March 5, 2012
By John Barnett
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Psalm 30 is titled that it is for a dedication. The NKJV, KJV, and NAS all translate it as a dedication of the “House of David”. But the ESV and NIV clarify what house is being referred to, by translating this superscript as the: “Dedication of the Temple”.
The Temple was on David’s heart and mind as a boy in Psalm 132, and as a man when he was told that his son would build the Temple, because of all the bloodshed David had experienced. So rather than being crushed to not build the House of the Lord, David prepared for that event with all his might.
David Was Excited about Serving the Lord
That moment is what we will soon see in I Chronicles 22-29, but first the 30th Psalm.
PSALM 30 (ESV) A PSALM OF DAVID. A SONG AT THE DEDICATION OF THE TEMPLE.
1I will extol you, O LORD, for you have drawn me up
and have not let my foes rejoice over me.
2O LORD my God, I cried to you for help, and you have healed me.
3O LORD, you have brought up my soul from Sheol;
you restored me to life from among those who go down to the pit.
4Sing praises to the LORD, O you his saints,
and give thanks to his holy name.
5 For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime.
Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.
6As for me, I said in my prosperity, "I shall never be moved."
7By your favor, O LORD, you made my mountain stand strong;
you hid your face; I was dismayed.
8To you, O LORD, I cry, and to the Lord I plead for mercy:
9"What profit is there in my death, if I go down to the pit?
Will the dust praise you? Will it tell of your faithfulness?
10 Hear, O LORD, and be merciful to me! O LORD, be my helper!"
11*You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness,*
12that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent.
O LORD my God, I will give thanks to you forever!
It would be easy to say that David is quite elated with God’s goodness in this Psalm. In just twelve verses David finds an equal number of ways to exalt in the Lord. David is so grateful that the desire of his heart since he sat on the hillsides watching the sheep was a step closer.
David was getting ready to officially turn over all that he had systematically invested in the coming house of the Lord. But, before we look at the exact amount David was going to give to the Lord, join me for a thumbnail sketch of Biblical History.
The world of the Bible had three basic financial classes of people: destitute, poor laborers, and rich. We could also say the world back then was made up of:
The Rich, The Poor & The Destitute
These classes were defined as:
• Destitute: these are the beggars who do not even have enough for today. This word is used in the Sermon on the Mount for the “poor in spirit”. Spiritual beggars who can’t make it even a day without God.
• Poor Laborers: these are those who work all day to earn enough to buy food on the way home for the next day or two. They live close to the line, never destitute, never any extra, just barely making it.
• Rich: the rich were those who had more than what was needed for today or this week. They did not have to work sunrise to sunset just to survive. They had things laid up, saved, stored away. They had what we would call: investments, savings, retirement preparations and so on.
For most of us today, we are in the class God's Word calls rich. We have more than we need to make it through today and tomorrow. We are rich because we have discretionary income.
Most of us spend our lives doing what we were called to do: support our family and make it through life. That usually takes most of what we earn. But sometimes, after we provide for our families and have enough to live on: there is extra. More than what we just need for supporting our lives.
That situation is where David found himself in I Chronicles 22. As we turn back to I Chronicles 22 think about the past years of the blur of life that David has lived through.
David moved out of his family home, joined Saul’s army, got married, lived on the run, raised a family, provided a home, food, necessities, and so on for all his wives and children.
But still after all those obligations of home and family life were met: David found that there was more left each month and year than he ever spent. The test of David’s life and character was what he did with that “extra”.
One of the most fascinating studies in the life of the most written about man in God’s Word is in this area of what David did with his treasures. What he did with the unexpected blessings and financial treasures that came his way through life. I like to call this study:
How David Systematically Invested
His Hard Earned Treasures With God
I Chronicles 22-29; Psalm 30
This study reveals David’s heart. Remember how Jesus told us in Matthew 6:19-21 that where our treasures are, there is where our hearts really are? David shows us where his heart was by what he did with his treasures.
We need to quietly think on his example and ask ourselves where we are showing that our hearts are by where we are systematically investing our treasures.
Three thousand years ago the greatest human fortune ever amassed on Earth was passed on from father to son. Please turn with me to I Chronicles 22.
