Nickels, Noses, or …?

But King David replied to Araunah, “No, I insist on buying it for the full price. I will not take what is yours and give it to the Lord. I will not present burnt offerings that have cost me nothing!” – 1 Chronicles 21:24

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I have often written about the Western fascination with numbers. In particular, I believe we like to count things … especially nickels and noses.

But, what does God count? Does He count “nickels?” Well, there are many instances in the Old Testament where it would seem so. Does He count “noses?” Sometimes, as in the first census of Israel, but when King David tried it on his own, he got into big trouble. From this negative experience, David seemed to have learned an important lesson about that which God counts.

While nickels and noses might, at times, be a necessary focus, God is most concerned with the amount of our sacrifice. He really wants to know what we are willing to give “up” and, once given, He will be the judge of how much it truly cost.

Not by gain our life is measured, but by what we’ve lost ’tis scored; ’tis not how much wine is drunken, but how much has been outpoured. For the strength of love never standeth in the sacrifice we bear; he who has the greatest suffering ever has the most to share. – Watchman Nee

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