Lectio Continua: a continuous reading of every verse
Lectio Semi-continua: shorter reading selections from the passages
“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 you hand.”
~King David, 1 Chronicles 29:14
As we have already observed, Chronicles repeats some of the stories found in the book of Kings. The stories that the writer chooses are intended to encourage those living in exile. Therefore, the focus is on worship, especially in the recounting of King David’s reign. In the final two chapters of the first half of Chronicles, David makes final preparations for his death. His legacy will be the place of worship later referred to as Solomon’s Temple. And so his final years, and his final days, are spent preparing for his son to build a “cathedral” of worship to God. Up to this point, the people had worshipped God in a semi-permanent place, a tabernacle situated within a temple-like complex, called the House of God. (In some texts, such as 1 Chronicles 26:22, this complex is referred to as the “temple of the Lord,” but this must not be confused with the magnificent, permanent temple that bears Solomon’s name.)
There is a beautiful line in the final chapter of 1 Chronicles: “Everything comes from you, and we have given only what comes from your hand” (v. 29:14). After charging his son to be strong and courageous and to follow through with the construction, David prays before the entire assembly of the people. In his prayer, indeed with the very line quoted above, he acknowledges that he has nothing to give to God. Why? Because all that he gives God has given to him! At the moment when many men would boast of their “gift” to God, the king credits Him. Everything comes from God, wealth, honor, strength, power (1 Chron. 29:12). Everything. So when we give God our time, talent, or treasure, we are not really giving Him anything. We are simply acknowledging God as the Source of our gift and glorifying Him as the Giver of all things.
Is this the way you view all that you have? EVERYTHING? Look around you right now. God has given you everything you have. And whenever you “give back” (thus the phrase) something to Him, whether time or talent or treasure, you are offering a gift that has always belonged to Him. Because, as David said to the Lord, “everything in heaven and earth is yours” (1 Chron. 29:11). Praise Him now for everything, and when you give, acknowledge Him as the GIVER of all things.