Chapters 25-27 consist of notations and divisions of musicians, gate keepers, treasurers, troops, and tribes under King David’s command. Chapter 28 is a series of speeches by David before his assembled officials and commanders in which he recounts aspects of his life, specifically the interaction he had with the Lord when he wanted to build Him a house of rest. He recalls that the Lord told David that because he was a man of blood and war, he could not build the Lord’s house, but that David’s son Solomon would be the one to build it. Despite this, David continued to do all he could to prepare the goods and materials needed for the temple. At this point David charges the people of Israel to observe and seek out all the commandments of the Lord so that He may bless them in their land and keep it as an inheritance for their children forevermore.
David then turns to his son, Solomon, and charges him to know God and serve Him with a whole heart and willing mind, saying “Be careful now, for the Lord has chosen you to build a house for the sanctuary; be strong and do it.” He then goes on to hand down all the plans for the temple that had been revealed by God. The last chapter of this book tells of the whole assembly gladly giving of their own possessions to the temple preparations and sacrificing many animals. David then blesses the Lord and prayed before the entire assembly, acknowledging that all he and the people of Israel had given was already a gift from the Lord. He humbly declares “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 … our days on earth are like a shadow and there is no abiding.”
After these prayers and pleas, there is a great feast of gladness before the Lord. Solomon is anointed king, and David passes away.
The book of Chronicles encapsulates key points of the Biblical narrative thus far and homes in on specific themes. As this first part of Chronicles ends, the author thoroughly underlines David’s heart before the Lord before he passes away, suggesting that what he says in these final chapters is his life’s work. David, in a blessing over the congregation before him, ascribes all power, glory, greatness, majesty, honour, riches, and victory to God Almighty, exalting Him before all the people of Israel. This is the fundamental message of the life of King David. He then declares that all the good things that Israel has and offers to God is already a gift from God, and that humility is the only proper posture before Him.
Following this, David turns from the congregation to his son Solomon and charges him to know God and to serve him with an undivided heart and willing mind, as well as to take care in all things for the Lord has chosen Solomon to build His temple. We can imagine that such a charge humbled Solomon as he kept his eyes keen on the greatness of God – it was in this state that Solomon had pleased God by asking only for wisdom and discernment when he was king!
David makes a clear and obvious lesson out of these prayers, one that the author of Chronicles took pains to point out to us as the bedrock upon which David learned to build his life: Go after God and His truth first, engage in the work of God next.
This is a clear Divine command revealed through the entire life of David which has a contemporary in the gospel of Matthew 6:33 “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” In fact, it is safe to say that Solomon had this right in the beginning of his reign but soon forgot about the righteousness of God, pursuing other pleasures and leading to the destruction of his kingdom! How quickly we can forget the sound teachings of our God and take our eyes off Him.
We all have plans and ideas and goals, which are never a bad thing in and of themselves – but how many of us truly lay down our own lives and seek that of the Kingdom of God first? There are many wonderful changes happening these days as our city and province open back up into a semblance of normalcy and we are able to dream and plan in ways we haven’t been able to in such a long time. As we look ahead, let us not forget that if we want to follow Christ, we must must must take care to seek what He wants first and submit to His will before we dare strike out on our own. To honour Him, we must put Him first. He is our goal and fulfilment – not anything we can do ourselves! Learn from the life of David and consider why it is that he made the Lord the master of his life.
What does it mean that “all these things will be given to you as well”? What do you wish it to mean? Are you willing to lay down your very desires and let God shape them?
Lord, thank you for looking after us these past many months in what has certainly felt like an exile. Thank you for your protection and care and for teaching us to lean on you instead of ourselves. I pray that we might all come to depend on you in truth instead of our own understanding. Give us a glimpse of your greatness and power this day so that we might be properly humble and give you the honour you deserve! Amen.
Song: Build My Life - Pat Barrett
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