1 Chronicles 22:1-19 (NKJV) "Then David said, “This is the house of the LORD God, and this is the altar of burnt offering for Israel.” 2 So David commanded to gather the aliens who were in the land of Israel; and he appointed masons to cut hewn stones to build the house of God. 3 And David prepared iron in abundance for the nails of the doors of the gates and for the joints, and bronze in abundance beyond measure, 4 and cedar trees in abundance; for the Sidonians and those from Tyre brought much cedar wood to David. 5 Now David said, “Solomon my son is young and inexperienced, and the house to be built for the LORD must be exceedingly magnificent, famous and glorious throughout all countries. I will now make preparation for it.” So David made abundant preparations before his death. 6 Then he called for his son Solomon, and charged him to build a house for the LORD God of Israel. 7 And David said to Solomon: “My son, as for me, it was in my mind to build a house to the name of the LORD my God; 8 but the word of the LORD came to me, saying, ‘You have shed much blood and have made great wars; you shall not build a house for My name, because you have shed much blood on the earth in My sight. 9 Behold, a son shall be born to you, who shall be a man of rest; and I will give him rest from all his enemies all around. His name shall be Solomon,[a] for I will give peace and quietness to Israel in his days. 10 He shall build a house for My name, and he shall be My son, and I will be his Father; and I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel forever.’ 11 Now, my son, may the LORD be with you; and may you prosper, and build the house of the LORD your God, as He has said to you. 12 Only may the LORD give you wisdom and understanding, and give you charge concerning Israel, that you may keep the law of the LORD your God. 13 Then you will prosper, if you take care to fulfill the statutes and judgments with which the LORD charged Moses concerning Israel. Be strong and of good courage; do not fear nor be dismayed. 14 Indeed I have taken much trouble to prepare for the house of the LORD one hundred thousand talents of gold and one million talents of silver, and bronze and iron beyond measure, for it is so abundant. I have prepared timber and stone also, and you may add to them. 15 Moreover there are workmen with you in abundance: woodsmen and stonecutters, and all types of skillful men for every kind of work. 16 Of gold and silver and bronze and iron there is no limit. Arise and begin working, and the LORD be with you.” 17 David also commanded all the leaders of Israel to help Solomon his son, saying, 18 “Is not the LORD your God with you? And has He not given you rest on every side? For He has given the inhabitants of the land into my hand, and the land is subdued before the LORD and before His people. 19 Now set your heart and your soul to seek the LORD your God. Therefore arise and build the sanctuary of the LORD God, to bring the ark of the covenant of the LORD and the holy articles of God into the house that is to be built for the name of the LORD.”
King David in 970BC gave Solomon 1 million talents of silver (that means somewhere between about 100 million pounds of silver, or 50,000 tons of silver). That amazing amount of silver would be worth $30 to $50 billion dollars today at recent market closes of about $32/ounce.
David also gave Solomon 100 thousand talents of gold (that is about 10 million pounds of gold, or 5,000 tons of gold). That amazing amount of gold would be worth about $276 billion dollars today at $1725/ounce.
David Had Vast Treasures
Just to help put this into perspective for us living in 2011, David who lived in 1000 BC had 1 million more pounds of gold, than we as a nation have in Fort Knox, the largest gold holdings, of the wealthiest country ever in history, the USA.
So, how much wealth did David, God’s servant, really have?
If you dig into the research behind today’s commodities markets you’ll find the following facts in the endless tables of records kept in the precious metals archives.
In all the history of the world to 1835 there was no more than a total of 20,000 tons of gold ever produced.
These commodity archives go on to postulate the amounts of gold based on mining finds, and other records of war spoils to measure how much gold was around.
In David’s day three thousand years ago, there was no more than 10,000 tons of gold on the planet. So at the very least—David held at the end of his life half or more of all the wealth on his planet!
Another piece of comparison that would help us understand the magnitude of David’s wealth is that David held the equivalent of more than half of all the wealth of the world in his day.
Today’s total world assets are worth about $250 trillion dollars, so in terms of 2011, if someone had half the wealth of the world they would be a person that would have $125 trillion dollars of wealth. That is 10 times the total GNP of the USA!
