Wednesday, November 28, 2012

What Does the Bible Say About Giving?

We know we should be giving to God and charity. There are so many that ask for our contributions. What should we give and to who?  An ancient king may give us guidance.

"Besides in my devotion to the temple of my God I now give my personal treasures of gold and silver for the temple of my God over and above everything I have provided for this holy temple; three thousand talents of gold (gold of Ophir) and seven thousand talents of refined silver, for the overlay of the walls of the buildings, for the gold work and the silver work and all the work to be done. Now who is willing to consecrate himself today to the Lord?"  Chronicles 29:3-5, NIV*. 

The quote above was when King David was dedicating his fortune to building the temple in Jerusalem.

David sets an example of devotion.  It was a theme that ran throughout his life, and this generous giving to the building of the temple may be the results of a lifelong attitude and practice of giving. He was faithful in little and was given much. As king he could have levied a tax, or commanded nobles to give a percentage; instead he sets an example and gives. He did not preach giving- he practiced giving. His devotion was not a religion, creed, system, but to a personal God he loved.

There is much disagreement as to the exact sums of the treasure given, both in measure and value. What is clear is that by any calculation is it was a lot. The gold and silver was above everything else he gave already; he gave and then gave some more. The gold of Ophir was considered the best and finest of gold mined in the times of David. This detail suggest his attitude of giving mandates the best not second best or the left over.

To consecrate something has come to mean it is given for service to God. The ancient word for this refers to a full hand, the image is of generous giving in an outstretched hand without reserve. To consecrate yourself is to give yourself away to serving.  David's example of giving of material goods led to the challenge of giving not only material goods but one's self.

David asked the leaders of the people, "...who is willing to consecrate himself today to the Lord?" He did not command it and neither does God. God is asking us if are we willing to give ourselves to him, his service, his worship, his kingdom. We may give in the offering plate at church, or to charities, or many worthy causes but the better and nobler is to give ourselves to God. Adron

To learn more about coming to God follow this link: Click Here.

*To read this verse in another translation follow this link: Online Parallel Bible.
(c)Adron Dozat
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© Adron 11/28/12