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This chapter must have been another great encouragement for those who returned from Babylon to Israel to rebuild the altar, the temple, and the city of Jerusalem. They are the ones for whom the writer of Chronicles (Ezra?) tells his story. The chronicler writes about David’s efforts to build God’s house and how he encouraged Solomon to do this great work. By this the returnees be will motivated to do the work in their days with the same commitment and dedication for the LORD.
This chapter, in its spiritual sense, also means an encouragement for all who are comparable to the returnees from Babylon. Babylon means ‘confusion’ and is a picture of Christianity where confusion reigns. It is also possible today to leave the ‘confusion’ and stand on the basis of the church. For all who want to build what is God’s temple today, the chronicler’s account contains many spiritual lessons.
David Prepares the Temple Building
The LORD has appointed David the place of the temple and the altar (1Chr 21:15; 18; 26). David joins the choice of the LORD. Although no stone has yet been laid for the house, David says: “This is the house of the LORD God” (1Chr 22:1). He sees in the spirit the house before him.
The word “this” refers to the threshing floor David just bought. The foundation for the house of God is a threshing floor. The church is also built on a ‘threshing floor’. The wheat is beaten on the threshing floor to separate the chaff from the grain. It is a picture of the judgment with which the Lord Jesus was beaten, resulting in the origin of His church. The altar built in that place speaks of the Person of Christ and of the work He has accomplished as a sacrifice.
After the location of the temple has been determined, David will make preparations for the building of the temple and the service therein. Its description covers the rest of 1 Chronicles. After the turning away of the judgment on Jerusalem on the basis of the sacrifice, which the judgment has carried in place, the place where the sacrifice is brought is the basis of the temple and the temple service.
David establishes a temple service based on the sacrifice – the sacrifice is also a type of the Lord Jesus. Also today we have a temple service. For the church is “a temple” (1Cor 3:16; 2Cor 6:16). It is a spiritual temple. That spiritual temple includes a spiritual priestly service (1Pet 2:5; Rev 1:6) with spiritual sacrifices (Heb 13:15; 1Pet 2:5).
This spiritual priestly service with its spiritual sacrifices takes place especially when the church comes together to worship, that is to praise God for the gift of His Son. Based on the sacrifice, the sacrificial place becomes the center of a beautiful worship service that is established around the altar. These chapters indicate the great principles for the present service in what is now God’s temple.
The foreigners are called “to build the house of God” (1Chr 22:2). They have to hew out stones. Today every believer is originally a foreigner, but is now allowed to contribute to the building of God’s house. We read about aliens who bring “large quantities of cedar timber” to David (1Chr 22:4). Stone and wood are the basic elements for the house. Stones are a picture of believers, called “living stones” (1Pet 2:5). Wood is a picture of man as one who belongs to the earth. Later all this will be covered with gold. Thus the believing man becomes one who shows God’s glory.
It is then told that David prepares “large quantities of iron to make the nails for the doors of the gates and for the clamps” (1Chr 22:3). These materials are bought from the stock of David’s spoils of war. They are also mentioned in 1 Chronicles 28-29. Here we see that the first thing mentioned of the house has to do with the doors of the gates. It is therefore in the foreground that it is important to ensure that what is and what is not allowed to enter. This is vital for the service in the house.
Together with the doors of the gates, “the clamps” are called. Apart from the supervision of who may and may not enter the temple, the mutual correlation of the believers is also important. If the believers are well connected by living together for the Lord Jesus and listening to God’s Word, the enemy will not have a chance to do his pernicious work among them. For example, false teachings about the Lord Jesus or God’s Word, which always sow divisions, will not have a chance to penetrate.
David contrasts the youthfulness and inexperience of Solomon with the house to be built for the LORD (1Chr 22:5). David wants the house to be made “exceedingly magnificent”. The reason for this is that it will be “famous and glorious throughout all lands”. In what David says, the contrast is expressed between man’s incompetence and inexperience and the enormous work of building the glorious house of God. From ourselves we can do nothing. “Unless the LORD builds the house, They labor in vain who build it” (Psa 127:1). But if the Lord cooperates, it succeeds (cf. Mk 16:20; Phil 4:13).