GOLD IS BEAUTIFUL
There are many physical aspects of the yellow metal, which are truly amazing. Gold is the most malleable (able to be hammered into very thin sheets) and ductile (able to be drawn into a fine wire) of all metals. It is so malleable that a goldsmith can hammer one ounce of gold into a thin translucent wafer covering more than 100 square feet only five millionths of an inch thick.
Its ductility is equally amazing. One ounce of gold can be drawn into a wire 50 miles long! Furthermore, ONLY one ounce of this marvelous metal is required to plate a thread of copper 1,000 miles long. That's really stretching it, wouldn't you say?
Gold is also one of the heaviest metals known. It has a specific gravity of 19.3, which means it weighs 19.3 times as much as an equal volume of water. Therefore, one cubic foot of gold weighs 1,206 pounds. More than half a ton!
What Did the Richest Man of his Day Do with His Riches?
And what did the richest man in the world do with all that? He gave it to the Lord for his son to use in building the First Temple.
Look back at I Chronicles 22:14:
Indeed I have taken much trouble to prepare for the house of the LORD one hundred thousand talents of gold and one million talents of silver, and bronze and iron beyond measure, for it is so abundant. I have prepared timber and stone also, and you may add to them.
Then at the end of his life David made one more transfer, he called it his “special” treasure. Turn over to I Chronicles 29:2-5 and stand with me:
I Chronicles 29:2-5"Now for the house of my God I have prepared with all my might: gold for things to be made of gold, silver for things of silver, bronze for things of bronze, iron for things of iron, wood for things of wood, onyx stones, stones to be set, glistening stones of various colors, all kinds of precious stones, and marble slabs in abundance. 3 Moreover, because I have set my affection on the house of my God, I have given to the house of my God, over and above all that I have prepared for the holy house, my own special treasure of gold and silver: 4 three thousand talents of gold, of the gold of Ophir, and seven thousand talents of refined silver, to overlay the walls of the houses; 5 the gold for things of gold and the silver for things of silver, and for all kinds of work to be done by the hands of craftsmen. Who then is willing to consecrate himself this day to the LORD?”
And look what David’s lavish gift prompted in v. 6, the people began to give lavishly to God.
Humanly speaking, David probably left behind the greatest fortune ever amassed by any one man on planet earth!
But if you see things as God does you would see that David left everything behind (like everyone must)—except what he had given back to the Lord.
DAVID DEDICATED HIS TROPHIES TO GOD
We have already seen the characteristic of David’s life that he wanted to dedicate his treasures and trophies to the Lord. We saw that when Goliath’s sword showed up at the Tabernacle, not in David’s display case where he could boast.
God is glorified when His servants dedicate their trophies to Him.
And in 1 Samuel 21:9 we see that David had dedicated that sword of Goliath into the Lord’s keeping. But that wasn’t all he gave to the Lord, David seems to have had a habit of dedicating everything he got to the Lord! Look at:
1 Chronicles 18:11 King David also dedicated these to the Lord, along with the silver and gold that he had brought from all these nations—from Edom, from Moab, from the people of Ammon, from the Philistines, and from Amalek. NKJV
David made this a life long habit. As God gave him great victories, and David was given greater and greater trophies—he just kept giving them back to the Lord.
There is no limit to what God will do with a life that keep being given back to Him!
Another passage shows us how David even dedicated the small things in life to the Lord, like his work, his career, and even special gifts that those who loved him gave to him.
David poured his life out to the Lord, as an irrecoverable offering, because he believed that God deserved the best. Turn back to II Samuel 23 with me.
David Poured out his Life
As an Offering to the Lord
Once David longed for the sweet water he had drank as a child that was now behind enemy lines. His mightiest warriors fought through to the well of Bethlehem, drew water, fought their way back, and presented the water to David.
2 Samuel 23:13-17 "Then three of the thirty chief men went down at harvest time and came to David at the cave of Adullam. And the troop of Philistines encamped in the Valley of Rephaim. 14 David was then in the stronghold, and the garrison of the Philistines was then in Bethlehem. 15 And David said with longing, “Oh, that someone would give me a drink of the water from the well of Bethlehem, which is by the gate!” 16 So the three mighty men broke through the camp of the Philistines, drew water from the well of Bethlehem that was by the gate, and took it and brought it to David. Nevertheless he would not drink it, but poured it out to the Lord. 17 And he said, “Far be it from me, O Lord, that I should do this! Is this not the blood of the men who went in jeopardy of their lives?” Therefore he would not drink it. These things were done by the three mighty men." NKJV
David amazed them and actually poured the water on the ground. David poured out the water to the Lord as a drink offering. A drink offering poured out was never recoverable as the ground absorbed every drop.
