Israelite Generosity

Handwritten page from the first book of Chronicles chapter 29 verse 5 through verse 16.
1Chron 29:5-16

Synopsis     1Chron 29:5-16     2/14/2020 

Near the end of his life, King David formed an assembly of all the leaders of Israel. Once assembled, he addressed them. And in this address, he reminded the people of God’s faithfulness to Israel. Additionally, he described how he had longed to build a special house for God where the Ark of the Covenant would dwell. 

Furthermore, he reminded them of how God had prevented him from constructing a temple. And then David declared, with shocking certainty, that Solomon would be the next king and the builder of the God’s temple.  

After this, he mentioned how he had committed all of his personal wealth to the construction of the temple. And then, in no uncertain terms, he asked all of his leadership to likewise dedicate a portion of their personal wealth to the great cause of building the temple.  

King David’s leadership assembly did not disappoint. In fact, his leadership team donated an extraordinary sum of precious metals and jewels and other forms of wealth. And afterward, they all rejoiced at the great haul of resources that was made available to build a house for God.  

Israelite Generosity 

King David asked the Israelite leaders to donate resources for the temple building. Of course, before he asked, he committed all of his personal wealth to the project. And so, his leadership team followed suit. They gave generously. 

They generously gave back to the God who had lavishly given them everything. 

My Generosity 

I’d like to be like one of David’s leaders. At least that’s what I tell myself. But what I think I really mean is that part of me would like to be wealthy – extremely wealthy.  I’d like to be the guy to give a great contribution to the building of a church or some other holy institution.  

But then, in a moment of honest self-examination, I wonder if I really would.  

I find that it’s easy to fantasize about what I might do with great wealth. But if my personal financial situation was so secure that I could not reasonably imagine failing, would I really give? And when, exactly, could money make me feel that way?  

Jesus once pointed out a poor woman who gave her last two pennies to the temple offering. He casually noted to his followers that she had given more than all the other generous benefactors. And I hear this story dumbfounded.  

It’s not that I don’t understand. But on the other hand – I don’t really understand. I don’t understand that woman. And though I don’t like to admit it, I don’t really understand what Jesus is saying.    

“One person is lavish yet grows still richer; another is too sparing, yet is the poorer. Whoever confers benefits will be amply enriched, and whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.” Prov 11:24-25 

February 14, 2020

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