1 Chronicles 29:9 The people rejoiced at the willing response of their leaders, for they had given freely and wholeheartedly to the Lord. David the king also rejoiced greatly.
For a people who love God, it is a joyful thing indeed when their leaders prioritize God and give to Him. We tend to rejoice when things are given to us, but it is a much purer joy when things are given to God. There was no personal greed in what is described here. In all honesty, there was probably some rivalry as to who could give how much, but that’s in a different category. There should be joy when we can give as well. In talking to the Ephesian elders on his way to Jerusalem, Paul quoted Jesus as saying something that isn’t recorded in any of the Gospels, yet seems very much in line with everything else Jesus said: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:35) That was in the context of Paul himself having lived a giving life, rather than seeking to get material things for himself. We are taught by society to be covetous and envious, but that is a strategy of the devil. In God’s economy, the greater joy is in giving.
I will always be grateful for how my parents did Christmas presents. Rather than all the children tearing into their packages at once, we took turns, adults as well as children, opening one gift at a time. Every gift was understood as having come from someone specific, and thanks were to be expressed. I well remember my joy at seeing a gift I had chosen be opened and appreciated, even when the funds for the purchase of the gift had come from my parents. “Giver” is not a major motivational gift for me, (Romans 12:6-8) but I still get a lot of joy in seeing my gift meet another’s need. As a pastor, I am blessed indeed to see the people give to God, just as this passage describes. I realize that I have spoken on giving with more frequency in the past year than I have at any other time in my ministry, even when we were struggling to get this building and land paid for. God alone knows the reasons for that. I dreamed a few days ago about receiving a huge sum myself, and it wasn’t a particularly pleasant dream! I am to keep my priorities in line with God and His kingdom, delighting to be part of His “supply chain,” so that His will may be done on His schedule for His glory.
Father, thank You for this reminder. I do pray that everyone in my care would discover the joy of giving, not just to advance programs that You desire and intend, but for their own spiritual growth and blessing, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!