So David gave to the Lord irrecoverably what was most precious to him. David poured out the water from the well of his childhood, just like the treasures of his career because David believed that God deserved the best of his time, treasures, and talents. Move on with me to II Samuel 24.
David Sacrificed to the Lord Because the Lord is Worthy of Sacrifice
David wanted to make sacrifices for God because he knew God deserved that which was costly. The prophet Gad told David what God expected—a sacrificial offering on Mt. Moriah.
David went to the spot and the owner offered to give to David everything he needed. David would not take the threshing floor without paying full price because David would not give to God that which cost him nothing!
2 Samuel 24:18-25 "And Gad came that day to David and said to him, “Go up, erect an altar to the Lord on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.” 19 So David, according to the word of Gad, went up as the Lord commanded. 20 Now Araunah looked, and saw the king and his servants coming toward him. So Araunah went out and bowed before the king with his face to the ground. 21 Then Araunah said, “Why has my lord the king come to his servant?” And David said, “To buy the threshing floor from you, to build an altar to the Lord, that the plague may be withdrawn from the people.” 22 Now Araunah said to David, “Let my lord the king take and offer up whatever seems good to him. Look, here are oxen for burnt sacrifice, and threshing implements and the yokes of the oxen for wood. 23 All these, O king, Araunah has given to the king.” And Araunah said to the king, “May the Lord your God accept you.” 24 Then the king said to Araunah, “No, but I will surely buy it from you for a price; nor will I offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God with that which costs me nothing.” So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver. 25 And David built there an altar to the Lord, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. So the Lord heeded the prayers for the land, and the plague was withdrawn from Israel." NKJV
Now back to where we started in I Chronicles 29. We will see that:
David Kept on Giving to the End
Here we are, near the end of his life, and what does David continue to do with all those treasures?
1 Chronicles 29:2-3 "Now for the house of my God I have prepared with all my might: gold for things to be made of gold, silver for things of silver, bronze for things of bronze, iron for things of iron, wood for things of wood, onyx stones, stones to be set, glistening stones of various colors, all kinds of precious stones, and marble slabs in abundance. 3 Moreover, because I have set my affection on the house of my God, I have given to the house of my God, over and above all that I have prepared for the holy house, my own special treasure of gold and silver:" NKJV
Probably every one of us in this room have heard the famous life’s motto that the great missionary Charles Thomas Studd (1860-1931) lived and died by--
“Only one life,
‘twill soon be past;
and only what’s done for Christ—
However, few of us realize when it was that he said those words. It was on his deathbed with his precious family gathered around him. He had already told each of his children that he wished he had something to give to them, but he had nothing left. Then he said, “..but I gave it all to Jesus long ago."
When Avis B. Christiansen (1895-1985), the wife of the Vice President of Moody Bible Institute heard these precious words spoken by C.T. Studd at his death, she began to ponder them.
A few years later in 1937, she wrote a now famous hymn, “Only One Life to Offer”. Listen to her reflections that turned into a prayer of devotion to the Lord she also served with all her heart (hymn # 378):
Only one life to offer--
Jesus, my Lord and King;
Only one tongue to praise Thee
And of Thy mercy sing;
Only one heart's devotion--
Savior, O may it be
Consecrated alone to Thy matchless glory,
Yielded fully to Thee.
Only this hour is mine, Lord--
May it be used for Thee;
May ev'ry passing moment
Count for eternity;
Souls all about are dying,
Dying in sin and shame;
Help me bring the message of Calv'ry's redemption
In Thy glorious name.
Only one life to offer--
Take it, dear Lord, I pray;
Nothing from Thee withholding,
Thy will I now obey;
Thou who hast freely given
Thine all in all for me,
Claim this life for Thine own to be used, my Saviour,
Ev'ry moment for Thee.