“Leaders go first.” It’s a fairly common phrase. I thought of it the other day as I was reading 1 Chronicles 29.
King David, nearing the end of his life, is preparing the nation for its new king, his son, Solomon. Specifically, David is making preparations for the building of God’s temple. The temple was David’s dream, but God wouldn’t let him complete the project. It would have to wait until Solomon’s reign.
David said to the people …
My son Solomon, the one whom God has chosen, is just an inexperienced young man, and the task is great, for this palace is not for man, but for the Lord God. So I have made every effort to provide what is needed for the temple of my God, including the gold, silver, bronze, iron, wood, as well as a large amount of onyx, settings of antimony and other stones, all kinds of precious stones, and alabaster. (1 Chronicles 29.1-2, NET).
Then, David modeled the kind of investment he would invite others to make. He said …
Now, to show my commitment to the temple of my God, I donate my personal treasure of gold and silver to the temple of my God, in addition to all that I have already supplied for this holy temple. This includes 3,000 talents of gold from Ophir and 7,000 talents of refined silver for overlaying the walls of the buildings, for gold and silver items, and for all the work of the craftsmen. (1 Chronicles 29.3-5)
And, finally, after all that, David challenged the people, “Who else wants to contribute to the Lord today?”
I love that. This is what I’m doing. What are you going to do?
David went first. He set the bar. He modeled for others the kind of commitment and ownership he was looking for. Then, he made the invitation and gave the challenge.
Leaders go first.