Friday, May 29, 2009

David blesses God


It is funny how some of the most enduring things we do in life are a sideline, an afterthought, a thing that we did while the main part of our life was charging full steam ahead.

For David, his main thing was winning the wars, establishing the kingdom, making peace and prosperity for his nation.

But a passion of his was to create a marvelous place for God to be worshipped. He wanted so badly to build it, but God said "no." His hands were bloody from too much war and killing. So he prepared everything necessary for his son to build the temple. The temple became one of David's enduring legacies. Listen to him talk to his people about it...

"...this is not just a place for people to meet each other, but a house for God to meet us. I've done my best to get everything together for building this house for my God, all the materials necessary: gold, silver, bronze, iron, lumber, precious and varicolored stones, and building stones—vast stockpiles. Furthermore, because my heart is in this, in addition to and beyond what I have gathered, I'm turning over my personal fortune of gold and silver for making this place of worship for my God: 3,000 talents (about 113 tons) of gold—all from Ophir, the best—and 7,000 talents (214 tons) of silver for covering the walls of the buildings, and for the gold and silver work by craftsmen and artisans."

Men, materials and money. All were prepared and ready. He turns to the people...

"And now, how about you? Who among you is ready and willing to join in the giving?"
6 -8 Ready and willing, the heads of families, leaders of the tribes of Israel, commanders and captains in the army, stewards of the king's affairs, stepped forward and gave willingly. They gave 5,000 talents (188 tons) and 10,000 darics (185 pounds) of gold, 10,000 talents of silver (377 tons), 18,000 talents of bronze (679 tons), and 100,000 talents (3,775 tons) of iron. Anyone who had precious jewels put them in the treasury for the building of The Temple of God in the custody of Jehiel the Gershonite.
9 And the people were full of a sense of celebration—all that giving! And all given willingly, freely! King David was exuberant."

There was a sense of national celebration. David took his inward habit of blessing and praising and worshipping God and let it flow into his public expression...

10 -13 "David blessed God in full view of the entire congregation: Blessed are you, God of Israel, our father from of old and forever. To you, O God, belong the greatness and the might, the glory, the victory, the majesty, the splendor; Yes! Everything in heaven, everything on earth; the kingdom all yours! You've raised yourself high over all. Riches and glory come from you, you're ruler over all; You hold strength and power in the palm of your hand to build up and strengthen all. And here we are, O God, our God, giving thanks to you, praising your splendid Name.
14 -19 "But me—who am I, and who are these my people, that we should presume to be giving something to you? Everything comes from you; all we're doing is giving back what we've been given from your generous hand. As far as you're concerned, we're homeless, shiftless wanderers like our ancestors, our lives mere shadows, hardly anything to us. God, our God, all these materials—these piles of stuff for building a house of worship for you, honoring your Holy Name—it all came from you! It was all yours in the first place! I know, dear God, that you care nothing for the surface—you want us, our true selves—and so I have given from the heart, honestly and happily. "

He was the leader of the people in the fullest sense. He now talks to God about the people...

"And now see all these people doing the same, giving freely, willingly—what a joy! O God, God of our fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, keep this generous spirit alive forever in these people always, keep their hearts set firmly in you. And give my son Solomon an uncluttered and focused heart so that he can obey what you command, live by your directions and counsel, and carry through with building The Temple for which I have provided."
20 David then addressed the congregation: "Bless God, your God!" And they did it, blessed God, the God of their ancestors, and worshiped reverently in the presence of God and the king."

At the end of his life, as he had done all through his life,

David blesses God...

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