“I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax; it is melted within my breast.” (Psalm 22:14)
Sometimes major characters consume the stage, their every word pivotal to the unfolding narrative. However, to remind us that ordinary folk are also essential to the story line, God allows a minor player to teach us grand lessons worth applying to the common rhythm of our routine lives.
In the final chapter of 2 Samuel, King David blundered big. God unleashed severe judgment on David for acting in disobedience and demanding a census of all the fighting men in his kingdom. Seventy thousand of the warriors David had just foolishly cataloged were struck down. God insisted David build an altar at the exact location where the Lord had mercifully intervened.
Surprisingly, a brilliant picture of worship surfaced, but from a man whose name we hardly recognize. His name was Araunah and he owned the property designated by God for the altar. In his right response of running toward King David and falling at his feet, we see how humility acts when confronted with royalty. This eager servant asked David what he could do for him and then willingly offered everything necessary. “Here are the oxen for the burnt offering and the threshing sledges and the yokes of the oxen for the wood. All this, O king, Araunah gives to the king” (2 Samuel 24:22‐23).
The man kept nothing back. Though David refused Araunah’s gracious offer, saying, “I will not offer burnt offerings to the LORD my God that cost me nothing,” the man’s posture and sacrificial response gave us a perfect picture of true worship.
Background people shoulder important roles: the little boy on the side of the hill extended his sardines and barley bread to the Lord; compassionate Simon of Cyrene shouldered the load for Christ as he staggered to the cross; and Araunah threw himself at the feet of High King David without a thought to the cost involved.
May we too strive to imitate these lesser-known characters who reveal what the King of Heaven and Earth rightfully deserves.