Today: [1 Chronicles Twenty-Two] Preparing to Build the Temple. In this chapter we find David bowing to the determination of God that he will not be allowed to build the temple. He begins gathering the gold, silver and other materials in behalf of Solomon who he understands will complete the work. David further exhorts Solomon to faithfully fulfill the task set before him. For you and I we understand that WE are the temple and that as David prepared so Jesus (our David) has made preparation for us that we are to enter into and fulfill the vocation that we have been called to in becoming the habitation of God in the earth.
[1Ch 22:1-19 KJV] 1 Then David said, This [is] the house of the LORD God, and this [is] the altar of the burnt offering for Israel. 2 And David commanded to gather together the strangers that [were] in the land of Israel; and he set masons to hew wrought stones to build the house of God. 3 And David prepared iron in abundance for the nails for the doors of the gates, and for the joinings; and brass in abundance without weight; 4 Also cedar trees in abundance: for the Zidonians and they of Tyre brought much cedar wood to David. 5 And David said, Solomon my son [is] young and tender, and the house [that is] to be builded for the LORD [must be] exceeding magnifical, of fame and of glory throughout all countries: I will [therefore] now make preparation for it. So David prepared abundantly before his death. 6 Then he called for Solomon his son, and charged him to build an house for the LORD God of Israel.
In the previous chapter David meets the angel of the Lord at the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite. The prophet Gad instructs David to erect and altar there and the fire of God falls from heaven and consumes the sacrifice. David purchases the threshingfloor of Ornan and purposes to build a temple to the Lord there. Gad responds by the Spirit of God that David since he is a man of war and has shed much blood on the earth – will not be allowed to build the temple. However the promise of God is that one of David’s sons will be a man of rest and not a man of conflict. This will be the king God chooses to raise up the temple to Jehovah. David realizes this will be his son Solomon by Bathsheba and while Solomon is very young David begins to gather and warehouse the building materials and gather the craftmen who he understands will do the work after his death.
The is the picture of a man building a generational inheritance. In our day because of our concept of adulthood and what it represents we don’t really see things from a generational perspective. In the western world a son comes of age and he is on his own and expected to make his own way in the world. In ancient times families built generational legacies passed from son to son bringing about an inheritance far greater than any one man could do in his lifetime. Thus when Paul speaks in Ephesians about the inheritance we have in Christ he is understood better by that ancient culture he addressed than in our day where individualism and independence are valued above all else.
7 And David said to Solomon, My son, as for me, it was in my mind to build an house unto the name of the LORD my God: 8 But the word of the LORD came to me, saying, Thou hast shed blood abundantly, and hast made great wars: thou shalt not build an house unto my name, because thou hast shed much blood upon the earth in my sight. 9 Behold, a son shall be born to thee, who shall be a man of rest; and I will give him rest from all his enemies round about: for his name shall be Solomon, and I will give peace and quietness unto Israel in his days. 10 He shall build an house for my name; and he shall be my son, and I [will be] his father; and I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel for ever. 11 Now, my son, the LORD be with thee; and prosper thou, and build the house of the LORD thy God, as he hath said of thee. 12 Only the LORD give thee wisdom and understanding, and give thee charge concerning Israel, that thou mayest keep the law of the LORD thy God. 13 Then shalt thou prosper, if thou takest heed to fulfil the statutes and judgments which the LORD charged Moses with concerning Israel: be strong, and of good courage; dread not, nor be dismayed.
Thus David in the ancient writings of the kings recorded words of instruction to his son Solomon. He transparently explains that because of the blood on his hands he will not be allowed to build the temple. However he imposes upon Solomon as a young child that he will be a man of rest and that God will give Solomon and the nation of Israel rest in all their borders in order that the house of the Lord may be established in Jerusalem.
God promises not only that Solomon will build the house but that God himself will be a Father to Solomon and will establish Solomon’s kingdom over Israel forever. We know from history that eventually Solomon’s line loses the throne and goes into captivity to the Assyrians but the eternal promise is fulfilled in Christ and indicated in his own thinking when Pilate asked him “are you a king then…” and his reply was “you say that I am…” Jesus knew who he was not only as the son of God but also as the son of David and the promises that he was fulfilling by his life, death, burial and ressurection.
