v 9. The people rejoiced over the offerings, for they had given freely and wholeheartedly to the Lord, and King David was filled with joy.
I don’t suppose for one moment that David set targets for people giving to build the Temple. What he did in fact was to set an example of generosity. There was no ‘Gifts Thermometer’ set up in the city, and probably no weekly subscription, and certainly no Gift Aid from the government! The people were just asked to give something for this great Temple building project – and as it was for God’s glory only the best would do. Was there moaning about it, or griping? NO. Were there long faces and committees to decide how much could be afforded? NO. Everything in this story shouts generosity to us. Spontaneous, wholehearted, overflowing, joyful generosity. No wonder Paul can write quite simply ‘For God loves a person who gives cheerfully’ (2 Corinthians 9:7). The givers rejoiced, and David too rejoiced when he saw the response to his request for gifts.
So here is wonderful thing – giving stuff away puts a smile on your face and joy in your heart! That is counter-cultural in our day and age.
There is a vast industry of Fund-raising: all trying to persuade seemingly unwilling givers to part with cash. Ranging from Jumble Sales to Raffles, from 5 km walks and local marathons to treks up Kilimanjaro, and Celebrity Concerts to Pub sing-songs. The theory is that you have to do something different and special to get a person to give money for a good cause. So note David’s generosity ‘I am donating more than 112 tons of goldfrom Ophir and 262 tons of refined silverto be used for overlaying the walls of the buildings and for the other gold and silver work to be done by the craftsmen. Now then, who will follow my example and give offerings to the Lord today?”‘
And what was the outcome? King David was filled with joy.
What a joy it is to participate in an event that reflects real generosity!