Sorry about being a little tardy in my blog to day. I hope you didn’t give up on me. There are so many good things to do in a day, that writing occasionally gets bumped to a lesser priority. But “lesser priority” doesn’t mean not a priority. Let’s dive into the Word.
Experience counts — David maintained an army ready to defend the kingdom at all times by organizing rotating divisions of 24,000 men led by men who were mostly of either David’s elite “30” or the “Mighty Men”. Men were put in places of responsibility not by politics, the “good ol’ boy system”, or nepotism; they were men who were “tried and true”. They had rack records of loyalty to David, skill and valor in battle, military experience, and leadership.
In the Lord’s kingdom, it’s still a good idea to appoint men to leadership who are “tried and true”. One of the specific qualifications of a deacon is “These men must also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons if they are beyond reproach.” 1 Timothy 3:10, NAS95 — tried and true. Elders are to have had success in their families, because “but if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?” 1 Timothy 3:5, NAS95 — tried and true. Why was Timothy so trusted by Paul to appoint elders (1 Tim. 3), teach Paul’s ways (1 Cor. 4:17), to be an envoy for Paul (Philippians 2:19), to strengthen new churches (1 Thess. 3:2), and to carry the treasure of the Gospel (1 Tim. 6:20)? Because Timothy had been mentored by Paul for a number of years, where Paul had seen him in action — Timothy was tried and true.
Standing on the shoulders of others — Israel’s first Temple is usually referred to as “Solomon’s Temple”, but it would appear from chapter 28 that it could just as easily be referred to as David’s Temple, since it was David’s original idea, David had plans already waiting for it, and had set aside lots of building materials for it — ready for Solomon to put into action. Now doubtlessly Solomon’s vision for the Temple was architecturally breathtaking, but he was able to do so much, because (as the saying goes) he stood on the shoulders of a giant (his father, David).
How much of what we are able to do for the Lord’s Kingdom, for our local congregations, for our families, is because we are standing on the shoulders of others (sometimes giants in their own right)? Not just doctrinal shoulders (as important as that is), but in terms of buildings, organizations, beneficial traditions, examples that imprinted good and right things in our minds and character, love and encouragement, books and teachings, sermons, class lessons, or gentle but strategic questions at the right time. And those of us among the older crowd need to remember that we will leave a legacy that will lift or lower the souls that follow us. David deliberately left a legacy that lifted and gave vision for reaching higher.
A wonderful story of giving — David didn’t just leave his substantial materials for Solomon to build with, he also encouraged everyone to do the same — and, boy, did they ever (29:1-9)! They did because 1) they saw David’s great example and 2) they were acutely aware of the source of their prosperity.
It can scarcely be overemphasized how important the example of a leader of God’s people is. Leadership is about influence and one of the most powerful vehicles of influence has always been example. I heard something the other day that said it well (it’s probably been around for a while, but it was new to me): “You cannot teach what you do not know; you cannot lead where you do not go.” David’s example of generosity encouraged the people to give generously. David was “all in” on the project, which helped the people to see and realize how important it was. If David had simply “passed the hat” without throwing in his own fortune, the gift would have likely been less generous and more mediocre.
Secondly, however, it would appear by David’s wonderful prayer (29:10-19) that they people had also been acutely aware that their prosperity had come from the Lord — that they owed Him everything. Their hearts were so filled with the joy of God’s blessings that they gave willingly, joyfully, generously, and happily — words you don’t often hear in context with collections.
Are there lessons here for our own Sunday collections? There ought to be.
See you tomorrow, Lord willing.