Ornan’s Generosity

1 Chronicles 21:23  “Ornan said to David, ‘Take it for yourself; and let my lord the king do what is good in his sight. See, I will give the oxen for burnt offerings and the threshing sledges for wood and the wheat for a grain offering; I will give it all.’”

Observation: This single verse is all we hear of Ornan in the Scriptures, but the lessons it can teach us of lavish generosity are stunning. David had been ordered by God to build a place of worship on the site of Ornan’s threshing floor, which was Ornan’s place of business, his livelihood. Ornan offered to donate literally everything—the oxen that powered the equipment, the equipment itself, (sledges), and the grain, even the site itself. 

Application: Here was a man not reluctant, but eager, quick, to make an incredible sacrifice. This was like a carpenter offering not only his tools, but also his workshop. I wish I knew more of Ornan, but perhaps what I learn of him from this single verse is enough: he was a man who knew the king had a need, and was quick to offer all he had in response.

What powerful work must God have done in Ornan’s life for him to be so quick to be willing to give not just from his surplus, but also from the very substance of his life! Somehow he had learned to hold these things loosely. I must conclude that Ornan was ultimately willing to trust God to take care of him. Oh, to learn that lesson myself, to get to a place where nothing I own would possess me, where literally everything would be available to use in the advance of His kingdom!

Prayer: Father, I know You have given me a desire to be a generous giver, but You ask for more than that. You call for sacrifice, which by definition should not be easy. Thank You for the joy I have known in the past and that I know now, when I give in response to what You have given. Lord, I do put my trust in You. I ask You to press in on me more, Lord, to test me and to search my heart insofar as attachment to “things” is concerned. I trust You, Lord, with my future and with my life.

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