David’s Speech Hits Me in the Gut

A Meditative Reflection on 1 Chronicles 29:14-16

solomons_templeAfter David and his fellow Israelites make their offerings for the future building of the temple, David praises God. In 1 Chronicles 29:14-16 he says the following.

14 But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able thus to offer willingly? For all things come from you, and of your own have we given you. 15 For we are strangers before you and sojourners, as all our fathers were. Our days on the earth are like a shadow, and there is no abiding. 16 O Lord our God, all this abundance that we have provided for building you a house for your holy name comes from your hand and is all your own.

David’s speech here hits me in the gut—

“Who on earth am I that I am able to make such a voluntary sacrifice to you, YHWH? A part from you selecting me to serve you, I was merely a foreigner to you. I’m just a finite creature. I exist and then I’m gone. And yet, in that short span that is my life, I am permitted to serve the eternal God. Oh yeah, and all of this stuff I offer to you, all of my service, all of my sacrifice that I consider so costly, this stuff that I voluntarily give you— It all comes from you. You gave it to me! You created it! You own it! I have nothing to offer you that you lack. In no way do you need me. I ultimately have nothing to offer because it all comes from you. My very service itself is enabled by you.

So, why? What’s the point of all this, my worshiping and serving you? You don’t need me. I possess no bartering chips. I have nothing to offer you that you lack, nothing that you haven’t first given to me. The answer: you graciously grant me the privilege of serving you.”

Let me be forever mindful of these truths. Let me indulge in the sometimes difficult, sometimes discouraging, sometimes incredibly frustrating but mind-blowing privilege of serving the eternal God of the universe who needs none of it!

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