READ: 1 Chronicles 19-21, Psalm 122, Mark 5, Hebrews 7
“I GIVE IT ALL”
David has sinned. He slothfully does not go out to war, he vainly crowns himself, and he numbers his armies in pride. All this is done around the time he sleeps with another man’s wife, then murders him–a man who just happens to be one of his mighty men. As a result of David’s sin (1 Chronicles 21 infers it is the census that brought judgment but one sin often entangles us in another), God’s judgment descends and 70,000 innocent men are destroyed. Sin–pride, in particular–always destroys both the proud individual and the innocent others nearby. God stops His destroying angel over Jerusalem–an angel that David, the elders, and even a curious fellow named Ornan can see. Ornan turns with his sons and sees the angel; his sons are terrified but Ornan “continued threshing wheat” (1 Chron. 21). When David offers to buy Ornan’s land, Ornan offers it for free, then goes further: “Look, I also give you the oxen for burnt offerings, the threshing implements for wood, and the wheat for the grain offering. I give it all” (v. 23, emphasis added).
There is something endearing about the simple totality of Ornan’s response. He appears to be a devoted, hardworking farmer on the edge of the city focused on getting his wheat harvest threshed. He is completely dedicated to the task, and not even God’s avenging angel hovering over his head distracts him! His boys run for cover but Ornan gives a Smith Wigglesworth-like shrug and keeps threshing (Wigglesworth reportedly awoke one night to see the devil sitting on the edge of his bed, said “Oh, it’s only you,” and turned over to go back to sleep). David appears and requests land for sacrifice. It was not Ornan’s sin, it was not his problem, but when he participates, he is all in. Land, oxen, tools, wheat–here you go, Lord, have it all.
Jesus loves the all-or-nothing people. It’s the lukewarm ones that make Him retch. One endearing trait of missionary kids is that they find it very hard to be hypocrites. They either serve Him with all their heart or run from Him with all their strength. Jesus appreciates the clarity of their resolve and, of course, prefers they run to Him. In God’s sight half measures are no measures at all. If you are going to serve Jesus, there is only one way: all in. We don’t serve Jesus one poker chip at a time. We shove all our land, animals, tools, harvest into the middle of the table and say, “Jesus, I give it all!” Many Christ followers are conscientiously (and naively) tilling their little piece of earth keeping their head down, minding their own business–oblivious to the desperate plight of the world. When we find out what God is doing in the earth among all peoples, however, there is only one response that pleases God: a life-altering sacrifice of all we know, have, and are for God’s mission.
All for Jesus! All for Jesus! All my being’s ransomed powers.
All my thoughts and words and doings, all my days and all my hours.
Worldlings prize their gems of beauty, cling to gilded toys of dust;
Boast of wealth, and fame, and pleasure; only Jesus I will trust.
All for Jesus! All for Jesus!