The Place of Sacrifice

Michael Wilcock

READ : 1 Chronicles 21:25-30
1 Chronicles 22:1

Even in David’s time Jerusalem was already, for a number of reasons, a very special place. Israel’s capital had moved there from Hebron; the ark was brought there from Kiriath Jearim; the altar would be set up there instead of at Gibeon. Now Araunah’s threshing floor is chosen as the site of the temple, the house of God, which is to be the focal point of Israel’s life.

The story of David’s census is not here simply to show that even he can make mistakes. The whole chapter leads up to the decision about where the temple is to be built. The story is about sin at its most destructive, and how it deserves to be punished; and it is about how and where such sin may be forgiven.

David had been on his way to Gibeon to offer sacrifice at the altar there. Fear of the angel had stopped him short when he had scarcely left Jerusalem. So “Here,” he said, “shall be the temple and the altar.” The faith of God’s people centers on the place where the repentant sinner looks to the sacrifice through which his sin may be dealt with. For us that is Calvary.


Lord, we are sinners; keep our eyes on the cross of Jesus, where our sin is taken away. Amen.