Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Freely Give

Warm air swirled around her feet, but she could smell the change of seasons approaching. Yaqar yanked the headdress around her head a little looser in order to allow the air to swirl around her neck. The air relieved the intense heat, and Yaqar hurried along after the crowd. In her fist she clutched the most valuable thing she owned.

A blue, precious stone.

Her father had given it to her many seasons ago, and it was Yaqar's most prized possession. Her father had called it a sapphire stone. Whatever it was, she knew it was priceless.

Yaqar joined the throng of people flooding the street to Jehiel's house. She was here for the same reason they all were.

To give to the Lord.

King David had been gathering supplies for awhile, but King David had announced that God had not chosen him to build His Temple. Rather the Lord had chosen that Solomon, King David's son, to be the one to build the Temple. So until then King David was doing as much as he could to prepare. His willing spirit had rubbed off on his people. With one voice and one accord, the nation of Israel had determined to give to the Lord.

After King David's speech, the common people had rushed to their homes and taken every valuable item in their possession, especially precious stones. They were now flocking the streets to get to the house of the man King David had appointed in charge of the these offerings.

Without opening her fist, Yaqar rubbed her thumb along the familiar chip in the stone's otherwise smooth surface. The chip had occurred two years ago when she had been startled and dropped the stone she had been admiring. This stone was the most precious thing in the world to her, but she would give it willingly to her God.

Based on 1 Chronicles 29:8-9

"And whoever had precious stones gave them to the treasury of the house of the Lord, in the care of Jehiel the Gershonite. Then the people rejoiced because they had given willingly, for with a whole heart they had offered freely to the Lord. David the king also rejoiced greatly." 1 Chronicles 29:8-9

When I read these verses, they just blessed my heart. Why? Stop and think about this for a minute. The Temple wasn't even built yet, because we know that God told David that he wanted his son, Solomon, to build the Temple. David was just trying to help Solomon and honor God as much as he was able by providing a lot of the materials.

The people saw all of this preparation. They wanted to help David with that and bless the Lord themselves. They freely and happily gave to God. They didn't just give a blank check either. Anyone with precious stones gave them to the treasury of the house of the Lord. Today, that would be like taking an engagement ring and giving it to the church because the church might need it someday.

These people freely gave what was precious to them to God.

Are we like that? Are we willing to take what is precious to us, and give it to God?

This line of thought immediately makes me think of Abraham and Isaac. Abraham took his one and only son, and was willing to sacrifice him to God. He took his own precious son, and freely offered him.

What about Jesus? God sent His own precious Son, and Jesus willingly gave Himself as a sacrifice for us.

We need to freely give of our lives, our hearts, our time, and our stuff to serve God. It shouldn't be because we have to, but because we want to give to God! It shouldn't be because of a necessity, but because of a longing to bless God! We need to have hearts like all these people who gave to God freely and joyously. Isn't it better to give to God because we want to, then grudgingly after He's been hounding us for months on end? 

V. Joy Palmer

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