Lectionary Calendar
Saturday, July 20th, 2024
the Week of Proper 10 / Ordinary 15
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Bible Commentaries
1 Chronicles 29

Parker's The People's BibleParker's The People's Bible

Verse 1

"Handfuls of Purpose,"

For All Gleaners

"Furthermore David the king said unto all the congregation, Solomon my son, whom alone God hath chosen, is yet young and tender, and the work is great: for the palace is not for man, but for the Lord God." 1 Chronicles 29:1 .

David was father as well as king, and when the father spoke he exalted the very office which he sustained as sovereign. The son is always young to the father; the son becomes doubly filial when the Spirit of God is seen to be working in him with a view to carrying forward the father's own chosen purposes. David recognised that the work was greater than the worker. Solomon was "young and tender," but the work was "great." We must make right uses of our personal circumstances; some would have said, Because I am young and tender, much cannot be expected of me: others, of nobler quality of mind, would say, Being young and tender, the greater shall be the glory of the Lord, because of my littleness, yea, my nothingness. Even kings should see that the work of life is great. When men imagine that they are greater than their work, when that work itself is God's, they begin to decrease in strength and to fall away into pitiable humiliation. The ideal must always be loftier than the actual. Every David and every Solomon must see that the thing yet to be done is greater than anything that has yet been accomplished. The great harvest has always to be garnered, the great battle has always to be won, the great love has always to be revealed. It would seem as if we had never seen high noon yet: the sun must be always on the point of giving us some fuller light, yea, surprising himself into an intenser brilliance. Thus are we drawn on by fact and by illusion, by common letter and by apocalyptic vision, to higher uses of strength and to nobler anticipations of hope. Even David could but prepare, and Solomon could but pray: the fire, the inspiration of the energy, must come down from above. David had a right to exhort, because he had done so much himself "I have prepared with all my might for the house of my God;" and again, "Because I have set my affection to the house of my God, I have of mine own proper good, of gold and silver, which I have given to the house of my God, over and above all that I have prepared for the holy house." David having done this much himself had a right to inquire what others were doing. After such a statement as he had just made he had a right to say, "Who, then, is willing to consecrate his service this day unto the Lord? " It is better to set examples than to make speeches; the speeches themselves may be necessary after the examples have been set.

Verse 8

"Handfuls of Purpose,"

For All Gleaners

"And they with whom precious stones were found gave them." 1 Chronicles 29:8 .

Nothing was withheld from the treasure of the house of the Lord. The people seemed to be inspired by the ambition to find out the very best, and to give it. All had not precious stones to give, but those with whom they were found parted with them with gratitude and rapture of soul. There is a giving which is a true getting. When we put our jewellery into the hand of God it becomes us best. The reference now need not be to precious stones, to talents of gold and talents of silver, but it may be to genius, it may be to special gifts of mind or body: some men have music, and they ought to give it to the treasure of the house of the Lord; some have sagacity, influence, understanding of the times; some have great inventiveness, some have much actual material gold: every one must give what he has. What will be the consequence of this consecration of person and property? That is explained in these words: "Then the people rejoiced, for that they offered willingly, because with perfect heart they offered willingly to the Lord: and David the king also rejoiced with great joy." After all this giving came gladness, came prayer and praise, came almost heaven itself. David said to all the congregation, Now bless the Lord your God. We bless God in giving him what we have, and having given him all that was in our hands, our hearts seem to be liberated and enlarged that they may offer still louder and purer praise. David and the people were conscious that they had done nothing of themselves. There is no taint of vanity in all this sacrifice of thanksgiving; in the midst of it we hear these explanatory words, "All things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee." Such are the inspirations and such are the delights which are open to us as prophets, poets, suppliants, and toilers in the kingdom of God.

Bibliographical Information
Parker, Joseph. "Commentary on 1 Chronicles 29". Parker's The People's Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jpb/1-chronicles-29.html. 1885-95.
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