It seems pretty often that I catch a news headline about a chain reaction of generosity breaking out at a Starbucks. It’s amazing how one act of kindness can lead to a morning filled with bright smiles and warm hearts as customers pay forward the blessing of a free cup of coffee.
Every chain reaction has to start with a catalyst. It has to begin with a person who decides to purchase not only their morning caffeine fix, but an extra hit for the car behind them.
In the life of David, King of Israel, we see a catalytic moment that pays forward for generations.
It began in the field of Araunah the Jebusite when David made an extravagant offering to the Lord on behalf of the nation.
But King David replied to Araunah, “No, I insist on paying the full price. I will not take for the Lord what is yours, or sacrifice a burnt offering that costs me nothing.” –1 Chronicles 21:24 (NIV)
Somehow through this encounter with the Lord, David discerned that at the very place of this sacrificial offering, the Temple of the Lord should be established.
Then David said, “The house of the Lord God is to be here, and also the altar of burnt offering for Israel.” –1 Chronicles 22:1 (NIV)
For the building of the Temple, on the very ground of his initial offering, David makes the most sacrificial offering ever recorded in human history. The staggering wealth of his offering is recorded in 1 Chronicles 22.
Then he called for his son Solomon and charged him to build a house for the Lord, the God of Israel. David said to Solomon: “My son, I had it in my heart to build a house for the Name of the Lord my God . . .“Now, my son, the Lord be with you, and may you have success and build the house of the Lord your God, as he said you would . . . “I have taken great pains to provide for the temple of the Lord a hundred thousand talents of gold, a million talents of silver, quantities of bronze and iron too great to be weighed, and wood and stone. And you may add to them. You have many workmen: stonecutters, masons and carpenters, as well as men skilled in every kind of work in gold and silver, bronze and iron—craftsmen beyond number. Now begin the work, and the Lord be with you.” –1 Chronicles 22:6-16 (NIV)
And, just like a happy morning at Starbucks, David’s generosity becomes a catalyst that ignites a nation to give toward the glorious vision of establishing a house for God to be worshipped on the earth.
Then the leaders of families, the officers of the tribes of Israel, the commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds, and the officials in charge of the king’s work gave willingly. They gave toward the work on the temple of God five thousand talents and ten thousand darics of gold, ten thousand talents of silver, eighteen thousand talents of bronze and a hundred thousand talents of iron. Any who had precious stones gave them to the treasury of the temple of the Lord in the custody of Jehiel the Gershonite. The people rejoiced at the willing response of their leaders, for they had given freely and wholeheartedly to the Lord. David the king also rejoiced greatly. –1 Chronicles 29:6-9 (NIV)
The story of this threshing floor turned Temple of the Lord is concluded by a verse in 2 Chronicles that ties all of the pieces together.
Then Solomon began to build the temple of the Lord in Jerusalem on Mount Moriah, where the Lord had appeared to his father David. It was on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite, the place provided by David. –2 Chronicles 3:1 (NIV)
Now, there is more to the background of this property and the purpose of God in this story, but what we see so clearly in this little sliver of history is the impact of sacrifice and extravagant generosity on the story of human history.
When a person makes a large purchase on their own behalf, a common question they may encounter is, “How much did that set you back?”
When an extravagant sacrifice is made on behalf of the Kingdom of God, the question that only eternity will be able to answer is, “How much did that set you forward?”
I wonder if Jesus was thinking about this field David purchased from Araunah when he told us this story about the Kingdom of God.
“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. –Matthew 13:44 (NIV)
Click here to listen to Pastor Eric’s message “The Sacrifice of Generosity.”
On the Radar – Church Holiday Schedule
- Wednesday, December 2 – Lifegroup / Children / Youth at 7:00pm
- Sunday, December 6 – Second Sunday of Advent
- Wednesday, December 9 – Lifegroup Christmas Party / Youth Christmas Party
- Sunday, December 13 – Third Sunday of Advent
- Wednesday, December 16 – Hayride, Caroling, & Chiminea Christmas Party
- Sunday, December 20 – Children’s Christmas Pageant
- Wednesday, December 23 – No Church Activities
- Sunday, December 27 – Last Sunday of 2009
- Wednesday, December 30 – No Church Activities
- Thursday, December 31 – New Year’s Night of Worship
Revelation Bible study this Tuesday from 12:00 – 1:00 pm in my office. Everyone is welcome to join in, just bring your Bible and a lunch box. Keep up with the progress at The Watchman’s Gaze.
You Heard it at EFC
Been trying to remember one of those awesome songs we sang? Here is our worship list from yesterday, for those of you who just absolutely need a copy for yourself. You can usually find them for purchase on itunes.com.
- “Happy Day” by Tim Hughes
- “Your Love Never Fails” by Jesus Culture
- “Healer” Kari Jobe version
- “Wonderful Maker” Chris Tomlin version
Next Sunday, December 6, is the second Sunday of Advent. We will continue our series on Sacrifice with a look at walking in Sacrifice in our relationships.