That seems so obvious, yet it may be a truth that isn’t recognized in times of excess or when we feel a sense of entitlement. Have you heard, or even said, “I deserve that?" Another response is having access to so much that we fail to appreciate the opportunity or privilege we have before us. The notion that “there’s no such thing as a free lunch” is becoming absolutely foreign to us.
I am grateful for the many opportunities afforded me in my lifetime. They are partially an outgrowth of my grandparents and parents having a vision and dream for a better world; a belief that they could make a difference. Their season of life required resourceful thinking to survive in the throes of the Great Depression and WWII. How they lived life and made sacrifices demonstrated their hope and belief.
The spiritual blessings and opportunities we enjoy today have a significant cost that was paid by someone else in prior generations. They endeavored to build a house, a household, a community of believers that would honor the name of the Lord. Their heart's desire was to see their children and children’s children walk in the same, or greater, knowledge of the Lord. Someone from an earlier generation invested in buildings and ministries that we use and enjoy.
In 1 Chronicles 21 & 22 NRSV, there is the account when King David desired to make sacrifice to the Lord to stop the plague that was afflicting the nation. The owner of the threshing floor offered to give him everything he would need to make sacrifice, but David insisted that he would purchase it at full price. David refused to offer something to God that didn’t cost him anything. One of the lessons we learn from this account is innocent people often suffer as a result of the sin of families and leaders.
In Chapter 22, King David lived in a house described as a “house of cedar." He compared the housing for the ark of God as tent curtains. Oh how he desired to build a dwelling place for God’s presence to dwell, but God would not allow him to do that. That privilege would be Solomon’s.
How did David, a man who seemed to do whatever was in his heart, respond to this disappointment? Imagine David’s disappointment. His desire to bless the Lord would now be demonstrated by making preparation for someone else to build the temple.
David identified the place for the temple and gave instructions to gather specific materials for God’s House He stated his vision for the building as it “must be exceedingly magnificent, famous and glorified throughout all lands; I will therefore make preparation for it. So David provided materials in great quantities before his death.”
David told Solomon that he [David] had provided materials for the temple “with great pain.” NOW you must add more. . . Now begin the work. Solomon, you are not to build with only what others have gathered, but you are to add to what you receive, and then you will be able to fulfill the vision.
What we accomplish for the Lord is almost certain to require the efforts of multiple generations. We stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before us. BUT, if you are of David’s generation, there is preparation for you to make; if you are of Solomon’s, be prepared to sow into the task and begin the work.
Pastor Allen Baun