Summary: Using King David as an example of how to prepare for the offering. A devotional.
Gathering in hope
People gather together for a variety of reasons. On occasion people gather together in the hope that something wonderful will happen.
Such an occasion was when King David said farewell to His subjects and proclaimed Solomon to be his successor.
At that time, the plans and the preparations for the house of God were officially unveiled.
God had told David that he should not build a house for His name, because he had been a man of war, and had shed blood. But that had not prevented David from actively planning the design of a building he could never build.
His speech follows this outline
God chose David to be king (1 Ch 28 v.4)
God chose Solomon to be David’s successor (1 Ch 28 v.5)
God appointed Solomon to build the temple (1 Ch 28 v.6)
David commands Solomon to start the work (1 Ch 28 v.7-10)
The plans are handed over to Solomon (1 Ch 28 v. 11 to 1 Ch 29 v.9).
David then blesses his God and says the following (think of the prayer Jesus taught his disciples as you read this).
Blessed be you, LORD God of Israel, our father, for ever and ever.
Yours, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is yours; yours is the kingdom, O LORD, and you are exalted as head above all. Both riches and honour come from you, and you reign over all; and in your hand is power and might; and in your hand is the ability to make great, and to give strength to all. Now therefore, our God, we thank you, and praise your glorious name.
And then comes these well know words
But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly in this way? For all things come from you, and of your own have we given you.
This well-known passage is often quoted when tithes and offerings are brought forward at church.
David gives a reason for his offering that is often overlooked by those who use this passage so often.
The best translation I can come up with of what David said next is as follows
For all things come from you, and of your own have we given you. For we are strangers before you, and sojourners, as were all our fathers: our days on the earth are transitory, waiting in hope.
David made all those plans; he gave all that money, with the following realization
His wealth came from God
He was a stranger in a strange land
His present home was not a permanent dwelling place
Life is transitory
He lived in hope
The final result of that hope is something that could not be seen
In other words, David lived by faith. And the defense of his faith was enunciated by these words as he prepared to give of his wealth to the work of the kingdom of God.
As you bring your offerings to the house of the Lord, what is your heart attitude?
David gives us an example of how our hearts should be looking towards our God.
It may be quite possible that David is mentioned in Hebrews 11:32 because he exercised that sort of celebrated faith while he was preparing the building of the temple. That sort of faith is evidenced by the confidence for things hoped for, the proving of things not seen. David knew that all of his preparations, all of his wealth all of the final results would only become evident after he had died. Yes, some of the fruit of his work was already evident, but the final fulfillment lay in his future.
Likewise, we need to ask ourselves the reasons why we give offerings. Is it for an immediate result? Or is it done to the same level of faith that was exercised by the first king of Israel from the house of Judah?
A final thought
What kind of gathering together occurs in your congregation as the tithes and offerings are collected?
If the gathering is one of faith, confident for things hoped for and willing to prove God for things that are not yet seen (Hebrews 11:1 free translation) then it can be called a gathering of hope. A gathering that can be confident that God will be at work as a result of that giving.
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