Giving for Joy (1 Chronicles 29:9)

1 Chronicles 29:9 – Then the people rejoiced because they had given willingly, for with a whole heart they had offered freely to the Lord. David the king also rejoiced greatly.

Flying in the face of those religious teachers who claim that God wants to make us all rich so that we can live out our days in luxury while here on earth is the text of holy scripture. Everywhere you turn in the Bible, you see God blessing his people, but not necessarily with the kind of blessings our modern “name it and claim it” preachers would imagine. The blessing is not that the people of God had wealth. The blessing was that the people of God were given the honor of giving the wealth that they had to the service of God.

In 1 Chronicles 29, David was gathering materials for the building of the temple of God in Jerusalem. Though David was not allowed by God to put the house together, he gathered all the materials and made the building plans for his son, Solomon, to follow. In the process, David gave his royal treasury to the work, and he encouraged all the people of Israel to join him in doing this great work that had been given him by God to do. And the people gave. They gave willingly, freely, sacrificially, and joyfully. And when the giving was done and the materials gathered, the word of God tells us that King David and the people rejoiced greatly because they had given to the Lord freely.

It is not popular in our culture for preachers to talk about the need for congregations to give of their income. Of course, many are offended because they have seen the gifts that people given misused and abused by unscrupulous wolves in sheep’s clothing. But let us not deny ourselves the joy that should come from being a truly giving people. Let us learn to give freely, and to experience the blessing of God. No, I am not promising financial blessing for you when you give to the church. I am, however, promising you the same blessing that we see here. When the people of God give freely as an act of worship, they are blessed by God with the overflowing joy that comes when the God of the universe satisfies their souls. That is a joy worth having. So, let’s learn to give to the glory of God and receive joy in the process.