1 Chronicles 29:1-9
Furthermore David the king said to all the congregation, Solomon my son, whom alone God has chosen, is yet young and tender…
In the history of a nation or of a Church it frequently occurs that some great enterprise has to be carried through, like the building of the temple of the Lord on this great occasion. What, then, are the successive steps in the progress of the work?
I. PERSUASIVENESS on the part of those who project it. David was in a position to command, to require, to enact. But he evidently felt that this was an occasion on which it was far better to persuade. After pleading the youthfulness of his son (ver. 1), the sacredness of the work (ver. 1), the energy he himself had shown in the matter ("With all my might," ver. 2), the affection he felt, and the personal sacrifices he had made (vers. 3, 4), the consideration he had shown for the various necessities of the case (ver. 5), he appealed to the congregation, "Who then is willing?" If King David, under the Law, thus resorted to persuasion rather than to enactment, much more may we under the gospel. The spirit of the gospel is the spirit of persuasion. We need not wish for "compulsory powers;" we should rejoice that the better way is given us of convincing by argument, of affecting by entreaty, of winning by earnestness. And, on the part of those who are influenced, there must be -
II. WILLINGNESS. "Who then is willing?" (ver. 5). "Then the chief of the fathers... offered willingly (ver. 6). Nothing is gained of any vital consequence until the heart is willing, until every barrier of indifference and objection is broken down, and our will consents to go in the path of service, of contribution, of activity.
III. EAGERNESS. David had shown not only readiness, but eagerness. He prepared with all his might" (ver. 2); he "set his affection to the house of his God" (ver. 3). The people were not only prepared to respond to the king without demur, they consented cordially; "With perfect heart they offered willingly" (ver. 9). A very great step is taken when willingness passes into eagerness; when those whom we ask to serve not only come forward, but walk in the path of usefulness with elastic step, as those who have a heart as well as a hand in the undertaking.
IV. SERVICEABLENESS AND SUITABLENESS. David gave of the spoils of war (ver. 2), and also of his own personal property (ver. 3), things which would be of practical value for the work before them - goLd, silver, etc.; so did the people (vers. 7, 8). And not only generally serviceable, but specially suitable things he and they took care to offer; "Gold for things to be made of gold," etc. (ver. 2). David was mindful of the thought that commoner as well as rarer metals would be of use, and he furnished both. We must bring to the work of the Lord
(1) that which is practical and precious (gold and silver), than which we esteem as valuable for the purposes of human life; and
(2) that particular contribution which the special service demands - not cleverness when kindness is wanted, not learning when sympathy is demanded, not counsel when money is the only thing that will avail, not refinement when rugged simplicity is the desirable thing, etc.; gold for the things of gold, brass for the things of brass, etc.
V. GLADNESS. "Then the people rejoiced" (ver. 9). The outcome of devoted work for Christ and man is heartfelt joy. There is no deeper, stronger, purer joy than that of "consecrating our service unto the Lord" (ver. 5), and doing this with the "perfect heart" of entire willingness, giving ourselves freely and lavishly for him who gave himself for us. It is "more blessed to give than to receive." They who do not know the joy of the people at Jerusalem on this occasion, the joy of hearty devotedness, haw not ascended to the summit of human blessedness.
VI. CONTAGIOUSNESS. David communicated his enthusiasm to the people. Their fire of devotion was caught from the flame that was burning on the altar of his heart. Similarly their joy was communicated to him. "The people rejoiced... and David the king also rejoiced with great joy" (ver. 9). Unhappily, evil passions are extended through this channel of contagiousness; one mind passes on its sinful principles and unholy excitements. But, happily for the world, goodness is as diffusive as evil. We catch animation, zeal, consecration from one another; we light our lamps from the fire that burns in our brother's heart; we pass on our joy in God till "all the congregation" "rejoice with great joy" in him and in the victory of his cause. - C.
Parallel VersesKJV: Furthermore David the king said unto all the congregation, Solomon my son, whom alone God hath chosen, is yet young and tender, and the work is great: for the palace is not for man, but for the LORD God.