Expositor's Dictionary of Texts
And David assembled all the princes of Israel, the princes of the tribes, and the captains of the companies that ministered to the king by course, and the captains over the thousands, and captains over the hundreds, and the stewards over all the substance and possession of the king, and of his sons, with the officers, and with the mighty men, and with all the valiant men, unto Jerusalem.The Willing Mind
1 Chronicles 28:9
God does not enter man's heart till man himself opens the door. The turning-point with a man is when he surrenders freely his will to God. God's greatest power towards a man is seen in subduing his will. It is the strongest fortress that He takes. The service which He requires from His people is a willing service.
I. A Willing Mind Triumphs over Difficulties.—There are those who cast about for or make difficulties, the unwilling. They admit the force of your reasoning, but create barriers, or at least exaggerate them. Like children that deface their book that they may escape learning their lessons. Another class have uncommonly clear eyes for seeing difficulties—clearer than for seeing duties. Difficulties are to them like the large letters on great posters, and duties like the small letters which people pass without observing. Such people have weak inclinations. They would rather be good and do good, but they are, on the whole, open for influences in one direction or another, just as they come. 'A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.' 'Willing,' in the text, is opposed not only to unwilling, but to mere inclining. The mere wisher dreams, the wilier prepares for work. For example, in the matter of temptation. How many who complain of temptations have really a strongly willing mind to resist them? So with attendance at the house of God. So with working for Christ. Very feasible reasons can be given sometimes for the omission of such duties. Counter-arguments may seem weak in comparison, but the 'willing mind' would cut its way through all.
II. A Willing Mind Makes Duty Pleasant.—Duty and pleasure are often opposed to each other. They set out with different objects, and own different authorities. The very essence of duty is the sacrifice of our own will. 'Even Christ pleased not Himself.' 'I came not to do Mine own will.' Christ's will from the first was lost in His Father's; His very meat and drink was to do His will. Man, on the other hand, is naturally in arms against duty—i.e. against God. Duty comes awkward to him—like learning to work tools. For a time old habit makes the proper handling very irksome and tiresome, but after we have learned the art there is pleasure in it. Then what is right and what is pleasing are the same thing. So, in room of trying to shirk duty, set about bringing your mind to it.
III. A Willing Mind Ennobles Service.—It is not hard work which constitutes slavery. The difference between the slave and the freeman is the 'willing mind'. It was the indolent servant who thought his lord an 'austere' master. To the willing mind all service is alike noble—anointing the head or washing the feet. What would be irksome and be felt humbling to others is a joy to the mother of a child.
IV. A Willing Mind Makes our Offerings Acceptable.—'To the noble mind rich gifts wax poor when givers prove unkind.' God will be contented with nothing but the heart. Serve Him with a perfect heart and with a 'willing mind'.
References.—XXVIII. 9.—G. Brooks, Outlines of Sermons, p. 127. XXVIII. 10.—A. G. Brown, Penny Pulpit, No. 1061. XXIX. 1.—C. Perren, Outline Sermons, p. 228. G. W. Rutherford, The Key of Knowledge, p. 216. G. G. Bradley, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xx. p. 289. XXIX. 5.—C. Perren, Revival Sermons, p. 220. F. E. Paget, Helps and Hindrances to the Christian Life, vol. ii. p. 254.
Then David the king stood up upon his feet, and said, Hear me, my brethren, and my people: As for me, I had in mine heart to build an house of rest for the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and for the footstool of our God, and had made ready for the building:
But God said unto me, Thou shalt not build an house for my name, because thou hast been a man of war, and hast shed blood.
Howbeit the LORD God of Israel chose me before all the house of my father to be king over Israel for ever: for he hath chosen Judah to be the ruler; and of the house of Judah, the house of my father; and among the sons of my father he liked me to make me king over all Israel:
And of all my sons, (for the LORD hath given me many sons,) he hath chosen Solomon my son to sit upon the throne of the kingdom of the LORD over Israel.
And he said unto me, Solomon thy son, he shall build my house and my courts: for I have chosen him to be my son, and I will be his father.
Moreover I will establish his kingdom for ever, if he be constant to do my commandments and my judgments, as at this day.
Now therefore in the sight of all Israel the congregation of the LORD, and in the audience of our God, keep and seek for all the commandments of the LORD your God: that ye may possess this good land, and leave it for an inheritance for your children after you for ever.
And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever.
Take heed now; for the LORD hath chosen thee to build an house for the sanctuary: be strong, and do it.
Then David gave to Solomon his son the pattern of the porch, and of the houses thereof, and of the treasuries thereof, and of the upper chambers thereof, and of the inner parlours thereof, and of the place of the mercy seat,
And the pattern of all that he had by the spirit, of the courts of the house of the LORD, and of all the chambers round about, of the treasuries of the house of God, and of the treasuries of the dedicated things:
Also for the courses of the priests and the Levites, and for all the work of the service of the house of the LORD, and for all the vessels of service in the house of the LORD.
He gave of gold by weight for things of gold, for all instruments of all manner of service; silver also for all instruments of silver by weight, for all instruments of every kind of service:
Even the weight for the candlesticks of gold, and for their lamps of gold, by weight for every candlestick, and for the lamps thereof: and for the candlesticks of silver by weight, both for the candlestick, and also for the lamps thereof, according to the use of every candlestick.
And by weight he gave gold for the tables of shewbread, for every table; and likewise silver for the tables of silver:
Also pure gold for the fleshhooks, and the bowls, and the cups: and for the golden basons he gave gold by weight for every bason; and likewise silver by weight for every bason of silver:
And for the altar of incense refined gold by weight; and gold for the pattern of the chariot of the cherubims, that spread out their wings, and covered the ark of the covenant of the LORD.
All this, said David, the LORD made me understand in writing by his hand upon me, even all the works of this pattern.
And David said to Solomon his son, Be strong and of good courage, and do it: fear not, nor be dismayed: for the LORD God, even my God, will be with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee, until thou hast finished all the work for the service of the house of the LORD.
And, behold, the courses of the priests and the Levites, even they shall be with thee for all the service of the house of God: and there shall be with thee for all manner of workmanship every willing skilful man, for any manner of service: also the princes and all the people will be wholly at thy commandment.