WHO ARE YOUR ROLE MODELS?
Lord, thank You for all the possessions You have given to me.
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, 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 of gold (gold of Ophir) and seven thousand talents 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 and ten thousand darics of gold, ten thousand talents of silver, eighteen thousand talents of bronze and a hundred thousand talentS 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.
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.
Think of the last time someone challenged you about how you’re living. How did you respond? Looking back, to what extent was the challenge justified?
“Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ,” exhorts the apostle Paul. This might sound arrogant to the modern ear. However, Paul is simply assuming authority for his God-given message, urging us to be faithful to it as he is. We benefit greatly from good role models, men and women we can look to as examples to be imitated. They put flesh on the bones of theoretical principles. Sadly, in today’s world many follow the lead of celebrity role models whose dissolute lifestyles have little to recommend them. By contrast, in today’s chapter we see David as a profoundly positive role model.
David has already contributed much from the national treasury towards the building of God’s temple in Jerusalem. Now as his life draws to an end, he digs deeply into his own pocket to help underwrite this great God-honoring construction project. His example is a challenge for his officials to consider and a model for them to imitate. They contribute massively, in a way that recalls the tabernacle’s construction during the days of Moses. Their generosity fills David’s and his people’s hearts with joy, leading them to praise and worship God.
The use and misuse of our material wealth can be a thorny issue for Christians. Some observe the old-covenant principle of tithing. Others believe that tithing is just a start and must be augmented by the outpouring of a grateful heart in financial sacrifices and offerings. Whatever we give, it must be done joyfully. Though we must not trumpet our largess, it nevertheless blesses us to learn of the sacrificial giving of others whose liberality in turn encourages ours. God is exalted in the generous giving of his people!
“God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Cor. 9:7). Do you give to God’s work out of a sense of duty or with a thankful heart? Reflect a moment on this.
Lord, cause me to disburse money with the realization that I am accountable to You for where it all goes.