One of my favorite stories in the Bible is one of extravagant generosity. In fact, it’s so extravagant that it almost seems highly unlikely that it would ever reoccur in today’s world. This story unfolds in the book of 1 Chronicles where King David (the king of Israel) desired to build a temple in Jerusalem where his people could worship the Lord.
David develops the plans for the temple, but the Lord ultimately chooses David’s son Solomon to build the temple because of David’s past sins. At this point, one might think David would be discouraged, but instead, he embraces God’s commands and gladly hands the building of the temple over to his son. Not only that, but David donates everything that he has in his personal treasury for the building of the temple.
How much was everything to David, you might ask? It was a staggering 188 tons of gold, 10,000 gold coins, 375 tons of silver, 675 tons of bronze, and 3750 tons of iron, plus precious stones! To put this donation in perspective for us, if Bill Gates, Elon Musk, and Jeff Bezos combined their fortunes they could never come close to contributing this much to an offering, even if they wanted to.
What makes this offering extravagant isn’t merely the unimaginable monetary value of it; rather, it’s David’s heart in doing it.
I don’t know about you, but if I had just given away “everything” in my “treasury,” I would probably have a moment where I would question my sanity, and so would others! But David’s heart doesn’t skip a beat. Directly after making the offering, David clues us into one of the most important doctrinal truths about how we should think about our possessions.
In 1st Chronicles 29 verse 13, David sings: “But who am I, and who are my people, that we could give anything to you? Everything we have has come from you, and we give you only what you first gave us!”
Later he says, “It all belongs to you!”.
David continues by reminding us that our time here in this world is brief…it is but for a moment, and we are just a passing shadow.
What we learn from David is that we need to stop thinking about our money, possessions, and resources as ‘OUR money’, ‘OUR possession’, and ‘OUR resources.’ We can’t even “give” them to God because they are already His. He needs nothing from us. What we are called to do in our short time in this world is to steward the resources God has given us.
As I was reading these verses this week, I was reminded that “IT’S ALL HIS.” I had to ask, “Is how I steward what God has given me reflect that I truly believe that all that I have is all His?”
As you start thinking about 2023, I encourage you to spend some time praying about your heart toward giving. Do you think of giving as taking a percentage of what is yours, or do you think of it as stewarding what He has entrusted to you for His purposes?
Like King David, if we’d see extravagant generosity become a reality in our lives, we must not be possessed by our possessions. Rather, we must see afresh that ALL we have is given to us by God and belongs to God. As followers of Jesus, there must be a shift in our thinking from ‘mine’ to ‘His’. And as we make this shift, extravagant generosity will begin flowing freely from us to those around us.