January 5, 2013 Leave a comment
Imagine piles of gold, silver, bronze, and gemstones. Think of a lumber yard full of wood and iron materials. This is what the Chronicler describes in 1 Chronicles 29. King David and the people of Israel had given vast amounts of these materials for the construction of the temple. The monetary value of these materials has been estimated in the billions of dollars. This cache of wealth had been given freely and joyously.
David offers a dedicatory prayer for all these materials which had been given for the temple project. One of the notable emphases of this prayer is how David and the people gave to God what God had already given to them. David prays:
“But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able thus to offer willingly? For all things come from you, and of your own have we given you. (1 Chronicles 29:14 ESV)
O LORD our God, all this abundance that we have provided for building you a house for your holy name comes from your hand and is all your own. (1 Chronicles 29:16 ESV)
In other words, David and the Israelites were re-gifters. Re-gifting is considered a faux pas, especially if you get caught. You know, that awkward moment when you open a gift from a friend or relative and realize you gave them that same gift last year. Embarrassing.
But, when it comes to our giving to God, re-gifting is our only option. As David reminds us in his prayer, everything we have belongs to God. All we have come to possess was given to us by God. He owns everything and rules over everything. So, the only gifts we can give to God are those he has already given to us. Far from being a spiritual faux pas which God would deem unacceptable, God delights in such re-gifting.
Essential to a life of real stewardship is the realization that our time, talent, and treasure is a gift from God entrusted to us during our brief stay here on earth to be used and invested for God’s glory. So, let’s re-gift freely, unashamedly, and generously.