Edition 257 ( 3 min read)
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. 1 Chronicles 29:3
How important are affections? There are many relationships where people say they love someone, yet that someone would never know it.
I recall a husband whose wife divorced him, saying she was sick of his grunts and insults. He said he loved her, but she never felt his affections.
For instance, she came home one day with a new dress and tried it on. Then, waltzing out of the bedroom in the hope of catching a compliment from her husband, or at least an acknowledgement of her looking pretty, she asked with a smile as she spun around, "Well, what do you think? Do you like it?
What was his response? He just looked up and in a surly tone said, "I'd tell you if I didn't, wouldn't I?"
We can say we love someone, but if affection is missing, that someone means no more to us than a chattel or useful piece of equipment.
In our scripture, we see the depth of David's love for his Lord. He had 'set' his affection. Affection, like love, is an act of our will. When we love someone we determine ourselves to love them. Emotions start some relationships off, but later, when the embers of passion have lost some of their blazing glory, instead of thinking the relationship is over, it's really just beginning. We stoke up the embers and the marriage takes on a new perspective, turning into a co-joining of magnificence. In his mind, David married himself to the Lord.
Proverbs 23:26 states, "My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways." In other words, set your affection.
For the word "affection" in the original Hebrew, H7521, we get the meanings of pleasure, delight, favourable, acceptable. David set his affection because preparing the materials for building the holy house of his God was his pleasure. It was his delight, and in it, he found favour and an acceptable offering unto the Lord. We know the Lord didn't let David build that holy house because he "had blood on his hands" but we do know the Lord accepted his materials, all of them.
As you go forward in your Christian walk, where do you find your affection set? Are you on fire to build God's holy house in your heart? Is it your one great yearning? Or do you find yourself split between competing objects of desire?
King David had to work the works of a king, but underpinning those daily duties was a burning desire to get the house built, to make sure all the materials were right according to the blueprint. David was like Moses, in the sense that neither of them was allowed to enjoy the work of their hands. It was all in promise.
We also see our work in a future aspect, but we are expected to build that house — make our hearts a precious place for the Lord. Not according to a resentful affection, like the surly husband, but a set affection for our Saviour to glory in. An acceptable affection. God is not a chattel or piece of equipment we use on church day or when in trouble, He is our all, our everything!
How do we set affection?
We see David gave of his own gold and silver, not brass and copper. We give of our best times of the day when we are fresh and ready to worship, communicate and study. David made sure the materials were sturdy and timeless in the holy house. When we read our Bible or study, we should do it with the attitude of a diligent student, who says "I need to know this" instead of "I need to get out of this lecture so I can sink more beers."
As we read his Psalms, we see David's heart was inquisitive but most times full of joy. His heart was just bursting to be in the same room as his Lord. He loved him like he loved nothing else. He even said he would prefer to be a doorkeeper in the Lord's house than a kingdom-owner in this world.
Our affection is set by a decision to marry our Saviour, where our focus becomes interdependent. We need him more than anything else, and he needs us to get the work done, to build his church with the right materials.
Today's prayer: Dear Lord, thank you again for another snippet of your wonderful word. We don't always need pages of scripture to receive instruction. Even these crumbs which fall from the master's table tell us volumes. Please help me set or reset my affection for your glory.
Photo by Nick Fewings