DAVID AND ARAUNAH.
: Old Testament Stories
After David had reigned may years, he numbered the people of Israel.
This was wrong; and God sent a pestilence which destroyed seventy
thousand men. David was grieved, and prayed that God would punish him
and spare the people. God stayed the hand of the destroying angel; who
stood by the threshing-floor of Araunah, whither David was told to go
and offer sacrifice. David went. He purchased the threshing-floor of
also oxen and wood and offered a burnt sacrifice to God. The
following verses describe the scene:--
Beside Araunah's threshing-place
The awful angel took his stand,
When from high heaven came words of grace--
"It is enough; stay now thine hand."
For David's penitential prayer
Had enter'd God's compassionate ear;
And where the angel stood, even there
God bade the King and altar rear.
Araunah offered ground, and wood,
And oxen for the sacrifice:
David stood noble wish withstood,
And bought them all at full price.
His answer has a royal ring;
Its lesson high shall not be lost:
"Burnt offerings I will never bring
Unto Jehovah without cost."
The altar rose, the victims died,
The plague was stayed, and lo, there fell--
Token that Heaven was satisfied--
A fire from God, and all was well.
'Twas like a finger from the skies--
That falling fire--to show God's will,
That here the Temple should arise
And crown Moriah's sacred hill.
And still God marks the faithful prayer,
The careful work, the costly pains;
The Spirit's fire descendeth there,
And there, as in a shrine, remains.