King David had it in his heart to build a house for the Lord, but God told him that he would not be the one to build the house of the Lord, but his son Solomon would, instead. And, what strikes me now as I read this story again is that Jesus Christ, who is called the Son of David, i.e. the Messiah, is truly the one now building the house of the Lord, which now is a spiritual house, not a physical one (1 Pet. 2:4-8; Eph. 2:19-22).
And, no human king is to try to build God’s house today, for God’s house is spiritual, not physical. The church is the people, not a building built by human hands. And, Jesus Christ is our only King. He is the only head of his church. Human kings cannot dictate how we are to conduct ourselves as Christ’s body. That is Jesus’ job! And, it is his alone!
But, back to David and Solomon, David called an assembly of the people, which was comprised mainly of people in official positions and those who were warriors, and he told them that Solomon was to build God’s house. And, then he told the people of all that he, as King, had provided for the building of God’s house. And, then he asked, “Who then will offer willingly, consecrating himself today to the Lord?” And, so the people gave.
1 Chronicles 29:9 ESV
“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.”
And, what sacrifice does God now ask of us, his people? What are we to offer to God willingly, which involves consecrating ourselves to the Lord? We are to offer our bodies, which includes our minds and hearts, to God as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to him, which is our acceptable worship of him.
And, we are to no longer be conformed to the ways of this sinful world, but we are to be transformed (renewed) in heart and mind of the Spirit of God so that we might discern the will of God for our lives – that which is good, acceptable and perfect (Rom. 12:1-2).
But this is not optional – not if we want to be saved from our sins and have eternal life with God. We can’t opt out of giving our lives to the Lord, though some people are saying we can. We must die with Christ to sin that we might live with Christ eternally. And, we must walk (in lifestyle) according to the Spirit of God, and not according to the flesh, if we want to have eternal life with God (Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17; Eph. 4:17-24; 1 Jn. 1:5-9).
1 Chronicles 29:14-16 ESV
“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. For we are strangers before you and sojourners, as all our fathers were. Our days on the earth are like a shadow, and there is no abiding. 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.”
All that we have comes from God. Our salvation from sin is a gift of God’s grace to us, as is the faith to believe in Jesus Christ, as is the empowerment and the strength to live godly and holy lives, pleasing to God. None of this is of ourselves, lest any of us should boast. But that doesn’t mean we do nothing. We must appropriate that gift of God to our lives by submitting to our Lord and by doing what he says to do, in his power and strength.
We must honor our Lord for who he is, but not just with our lips, but with our lives, and with our whole hearts committed to him and to his will for our lives. We must show him respect by our obedience to his commands, and we must walk in the fear of the Lord, reverencing him as the King above all, the sovereign over all things which he has made.
But all this must come from willing hearts who want to serve the Lord. For we are not really surrendered to the Lord if all we are doing is just following a set of rules; if all we are doing is just going through the motions, hoping that is going to get us into heaven. For, our faith in Jesus Christ is not some religious ritual we go through to earn points with God. Faith in Jesus Christ, since it is from God, willingly submits to Christ as Lord and surrenders our lives to him because we love him and because we revere him.
1 Chronicles 29:17-19 ESV
“I know, my God, that you test the heart and have pleasure in uprightness. In the uprightness of my heart I have freely offered all these things, and now I have seen your people, who are present here, offering freely and joyously to you. O Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, our fathers, keep forever such purposes and thoughts in the hearts of your people, and direct their hearts toward you. Grant to Solomon my son a whole heart that he may keep your commandments, your testimonies, and your statutes, performing all, and that he may build the palace for which I have made provision.”
This is a true picture of the life of a follower of Jesus Christ. We offer ourselves to our Lord as living sacrifices because we love him and because we fear (honor, revere) him as our sovereign Lord. We live in uprightness, not to try to earn our salvation, but because Jesus has changed our hearts, and he has turned us from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God that we might receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those sanctified by faith in Jesus Christ (Acts 26:18).
We offer ourselves freely to God, in surrender to his will for our lives, because he is now the desire of our hearts and we want to obey him. This is what it means to repent. It is to have a change of mind away from living a life of sin to now living to God and to his righteousness. We don’t want that old life of sin any longer. We are done with it. We want to live for our Lord.
But we don’t do this in our own strength and wisdom. We are totally dependent on the Lord Jesus Christ to give us all we need to resist the devil, to flee temptation, and to draw near to God. He is our source of strength. Our righteousness is not of our own making. It comes from him. But daily we must deny self and take up our cross and follow (obey) him in his power and wisdom. Daily we must say “No” to the flesh and “Yes” to God and to his holiness, and to keeping his commandments, by faith in him.
1 Chronicles 29:20 ESV
“Then David said to all the assembly, ‘Bless the Lord your God.’ And all the assembly blessed the Lord, the God of their fathers, and bowed their heads and paid homage to the Lord and to the king.”
Writer(s): C. E. Couchman, M. W. Bassford
Scorned by those who watched;
Mocked by all the wise;
Loved within belief;
Son of God.
Born to take my death;
Slain to give me life;
Jesus Son of God.
*Caution: This link may contain ads