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  • Writer's picture DaRhon Conner, D.R.E.

Burnt Offerings, Peace Offerings, & Prayer to Stop the Plague

Updated: Mar 25, 2020

Burnt offerings, peace offerings, & prayer to stop the plague. A lesson inspired by the teachings of my pastor, Bishop Victor E. Sharpe, Jr. of St. John the Great Cathedral, Detroit, Michigan.

2 Samuel 24:15, 18, 25

15-So the LORD sent a pestilence upon Israel from the morning even to the time appointed: and there died of the people from Dan even to Beersheba seventy thousand men. 18-And Gad came that day to David, and said unto him, Go up, rear an altar unto the Lord in the threshingfloor of Araunah the Jebusite. 25-And David built there an altar unto the Lord, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. So the Lord was intreated for the land, and the plague was stayed from Israel (KJV).

15-So the LORD sent a plague on Israel from that morning until the end of the time designated, and seventy thousand of the people from Dan to Beersheba died. 18-That day Gad came to David and said to him, “Go up and build an altar to the Lord on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.” 25-David built an altar there to the Lord and sacrificed burnt offerings and peace offerings. And the Lord answered his prayer for the land, and the plague on Israel was stopped (NLT).

What is a burnt offering?

-A young bull, lamb, goat, turtledove, or young pigeon perfect and complete with no defects

-The person laid their hands on the animal indicating the animal was taking the person’s place, then killed it

-The animal was then arranged on the altar and burned completely as a sacrifice, only the hide remained and that was given to the priest

Purpose: to restore the relationship with GOD and to atone for some sin, or uncleanness i.e. after childbirth, for an unclean discharge, hemorrhage, or after a person keeping a Nazirite vow was defiled.

What is a peace offering?

-Also called a well-being offering

-The person laid their hands on the animal then killed it

-Only certain parts of the internal organs were burned


-Brought in response to an unexpected blessing (thank offering)

-An answer to a prayer (vow offering)

-General thankfulness (freewill offering)

David brought the peace offering in advance along with the burnt offering. He was saying “thank you for answering my prayer and accepting this sacrifice” before GOD had actually done it. He had the faith and confidence that GOD would answer and accept his prayer/offering because he had been instructed to do it.

Church...what are we being instructed to do by our church leaders? Whether the nation obeys or not, will we?


The word altar is formed from a word that means to slaughter. Therefore, an altar is a slaughter place, a place of sacrifice. It is also associated with GOD’s presence. Altars were built in places where GOD appeared to humans or where HE accepted our sacrifices, and it was thought that GOD would come there again.

Why is this relevant today?

It is a time for the nation to repent and return to GOD. We can all follow David’s example, build an altar and make sacrifices to GOD with the confidence that GOD will hear our prayers and accept our sacrifices. But, David reminds us in verse 24 that it has to cost us something.

2 Samuel 24

24-And the king said unto Araunah, Nay; but I will surely buy it of thee at a price: neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the Lord my God of that which doth cost me nothing. So David bought the threshingfloor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver (KJV).

24-But the king replied to Araunah, “No, I insist on buying it, for I will not present burnt offerings to the Lord my God that have cost me nothing.” So David paid him fifty pieces of silver for the threshing floor and the oxen (NLT).

Sacrifices of Today

What kind of sacrifices are we to offer to GOD when we no longer kill animals to atone for our sins? What do we do when Jesus already became the ultimate sacrifice for us? What is there left for us to give? Paul, Peter, and the writer of Hebrews tell us.

Romans 12

1-I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service (KJV).

1-And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him (NLT).

Paul is telling us that we are to give our bodies. We are to willingly present our bodies to GOD as a living sacrifice. We are to be the sacrificial Isaac for Abraham. But we are also called to be “living” sacrifices, meaning that we will still be alive while part of us dies. Remember, David told us it has to cost us something, family. We are to bring that part of ourselves that rebels against GOD, that still desires to sin, that still wants to do things our way instead of the LORD’s way. We must relinquish our will to GOD; that most precious part of us that we desire to hang on to.

Jesus puts it this way:

Matthew 16

24-Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. 25-For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. 26-For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul (KJV)?

24-Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me. 25-If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. 26-And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul (NLT)?

