Who Am I?

Written on: May 1, 2024

Article by: Kevin Pickles

In 1 Chronicles 29 David was approaching the end of his life. He was committed to build a temple for God to dwell in but God decided that it was David’s son, Solomon, who would do so. (1 Chronicles 28:6). So, in 1 Chronicles 28:11-22, David chargesmSolomon, to build the temple. He gave him the necessary plans to build it including the items to be used in it for worshipping God. He also provided him with the amount of materials necessary to build the temple. Then He encouraged Solomon to complete this important work. He tells him to be strong and courageous and do the work. He tells him God is with him and will not forsake him.

After giving these instructions and encouragement to Solomon, David addressed the entire assembly, which likely included all of the officials and leaders of Israel (Chapter 28:1). David explained to them that God has chosen his son Solomon to build the temple, but Solomon was young and inexperienced and the work to be done was great. David went on to explain what he has set aside or donated to allow the temple to be built. He then encourages the other men of Israel to contribute and support building the temple.

David’s charge to Solomon and to the people of Israel to build God’s temple there are several lessons that we can learn:

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As David stated to God’s people, we, too, need to recognize that our work is great and very important. As followers of Christ perhaps the most important thing we are called to do is to share the Good News and make further disciples.

In Matthew 28:16-20 Jesus gave to His disciples what is commonly referred to as the great commission, specifically verses 19-20 which state,

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

There are many examples in the book of Acts where the early disciples taught the Good News and the church of our Lord grew.

We are also called upon to look out for and to assist the needy and those less fortunate. This comes out clearly in the parable of the good Samaritan, (Luke 10:25-37). James 1:27 teaches us that we need to provide for both orphans and widows in their distress. Jesus instructs us in Mathew 25:35-36, when speaking about the sheep and the goats, the importance of helping those in need. In Galatians 6:9 we are encouraged not to grow weary of doing good. Paul teaches us in Colossians 3:23-24 that whatever we do, we are to do it as if we were working for the Lord.

Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 15:58 that we are to be “steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that our labour is not in vain in the Lord.” He also instructed the Ephesian church to stand firm, to not be swayed, to not budge from the will of God. In Ephesians 4:14 Paul states, “that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting.”

We need to work wholeheartedly and uncompromising for the Lord as He has gifted us and the Holy Spirit leads us.

David recognized that the work Solomon was required to do was great, and he was inexperienced. He knew that Solomon would need help. So David asked the men of Israel to help.

Likewise, our work as Christians is great and we need to help each other and work together in order to be successful. Jesus was aware of this as He chose his disciples, and after training them, sent them out in pairs (Mark 6:7-13). In the limited commission, Jesus appointed seventy-two others and sent them out two by two (Luke 10:1-12).

In 1 Corinthians 12 Paul describes the church as a body. Each part is needed and necessary for the body to function properly. We need to remember that like the early church we, too, must work together and rely on each other to complete what God has asked us to do. David and the people of Israel recognized that though they were willing to give generously and to help in completing the temple, it was God who had given them both the means and the ability.

David set a great example for the leaders of Israel and explained why the temple was important. The temple was not being built for man but was being built to honour God. He further explains just how much of the wealth that he had accumulated as their king had been dedicated to the Lord with this one project in mind. He set an example before asking others to do the same. Like David, may we also stir one another up to accomplish good works.

The Hebrew writer instructs us to consider how we can stir each other up to love and good works, not neglect meeting together and encouraging one another (Hebrews 10:24-25). There is no greater ‘good work’ than to share the gospel with others.

Paul says in 1 Thessalonians 5:14, “And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone.”

In 1 Chronicles 29:5 David asked the men of Israel, who was going to consecrate themselves to the Lord? The concept of consecration involves dedicating oneself or something to God. Consecration signifies a deep commitment and devotion to God; it requires us to align ourselves with His purpose and will.

The Bible illustrates for us that consecration is a sacred act that involves dedicating oneself or something to God. It requires us to prioritize our service to God above all else.