Despite so much that has disappeared from the splendor of the house through our unfaithfulness, it is still possible to “adorn” God’s house, or to make it “glorious”. The remnant that has returned from Babylon to Israel does the same (Ezra 7:27). We can “adorn” the house by a dedicated walk, by having meetings in which the Lord Jesus is glorified, by our testimony in this world, very generally by our complete submission to the Lord (cf. Tit 2:9-10). Then they build with good materials, with “gold, silver, precious stones” (1Cor 3:12a) and there is no room for the flesh. All services that do not envisage the building of the church (Eph 4:11-16) are not adornments for God’s house, but combustible material (1Cor 3:12b-17).
David decides to prepare a supply with which Solomon can start building the house of God. He does this with an eye on the one hand to the youthfulness and inexperience of his son Solomon and on the other hand to the grandeur and splendor of that house. He does not do it sparingly, but he makes “ample preparations”. Everything is arranged by David for a house that has not yet been built. Thus everything is arranged through Christ before the church as His house in glory is revealed.
The last part of David’s life is filled with stockpiling for his son Solomon to build the temple. What a wonderful goal for an old man. What a wonderful example for all old believers. Old believers may seek the interests of God’s house to the very end with all efforts and serve by young believers to support in the building of God’s house.
Solomon Prepared for Building the Temple
David calls for Solomon and charges him to build a house “for the LORD God of Israel” (1Chr 22:6). Solomon is the right person for this. He also has the capacities for it. To do a work for the Lord requires a gift and a calling. Without gift and calling, what is done will not hold out because it is not from God (cf. Ezra 4:1-3).
David testifies toward his son of the interest he has always taken in a dwelling place for God. This is also an example for old believers. If it is well, they can tell that they have always given priority to God’s house in their lives. David tells Solomon that it has always been in his heart to build a house for the LORD (1Chr 22:6). He adds that the LORD told him that he could not build that house and the reason for it (1Chr 22:7-8).
At the same time, he was promised that a son, who was still to be born at the time, would build the house (1Chr 22:9). The LORD also said that this man will be “a man of rest”, to whom He will give rest from all His enemies around Him. Therefore, says the LORD, the name of that son shall be “Solomon”. The name ‘Solomon’ is directly linked to peace. In that name is the word shalom, which means ‘peace’. In his days the LORD will “give peace and quiet to Israel”. These are the appropriate conditions for the building of the temple, the dwelling place of God, where He can live in peace among His people and they can bring sacrifices to Him.
It is a privilege for Solomon to build a house as a man of rest for the name of the LORD. But that is not the only privilege. The LORD says further to David that his son will be for Him a son, and He will be for that son a Father (1Chr 22:10). This can only refer to the great Son of David, the Lord Jesus. That thought is confirmed by what the LORD says of the throne of Solomon. This will be a throne which He will “establish … over Israel forever”. That throne is the throne of the Lord Jesus and of no one else.
Here David is also a picture of Christ. From what he says here, we see that the glory of God in peace among His people is always the object of the heart of Christ. The suffering Servant of the LORD had this in mind when He went His way of suffering on earth. David and Solomon are together a picture of the Lord Jesus: David in His suffering and in the establishment of the kingdom and Solomon in His glorious and eternal reign.
It is also nice to see that David is not disappointed that he is not allowed to build the temple. There is also no jealousy with him that Solomon can do it. He does not get cranky and renounce all cooperation, but accepts what God determines. With all the means God has given him, he is committed to building the temple.
As a practical application, we see that older believers can help younger believers in fulfilling their task by making available to these young believers what they themselves have gathered over the years. This makes the task more attractive and easier for young people. Young people can make grateful use of this.
