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A Great Assembly, 1 Chronicles 28:1-8
With chapter 28 the chronicler has reached the event for which the foregoing listing of offices and persons was the groundwork. Chapters 23-27 contain the names of all the leading men of Israel at the close of David’s reign. It is these whom David now calls to assemble themselves to Jerusalem for his farewell address. In addition to those who were specifically named there are also gathered the lesser captains of the army, the captains of the thousands and of the hundreds; the king’s sons, the princes; the mighty men and other valiant men, for obvious reasons. This calling of the people to a farewell address is reminiscent of the farewell addresses of Moses (all the Book of Deuteronomy) and Joshua (chapters 23, 24). It is a measure of David’s godly concern for Israel, in that he wished them to continue to enjoy His blessings by being obedient to His word.
The great task which would devolve on David’s successor would be the building of the house of God. David begins his address by reminding his people how he had longed in his heart to build the temple, but was denied the privilege by the Lord Himself, because he had been a man of war and bloodshed. David had indeed been involved in war with every nation around Israel, except the Phoenicians, who had made a covenant with him through their king, Hiram of Tyre. He had furthermore been guilty of murder in the matter of Uriah the Hittite, and all these things doubtless entered into the Lord’s refusal to allow David to build Him a house.
Nevertheless, David reminded the people that God had chosen him to be their king. God had chosen Judah to be the ruling tribe in Israel, and had chosen the house of Jesse for the king. Out of Jesse’s sons God had preferred David. Now, said David, God had further extended His choice to take Solomon, among the many sons of David, to be king after his father. The Lord had spoken to David in covenant (2 Samuel 7:4-17; 1 Chronicles 17:3-15), telling him these things. The Lord had promised to make Solomon His son and to be his Father, to establish his kingdom forever if he remained faithful to the Lord’s commandments and judgments.
David’s words presented Solomon to the assembly as the divinely appointed heir to the throne and kingdom, and this great gathering was to recognize and abide by this fact. David sought a pact between the people, whom he calls the congregation of the Lord (by virtue of their representation of the entire nation of Israel), and the audience of God Himself. Their adherence to the commandments of the Lord God will accrue to them continued possession of the good land He had given them and its retention as the inheritance of their children. These admonitions are worthy the consideration of any generation and nation (cf. 1 Thessalonians 5:21; 2 Timothy 1:13).
Solomon’s Instruction, Verses 9-19
David instructed Solomon publicly in the building of the temple, when he should become king, that both the new king and his people would understand it was the will of the Lord.
Note the points of David’s instructions to his son... 1) he should know, have saving knowledge, of the God of David; 2) he should serve the Lord in his reign perfectly and out of a willing heart; 3) he should remember that the Lord knows the imperfections of man, and will judge him accordingly; 4) if Solomon will seek the Lord, He may be found of him, and thus he may count on His faithfulness (Isaiah 55:6; Ecclesiastes 12:1); 5) if he should forsake the Lord, the Lord will certainly forsake him (1 Kings 11:4; 1 Kings 11:9-10).
Next, David proceeded to give Solomon instruction concerning the building of the temple as to its pattern. Solomon is told that the Lord has chosen him to build the house of God, and he should therefore strengthen himself to do it. The pattern given Solomon by David was comprehensive, leaving very little to be decided by Solomon as to its form and worship. The pattern included instruction for the porch (or colonnade), the houses, their treasuries, upper chambers in the wall, parlors, place of the mercy seat (holy of holies), the treasuries (storerooms) for the tithes and dedicated things. David claimed knowledge of this by the spirit of the Lord.
The pattern also included the coutses of the priests and Levites, in regard to their order of service in the temple worship. It told how the vessels of gold and silver should be constructed, the weight of gold or silver to be used in each object. These included the candlesticks and their lamps, the shewbread tables, bowls, fleshhooks for handling the carcasses of the sacrificial animals, the basins of gold and silver for the blood and other functions of the worship. It even included the altar of incense and the cherubim which overspread the mercy seat in the holy of holies.
In verse 19 David lays claim to divine inspiration in these things. It appears that he felt God had guided his hand in drawing the blueprint for all of them. If this be the true meaning of David’s words one must conclude that God was in the building of the temple in much the same way that He was in the building of the tabernacle under Moses (Exodus 25:40). Some have questioned whether the Lord desired that a temple should be built for Him.
Such a question might arise from the Lord’s comments to David by Nathan when he first proposed to build the temple. God questioned David whether He had ever at any time, during all the time of the judges and afterwards spoken anything about the building of a temple for Him (see 2 Samuel 7:7). One should not doubt that the building of the temple was in the permissive will of God, and if David’s claim to inspiration has been rightly interpreted, it should be concluded that the Lord was indeed pleased with its building.
Solomon’s Charge, Verses 20-21
The charge to Solomon by David is reiterated here (see comments earlier on 1 Chronicles 22:13). The charge as stated here is very much like that given to Joshua when he was to assume leadership of Israel following the death of Moses (De 31:6-7; Joshua 1:6-9). It would require strength of will and courage, for there would be great obstacles and doubtless opposition by some. He should have no fear, nor be dismayed (or perplexed at his problems). For the Lord God would be with Solomon, the God of David. David was an example for his son, of the goodness and mercy of the Lord, and he wanted Solomon to count on the same divine care.
David now divulged what was, perhaps; his reason for organization of the priestly and Levitical service. He wanted Solomon to have the full support of the Lord; the priests and Levites would be in a position to intercede for him in the work. So Solomon is told that he may count on these representatives of the Lord to support him. In addition David has arranged to lighten the physical load of his son when he begins to build the temple. He had already assigned trained workmen to the work of building. Their skills would be available for whatever need he had. This gathering of the princes was to assure him their wholehearted support in the monumental task he is to undertake. there is much to be accomplished in the co-operation of God’s people (2 Corinthians 6:1).
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Text Courtesy of Blessed Hope Foundation and the Baptist Training Center.
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on 1 Chronicles 28". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://studylight.org/
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