In 1 Chronicles 29, we read the story of King David's preparation for building the temple in Jerusalem. Although God told David that he would not be the one to oversee its construction, he would allow him to do all the planning and preparation for his son Solomon. Then, once Solomon became king, the construction could begin without delay.
A part of that initial preparation was to collect offerings and gifts that would go toward the temple's construction. David himself gave size-able gifts of gold, silver, bronze, iron, wood, and precious stones. He also asked all the leadership of the nation of Israel to give of their wealth in order provide for the temple's construction. The leaders gave willingly and generously to the work of the Lord.
In response to the Israelites' generosity, King David prayed a beautiful prayer (vs. 10-13):
David praised the LORD in the presence of the whole assembly, saying, "Praise be to you, O LORD, God of our father Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Yours, O 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, O LORD, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all. 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. Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name.
Note the following from David's prayer:
- He began with adoration. He acknowledged that God is eternal, great, powerful, and majestic.
- He acknowledged that everything belongs to God.
- He acknowledged that any wealth, honor, strength, and power that men have comes from God.
- He completed his prayer with thanksgiving and praise.
King David and the leaders of Israel were able to give willingly and generously to the work of the Lord because they acknowledged that everything belongs to Him in the first place, and that everything they owned was a gift from God. Once you acknowledge this, it's easy to give away God's stuff!
Do you have difficulty acknowledging God's ownership of what He has blessed you with? Do you give begrudgingly or rather with an attitude of gratitude?