David’s famous prayer of contrition for his treachery against Uriah contains this line: “You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings” (Psalm 51:16). In the last chapter of 1 Chronicles, however, David delights to make very expensive offerings to help when Solomon builds God’s temple. If God doesn’t delight in offerings, why does David make these incredible offerings?

In that same psalm, David answers immediately that God values, “a broken and contrite heart.” (Psalm 51:17). It is not that God despises offerings or that God would reject our gifts, but that God prefers that any sacrifices we make would flow from desires to honor and please Him. It is very possible to give with false motives; we might hope for the praise of others or even that God will bless us more if we give.

Giving is very good—that is, when it comes from a heart that delights in God. When God mesmerizes someone and, in following His will, they sacrifice of their resources, we know that God receives this with pleasure.