Monday, September 1, 2014
David had been gathering materials and drawing up plans for God's temple. His son, Solomon, would be given the task of the temple's actual construction - so saith The Lord - but David was preparing. Preparing for the future.
When David had all the materials ready he called all the people together and gave his personal offering to God. He gave 3,000 talents of gold and 7,000 talents of silver. How much is a talent? One talent equals 75 pounds in this country. That's 225,000 pounds of gold and 525,000 pounds of silver. Today's gold price is $1,287.01 . . . per ounce! Silver is at $19.45 per ounce. So, in today's money that equates to $4,633,236,000 worth of gold and $163,380,000 of silver. David gave 4.8 TRILLION dollars of his own money to God! And God's people gave even more!
After their offering of gold and silver (and I didn't even count the bronze, iron, cedar and precious stones) David offered up this prayer to God in the presence of the assembly - to all of Israel.
"10 . . .“Blessed are you, O Lord, the God of Israel our father, forever and ever. 11 Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, 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. 12 Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all. In your hand are power and might, and in your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all. 13 And now we thank you, our God, and praise your glorious name.
14 “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. 15 For we are strangers before you and sojourners, as all our fathers were. Our days on the earth are like a shadow, and there is no abiding. 16 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. 17 I know, my God, that you test the heart and have pleasure in uprightness. In the uprightness of my heart I have freely offered all these things, and now I have seen your people, who are present here, offering freely and joyously to you. 18 O Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, our fathers, keep forever such purposes and thoughts in the hearts of your people, and direct their hearts toward you.” - 1 Chronicles 29: 10-18
Now, I ask you to think of our current president, or ANY other president for that matter. Would you expect to hear such a prayer from him? No. Would you ever see any president giving his entire savings, IRA, retirement plan . . . all of it to God? No. Would you do something like that? Would I? Not very likely. Why not? It is because God only occupies a portion of our hearts. He wants our WHOLE heart. Ladies and gentlemen, you now know the biggest problem we have in our country. Our lack of reverence, our lack of willingness to give EVERYTHING we have to our God and King.
I can write out a check every Sunday and drop it in the offering plate and think I've done my duty. Yet I am the same person who feels uneasy when I see someone begging for money on the street. Where is my love for God then? Where is my willingness to give Him everything? We are simply deceiving ourselves.
My intent here is not in inflict a massive guilt trip on anyone. (I know, too late) My hope is that we might begin to think a little more about our own commitment to God. Is it at 100%? 10%? Is it less?
We here in this country tend to worship ourselves above all else. From the top leaders right down to the lowliest taxpayers. It's all about us, instead of us being all about God. These days it's all about entitlements. Our social security when we retire, unemployment compensation when we're out of work. It all about what we have coming to US. God is nowhere to be found. And that's a problem.
So what can we do?
Most of us will keep on doing what we are doing. Punching the clock at church, then walking out the doors and getting on with our lifestyle, forgetting all about Jesus and what He did. We need to reverse that. When we leave the doors of our churches and we need to be ALL about Jesus. We need to give everything we have to Him and to His Kingdom, including ourselves.
I'm not suggesting we empty our bank accounts and hand everything we have over to a homeless person. But I AM suggesting that we constantly look for ways we can contribute to others on behalf of our King. And then do it!
Compared to the rest of the world, God has entrusted us with much and as a result much is required of us. Gee, that almost sounded like a Bible verse . . .
"48 But the one who did not know, and did what deserved a beating, will receive a light beating. Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more." - Luke 12:48
Today is Labor Day. I find it ironic that this country takes a day off from work to celebrate . . . working. Instead, wouldn't this be a great day to celebrate the giver of ALL things, including our skills and abilities - the One True God? I think so. I challenge you to do something for God today. Don't just sit around and do nothing. We have been given much. Much is required. There are no days off from worshiping God. Let's do so today, in Jesus' name. Let us be encouraged by King David's prayer. Let us surrender all.
I Surrender All - Brian Littrell