genesis 23: cost

The negotiations between Ephron and Abraham, and Abraham’s insistence on paying for the burial site reminded me of something King David said in 2 Samuel 24:24:

“No, I insist on buying it from you for a price, for I will not offer to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.”

It was a different time and place, a different culture than the one we live in, but I’m not sure that’s what makes the difference. I think it’s a different heart that does not seek to get something for nothing. A different heart that believed a burial place for his wife was worth paying the cost, a different heart that believed a sacrifice made to God should cost us something.

The culture of the world has trained us to barter for the lowest possible price to pay for anything, with “free” being the ultimate win.

The culture of heaven tells us that what is worth having is worth paying the price. 

How often do I seek to get something for nothing? Has that become my mentality – to try to pay as little as possible for something?

Have I been offering God something that cost me nothing? By cost, I’m not just talking about money. I’m talking about comfort, time, pride, plans I’ve made, dreams I’ve had. How about my rights? The right to be angry, the right to an apology, the right to be right, the right to be treated fairly.

The gospel of heaven tells us that following Jesus will cost us. The gospel according to the world says we can get it for nothing.

Which gospel am I living?

I live in a culture that values something for nothing. But I don’t want the heart of this culture, I want the heart of Abraham and David. The heart of heaven.

I want to make extravagant offers of love and worship and compassion that cost me as much as I have to give. I want to say that following Jesus has come at a price and that price has been more than worth paying.

I will not offer the Lord my God something that cost me nothing.

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