“But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand.1 Chronicles 29:14 NIV
These words come from David after he and the leaders of the people had given an amazing gift for the construction of the temple that Solomon would build. This gift included 300 tons of gold and over 600 tons of silver. An unimaginably lavish gift. Yet David did not take pride in this gift like we might have expected him to do. Rather, he was humbled in his, and his peoples, ability to do this.
Who am I. And who are my people. David is at the height of his power, one of the most powerful men in the world he knew. And his people were a part of a significant kingdom that stretched the length of the eastern Mediterranean. Yet still he saw himself as that humble shepherd boy that God had raised up to greatness. He was nothing. And God was everything in David’s mind.
David had led his army in the conquest of many peoples and had broght home immense riches. It would have had to be tempting to claim some credit for that and claim ownership over those riches. But David saw them as having been given by God. And so, the offering he had made to God was simply giving back a part of what God had given him. It was, after all, God’s in the first place. So David was giving, not of his own riches, but of the riches that God had provided.
Giving Back to God
And what a wonderful example for us today. What do I have that God did not first give to me. I am simply a steward of God’s possessions. So I should be able to return them to him without any thought of sacrifice or reluctance. I can give joyfully out of the abundance God has blessed me with, knowing that he can continue to bless me richly.