*The Right Way To Make An Offering*
*2 Samuel 24:1-25*
* **The true test of a man of God is how he gives his offering.
As we look at 2 Samuel 24 we will find that King David was a very humble man and a very generous man.
Look at 2 Samuel 24:1 and to get the background of this chapter.
*2 Samuel 24:1** *
*1 Again the anger of the LORD burned against Israel, and he incited David against them, saying, "Go and take a census of Israel and Judah."
* **God is very angry against Israel and He moves David's heart to take a census of Israel to find out how many people are sinning against Him.
David is going to sin in the taking of that census.
And as you read this chapter, you will wonder what did David do wrong?
If you want to see what David did wrong, look very closely at verse 2.*
*2 Samuel 24:2** *
*2 So the king said to Joab and the army commanders with him, "Go throughout the tribes of Israel from Dan to Beersheba and enroll the fighting men, so that I may know how many there are." (NIV)*
* **How did David sin? What David did, was to take a census of the military men and not the general population.
God became angry against David, because this was David's way of boasting about his military own strength rather than boasting about God's strength.
*Psalm 20:7** *
*7 Some** trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.
* Psalm 33:16 *
*16 No** king is saved by the size of his army; no warrior escapes by his great strength.
*Proverbs 21:31** *
*31 The** horse is made ready for the day of battle, but victory rests with the LORD.
* Jeremiah 17:5 *
*5 This is what the LORD says: "Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the LORD.
* **It doesn't take long for a great military leader to realize that there is an unseen power that is directing their life.
The result of David's census came back in 2 Samuel 24:9 that there were 1,300,000 men who could handle a sword.
But God became furious against David to the point that he told King David that he would be punished.
And as a result God let David chose 1 of 3 punishments.
The first punishment was 3 years of famine in the land.
The second was 3 months of being pursued by his enemies.
The third was 3 days of the plague.
Which one would you choose?
David in his wisdom chose the 3 days of plague.
Do you know why? Look at:*
*2** Samuel 24:14** *
*14 David said to Gad, "I am in deep distress.
Let us fall into the hands of the LORD, for his mercy is great; but do not let me fall into the hands of men." (NIV)*
* **What is David saying?
He is saying that he would rather deal with God who is merciful than with man who has no mercy.
But when the plague came, it was worst than David thought it would be.
Look at verse 15.*
*2** Samuel 24:15** *
*15 So the LORD sent a plague on Israel from that morning until the end of the time designated, and seventy thousand of the people from Dan to Beersheba died.
* **In an area about 130 miles long and 50 miles wide 70,000 people died.
And now the plague was** **going to fall upon the city of Jerusalem.
David sees the death angel with his sword drawn to strike the city of Jerusalem (1 Chronicles 21:16).
So David prays asking God to stop the plague and as a result, the death angel goes to the barnyard of Araunah.
Gad the prophet approaches David and tells him to give an offering at the barnyard of Araunah.
So David goes to Araunah.
And in David's conversation with Araunah God has some very pertinent principles for us in our offerings to God.
Here is the first principle:*
*FIRST -- GIVE OBEDIENTLY.*
*2 Samuel 24:18** *
*18 On that day Gad went to David and said to him, "Go up and build an altar to the LORD on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite."
* It doesn't matter how you slice that verse, it is a command.
It is not a question mark, it is not a casual comment, it is a command.
The prophet of the Lord is speaking with the authority of the Lord.
Look at verse 19.*
*2** Samuel 24:19** *
*19 So David went up, as the LORD had commanded through Gad.
* The Scriptures say, "God commanded, and David obeyed."
David gave to God obediently, because David had a relationship with God, he had no choice but to obey the commands of God.
Jesus said in John 14:15*
*John** 14:15** *
*15 "If you love me, you will..." you will what?
"keep my commandments."
* **When Gad came to David he said, "God wants you to offer a sacrifice."
David never replied by saying, "Let me pray about it," or "Let me go home to my wife and discuss this, and we will come back to you in a few weeks and let you know what we will do."
No, God commanded and David obeyed.*
*Folks, we are under divine compulsion to give.
It's not optional.*
* Giving comes with the territory if you are one of God's people.
It is to be a part of our life.
It is not an option.
It is not a question of whether you are going to give, it is how much you are going to give and how often are you going to give.
It is obedience.
Look at Deuternomy 16:16-17 and catch the principle that is there.
*Deuteronomy 16:16-17** *
*16 Three times a year all your men must appear before the LORD your God at the place he will choose: at the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Weeks and the Feast of Tabernacles.
No man should appear before the LORD empty-handed: *
*17 Each of you must bring a gift in proportion to the way the LORD your God has blessed you.
* **We are to give, it is a command.
So David set us an example to model.
When we give, we need to give in the sense that we are obedient servants of the Lord Jesus Christ.
We have been rescued from Satan, and we now come to a new standard.
When you were saved, you didn't change your status as a slave, you changed masters.
Jesus Christ is the new master.
We give because we are commanded to give.
There is another principle that was in David's life.*
*SECOND -- GIVE WILLINGLY.*
*2 Samuel 24:20-23** *