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We are ready for the beautiful end of king David’s life. It is also a special end. It is a farewell speech, as did Moses and Joshua and Samuel and Paul, each with their own content, fitting their circumstances. The central theme of these last two chapters of this first book of Chronicles are the plans for the building of the temple. David has prepared the building of the temple. Solomon only needs to perform. The end of David’s life is linked to this grand design of the house of rest for the ark of the LORD’s covenant.
In the description of David’s plan for the construction of the temple, it seems that the author of the books of Chronicles is interested in presenting David as a second Moses, and Solomon as a second Joshua. There are therefore clear similarities between David and Moses. Thus, despite all that they have meant to the people of God, both of them were not allowed to complete their work. Moses is not allowed to bring the people into the land and David is not allowed to build the temple. In both cases God forbids them from completing this work.
In both cases, their work is completed by a follower appointed by God. It is clear that we can see Solomon as a second Joshua. Both are chosen privately and receive the support of the whole people; both receive that support without resistance or opposition; both are exalted by God; both bring God’s people into the rest.
In addition to these similarities in circumstances, there are also striking similarities between the words said to them when performing what is commanded to them. Both are told: “Be strong and courageous” (1Chr 28:20; Deu 31:6; 1Chr 22:13), “The LORD your God is with you” (1Chr 28:20; Deu 31:6; 8; 23; Jos 1:5; 9; 1Chr 22:11; 16) and “He will not fail you nor forsake you” (1Chr 28:20; Deu 31:6; 8; Jos 1:5). These similarities show Joshua and Solomon as those chosen by God to complete the great work of their predecessors.
The kingship of the LORD is a subject of prophecy. David and Solomon are both a type of Christ in His reign in the kingdom of peace. Therefore there is one throne of the LORD. The LORD will reign in the kingdom of peace. Solomon sits “on the throne of the LORD” (1Chr 29:23). The kingdom of God is the exercise of God’s dominion which is placed in the hands of a man, Solomon. Solomon is only a (failing) picture of the Man Christ Jesus in whose hands God places the ultimate rule over all things. It is therefore also the kingdom of the Son of man.
This is also practically important for today. The house of God, the temple in Jerusalem, literally refers also to the kingdom of peace. In a spiritual sense the temple is a picture of the church now. The church, whatever is said of the temple, is “a permanent house”, or, literally, “a house of rest” (1Chr 28:2). The ark is a picture of the Lord Jesus. He is the center of a place of rest. Christ is the center of the spiritual life, Christ Who finds rest among His own. The ark is the footstool of God, that is to say that God also finds His rest in the ark. In Psalm 110 the earth is a resting place for the Lord Jesus. This is not the case yet, but it is in the church.
Christ is first and foremost the resting point for God. God finds rest in the Person and the work of the Lord Jesus. The sabbatical rest of God at creation (Gen 2:3) is disturbed by sin. The sabbath’s rest will soon come for creation, during the millennial kingdom of peace. Now and here it is about the rest of God in the Lord Jesus and the rest of the Lord Jesus in the church, in our hearts and lives.
All this, as far as we are concerned, calls on our responsibility. We must ensure that this house of rest is also there now. The Old Testament is not about our Christian position but about putting it into practice. Here we find the conditions to ensure that such a house is present.
The order for the building is given to Solomon. In these chapters there are serious exhortations from David to Solomon. That cannot apply to the Lord Jesus. Solomon is also a picture of us. The Lord Jesus must stand by us with His Spirit and power in being a place of rest for God.
David and Solomon are a type in three ways:
1. of the kingship in the kingdom of peace,
2. of the dominion in the house of God now and
3. very practical as people who give us all kinds of lessons that we ourselves have to put into practice.
Solomon Chosen to Build the Temple
All the leaders of the people and all who have a task come to listen to David (1Chr 28:1; cf. 1Chr 23:1-2). Here we see a picture of how things should be in the local church. Everyone has a responsibility in it and must listen to the Lord Jesus in order to fulfil the task properly.
To make his speech David stands up (1Chr 28:2). Because he is old and weak, he will have sat down, but now he rises to his feet to speak to his people for the last time. He calls them here “my brethren”. Then he begins to speak about the intention he had in his heart to build a temple for the LORD. That intention dates from seventeen years earlier, but he has not forgotten it. His heart has been busy with it all this time.
