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Giving Willingly, 1 Chronicles 29:1-9
First Chronicles, chapter 29, might be entitled "The Joy of Willing Giving." That is surely the greatest lesson contained in it. David began this part of his discourse by emphasizing two things about Solomon, and another about his task. First, Solomon was God’s choice to be Israel’s next king. Perhaps David already suspected there was an "Adonijah party," who preferred an older, more experienced one of the princes to be king. That such suspicions might have been well-founded is apparent from the sequel, recorded in the first chapter of First Kings.
Second, Solomon was indeed yet young and tender. The language of the original, as implied also in the English, indicates that he was perhaps no more than twenty years of age. Still, his being the choice of God made age of no consequence, and those who wished God’s will to be done should acknowledge that (cf. 1 Timothy 4:12).
Third, the task awaiting Solomon was no light one. The house of God was to be no ordinary structure. It was a palace for the Lord, not for man. It was to be lavish and spectacular. David knew it was not the work of one man, but would require much preparation, and wholehearted cooperation. It was not in the power of Solomon, though he had not been a youth, to have accomplished it alone.
But David had set the example for all the great men of Israel. Herein appears another purpose of the king in calling the great assembly, to challenge the wealthy to contribute of their riches to the building of the temple. David said he had prepared with all his personal means available to provide things for the work. His contributions consisted of gold, silver, brass, iron exotic woods, onyx stones, jewels for settings and beauty, and marble for building stones. Lest some should think that David had not personally sacrificed of his own wealth he proceeded to tell them that in addition to all that had come from the spoils of war he had given from his own, because he loved the Lord and longed to build Him a house. The gold of Ophir he provided was of the very finest to be had in that ancient time. A recent evaluation of the gold, according to present day values, is set at $3,280,000,000, and the silver at $152,880,000.
So David challenged the assembled princes, elders, captains and all the great men to follow his example and give out of willing hearts for the temple requirements. They responded willingly and pledged thousands of talents of gold and silver (about $218,400,000), beside much brass (or bronze, more accurately) and iron. Some also gave precious stones. It was put into the charge of Jehiel the Gershonite, whom David had made overseer of such (see 1 Chronicles 26:22).
The spirit of the Lord surged in the hearts of the people, and they rejoiced to be able to contribute to the construction of His house. No one gave out of coercion, and the heart of each. was of perfect willingness, and all were happy. Their aged king was very happy and rejoiced with great joy. The greatest joy of the Lord’s people should be in willing service to Him (Philippians 3:1; Philippians 4:4).
David Is Thankful, Verses 10-19
The response of the people to the appeals of David caused his heart to overflow with praise of the Lord. He poured out thanksgiving for many evidences of God before them. He praised Him for His eternal benevolence. He lauded Him as God of superlatives covering the entire scope of man’s experience, a God of greatness, power, glory, victory, and majesty. Certainly Israel had observed all these things in their God. He showed Himself greater than the gods of Egypt and Canaan, His power was evidenced in numerous miraculous events from the beginning of their nation, His glory was seen at Mount Sinai and on other occasions, it had been His victories which had enabled Israel to maintain themselves, and His majesty in comparison to others could not be denied.
Thus David concluded that the kingdom over which he ruled, and over which Solomon was shortly to reign, was not the kingdom of David, nor of Solomon, but the kingdom of the Lord. Thus all kingdoms of the world are His, and He will soon assume that right (Revelation 19:16). Because it is the Lord’s, and He owns it all, David acknowledged in the hearing of the assembly that all the riches it contained, and all the honor consistent with them, belonged to God. His power and might made it all possible, for which the king gave humble thanks.
David could see there is no right of man to be proud of what he does for God, for he does nothing but such as is made possible by the Lord’s goodness to him. When men call themselves giving to God they are simply returning a portion of that the Lord has given to them. Man’s days on earth are few and fleet, but God is eternal. Those things David and the assembly gave for God’s house (and those things men give today) are already His, and he can reclaim them. Man is just the steward of them for the few years of his lifetime, and God knows his heart and what his attitude is in giving to His cause.
Yet David rejoiced greatly that the people evidenced an awareness of this also in their liberal contribution. He called on Him as the God of the patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, to grant that this spiritual awakening in the hearts of the leaders of Israel might slot fail, but that they might continue with prepared hearts to serve Him. David concluded with a prayer for Solomon that his heart might also remain perfect before the Lord, to keep all His commandments, statutes, and testimonies, that he might not fail to build the palace (temple) for which David had prepared.
Assembly concluded, verses 20-21
After David’s conclusion of his personal prayer and thanksgiving, he called on all the assembly he had gathered to bless the Lord also. Again they responded heartily, bowing their heads in worship of the Lord and in reverence for the king.
The joining of the name of the king with that of the Lord in their worship by no means implies that they worshipped David in the same manner as they did the Lord, or even as did many in pagan nations toward their rulers. The people celebrated the occasion with three thousand sacrifices, a thousand each of bullocks, rams, and lambs for burnt offerings. It was a time of festivity, for the people were glad in the Lord.
(Author’s Note: The remainder of First Chronicles, chapter 29, sums up the reign of David and places Solomon on the throne. Chronologically it is parallel with 1Kings chapters 1 and 2, and will be discussed in connection with those chapters below.)
see note on: 1 Kings 1:32
see note on: 1 Kings 2:12
see note on: 1 Kings 2:1
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Text Courtesy of Blessed Hope Foundation and the Baptist Training Center.
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on 1 Chronicles 29". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/
the Fourth Week after Epiphany