David prays two things over Solomon: 1.) that God would give him wisdom and understanding; 2.) that Solomon would have a heart to keep all the statutes handed down by Moses. Thus David is marrying the generations of Moses and himself and Solomon. He admonishes Solomon to be strong and of a good courage without dread or fear. Now the New Testament plainly teaches that you and I are kings unto God therefore these prayers for Solomon are applicable to our lives. How do you and I as New Covenant believers keep the law of Moses? Remember that the law was not given for adherence because the flesh imposed upon by the law was incapable of fulfilling it. Therefore we must understand the true purpose of the Law as revealed by Paul in the letter to the Galatians:
[Gal 3:24 KJV] 24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster [to bring us] unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
We keep the law when we fulfill the purpose the law was given by coming to Christ. How do we come to Christ? We come to Christ by faith which in the original Greek wording means that in all areas of our life we “to adhere to, cleave to; to trust, to have faith in; to rely on, to depend on” God as our source, our deliverer, our confidence, guide, master and teacher.
14 Now, behold, in my trouble I have prepared for the house of the LORD an hundred thousand talents of gold, and a thousand thousand talents of silver; and of brass and iron without weight; for it is in abundance: timber also and stone have I prepared; and thou mayest add thereto. 15 Moreover [there are] workmen with thee in abundance, hewers and workers of stone and timber, and all manner of cunning men for every manner of work. 16 Of the gold, the silver, and the brass, and the iron, [there is] no number. Arise [therefore], and be doing, and the LORD be with thee. 17 David also commanded all the princes of Israel to help Solomon his son, [saying], 18 [Is] not the LORD your God with you? and hath he [not] given you rest on every side? for he hath given the inhabitants of the land into mine hand; and the land is subdued before the LORD, and before his people. 19 Now set your heart and your soul to seek the LORD your God; arise therefore, and build ye the sanctuary of the LORD God, to bring the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and the holy vessels of God, into the house that is to be built to the name of the LORD.
When we read of the temple of Solomon many become overly disracted by the mosque of Omar and the wailing wall and the prospects that one day a physical, literal temple will be rebuilt according to the purposes of God. Be that as it may what about the fact that WE are the temple of God and that God dwells in us as surely as He ever took up residence in a gold overlaid box called the ark of the Covenant:
[1Co 6:19 KJV] 19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost [which is] in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
If we are the temple of God then what can we learn from David’s preparations for the temple to be built by his son Solomon? David is a type of Christ. The construction materials of the temple speak to us of the attributes of God and the reality of His indwelling presence.
- Gold – speaks of the Divine nature and wisdom of God.
- Silver – represents redemption and salvation from sin and from death and hell.
- Brass – represents judgment (we shall one day judge the world and even angels).
- Iron – represents recompence and justice (one day we will participate in the adjudication of Satan and his corruption of the earth).
- Timber – we are tree of rightouesness. God works through our flawed humanity.
- Stone – we are lively stones joined together with other stones in a spiritual construction of God’s choosing and not our own.
Then David concludes with a final exhortation to Solomon which we can apply to ourselves. We as Solomon are called to connect to God’s greater purposes. Once I remember a young woman walking up to me after a sermon on the broader purposes of God in the earth. “I just can’t see what any of that has to do with my life…” In other words she could not quantify the validity of the broader purposes of God because it didn’t benefit her personally. That woman is not living for God today. God required a maturity that looked beyond her personal blessing and she decided that Christianity was not for her. God wants us to be builders and obeyers in His purposes.
1.) Is God not with us?
2.) Has he not given us rest?
3.) NOW set your heart and soul to seek the Lord.
4.) Arise and build.
5.) Bring the ark of God’s presence into our habitation.
This is the charge that each one of us has as New Covenant believers. Unfortunately Solomon we find does not heed the voice of God but strays into idolatry,philosphy and many hurtful distractions. Because of Solomon’s lukewarmness the line of kings in Israel plunges into centuries of degradation, sin and eventual captivity. The narrative comes down to us as a cautionary tale that we might not make the same mistake.
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