Tomorrow marks the conclusion of our five-week capital fund campaign toward the end of raising commitments totaling $500,000 or more toward the building of our facility.
As we anticipate the exciting events of this memorable Lord’s Day, arguably one of the most important days in the history of OGC, consider with me some lessons from another capital campaign in the lives of God’s people in the past.
First Chronicles 29:1-9 describes the stunning freewill offerings made by the Jews in response to David’s call to the people to consecrate themselves to the Lord in giving to the construction of Solomon’s temple. The people gave with such whole-hearted generosity that they and David alike rejoiced greatly (v. 9).
Quite beside himself with delight, David does what any God-centered leader should do on such a momentous occasion – he prays. You might not find a more God-centered prayer in all the Bible in vv. 10-19.
10 Therefore David blessed the Lord in the presence of all the assembly. And David said: “Blessed are you, O Lord, the God of Israel our father, forever and ever. 11 Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all. 12 Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all. In your hand are power and might, and in your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all. 13 And now we thank you, our God, and praise your glorious name.
14 “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. 15 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. 16 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. 17 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. 18 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. 19 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.”
From David’s prayer, and the people’s response in vv. 20-22, I see four things for us to keep in mind as we gather together tomorrow to see what God will do in the conclusion of our capital campaign.
- Acknowledge with thanks that everything belongs to God (10-13). David overflows with praise in the midst of the peoples’ giving acknowledging that all that is in the heavens and in the earth is His (11). As was the case with this version of God’s people in the past, so shall it be with us tomorrow that we must respond, whatever the outcome, this way: we thank you, our God, and praise your glorious name (13). I fully intend after the presentation of our gifts and pledges contained in our envelopes (available tomorrow on the resource table in the entryway) for us to sing the Doxology – Praise God from whom all blessings flow!
- Remember with humility that generosity comes from God (14-16). David thinks very little of himself or the people in terms of the generosity on display remembering that all things, including the grace of giving, come from God in the first place (14). Furthermore, as strangers and pilgrims soon passing from earth’s scene, we have no room to boast before God (15). If we near, make, or even exceed our goal tomorrow, it will be only because God Himself graced us to do so.
- Consider with prayer that devotion depends upon God (17-19). David knows that raising funds for the temple served as God’s test for the people as to the nature of their affections and commitment to His purposes. So he prays that God would keep them and his son, Solomon, fixed in such a direction. Matthew Henry observed on this part of the prayer:
Great consequences depend upon what is innermost, and what uppermost, in the imagination of the thoughts of our heart, what we aim at and what we love to think of. If any good have got possession of our hearts, or the hearts of our friends, it is good by prayer to commit the custody of it to the grace of God: “Lord, keep it there, keep it for ever there.”
The final insight comes from the response of the people in vv. 20-22.
20 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. 21 And they offered sacrifices to the Lord, and on the next day offered burnt offerings to the Lord, 1,000 bulls, 1,000 rams, and 1,000 lambs, with their drink offerings, and sacrifices in abundance for all Israel. 22 And they ate and drank before the Lord on that day with great gladness.
Anticipate with delight that worship results before God (20-22). David exhorted the people to bless God in worship and they responded with bowed heads and numerous sacrifices. It all culminated in feasting before the Lord on that day with great gladness (22). This, of course, is exactly what we anticipate doing tomorrow evening as we gather at 6 for our meal and then learn of what God has done.
We have given ourselves to these five weeks taking our cue from the prophet Haggai, considering our ways and asking the Lord to reveal what He may require of us in sacrificial giving toward this campaign.
As we gather tomorrow for the culmination of it all, may we keep these lessons from the past in mind and may God grant us the grace to keep Him uppermost in our affections from that point forward, for His glory and our joy.