate. God responds to intercessory prayer, for a group of intercessors must be in agreement (of one mind, spiritually), as this only adds strength to the intercessory groups prayer.
“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel.” (Ephesians6:18-20)
Paul went from the general to the specific. He first urged all kinds of prayer for all saints. Prayer should characterized the life of Christians. It’s pretty rare for anyone to speak publicly, especially if the message is not one people want to hear, and Paul had a speech impediment as well. He was concerned that the message from his lips be clear and understandable. To seek prayer from others was important.
Then he asked prayer for his special circumstances. Chapter 3 clearly points out that Paul was in prison at the time; yet he was urging people to pray for all the saints. Once again, intercessors must know the message and know, through the Spirit, how important the Gospel message was to Paul and also to them. I always ask for prayers from friends and relatives when I have to preach or speak to large numbers of people, for I share Paul’s desire to be heard clearly and understood well.
SECOND THOUGHT of the DAY:
“But I tell you: ‘Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.’” (Matthew 5:44-45)
For almost 28 years I volunteered as a religious layperson and later as clergy with the Kairos Prison Ministry in a number of Texas maximum security prisons. Kairos is a ministry dedicated to coming back to prison units at least once a month, though many of us went weekly. We offered the men (many of which would never leave prison alive), the love of Jesus Christ, so when we went inside, we left our denominational hats off. The point being our entire focus was to build a community inside prison walls, that was a positive alternative to all the negative influences. Essentially, we helped them understand that even though locked up, they could find the peace and comfort of freedom inside prison walls, with a relationship with Jesus Christ.
There was a guard who was foul mouthed and belligerent towards us. I decided to befriend him and asked the inmates to pray for my efforts towards this man and help him in his own life. The inmates initially didn’t want to pray for him, but I told them the only way this would work is to have intercessory prayers from them, to make my prayers to God stronger. It took almost two years, but the guard took me aside and told me his son was always in trouble and their once close relationship had fallen apart. So, I asked him if it was ok to pray for him and his son and also my intercessory prayer partners. He agreed. After another year, he told me his son was now going to church with him. The inmates told me that his attitude had changed and he even was more understanding of their needs as well. Just another example of intercessory prayer and how it gets stronger when more people join in praying on common problems.