David wanted to build a Temple in Jerusalem, but God had different plans. The job was to be left to his son Solomon. That did not deter David from preparing for the building. He called on the people to give generously and provide the materials for the building. David himself was generous and the people were generous.
It is this quality of generosity that we reflect on in our readings this week from both the Old and New Testaments.
vv 9-10 Reverence for the Lord is pure, lasting forever.
The laws of the Lord are true; each one is fair.
They are more desirable than gold, even the finest gold.
They are sweeter than honey, even honey dripping from the comb.
What is it that you want most? For a child on a hot day by the sea – an ice cream perhaps. The parents might well say a bit more peace and quiet, and the grandparents … well, you fill in the blank! Most of us would put in different things on different days. One person who spoke to me recently said ‘To get rid of this toothache!’ The request was duly granted by the Dentist a few days later; an extraction solved the problem.
Being realistic however, it is very difficult to pinpoint what it is that we most desire. To say ‘Money’ is trivial when deep down inside us there are longings for more satisfying life experiences and secure relationships. In writing this Psalm David embraces a massive perspective on life. He sees the whole universe as being in God’s hands, and so what could be more satisfying and significant than knowing what God wants, expressed in his commandments. To know God’s plan is better than to have top-quality gold and sweeter than the very best of honey.
Our ‘stuff-orientated’ generation will find that a difficult outlook to comprehend. For the Jesus-follower however, this is the very foundation stone of daily life: to discover what God wants of me today, and then to pursue it, is the basis of contentment and a satisfyingly useful life.
As we begin to reflect on generosity this week ask yourself thoughtfully, what is it that I really want in life, and what place has generosity in my lifestyle?