The context is King David praising God through giving during the initial phase of building the temple. His heart was full of joy that giving was a natural overflow for God’s future kingdom. When it comes to giving to the church, I think the challenge is not how much we can give but how we see giving in the light of our faith. When we have a proper lens of giving, God’s ownership, and our response to praise Him, it will be easier to give our all-in-all to God.
Read 1 Chronicles 29:1-20. This post is a succinct exposition of King David’s principles focusing on giving. He said, “But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand” (verse 14 emphasis mine).
- Generous giving ought to be freely and wholeheartedly (verses 6, 9).
- ‘willingly’ pertains to by choice but with eagerness and pleasure–without any coercion, manipulation, guilt-tripping, and ceiling/flooring.
- Generous giving signifies maturity and leadership (verses 3, 6).
- King David was not the only person who gave but the family leaders, kingdom officers, and commanders also gave willingly for God’s glory.
- We can point out that when we give, we are somehow influencing others to give.
- Generous giving produces ‘everlasting’ joy (verse 9).
- In the New Covenant perspective, this is what we mean by “Cheerful and Freely Giving” (2 Corinthians 9:7-8) “You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us, your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God” (2 Corinthians 9:11). This relates to the next point as well.
- Generous giving gives praise to God (verses 10, 13, 20).
- The epitome of giving is praising God; giving is an act of worship.
- Generous giving acknowledges God’s overall ownership (verses 11, 14, 16).
- Similar to Deuteronomy 8:17–19 (NIV): “You may say to yourself, ‘My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.’ But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.”
- We are merely returning to God what belongs to him: power, wealth, honor, and strength.
- Generous giving affirms that you are God’s children (verse 17).
- Since God is a generous giver, his children ought to be. It is only a natural affirmation for those who truly give that they belong to the most generous of all.
- Generous giving is a test of faith and integrity—a challenge (verse 17).
- In the context of building the temple, David’s purpose of giving to praise God is through this life-long project, but he knows this will not be easy—hence, he bestows this goal on Solomon. (22:6)
In this passage (1 Chronicles 29:1-20), King David exemplified a life of generously giving his resources, finances, possessions, and even his whole life to praise God. May we all have the same heart as David who was known as a “man after God’s own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14).
Lastly, it is significant that the local body is aware of the vision or plan of the church. In the passage, David made sure the entire body, officials, and people know that they have a goal to build the temple. Thus, contextually, the church ought to see the purpose of its giving.