King David’s Farewell (1 Chronicles 28-29)

Scripture reading – 1 Chronicles 28-29

We began our study of the life of David in 1 Samuel 16, and were first introduced to him as the youngest son of Jesse, a Bethlehemite, and a shepherd of his father’s sheep. None who knew David, including his father, would have imagined this lad of a boy was destined to become one of the most pivotal figures in human history.

David had been chosen by God (for the LORD recognized in him as man after His own heart, 1 Samuel 13:14; Acts 13:22). He had been anointed by Samuel, who had been admonished, “the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7).

Our recent Scripture readings have followed David’s last days on the earth, for he was “old and full of days, [and]he [had] made Solomon his son king over Israel (1 Chronicles 23:1). Rather than bemoaning the frailty of old age, he had busied himself preparing the plans and acquiring the materials necessary for Solomon to build a Temple to the LORD. David numbered the Levites, and divided them according to their ministries in the Temple (1 Chronicles 23-26). He had also numbered and organized his military by divisions (1 Chronicles 27).

Today’s Scripture reading (1 Chronicles 28-29), brings us to David’s final challenge to the people of his beloved Israel.

1 Chronicles 28 – David’s Final Preparations

Summoning all the leaders of his kingdom (28:1), the king shared with them how he had longed “to build an house of rest for the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and for the footstool of our God, and had made ready for the building” (28:2). God had denied him the privilege to build the Temple, because he had been “a man of war, and [had] shed blood” (28:3). Accepting God had chosen Solomon, to build a house for the LORD, David had poured himself into its preparations (28:4-6).

David’s Challenge to Solomon (28:9-21)

With the people serving as his witness (28:4), David charged Solomon to seek and obey the LORD (28:9). Solomon’s dominant task was to build the LORD a house, according to the pattern, and with the materials the king had prepared, and provided for the building (28:10-12). No detail was unimportant, and no expense was to be spared (28:14-18). The Temple would be unlike any building ever constructed, for “said David, the Lord made me understand in writing by his hand upon me, even all the works of this pattern” (28:19).

1 Chronicles 28 concludes with David challenging Solomon: “Be strong and of good courage, and do it: fear not, nor be dismayed: for the Lord God, even my God, will be with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee, until thou hast finished all the work for the service of the house of the Lord” (28:20).

1 Chronicles 29 – David’s Final Acts as King

The author of this first chronicle of Israel’s history has presented God as the Creator of Adam, the first man (1 Chronicles 1:1), and the Savior of Noah’s family in the great flood (1:4-17).  It was also revealed that God had chosen Shem, Noah’s son (1:17), and of his lineage Abraham was born (1:27). God had established His covenant with Abraham, that was later fulfilled in Jesus Christ, “the son of David, the son of Abraham” (Matthew 1:1).

David’s Challenge to Israel (29:1)

David reigned forty years as Israel’s king (29:27) and his final appeal to the leaders of the nation was recorded in 1 Chronicles 29. The king reminded the leaders and the people that God had chosen Solomon to succeed him as king. Nevertheless, David reminded the people that his son was “young and tender [inexperienced], and the work…great: for the palace [Temple] is not for man, but for the LORD God” (29:1).

Leading by Example: David’s Testimony (29:2-5)

David had given liberally and enthusiastically for the building of the Temple (29:2-5). Following the king’s example, the leaders of the nation “offered willingly” (29:6-9). Witnessing the spirit of their king and leaders, the people had “offered willingly, because with perfect heart they offered willingly to the LORD: and David the king also rejoiced with great joy” (29:9).

A Doxology of Praise, and A Prayer of Intercession for Solomon (29:9b-19)

A beautiful benediction of praise and worship is recorded when David rehearsed God’s blessings on Israel (29:10-13) in light of God’s grace (29:14-15). Remembering his humble beginnings, David prayed: “14  But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort [remember, David was a son of a shepherd]? for all things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee. 15  For we are strangers before thee, and sojourners, as were all our fathers: our days on the earth are as a shadow [shade; temporal; passing], and there is none abiding [no hope in this life]” (1 Chronicles 29:14-15).

Knowing the great task his son would face after his death, David prayed: “Give unto Solomon my son a perfect heart, to keep thy commandments, thy testimonies, and thy statutes, and to do all these things, and to build the palace [Temple], for the which I have made provision” (29:19).

David’s Final Charge to Israel (29:20-22)

David’s last words moved the hearts of the people to bow their heads, and humble their hearts before the LORD (29:20). The people then sealed their confessions with offerings and sacrifices (29:21). Although he had been crowned king at an earlier time (23:1), the people affirmed Solomon a second time as king, and also anointed “Zadok to be priest” (29:22).

Solomon Ascended His Father’s Throne (29:23-25)

God would answer David’s prayer, and “the LORD magnified Solomon exceedingly in the sight of all Israel, and bestowed upon him such royal majesty as had not been on any king before him in Israel” (29:25).

David’s Obituary (29:26-30)

David reigned as king for forty years (29:26-27). He ruled Judah for seven years, and was king of a united Israel for thirty-three years. Altogether, his life was summed up in this simple obituary: “He died in a good old age, full of days [he enjoyed life], riches [he had become wealthy], and honour [and been blessed]: and Solomon his son reigned in his stead” (29:28).

Closing thoughts – All men and women will die, but few die having lived a full life that has been blessed, and bears the honor of God’s blessings as the crowning achievement.

What about your legacy? What will be said of your life and character when you have passed?

Copyright 2021 – Travis D. Smith