1 Chronicles 29:17-I know also, my God, that You test the heart and have pleasure in uprightness. As for me, in the uprightness of my heart, I have willingly offered all these things; and now with joy, I have seen Your people, who are present here to offer willingly to You.
David wanted to build a house for God. That was the thing about David, God was usually on his mind. Even after sinning with Bathsheba, David’s heart was still towards the Lord. He was so grateful for all that God had done for him that he wanted a permanent place to call to the house of the Lord.
Now it came to pass, when David was dwelling in his house, that David said to Nathan the prophet, “See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of the covenant of the Lord is under tent curtains.” Then Nathan said to David, “Do all that is in your heart, for God is with you.”1 Chronicles 17: 1-2 NKJV
Nathan, the prophet, thought it to be a good thing that David wanted to build a house for God and told him to go ahead. But God told Nathan to tell David that he couldn’t do it.
But it happened that night that the word of God came to Nathan, saying, “Go and tell My servant David, ‘Thus says the Lord: “You shall not build Me a house to dwell in.1 Chronicles 17:3-4 NKJV
Can you imagine David’s initial’s reaction to those words? Did he feel rejection, shock, hurt, or disappointment? Maybe he experienced all of that! We don’t know. At this point in scripture, we are not told why David couldn’t build the Lord’s house, but later David lets us in on God’s reason for telling him no.
Then King David rose to his feet and said, “Hear me, my brethren and my people: I had it in my heart to build a house of rest for the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and for the footstool of our God, and had made preparations to build it. But God said to me, ‘You shall not build a house for My name, because you have been a man of war and have shed blood.’1 Chronicles 28:2-3 NKJV
Therefore, David could not build the temple of God. But that did not stop David from getting involved. He couldn’t build the temple, but he could do all in his power to make sure that the house of God was provided for before his departure. And that’s what he did.
Moreover, because I have set my affection on the house of my God, I have given to the house of my God, over and above all that I have prepared for the holy house, my own special treasure of gold and silver…1 Chronicles 29:3 NKJV
David said that he had set his affections on the house of God; therefore, he gave to the house of God over and above all that he had prepared for the house out of his own treasure. That’s better than a matching IRA. David had already set aside everything that he could think of that would be needed by Solomon to build the house of God. Then, he went into his personal treasure and gave more than he had already set aside for the building of the church.
There are two things that resonated with me in these verses. The first thing was that David had set his affection on the house of God. Most of us have become so conditioned to being able to attend a church that we don’t think much about the privilege that we have in being able to attend. David had never been into a sanctuary that wasn’t mobile. He was so passionate about the concept of having a stationary sanctuary to worship the Lord in that he was willing to make any sacrifice necessary to make it happen.
The second thing that stands out to me is the fact that David wanted to spare no expense on the house of God. Nothing was too good or too much for the house of his God! Nothing! Gold, silver, precious stones, and everything else in his treasury of valuables were things he wanted to see in God’s house! No second hand goods, or bargain basements for the house of God! Only the best! He was so serious about giving to the house of God that he referred to it as a time of consecration before the people:
Who then is willing to consecrate himself this day to the Lord?”1 Chronicles 29:5 NKJV
David gave his best to the God who had given him everything. Since David viewed his giving as a form of consecration, he challenged others to do the same thing. They responded to the call of dedicating their wealth to the building of God’s house:
Then the leaders of the fathers’ houses, leaders of the tribes of Israel, the captains of thousands and of hundreds, with the officers over the king’s work, offered willingly. They gave for the work of the house of God…1 Chronicles 29:-6-7 NKJV
Now if you read my previous blog, you will remember that I mentioned that we should not be a copycat giver. I still believe that! But here’s where it is different: David never told the people that they should give because he gave. He told them that he had given and asked them if they wanted to participate. How many of you realize that the temple would be built, with no expense spared, if no one else gave but David? But David felt moved to include them in this opportunity to give. When someone stands up and says that the Lord told them that we should all give $1,000 to do something in the church, that’s totally different! At least it is to me!
Then the people rejoiced, for they had offered willingly, because with a loyal heart they had offered willingly to the Lord; and King David also rejoiced greatly.1 Chronicles 29:9 NKJV
There was no coercion involved in this offering. People gave out of a loyal heart. We don’t know if their hearts were loyalty to David or to God, but they gave out of their heart. They willingly offered to the Lord. It’s all about motive! Motive on the part of the person asking, and motive on the part of the giver.
I was talking with my husband about the blog. He mentioned that he was on a website that had ads and even a way to donate. He asked if I had thought about ads or donations? I told him that I’m not going to ask for people to give to this blog site, so don’t think I’m priming the pump! I’m blogging on giving because it was the way I felt the Spirit of God leading me.
David prayed these words over the people that day:
“O Lord our God, all this abundance that we have prepared to build You a house for Your holy name is from Your hand, and is all Your own. I know also, my God, that You test the heart and have pleasure in uprightness. As for me, in the uprightness of my heart I have willingly offered all these things; and now with joy I have seen Your people, who are present here to offer willingly to You. O Lord God… keep this forever in the intent of the thoughts of the heart of Your people, and fix their heart toward You.1 Chronicles 29:16-18 NKJV
What a beautiful prayer about giving! David said that he gave out of the righteousness of his heart. That was his motive, and he prayed it would always be the way we give as we fix our hearts toward Him. I believe that is the key to be a willing giver: a heart that is fixed towards the Lord! Wonderful Jesus!