Sacrifice of Praise

Good Morning Friends,

Today I’d like to talk to you about a guy named David.  He was definitely a ‘Hero of the Faith”.  In fact he’s featured in a lot of the Bible and personally wrote several of the Psalms himself.

There’s one particular story that really hits me every time I read it. If you’re not familiar with it, let me fill you in.  It’s in 2nd Samuel as well as a couple of other places.

David, again, had jumped in front of God’s will and carried out a census, even though his prophet Joel, cautioned him against it.  One reason I like David is that he so often jumps ahead of God in his enthusiasm, and then pays the price, much like some of us.

When he confessed his error to God, he was given three choices of ‘discipline’.  He picked the option of a three-day plague over Israel.

When it was over, David was fully repented. Then on a Divine command from the prophet Gad, he set out to build an altar on a nearby threshing floor, and there to offer a sacrifice.

He approached the owner, Araunah, and told him he’d like to buy it.  But Araunah insisted that he would just give it to the king for free. That’s when David said these famous words,

“I will not sacrifice that which has cost me nothing” (2 Samuel 24:24).

I think I’ve talked about this passage before, but bear with me.  I came across it this last week (and what a week it’s been) and thought to myself, this stuff never gets old; it bears remembering.

Let’s think about what David said. When was the last time you’ve been able to praise God right from your heart, even perhaps with no particular reason? Of course we all have … but what about those times when your heart just isn’t bubbling over with thanks? Those times when praise, and maybe even acknowledging God’s goodness comes at a price.

Covid grinds along over here.  I admit it; it’s a real stretch to feel, much less express my thankfulness. As I mentioned last week, my nephew and his family have all been very sick.  I wish I could report to you that things are going well and we have much to praise about, but truthfully, things aren’t good at all.  While there’s been minuscule recovery on the part of the others in the family, the wife is in a coma on a ventilator now, fighting for her life. We wring our hands (in two different countries and four different places, all of us unable to travel).  In the dark hours of uncertainty, I’m guessing we sometimes ask God if He’s even there, knowing the truth, but still feeling alone.

I hope and pray that soon real rejoicing will come from the heart.  I look forward to that time of wanting to “build an altar and light a fire”.

When our son died, we didn’t have a song in our hearts.  However, at the time, there was a chorus going around saying so happily in that 90’s glib sort of style, “He has made me glad”.  Well……… I couldn’t say that or sing that.  All I wanted to say was, “He has made me mad”.

Years later, another chorus came into vogue and it said, “We bring you the sacrifice of Praise….into the house of Thanksgiving.” That spoke to me. After years of healing and I hope some growth, and because of this verse in Samuel, I have come to realize that sometimes PRAISE comes as a real sacrifice, but that too is the praise that God sometimes wants from us. Sorta like the marriage vows, “For better or worse”.

Now that I’ve made us all sad, let me leave you today with a cute video that’s going around.  It’s shallow, but nice to remember, that were ALL in this together and hopefully we’ll ALL be able to praise God soon.

https://enchantmentathamilton.org/20200601ForTheLongestTime.mp4

God bless us all,

Marsha

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