Monday, November 26, 2012

1 Chronicles 21-22 Human Failure & Divine Favour

1 Chron 21:22-22:1 David said to him, "Let me have the site of your threshing floor so I can build an altar to the Lord, that the plague on the people may be stopped. Sell it to me at the full price." Araunah said to David, "Take it! Let my lord the king do whatever pleases him. Look, I will give the oxen for the burnt offerings, the threshing sledges for the wood, and the wheat for the grain offering. I will give all this." But King David replied to Araunah, "No, I insist on paying the full price. I will not take for the Lord what is yours, or sacrifice a burnt offering that costs me nothing." So David paid Araunah six hundred shekels of gold for the site. David built an altar to the Lord there and sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings. He called on the Lord, and the Lord answered him with fire from heaven on the altar of burnt offering. Then the Lord spoke to the angel, and he put his sword back into its sheath. At that time, when David saw that the Lord had answered him on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite, he offered sacrifices there. The tabernacle of the Lord, which Moses had made in the desert, and the altar of burnt offering were at that time on the high place at Gibeon. But David could not go before it to inquire of God, because he was afraid of the sword of the angel of the Lord. Then David said, "The house of the Lord God is to be here, and also the altar of burnt offering for Israel." 

David sinned because his pride caused him to take a census of Israel. This failure resulted in the death of 70,000 men of Israel through a plague. But the judgement of God was stopped at the threshing floor of Araunah because David built an altar there to sacrifice burnt and fellowship offerings to God. 

The altar that David built at Araunah's threshing floor was an altar to his sin and subsequent repentance. This altar arising from David's failure became the site for the new temple that Solomon would build for the Lord. God often uses our human failures to demonstrate His grace and favour. Like David, we should not wallow in self-pity when we have sinned; rather we should cast ourselves upon God's grace and rise up again to walk in His favour. When we acknowledge God's grace, we can turn even our failures into opportunities for divine favour.

Father, what a gracious God You are! Even in our failures, You have shown favour. Amen.

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