Scripture reading – 1 Chronicles 28; 1 Chronicles 29

 

We began our study of the life of David in 1 Samuel 16 when we 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.  

Though a youth, the LORD chose David to be king, for He recognized in his character a man after His own heart (1 Samuel 13:14; Acts 13:22). When Samuel anointed him, the LORD admonished that prophet, “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. When 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 busied himself preparing the plans and acquiring the materials necessary for Solomon to build a Temple to the LORD. David then numbered the Levites and divided them according to their ministries in the Temple (1 Chronicles 23-26). He 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 the leaders of his kingdom (1 Chronicles 28:1), David shared 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” (1 Chronicles 28:2). Yet, God had denied him the privilege to build the Temple, because he had been “a man of war, and [had] shed blood” (1 Chronicles 28:3). After acknowledging the LORD chose Solomon to build His house, David poured himself into its preparations (1 Chronicles 28:4-6).

 

David’s Challenge to Solomon (1 Chronicles 28:9-21)

With the people serving as his witnesses (1 Chronicles 28:4), David charged his son and successor to seek and obey the LORD (1 Chronicles 28:9). Solomon’s dominant task was to build the LORD a house, according to the pattern and with the materials the king prepared, and provided for the construction (1 Chronicles 28:10-12). No detail was unimportant, and no expense was to be spared (1 Chronicles 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” (1 Chronicles 28:19).

1 Chronicles 28 concluded 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” (1 Chronicles 28:20).

1 Chronicles 29 – David’s Final Acts as King

 

The author of this first chronicle of Israel’s history began the book by presenting 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 Chronicles 1:4-17).  It was also revealed that the LORD chose Shem of Noah’s sons (1 Chronicles 1:17) and that Abraham was born of his lineage (1 Chronicles 1:27). God established a covenant with Abraham that was ultimately fulfilled in Jesus Christ, who was “the son of David, the son of Abraham” (Matthew 1:1).

 

David’s Challenge to Israel (1 Chronicles 29:1)

 

David reigned forty years as Israel’s king (1 Chronicles 29:27), and his final appeal to the nation’s leaders was recorded in 1 Chronicles 29. The king reminded the leaders and the people that God chose 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” (1 Chronicles 29:1).

 

Leading by Example: David’s Testimony (1 Chronicles 29:2-5)

 

David gave liberally and enthusiastically for the building of the Temple (1 Chronicles 29:2-5). Following the king’s example, the leaders of Israel also “offered willingly” (1 Chronicles 29:6-9). Witnessing their king’s and leaders’ spirit, the people “offered willingly, because with perfect heart they offered willingly to the LORD: and David the king also rejoiced with great joy” (1 Chronicles 29:9).

 

A Doxology of Praise, and A Prayer of Intercession for Solomon (1 Chronicles 29:9b-19)

A beautiful benediction of praise and worship is recorded when David rehearsed God’s blessings on Israel (1 Chronicles 29:10-13) in light of God’s grace (1 Chronicles 29:14-15).

Remembering his humble beginning, David prayed: “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” (1 Chronicles 29:19).

David’s Final Charge to Israel (1 Chronicles 29:20-22)

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

 

Solomon Ascended His Father’s Throne (1 Chronicles 29:23-25)

God did 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” (1 Chronicles 29:25).

 

David’s Obituary (1 Chronicles 29:26-30)

David reigned as king for forty years (1 Chronicles 29:26-27). He ruled Judah for the first seven years and was king of a united Israel for thirty-three years. Altogether, his life was summed up in a 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” (1 Chronicles 29:28).

 

Closing thoughts – 

All men and women will inevitably die. Yet, few live full lives, and in death, bear the honor of God’s blessings as their crowning achievement. 

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

Questions to consider –

1) Who did David address in his final speech to the nation before his death? (1 Chronicles 28:1)

2) What task did the LORD deny David? (1 Chronicles 28:2-3)

3) Who chose Solomon to be Israel’s king? (1 Chronicles 28:5)

4) What was David’s charge to the leaders of Israel? (1 Chronicles 28:8)

5) What was David’s longing for his son Solomon? (1 Chronicles 28:9)

6) What was Solomon’s primary task as king? (1 Chronicles 28:10)

7) Who gave David the design of the Temple? (1 Chronicles 28:11-12, 19)

8) What motivated David to sacrifice his wealth to build the Temple? (1 Chronicles 29:3)

9) How did David describe the temporal nature of our earthly life? (1 Chronicles 29:15)

10) What was David’s prayer for Solomon? (1 Chronicles 29:19)

 

Copyright © 2023 – Travis D. Smith

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