I will not give a gift…

Brenda Cannon HenleyBy Brenda Cannon Henley
Some of my readers know that I founded a ladies Bible study and service group when I moved to Florida after my husband lost his battle with cancer. Almost every single member of The Broken Pots has had some tragedy, hurdle, or burden to learn to live with or overcome. We chose our name because we realized that everyone has some broken place or thing in their life.

There are many good analogies depicting a broken vessel and over the four years of our existence as a group, we have studied many of them. Most broken people, when they are healed, or have come to terms with major issues, are much stronger at the broken place. One thing that I keep at the forefront of my mind as I prepare the lesson is that we have people from all walks of life. Some have absolutely no Bible background. Others have been in church once in a while. We have a few that could be considered scholars. All want to learn and we have covered many subjects from the basic A, B, Cs of salvation to more complex Scripture.

Our particular mission in our church is a warm welcome to those who come, Bible study, and personal growth. We serve our church and community by caring for our Home Bound people, those that cannot attend service because of health problems, age, or other issues. We want them to feel a sense of connectivity and being included and to know they are truly loved and appreciated. We send dozens of greeting cards, small gifts, and flowers and plants from time to time. We make it a point to visit homes, hospitals, nursing homes, and care centers, thus helping to ease this burden for pastors and staff members.

This week I taught about King David and his purchase of the threshing floor and the land around the common workplace. One can read this account in 2 Samuel 24 and 1 Chronicles 21. I was surprised at how many of our group had never heard this story.

David had sinned against God by numbering the people. After he repented, he was commanded to go up and buy the threshing floor owned by a Jebusite, Araunah or Ornan as he is referred to in our next passage and to build an altar of worship. King David humbled himself and went to speak with the owner of the property in person. In his position, he could have sent any number of servants or soldiers, but he chose to go himself.

Ornan saw the king coming and went out to meet him. When he heard what David wanted, he offered to give the threshing floor, along with the oxen, his tools, and any help he needed to build the altar which God had commanded.

David said to Ornan that he wanted to buy the threshing floor for what it was worth in Verse 24 of Chapter 24 of 2 Samuel. He actually said, “I will not give a gift that costs me nothing.” He paid Ornan 50 shekels of silver for the floor. This same story is told again in 1 Chronicles 21 with some added content. King David told Ornan that he needed to buy not only the threshing floor, but the land around it as well.

It would be akin to us in our day buying a house and the land it was built on, along with the garage, barn, drive, and other additions to the property. Again, Ornan said that it was his for the asking. He wanted to give it to the king to build the altar of sacrifice. David said, “No, I will not take it for free.” And he paid Ornan 600 shekels of gold for all the property around the threshing floor again stating, “I will not give a gift that costs me nothing.”

Bible students know the importance of this purchase and what happened in later times on this very land.

We can learn so many truths from that short group of words. Salvation is free and clear. It is a gift from God. But, our service will cost us – Our time, our talent, and often our treasure. Are we willing, as Christians, to give gifts that cost us?

Brenda Cannon Henley can be reached at 409 781 8788, or
[email protected]

[BCH: Oct-24-2023]

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