Give It Up

Today’s Scripture reading is 1 Chronicles 29:10-20,

“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.

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.

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.

‘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. We are foreigners and strangers in your sight, as were all our ancestors. Our days on earth are like a shadow, without hope. 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. 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. 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. 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.’

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.”

Today’s blog post is by Olivia Reynolds, Summer Ministry Intern…

Today’s passage is a bit of a long read, but a good one. It comes from the end of King David’s reign, as he prepares Jerusalem for the construction of a magnificent temple. But this isn’t quite like a typical ground-breaking ceremony or launch party—it has a much deeper spiritual significance.

“But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this?” asks King David, and I’m struck by the humility he shows. King David had an excellent track record of military success, all the wealth and stuff he’d ever need, and a royal legacy to pass on to his son. But anyone who’s read up on David’s life knows that he wasn’t always an ideal king, soldier, husband, or dad. David’s private regrets and disappointments were a reminder that even a ruler like him needed forgiveness and guidance from God. His words of praise are useful those of us who like to feel in control, whose self-worth is usually tied in with what we have and what we do.

It doesn’t have to be that way—in fact, putting our trust in God can release us from worry, frustration, and the desperate need to perform.

The other thing I noticed in this passage is David’s joy in generosity. He’s rejoicing not in what the Israelites have, but what they are able to give. I don’t often have that grateful, giving attitude! I know that my blessings and gifts were given to me through God’s grace, but sometimes I don’t act like I believe that. Often, I worry about looking good, impressing others, and achieving success by the world’s standards.

So, when I think about King David’s praise, I’ll ask God to remind me that His purposes are greater and more glorious than my own, and that the best thing I can do is offer my gifts, with love and willingness, for Him.