Friday, 30 May 2014

(151) May 31: 1 Chronicles 28-29 & John 11:47-57

Ask God to open your mind, heart and will to understand, delight in and obey what you read.

To discover:­­
As you read consider what qualities David displays.

To ponder:
David summonds and then addresses those of 27v1 together with his mighty men and warriors. He repeats his heartfelt concern to build “a house” as “a place of rest” for “the ark” – signifying God’s presence. He is however clear that God cannot truly dwell in a building. The temple is just a resting place for his feet, no doubt with God himself in heaven (Is 66v1).
David then notes God’s rejection of him as builder (see notes ch. 22), but marvels that he has chosen him to be king and his son to sit on the throne, build the temple, and have an everlasting kingdom “if” he continues to be unswerving in obeying God’s law. As David knew the kingdom would ultimately endure because of God’s promise to him, this must refer to it ceasing to exist for a time if its kings proved unfaithful. With echos of Moses’ speeches in Deuteronomy, David then charges his hearers to obey the law in order that they may possess and pass on the land to their descendents “for ever” – ie. to generation after generation. All this explained the lack of king and established kingdom to the post-exilic reader.
Turning to Solomon, David’s charge then challenges us as to obedience. It is to acknowledge God with “wholehearted devotion” and “a willing mind” because God understands the heart and “every motive” (1 Cor 4v5). Now foreshadowning Christ’s words, David promises if Solomon “seeks” to know God by these means, God will be found by him (Matt 7v7). But if Solomon rejects him, he will be rejected forever (Mk 8v28). If we would more intimately know the LORD, there is no other way than with such devotion and obedience.
            David then passed Solomon detailed plans for the temple (28v11-18), bracketed by the note “the Spirit” put them on David’s mind, and his comment that he had them “in writing from the hand of the LORD upon” him. We are therefore to see them as God given and so pleasing to him. Moreover, we see that inspiration can come by Spirit-governed reflection, not just by vision or voice. David then urged Solomon to “be strong and courageous” (Jos 1v6-9) and not be frightened or discouraged from the work as the LORD would be with him throughout and the various groups of people ready to play their part (28v21). Jesus’ promise to be with his followers to the end of the age gives us the same reassurance as we build his church (Matt 28v20).
            Acknowledging that the task of building a palace for God is a great one, and Solomon is young and inexperienced, David notes the treasures he has given, commits to giving more, and then asks who else will “consecrate” (ie. dedicate) himself to the LORD, presumably by giving too. We then read his hearers “gave willingly,” and “any” who had precious stones gave them. This giving was “free,” “wholehearted” and “to the LORD,” and the people rejoiced to see it. And it moves those of us who have more as these men did, to be so taken up with the building of the church that we give to God with the same attitudes (2 Cor 8-9).
In response David’s prayer affirms God should be praised: All greatness, power, glory, majesty and splendour are his. Indeed, everything is his, and so wealth and honour come from him. So David marvels that he and the people could give in this way. He sees himself and the nation as “aliens and strangers” to God (Ps 39), perhaps implying they have no right to provision as family members might. Moreover, their lives are fleeting and without hope. Yet “the abundance” from which they’ve given has come from God (Jam 1v17). Do we marvel at his generosity in the same way?
David then prays God would “keep” the people’s desire to give so willingly “in their hearts forever,” and grant Solomon the “wholehearted devotion” to obey him and build the temple. If we understand our hearts rightly, we recognise only God can do such things.
At David’s command, all the people then praised God and fell prostrate before him and David. The following day they then made numerous sacrifices and ate and drank in fellowship with the LORD. In this context it seems Solomon was acknowledged king for a second time (see 23v1) at which he was anointed “before the LORD,” (presumably before the ark) and so set-apart for this role. His reign is portrayed as one in which he prospered, Israel obeyed him, and all united in their submission to him (29v24). Most importantly, God exalted him. As only Saul and David had so far ruled Israel, the affirmation that his splendour surpassed that of all Israel’s previous kings should be understood as a turn of phrase intended to stress his greatness. So the book concludes with David’s death and the baton passed with great hope to Solomon.

Praying it home:
Praise God for so generously providing for you materially. Pray that he would work in your hearts the devotion and willingness to give generously to him and his work.

Thinking further:
None today.
If you receive this post by email, visit and make a comment.


Post a Comment