1 Chronicles 29:14-17 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.
In this heartwarming prayer of David, he reveals to us some important truths. These truths remind us of the fact that it is not possible to give anything to God for the simple reason that God owns everything. David also reminds us that it is not possible to deceive God. God cannot be fooled. He cannot be deceived. The Lord knows exactly who is giving willingly out of true devotion to Him and who is giving just to be seen by others. The litmus test for what is considered true giving stems from a heart that wants to please God. The Lord Jesus is never as interested in the material substance we contribute as He is in our heart devotion and motive to Him, of which our offering is an expression. This brings to mind that passage in 1 Samuel 16:7, “But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD lookethon the heart.” Selah
As is often the case, the word of God and the word of man are in diametric contrast. Your observation that man cannot give anything to God because He owns everything brought back memories of life under a harsh communist dictatorship. These exact same words were used by a government that tried in futility to place itself on a throne as god. People were not allowed to give anything because the government owned everything; nothing was yours to give. The small hardware store my uncle started became the government’s. He was welcome to work there but it was not his, along with any revenue or profits- those belonged to the government. “Committees of Defense” stationed at every apartment building would be on the lookout to ensure you would not give food, furniture, or belongings to others since, nothing was yours to give. My father got in trouble receiving milk from a friend (who was allergic to milk) as he brought it into our home. He did not have documentation proving the milk was part of his government quota. Consequently he was cited by the Committe of Defense and the milk was taken away. In a sense, the government crowned itself god, demanding people would place it above all else. As in the case of my father’s milk story, giving and taking away was done by force, not sovereignty. Not exactly what Job meant.
In John 6:15 Jesus avoided being crowned king by humans even though He was and is King of Kings. That crown was not theirs to give, since His kingdom is not of this world. When man seeks to become god in futility through dictatorships or humanist philosophy, all falls apart. In your devotional today, when we view things as “ours” that truly belong to God, in a sense we become earthly dictators of self. We miss God’s spirit for giving. We flunk the litmus test, usually on the acid end. When we see small children fighting over material things saying “Mine, mine!!!” does it remind us of ourselves? I corrected my kids when they did that, not only because it was incredibly annoying, but also because they were not in the right spirit. I was merciful and lovingly they were instructed and forgiven. Those toys were given to them, just as we work for our earthly possessions. In “earthly talk” they are “ours”. But let’s keep in mind as He instructs us through His word and forgives us as His children, that ALL is His. We are stewards of things but as born again believers, we are His. Let’s drop our attitudes of thinking “mine!” to thinking HIS.