Furthermore David the king said unto all the congregation, Solomon my son, whom alone God hath chosen, is yet young and tender, and the work is great: for the palace is not for man, but for the LORD God. Now I have prepared with all my might for the house of my God the gold for things to be made of gold, and the silver for things of silver, and the brass for things of brass, the iron for things of iron, and wood for things of wood; onyx stones, and stones to be set, glistering stones, and of divers colours, and all manner of precious stones, and marble stones in abundance. Moreover, because I have set my affection to the house of my God, I have of mine own proper good, of gold and silver, which I have given to the house of my God, over and above all that I have prepared for the holy house, Even three thousand talents of gold, of the gold of Ophir, and seven thousand talents of refined silver, to overlay the walls of the houses withal: The gold for things of gold, and the silver for things of silver, and for all manner of work to be made by the hands of artificers. And who then is willing to consecrate his service this day unto the LORD? 1 Chronicles 29:1-5
King David had collected the building material for the temple of God. David then asked who would be willing to help build it. The gold wouldn’t just automatically become whatever it was supposed to be, or the wood. Somebody had to be willing to put it together. David was asking the question to see who was willing to consecrate his service unto the Lord.
What does the word, willing, mean? It means obedient, with no reservations. It means that you want to; volunteer; or consent cheerfully. A lot of people are doing a lot of things, but it isn’t willingly from their heart. Money motivates a lot of people. If they can get something out of it, it motivates them but it isn’t really willingness from their heart.
This particular scripture is where David is asking who is willing to consecrate his service to the Lord on that day. God doesn’t twist anybody’s arm to serve him. He doesn’t offer people money to serve him. God doesn’t offer temporal things, he is asking us from our heart, are we willing to serve him regardless of what the situation is. Nobody can make us serve God and we can’t make anybody else serve God. We can make people do things but if it is not out of a willing heart, it is of no value to the Lord. It has to be from a willing heart. Every one of us has done things because we felt obligated to do them. It wasn’t from a willing heart, but we felt obligated. God though, wants what we do for him and for his service to be a willing service.
Then the chief of the fathers and princes of the tribes of Israel, and the captains of thousands and of hundreds, with the rulers of the king's work, offered willingly, And gave for the service of the house of God of gold five thousand talents and ten thousand drams, and of silver ten thousand talents, and of brass eighteen thousand talents, and one hundred thousand talents of iron. And they with whom precious stones were found gave them to the treasure of the house of the LORD, by the hand of Jehiel the Gershonite. Then the people rejoiced, for that they offered willingly, because with perfect heart they offered willingly to the LORD: and David the king also rejoiced with great joy. 1 Chronicles 29:6-9
When we offer ourselves, willingly to God, it is with joy. It isn’t with the sadness of having to give up this or that. If that is going through our minds, we are not offering willingly. If we offer willingly, it is unreservedly. What does the word, consecrate mean? It means to dedicate, to set apart as holy, and to exalt for religious use. If we consecrate, it is not for our gain. It is giving ourselves completely for God to use.
But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort? for all things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee. For we are strangers before thee, and sojourners, as were all our fathers: our days on the earth are as a shadow, and there is none abiding. O LORD our God, all this store that we have prepared to build thee an house for thine holy name cometh of thine hand, and is all thine own. I know also, my God, that thou triest the heart, and hast pleasure in uprightness. As for me, in the uprightness of mine heart I have willingly offered all these things: and now have I seen with joy thy people, which are present here, to offer willingly unto thee. 1 Chronicles 29:14-17
King David is saying that he has offered willingly and that he can see that the people, with a perfect heart, have offered willingly. They offered a lot to the house of God. The five thousand talents of gold equaled 25,378,906 pounds. That’s a lot of gold. The ten thousand talents of silver equaled 3,535,937 pounds. The eighteen thousand talents of brass equaled 1,026 tons. There are 2,000 pounds in a US ton. The one hundred thousand talents of iron equaled 5,703 tons.
There were a lot of things that the people gave willingly to the house of God. After all of that, they had to give of themselves personally to build the temple, didn’t they? If a pile of wood or iron is just lying around, it isn’t going to make a temple by itself. It has to have some work and effort put into it by people. God was asking who was willing to consecrate his service.
To consecrate means that they were willing to give of their time, their talent, and their usefulness for the work of God; for building the temple of God. David recognized that everything that they had given already belonged to God. Doesn’t everything belong to God? Don’t we belong to God? We already belong to God. What he was asking was; are we willing to consecrate our service to God for the work of the Lord? Just coming to church isn’t enough. If these people had just gone to the place where the gold and materials were, would that have built the temple? They had to put forth some effort and time. It wasn’t just in one day that they built it. It was days and months and years that they were willing to give of themselves for whatever God wanted to use them.
It is no different today. We’ve got to have a willing heart to consecrate our service to God to be whatever he wants us to be, wherever he wants us to be, however he wants us to be. We won’t be murmuring and complaining and finding fault with this thing or that thing. We will just be willing to do whatever God asks us to do. We will be active in the work of the Church of God.
Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:7