The word “deny” in verse 24, also translated “give up your own way”, actually means to deny, disown, or repudiate. It means to have no connection with someone. We are supposed to forget the person we used to be before we met and gave our lives to Jesus; deny that person, disown that person. We are to lose sight of self and self-interest, all of our negative passions, desires, etc.

Repudiate means to refuse to accept; to reject as unauthorized and having no binding force. The origin actually means to reject a spouse! This is how we are to treat the person we have been with our whole lives; the person we thought we were until Jesus shined the light and led us out of the darkness. Let us walk in the work He already finished on the cross, and once and for all reject the person we used to be and become whom GOD originally created us to be.

Paul said that presenting our bodies as a living sacrifice to GOD is our reasonable service to GOD; the logical thing to do. That word service is translated as worship, ministry, or service to GOD. It means how we minister to GOD through our worship, or any service we perform on GOD’s behalf.

Why is this the case? Why is giving our bodies to GOD the logical thing to do? Paul tells us in chapter 11.

Romans 11

36-For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen (KJV).

36-For everything comes from him and exists by his power and is intended for his glory. All glory to him forever! Amen (NLT).

We only exist by GOD’s power. We are only intended for GOD’s glory. Our whole reason for being on this planet is to glorify GOD and bring GOD glory in everything we do. That kinda makes us look differently at our desires, wants, needs; the things we think are important in life. It also makes it very clear why Paul says immediately after this, that it is only logical for us to offer our bodies to GOD as living sacrifices. We are to desire to sacrifice that part of us that does not glorify GOD; to lay ourselves upon the altar so that the LORD can burn away anything that is not like HIM. For, without GOD, we would not exist. Our lives are truly not our own.

The writer of Hebrews tells us in chapter 13:

15-By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name (KJV).

15-Therefore, let us offer through Jesus a continual sacrifice of praise to God, proclaiming our allegiance to his name (NLT).

How is praise a sacrifice? What is praise? Praise is speaking well of GOD. It is proclaiming the goodness of GOD regardless of our situation. It is announcing that no matter what else is going on in our lives or the world; GOD is worthy of praise. That is a sacrifice at times. We have to kill something inside of us that wants to stifle our speaking well of GOD when things aren’t going our way. We have to sacrifice, or give up that downtrodden, depressed, angry, or whatever emotion, and choose to speak well of GOD anyway because HE is worthy and deserving at all times! It is why we were created. GOD gets the glory no matter what!

Peter says it like this in 1 Peter 2:

5-Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ (KJV).

5-And you are living stones that God is building into his spiritual temple. What’s more, you are his holy priests. Through the mediation of Jesus Christ, you offer spiritual sacrifices that please God (NLT).

In the bible, only the priests could offer sacrifices to atone for the sins of the people. Yet, as believers, we are called priests and given the authority to offer up sacrifices to GOD that are acceptable and pleasing through Jesus Christ.

So, to bring it all together, we learned that David brought burnt and peace offerings at GOD’s command, as well as prayer, and GOD stopped the plague. We also learned that in 2020 we do not sacrifice animals on altars, but we give spiritual sacrifices on internal altars instead.

Burnt offerings require a body. That body is consumed completely by the fire of the altar to atone for some sin or uncleanness. Romans 12 reminds us that we are that burnt offering. We are to bring our bodies as the sacrifice and it is the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus that makes us holy and acceptable in the sight of GOD. HE accepts the sacrifice of our bodies and makes them instruments to do HIS will as we yield them of our own free will.

Peace offerings require a body. The body is brought in response to an unexpected blessing, an answered prayer, or general thankfulness. When we offer a sacrifice of praise it is our peace (well-being) offering telling GOD thank you for what HE has already done or will do. At other times we are just saying thank you for GOD simply being GOD!

These are the sacrifices that we are to bring before the LORD. We are called to worship GOD day and night through our service to HIM, by doing whatever HE calls us to do, by praising HIM, and bringing ourselves to the altar as many times as we need to so that any part of us that is still not like HIM may be consumed leaving nothing behind but a vessel that lives for GOD’s glory. May we all come to the LORD today to do HIS will with a sacrifice of praise on our lips and a prayer for ourselves and others in our hearts.

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