The Review and Herald

465/1902

December 11, 1888

David's Gifts to the Temple

EGW

“But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort? For all things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee.” 1 Chronicles 29:14. The time when David was to be gathered to his fathers had almost come; but before his career closed, he turned his attention to the sanctuary to be erected for the Lord. David was not the one chosen of the Lord to build the temple; but he had no jealousy in his heart on this account, and manifested none the less zeal and earnestness in its behalf. He had prepared in abundance the most costly material,—gold, silver, onyx stones, and stones of divers colors, marble, and the most precious woods. And now all this valuable treasure that he had collected must be committed to others; for other hands must build the house for the ark, the symbol of God's presence. RH December 11, 1888, Art. B, par. 1

David summons the princes of the congregation to receive his legacy in trust, but he has a special appeal to make to the people before he commits to them all this substance for the temple of the Lord. He says, “I have prepared with all my might for the house of my God,” and then goes on to enumerate the materials he had gathered. More than this, he says: “I have set my affection to the house of my God, I have of mine own proper good, of gold and silver, which I have given to the house of my God, over and above all that I have prepared for the holy house, even three thousand talents of gold, of the gold of Ophir, and seven thousand talents of refined silver, to overlay the walls of the houses withal.” “Who then,” he asks of the assembled multitude who had brought their liberal gifts, “who then is willing to consecrate his service this day unto the Lord?” RH December 11, 1888, Art. B, par. 2

“Then the chief of the fathers and princes of the tribes of Israel, and the captains of thousands and of hundreds, with the rulers of the king's work, offered willingly, and gave for the service of the house of God of gold five thousand talents and ten thousand drams, and of silver ten thousand talents, and of brass eighteen thousand talents, and one hundred thousand talents of iron. And they with whom precious stones were found gave them to the treasure of the house of the Lord, by the hand of Jehiel the Gershonite. Then the people rejoiced, for that they offered willingly, because with perfect heart they offered willingly to the Lord: and David the king also rejoiced with great joy. Wherefore David blessed the Lord before all the congregation: and David said, Blessed be thou, Lord God of Israel our father, forever and ever. Thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and thou art exalted as head above all. Both riches and honor come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all. Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name. But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort? for all things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee. For we are strangers before thee, and sojourners, as were all our fathers: our days on the earth are as a shadow, and there is none abiding. O Lord our God, all this store that we have prepared to build thee an house for thine holy name cometh of thine hand, and is all thine own. I know also, my God, that thou triest the heart, and hast pleasure in uprightness. As for me, in the uprightness of mine heart I have willingly offered all these things: and now have I seen with joy thy people, which are present here, to offer willingly unto thee. O Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, our fathers, keep this forever in the imagination of the thoughts of the heart of thy people, and prepare their heart unto thee: and give unto Solomon my son a perfect heart, to keep thy commandments, thy testimonies, and thy statutes, and to do all these things, and to build the palace, for the which I have made provision. And David said to all the congregation, Now bless the Lord your God. And all the congregation blessed the Lord God of their fathers, and bowed down their heads, and worshipped the Lord, and the king.” 1 Chronicles 29:6-20. RH December 11, 1888, Art. B, par. 3

With deepest interest the king had gathered the rich material for building and beautifying the temple. He had composed the glorious anthems that in after years should echo through its courts. Now his heart was made glad in God, as the chief of the fathers and the princes of Israel so nobly responded to his appeal, and offered themselves to the important work before them. And as they gave their service, they were disposed to do more. They swelled the gifts, giving of their own possessions into the treasury. David had felt deeply his own unworthiness in gathering the material for the house of God, and the expression of loyalty in the ready response of the nobles of his kingdom, as they came forward, with willing hearts dedicating their treasures to Jehovah, and devoting themselves to his service, filled him with joy. But it was God alone who had imparted this disposition to his people. He must be glorified, not man. God must receive the honor and praise due to his name. It was he who had provided the people with the riches of earth, and his Spirit had made them willing to bring their precious things for the temple. It was all of the Lord; if his divine power had not wrought with human effort, moving upon the hearts of the people, the king's efforts would have been in vain, and the temple would never have been erected. RH December 11, 1888, Art. B, par. 4

All that man receives of God's bounty still belongs to God. Whatever God has bestowed in the valuable and beautiful things of earth, is placed in the hands of men to test them,—to sound the depths of their love for him and their appreciation of his favors. Whether it be the treasures of wealth or of intellect, they are to be laid, a willing offering, at the feet of Jesus; the giver acknowledging, meanwhile, with David, “For all things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee.” RH December 11, 1888, Art. B, par. 5

It is an honor bestowed upon man that God should intrust to his keeping the riches of earth, and it is done that he may co-operate with God by using these precious gifts in advancing the Lord's work in the earth. None of us can do without the blessing of God, but God can do his work without the aid of man, if he so choose. But this is not his plan; he has given to every man his work, and he trusts men with treasures of wealth or of intellect, as his stewards. Whatever you render to God is, through his mercy and generosity, placed to your account as a faithful steward. But ever bear in mind, “Of thine own have we given thee.” RH December 11, 1888, Art. B, par. 6

This is not a work of merit on man's part. However wonderful the powers and abilities of man, he possesses nothing which God did not give him, and which he cannot withdraw, if these precious tokens of his favor are not appreciated, and rightly applied. Angels of God, with clear, fine perceptions unclouded by sin, recognize the endowments of Heaven as bestowed with the intention that they be returned in such a way as to add to the glory of the great Giver. For one to use these God-given capabilities to procure his own happiness, or to promote his own glory, dishonors the Creator. Brethren and sisters in Christ, God calls for the consecration to his service of every faculty he has given you. He wants you to say, with David: “All things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee.” RH December 11, 1888, Art. B, par. 7

E. G. White.