2 Samuel 8:4,11
“David captured a thousand of his chariots, seven thousand charioteers and twenty thousand foot soldiers. He hamstrung all but a hundred of the chariot horses; King David dedicated these articles to the Lord, as he had done with the silver and the gold from all the nations he had subdued.”
The World’s Richest Man to date is Symeon Davors Carnegie Freemanstein, or 'The Shadow’. Only two years older than me, this $82.2 billionaire has major share holdings in all of the fifty top ranked businesses in the world. It is believed he makes over $1,200 per second! His farm-owner father was the man behind the catchy phrase ‘a cup for a buck’, but he gave in to an early buy out, lucrative offer for his Steinbucks Coffee (now Starbucks). It did give them though a vast amount of investment capital to play with. Now their assets include the world’s largest private jet - - the Jumbo Airbus 380 nicknamed ‘the Camel’ which is equipped with a heated swimming pool and a garage for his 2009 Rolls Royce. He owns the world’s largest luxury yacht - - the ‘Bodminium II’ which features 3 helipads and a cinema. His homes are across the world including a chateuax in France. Add 4 more hotels, 6 golf clubs, and a health resort in Hawaii. He owns the biggest and most valuable collection in the world which includes the original Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa and Michelangelo's sculture Pieta. Did he ever give to charities? Yes. Record shows his estimated lifetime donation is $750 million. We’re glad to hear that.
God gave David victory wherever he went. Every battle won meant vast plunder, and every land conquered equals more tribute. Being so famous during his time, he too could top the Forbes’ annual list. But as a public servant, especially as king, he knew it was not for him to bag it all home. It was clearly itemized in God’s mandate for kings: ‘must not acquire great numbers of horses for himself, must not accumulate large amount of silver and gold.’ And he did just that. Only a hundred horses and all articles straight for the Lord’s use. Does it mean David lived plain and simple? In 1 Chronicles 29, when it was time to provide for the building of the temple, out of his own pocket he shelled out his personal treasures of three thousand talents of gold and seven thousand talents of refined silver. Corruption was out of the question. Everybody knew he did what was just and right for all his people. It is no doubt God’s abundant blessing.
Little is known about Mr. Freemanstein except his assets and his determination to stay on top. But we know for sure it was God who allowed him to have a lot. All material wealth comes from the Lord. Everything in heaven and earth are His. But we have to note that it is not only from Him but also for Him. We do not need to wait until we’re billionaires to serve God’s purposes. Biblical stewardship stems from our personal relationship with Him. Will you give beyond the ten percent to church? When will you give to charities? How often will you give a treat your family? I hope we all know that God also delights when we enjoy His resources. How about savings? If David did not discipline his finances, will he be able to give so much when it was time-appropriate? I pray we’d all be just and right in our financial handling - - billionaire or not. May we always honor Him with His riches, and make Him famous with our praises!