“Now the angel of the Lord had commanded Gad to say to David that David should go up and raise an altar to the Lord on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite...
“And David built there an altar to the Lord and presented burnt offerings and peace offerings and called on the Lord, and the Lord answered him with fire from heaven upon the altar of burnt offering.”
1 Chronicles 21:18, 26
“Then David said, ‘Here shall be the house of the Lord God and here the altar of burnt offering for Israel.‘”
1 Chronicles 22:1
Years had gone by. David was getting old - about the age I am now. He had given a rash order that was harmful to Israel and the nation was suffering because of it. Now he had to make an offering to the Lord and seek His forgiveness, but the Tabernacle that Moses had built was too far away. God used that moment to reveal the location where He wanted the Temple to be built.
It would never have occurred to David or anyone else, but that place was special in God’s eyes. It used to be called Moriah. Now it was called Zion.
It was the place where Abraham had offered his own son, Isaac, to God but God substituted a Ram for the offering in place of Isaac. Since ancient times people had remembered that moment by quoting a proverb, “In the mount of the Lord, it shall be provided.”
Now God provided a place of atonement for David and all Israel there, and David understood that God had chosen that place for the Temple to be built.
For the next nine hundred years, sacrifices would be offered to God in that place. Each one of those sacrifices was a prophetic portrayal of the one true atoning sacrifice that would one day be offered on an opposing peak of that same mountain, a place called Calvary. This was the sacrifice that truly takes away sin and guilt; the sacrifice of God’s own Son, a Lamb provided by God in our place.
God works even through our blunders, doing wonderful things beyond our understanding, working all things for good beyond our imagination.
Father, through the years You have done great and mighty things with the lives of ordinary people who were willing to trust and obey. There are things going on today that I don’t understand; help me to be faithful when I don’t know what to do or what comes next. Fulfill Your purpose in me, too. Amen.
Pastor Dan Giles