An example of consecration is Aaron and his sons who were set apart by Moses to serve as priests (Leviticus chapter 8). The Lord had commanded that a significant process be completed in order to consecrate these men, including washing them with water, clothing them with priestly garments, anointing them with oil, and offering sacrifices. But more importantly God required an inner transformation and a wholehearted dedication of their lives to Him.

As David challenged the men of Israel to consecrate themselves, we also need to consecrate ourselves. In Romans 12:1-2 Paul instructs us to be living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God. He tells us we are not to conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of our mind.

Colossians 3:1-2 directs us to set our hearts and minds on things above, not on earthly things. Paul appeals to us in Colossians 3:17 that whatever we do, whether in word or deed, we are to do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”

In 1 Chronicles 29:9 the Israelites rejoiced over the offerings of the temple that they had given freely. The rulers also rejoiced as they gladly honoured and glorified God with the gifts which He had empowered them to give. Others may also have rejoiced over the generosity and good will of their leaders to see the important work of the temple being completed.

We have much to celebrate and are also called to rejoice. This is always true when God’s people obey Him.

  • Thus in Philippians 3:1 Paul instructs the church at Philippi to rejoice in the Lord, and repeats himself in Philippians 4:4, adding that we ought to do so always.
  • In Paul’s final instructions to the church in Thessalonica he encourages them also to rejoice always. (1 Thessalonians 5:16)
  • James 1:2 explains how and why it is that we are able to “count it all joy when we face trials”.
  • And in 1 Chronicles 29 the people rejoiced that God had included them in the very important work of building a place for ‘His presence to dwell’.

As Christians we rejoice because we have been included in this great work of sharing the Good News about Jesus with the lost. We do so having been reconciled to God through Christ and having placed our hope in Him. We can rejoice because we understand that while life on earth is temporary, it is preparing us for the glory and splendour of eternity in Heaven.

This account in 1 Chronicles 29 concludes with David’s wonderful prayer of praise to God before being joined by the entire assembly in praise to Him. David’s prayer of praise acknowledges the greatness, the power, the majesty and authority of God. David was humble before the Lord, saying: “who am I and who are my people that we could give anything to you?” (I Chronicles 29:14). He understood that God was the first to give and that they had simply returned a portion of it to Him. And then David prayed for his son Solomon and for Israel, that they would always obey and love God.

We, as well, need to recognize that God is worthy of our prayers and praise.

  • Ephesians 6:18 tells us we are to pray at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.
  • James 5:13 states “Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praises.”
  • In Colossians 4:2 Paul states “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains.”
  • Jesus recognized the importance of prayer and frequently sought solitude in order to pray to His father (Matthew 14:23). Jesus taught His disciples how to pray in Matthew 6:5-15.
  • Prayer needs to be an important element and priority of our daily lives. It should focus on thanksgiving and praise. It should recognize that we are given what we need to live each day and involve us in making supplication for those in need. It should remind us of our purpose in life and encourage us to be useful in His kingdom, recognizing that we have been forgiven of our sins. All of this should lead us to a daily life of prayer.

We should be encouraged by those who have served God before us.

  • The Hebrew writer tells us that, “since we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses that we need to get rid of everything that hinders us, that sin that so easily entangles us” (Hebrews 12:1).
  • I can picture David, witnessing and encouraging us – spurring us on to complete the great work that God has given us to do and reminding us that we are not alone in this work. Not only is the Lord with us but we are here to help each other, working together as the unified body of Christ.
  • As David set a good example for others, so must we. As we do these things, let us dedicate ourselves to God, rely on the power of prayer and rejoice knowing that He is with us each step of the way. By His grace we will see the heavenly home He has prepared for us.

I am intrigued by David’s words “But who am I and who are my people that we could give anything to you?”(I Chronicles 29:14). I think this question demonstrates David’s humility, he recognized that without God he was nothing. However, we also know that God used him to do great things.

Do we ask ourselves this same question – who am I? Without God, I have nothing and anything I do will be futile. However, with God, I can do all that He asks me to do.

By Kevin Pickles, Owen Sound, Ontario