Gifts for Building
1 David told the crowd:
God chose my son Solomon to build the temple, but Solomon is young and has no experience. This is not just any building—this is the temple for the Lord God! 2That's why I have done my best to get everything Solomon will need to build it—gold, silver, bronze, iron, wood, onyx, turquoise, colored gems, all kinds of precious stones, and marble.
3Besides doing all that, I have promised to give part of my own gold and silver as a way of showing my love for God's temple. 4More than 100 tons of my finest gold and almost 240 tons of my silver will be used to decorate its walls 5and to make the gold and silver objects. Now, who else will show their dedication to the Lord by giving gifts for building his temple?
6After David finished speaking, the family leaders, the tribal leaders, the army commanders, and the government officials voluntarily gave gifts 7for the temple. These gifts included more than 170 tons of gold, over 340 tons of silver, 620 tons of bronze, and more than 3,400 tons of iron. 8Everyone who owned precious stones also donated them to the temple treasury, where Jehiel from the Levite clan of Gershon guarded them.
9David and the people were very happy that so much had been given to the Lord, and they all celebrated.
David Praises the Lord
10Then, in front of everyone, David sang praises to the Lord:
I praise you forever, Lord! You are the God our ancestor Jacob worshiped. 11 Your power is great, and your glory is seen everywhere in heaven and on earth. You are king of the entire world, 12and you rule with strength and power. You make people rich and powerful and famous. 13We thank you, our God, and praise you.
14But why should we be happy that we have given you these gifts? They belong to you, and we have only given back what is already yours. 15We are only foreigners living here on earth for a while, just as our ancestors were. And we will soon be gone, like a shadow that suddenly disappears.
16Our Lord God, we have brought all these things for building a temple to honor you. They belong to you, and you gave them to us. 17But we are happy, because everyone has voluntarily given you these things. You know what is in everyone's heart, and you are pleased when people are honest. 18Always make us eager to give, and help us be faithful to you, just as our ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob faithfully worshiped you. 19And give Solomon the desire to completely obey your laws and teachings, and the desire to build the temple for which I have provided these gifts.
20David then said to the people, “Now it's your turn to praise the Lord, the God your ancestors worshiped!” So everyone praised the Lord, and they bowed down to honor him and David their king.
Don’t you love to meet someone who is generous? They never count the cost but simply give out of their abundance – or out of their need or lack – so others can prosper. There is something godly about a heart of generosity. It is the plan of the kingdom of God. It is how God gets his work done on the earth. The early church was encouraged to come individually and give generously. They were all encouraged to participate. This is a call that is both individual and corporate.
David knows that Solomon, like every one else about a mission for God, cannot do it by himself. He needs help of every sort including gifts that will fund the work. David sets an example and is quickly followed by others who get the idea and know they are contributing to the kingdom.
Have you ever wondered why God does not make everyone rich? It is likely that too many of us would think the money was for us. Have you ever wondered why God asks us to give when he owns everything? In truth it is more for us than for him. It is a sad state of affairs when the kingdom is held back for the lack of a willingness to participate in the work of God. It is a glorious thing when people work, serve, sacrifice and give to God’s work.
You gave with nothing held back in the gift of your Son. Because of your generosity we now have an eternal relationship with you. We have been called to participate in the work of your kingdom. What a privilege! Help me to learn the art of generosity. I need others in my life as others need me. May we learn to serve together so your work gets done. “For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever, Amen” (Matthew 6:13, KJV).