Read: 1 Chronicles 29:1-20
Consider: A couple of days ago we looked at a passage from 1 Kings 8 and saw that while King David wished to build the temple in Jerusalem, God decided that it should be his son, Solomon, who would be charged with the task.
We return to this theme in today’s passage from 1 Chronicles 29. This passage gives us an insight into David’s commitment to the building of the temple, even though he would not be alive to see it. We read that David gave of his own personal wealth to the building of the temple (29:3-5) and that he used his own example to encourage the leaders of Israel to also give generously. David must have been encouraged because we read: Then the leaders of families, the officers of the tribes of Israel, the commanders of hundreds, and the officials in charge of the king’s work gave willingly (29:6). Also in 1 Chronicles 29:9 we are told: The people rejoiced at the willing response of their leaders, for they had given freely and wholeheartedly to the Lord. David the king also rejoiced greatly.
Later in the chapter we read that David praised the Lord and in his prayer (29:10-19) he recognises the sovereignty of God when he says: Yours, Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendour, for everything in heaven and earth is yours (29:11). David reiterates the sentiment that everything comes from God when he says: Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand (29:14) and also when he says: Lord our God, all this abundance that we have provided for building you a temple for your Holy Name comes from your hand, and all of it belongs to you (29:16). While the temple would later become known as ‘Solomon’s Temple’, this does not mean that Solomon expected recognition and accolades for undertaking the construction of the temple. The same should be true of any Christian service we undertake in serving God.
When thinking about David handing the baton on to Solomon, so that he could construct the temple in Jerusalem, it made me think of a relay race and how the participants cooperate with each other to complete the race. Each person has to play their part and to give of their best in each leg of the relay. Can you see that a relay race is not won by one person, even though only one person crosses the finish line? It was exactly the same with the building of the temple in Jerusalem. While David had the God-given vision and commitment to the building of the temple, Solomon also had to play his part, as did the Jewish leaders who gave willingly to the task.
If we recognise that everything we have comes from God and is God’s, it should free us from anxiety when giving towards God’s work. Additionally, it should free us from the desire to be recognised for our contribution.
Pray: Father, we acknowledge that sometimes we struggle with giving generously to your work. May the truth that everything we have comes from you penetrate our hearts, so that we are willing to give back to you what is already yours. Amen
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