THE GIFT OF GIVING
All I have is Yours, Lord.
Read 1 Chronicles 29:1–20
Gifts for Building the Temple
29 Then King David said to the whole assembly: “My son Solomon, the one whom God has chosen, is young and inexperienced. The task is great, because this palatial structure is not for man but for the Lord God. 2 With all my resources I have provided for the temple of my God—gold for the gold work, silver for the silver, bronze for the bronze, iron for the iron and wood for the wood, as well as onyx for the settings, turquoise,[a] stones of various colors, and all kinds of fine stone and marble—all of these in large quantities. 3 Besides, in my devotion to the temple of my God I now give my personal treasures of gold and silver for the temple of my God, over and above everything I have provided for this holy temple: 4 three thousand talents[b] of gold (gold of Ophir) and seven thousand talents[c] of refined silver, for the overlaying of the walls of the buildings, 5 for the gold work and the silver work, and for all the work to be done by the craftsmen. Now, who is willing to consecrate themselves to the Lord today?”
6 Then the leaders of families, the officers of the tribes of Israel, the commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds, and the officials in charge of the king’s work gave willingly. 7 They gave toward the work on the temple of God five thousand talents[d] and ten thousand darics[e] of gold, ten thousand talents[f] of silver, eighteen thousand talents[g] of bronze and a hundred thousand talents[h] of iron. 8 Anyone who had precious stones gave them to the treasury of the temple of the Lord in the custody of Jehiel the Gershonite. 9 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.
10 David praised the Lord in the presence of the whole assembly, saying,
“Praise be to you, Lord,
the God of our father Israel,
from everlasting to everlasting.
11 Yours, Lord, is the greatness and the power
and the glory and the majesty and the splendor,
for everything in heaven and earth is yours.
Yours, Lord, is the kingdom;
you are exalted as head over all.
12 Wealth and honor come from you;
you are the ruler of all things.
In your hands are strength and power
to exalt and give strength to all.
13 Now, our God, we give you thanks,
and praise your glorious name.
14 “But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand. 15 We are foreigners and strangers in your sight, as were all our ancestors. Our days on earth are like a shadow, without hope. 16 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. 17 I know, my God, that you test the heart and are pleased with integrity. All these things I have given willingly and with honest intent. And now I have seen with joy how willingly your people who are here have given to you. 18 Lord, the God of our fathers Abraham, Isaac and Israel, keep these desires and thoughts in the hearts of your people forever, and keep their hearts loyal to you. 19 And give my son Solomon the wholehearted devotion to keep your commands, statutes and decrees and to do everything to build the palatial structure for which I have provided.”
20 Then David said to the whole assembly, “Praise the Lord your God.” So they all praised the Lord, the God of their fathers; they bowed down, prostrating themselves before the Lord and the king.
a 1 Chronicles 29:2 The meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain.
b 1 Chronicles 29:4 That is, about 110 tons or about 100 metric tons
c 1 Chronicles 29:4 That is, about 260 tons or about 235 metric tons
d 1 Chronicles 29:7 That is, about 190 tons or about 170 metric tons
e 1 Chronicles 29:7 That is, about 185 pounds or about 84 kilograms
f 1 Chronicles 29:7 That is, about 380 tons or about 340 metric tons
g 1 Chronicles 29:7 That is, about 675 tons or about 610 metric tons
h 1 Chronicles 29:7 That is, about 3,800 tons or about 3,400 metric tons
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectMake a list of the most valuable gifts you have ever received and given. Is there any pattern?
This passage is all about giving and receiving: two of the great joys of this life. The skills involved are among the most valuable we can possess. By no means is everyone good at either of them, and yet there seems to be relatively little advice on the subject. We can certainly learn from the ancient Israelites.
Obviously, David is very wealthy. Nonetheless, he clearly holds his wealth with open hands. He understands that everything belongs to the Lord. But this is also true of the ability to give generously. Note that David offers special thanks that his people are enabled to give (14). He is obviously delighted that his people have given so well.
Look at the three words to describe the people’s giving in verse 9. The Hebrew term for consecrate in verse 5 can also be translated as “make a generous offering.” This takes us into the deeper business of giving. It can only be real if the givers are offering not just shiny stuff but with their hearts really in it. The giving described after verse 15 moves on from costly materials to treasures that are much more precious. The people give their hearts to God, their allegiance to Solomon and then again, their praise to the Lord.
What can you give to God? Your time, skills, money? Prayerfully consider the needs that surround you and think about how you could be part of the solution.
Ask God’s guidance about what you can give to him today.