A place for Sacrifice and Atonement
18 So Gad came to David that day and said to him, “Go up, erect an altar to the LORD on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.” 19 David went up according to the word of Gad, just as the LORD had commanded. 20 Araunah looked down and saw the king and his servants crossing over toward him; and Araunah went out and bowed his face to the ground before the king. 21 Then Araunah said, “Why has my lord the king come to his servant?” And David said, “To buy the threshing floor from you, in order to build an altar to the LORD, that the plague may be held back from the people.” 22 Araunah said to David, “Let my lord the king take and offer up what is good in his sight. Look, the oxen for the burnt offering, the threshing sledges and the yokes of the oxen for the wood. 23 “Everything, O king, Araunah gives to the king.” And Araunah said to the king, “May the LORD your God accept you.” 24 However, the king said to Araunah, “No, but I will surely buy it from you for a price, for I will not offer burnt offerings to the LORD my God which cost me nothing.” So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver. 25 David built there an altar to the LORD and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. Thus the LORD was moved by prayer for the land, and the plague was held back from Israel.
God came to David with another solution – sacrifice. David was to erect an altar to the LORD there on the threshing floor of Araunah. David began to make his way up to the place where the angel of the LORD had been halted. (verse 16) Araunah and his four sons were there at the threshing floor threshing wheat. David was making his way to where they were. (1 Chronicles 21:20-21). It must have been a terrifying moment for them.
Araunah having land near to David and the city of Jerusalem, offered to give David the land–but David refused… If David accepted this offer, his sacrifice would cost him nothing. He could not offer a “sacrifice” without first making a sacrifice. David purchased the land. He offered his sacrifices to the Lord, and when this sacrifice had been made, the Lord heard and stopped the plague. This place would become the property on which Solomon’s temple would be built.
PSALM 33 The Sovereignty of the Lord In Creation and History