The Sacrifice of Worship

I’m reading through a devotional called “worship the King,” this year. It’s the type of devotional that I don’t generally like too much, because it’s got one little passage of scripture and then an entire page of explanation. Meaning, it’s not real intellectual. But, I selected this devotional this year because I knew things were going to get hectic and I wanted to set a realistic goal for myself.

Well, the devotional today is on 2 Samuel 24:18-25. There King David was, with a plague inflicted upon the entire nation because he disobeyed God by counting how many fighting men lived in Israel. David begged forgiveness and God sent word, through His prophet, that the plague would stop if David offered a sacrifice to God on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. David goes to Araunah and asks to buy his threshing floor and oxen for the sacrifice. Araunah offers to give those things to David.

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.’ (vs 24).

David then purchased the threshing floor and oxen and God stopped the plague.

Besides the numerous questions that swirl in my head regarding this story (I mean, would the plague have stopped if David hadn’t paid for it?) the devotional today got me thinking, too. In the devotional, the author says that the significance of sacrifice is that it must cost something. God calls us to offer up the sacrifice of worship. So, worship that is easy is therefore not real meaningful or honoring to God. He then asks whether my worship costs me anything.

And, I think that’s a good question. A lot of the time we Americans think about worship in terms of what we ‘get’ out of it. How we feel after singing a song. Or something like that. Put in this context, what is worship that costs something?

I think I’ve offered sacrificial worship to the Lord before. When things are hard and I don’t understand what’s going on and I acknowledge in my heart and head that God is good no matter what and worthy to be praised. That costs something. But this kind of costly worship is not the norm in my life.

And worship is more than singing in church. It’s actions.

So … I wonder what God would say about my worship. Do you wonder what he’d say about yours? Is your worship a sacrifice? What does it cost you?

2 thoughts on “The Sacrifice of Worship

  1. Good thoughts and questions. As my Bible study group has been reading through the Purpose Driven Life, this question has come up a few times. Viewing worship as a sacrifice has come to a whole new light these past few months for me. I think at times I've definitely been sacrificing to worship. Sleep comes to mind as a sacrifice. Recently my pride is being sacrificed in order to worship, which is obviously a good thing. The book spoke about when people say they don't get much out of worship that day – that maybe we should check our pride. And when I'm not sacrificing to worship I can tell – I become more negative, snarky, and overall have a bad attitude.

  2. Sleep and pride as a sacrifice to worship. Those are both good things to think about sacrificing to worship. I completely agree with you, too, when I don't worship I find that my attitude takes a sharp downturn. Did you mean when you don't "worship" or when your worship is not a sacrifice? I wonder what the difference in my life is when I just "worship" as opposed to offering a sacrifice of worship … I think there definitely is a difference.

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