Summary: Are you grateful? Or do you struggle with greed?
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“But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able thus to offer willingly? For all things come from you, and of your own have we given you” (v. 14).
In David’s prayer, he gives three reasons why we should give gratefully:
1. Everything I have COMES from God.
“O LORD our God, all this abundance that we have provided for building you a house for your holy name comes from your hand and is all your own” (v. 16).
Many people will not acknowledge that everything good comes from God. Paul writes, “Although they knew God [through creation], they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him” (Rom. 1:21). Mankind refused to give thanks to God for His blessings. Instead, they “worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator” (v. 25). It’s sad that many people are now saying “Turkey Day,” rather than “Thanksgiving Day.”
Before the Israelites entered the promised land, Moses warned them, saying, “Beware lest you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.’ You shall remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth” (Deut. 8:17-18). As James writes, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights” (James 1:17).
On January, 31, 1957, the Canadian Parliament proclaimed: “A Day of General Thanksgiving to Almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed…is to be observed on the second Monday in October.” The purpose of Thanksgiving is to thank God for all of the blessings that come from Him.
2. God is the OWNER, and I am the MANAGER.
“For all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, and you are exalted as head above all” (v. 11).
The manager of McDonald’s doesn’t say to the owner, “Sorry, you can’t have a hamburger.” The owner has entrusted the manager with his business, but everything still belongs to the owner. The same is true with us and God. I can give nothing to God that doesn’t already belong to Him.
3. My ability to GIVE is a GIFT from God.
“‘Who then will offer willingly, consecrating himself today to the LORD?’ Then the leaders of fathers’ houses made their freewill offerings as did also the leaders of the tribes, the commanders of thousands and of hundreds, and the officers over the king’s work” (v. 6).
The people gave 5,000 talents of gold (v. 7). What is the current value of 5,000 talents of gold?
• 1 talent = about 75 pounds
• 5,000 talents = about 374,000 pounds
• Current price of gold = $1,637/oz (USD)
• 5,000 talents (374,000 pounds) of gold = $9,822,000,000
“Then the people rejoiced because they had given willingly, for with a whole heart they had offered freely to the LORD. David the king also rejoiced” (v. 9). God could force us to give, but He allows us to give willingly.