David gives some conditions for doing the commissioned work and bringing it to a successful end (1Chr 22:11-13). These conditions apply to any work that is also entrusted to us:
1. The condition that the Lord is with us (1Chr 22:11). That He will be, as long as each one of us abides by what “He has spoken concerning you”.
2. The condition that the work to be done does not take place on the basis of our own insights (1Chr 22:12). The Lord must give us “discretion and understanding”. He must help us to put into practice what we know.
3. The condition of obedience to the word given by God to Moses (1Chr 22:13). This is a requirement for all faithfulness and any revival after deviation. The later king Josiah also goes back to Moses (2Kgs 23:25; 2Chr 35:6) and also to David (2Chr 35:4).
The words “be strong and courageous” with which David encourages Solomon are also the words with which Moses encourages Joshua (Deu 31:6; Jos 1:6; 7; 9).
What material David has available for the building of God’s house has been collected by him “with great pain” (1Chr 22:14). This determines that the Lord Jesus can build His church through the ‘great pain’ of the cross. Solomon may add to this. This is reminiscent of Paul’s words when he says that in his flesh he completes “what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions” (Col 1:24).
Paul’s suffering is of the same character as Christ’s suffering. This does not mean, of course, that he suffers to the same extent and certainly not for reconciliation. There is nothing lacking as to the atonement, which is complete within itself. God acquired the church through the suffering of the Lord Jesus on the cross, through the blood of His own Son (Acts 20:28b).
The Lord Jesus revealed God in His life on earth, but not all God’s eternal plans. Only when the Holy Spirit comes to earth do believers gain insight into God’s plans through the apostle Paul (Acts 20:27). For Paul, witnessing this truth brings with it abundant suffering. This is not substitute suffering, it is additional suffering.
Others Helping Solomon
David points out to Solomon that there is a crowd of workmen ready to help him (1Chr 22:15). As with the building of the tabernacle, there is great willingness to do something for the LORD. Also at the beginning of the church, the New Testament house of God, we see a great dedication to the things of the Lord in all who belong to the church (Acts 4-5). Today, a lot of work has to be done by very few, because everyone “runs to his own house” (Hag 1:9), while the house of God is desolate.
The workmen are now the evangelists who bring in material and the teachers who “work” this material further so that the stones get to take their right place in the house (cf. Col 1:28-29). For us, the fact that others have to help Solomon means that no one can build independently of others. Paul realizes that too (Col 4:11b).
When David has pointed to the large number of people and the countless amount of materials, he instructs his son to arise and get to work. He may have prepared everything, but Solomon has to work with it. Added to the great task he thereby places on Solomon’s shoulders, he supports him above all with pointing out to him that the LORD will be with him (1Chr 22:16b).
The leaders of the people can also help Solomon (1Chr 22:17). David commands them to do so. Just as he did with Solomon, he also points out to the leaders that the LORD is with them (1Chr 22:18). They only have to look around to see the proof. Isn’t it rest on every side all around them? Now that they no longer have to wage war, they can commit themselves to building God’s house.
All the inhabitants of the land are given by the LORD into the hand of David. The whole land is for the LORD and for His people. When in a local church everything is subject to the authority of the Lord Jesus, there is real peace among the believers. He who sees this, will direct himself with “heart and soul” to the service of the house of God.
When heart and soul are filled with the things that fill the heart of God, the call comes to “arise … and build the sanctuary of the LORD God” (1Chr 22:19). The purpose of this is that in that house “the ark of the covenant of the LORD and the holy vessels of God” can be brought. Everything is aimed at ensuring that in that house the name of the LORD will be glorified. This happens when He dwells there between the cherubs on the ark and all the objects in the house are “holy”, that is, are dedicated to Him.
Kingcomments on the Whole Bible © 2021 Author: G. de Koning. All rights reserved. Used with the permission of the author
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de Koning, Ger. Commentaar op 1 Chronicles 22". "Kingcomments on the Whole Bible". https://studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 21 / Ordinary 26