However, God has told him that he is not allowed to build the temple because he has shed blood (1Chr 28:3). David is the suffering, rejected king. He is also the warring king.
David and Solomon have been chosen by God, each for the task He has assigned them. David is aware that everything has come from God and that it is not a choice of man. He realizes the privilege that God has chosen him among the sons of his father and that out of the many sons he has himself, God has chosen Solomon (1Chr 28:4-5).
In his words we hear God express His special preference for Solomon (1Chr 28:6). Here we can see Solomon as a picture of the Lord Jesus as the object of the Father’s love in connection with the kingdom (Col 1:13). We may remember that we too are objects of the Father’s love, as evidenced by the fact that God has “predestined us to adoption as sons … to Himself” (Eph 1:5). When we think about this, are we not filled with admiration for Him? It is great to know that He is our Father and that we are His sons.
In 1Chr 28:7, a condition is attached to the confirmation of the kingship. Meeting that condition requires strength. Solomon must be resolute to “perform My commandments and My ordinances, as is done now”. He does not have the power to do this in himself, but can obtain it from the almighty God. The sense of lack of power is needed to resort to the source of power. For us it means that we will “be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus” (2Tim 2:1) and that we will “be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might” (Eph 6:10).
David points out that the power “now” is present. At that moment, that day, Solomon is strong and he keeps the commandments and ordinances of the LORD. However, this is no guarantee for the next day and days. It will have to be made true every day. There is also an encouragement for later. If there are days when we feel weak, it is good to be reminded of days when we have experienced God’s power.
In 1Chr 28:8 David adds some more things to the condition of obedience of the previous verse.
1. It is about “all the commandments”. This excludes arbitrariness and preference for a few commandments. The commandments of God form, so to speak, a total package.
2. They are to be “observed”. The recognition that all commandments are important can only be taken seriously if they are also obeyed.
3. But mere obeying is not enough either. It comes down to the sensibility of the heart. If there is the real desire to obey all commandments, the “seeking” of them will be present.
With regard to the awareness and enjoyment of the sonship and blessings of the heavenly land we may have, it means that we will only have that awareness and enjoyment if we obey the Lord Jesus wholeheartedly. If we wish to be in the way and commandments of God, we will remain in the possession and enjoyment of the land.
Therefore Paul first prays for the Colossians that they will come to the knowledge of the will of the Lord (Col 1:9-11). Only then does he speak of the blessings of the inheritance of the saints in which they partake and of being transferred to the kingdom of the Son of the Father’s love (Col 1:12-14).
If we live in obedience, we ourselves will be preserved in the enjoyment of our inheritance. We will also leave this good inheritance for those who come after us, which they in turn can enjoy.
Then David addresses the word to his son (1Chr 28:9). These are the words of a father to his son. The father knows God and has lived with and for Him. He wishes his son the same. This will be the wish of every father who lives with and for the Lord, for his children.
With the words “as for you, my son Solomon” David speaks to Solomon in an emphatic and insistent manner. He has important recommendations for his son. The first is: “Know the God of your father.” Knowing means having fellowship. In this way David underlines the importance of a real relationship with the living God. David tells Solomon, as it were, that the secret of his own success has been his fellowship with God and that Solomon must live in the same fellowship.
If knowing God is present, he can also serve God “with a whole heart and a willing mind”. Both heart and mind must be completely focused on God. The reason for serving God in this way is that the LORD searches all hearts and has insight into all thought formation. He is the omniscient God.
This does not frighten, but encourages to seek Him. It is an invitation to come to Him, to seek Him, for everything we may do and what we need for it. The promise is that He will be found. Whoever seeks Him will experience that “He is a rewarder of those who seek Him” (Heb 11:6b).
David also points out to Solomon the serious other side. If he doesn’t seek Him, but forsakes Him, the LORD will reject him forever. Solomon has left the LORD. That does not mean that Solomon has been lost. Eternally rejected here means that Solomon on earth will no longer be the king of peace under whose reign peace and prosperity are enjoyed. His kingship is then forever over.
After his encouraging and admonishing words David points out to his son that the LORD has chosen him to build a house for a sanctuary (1Chr 28:10). That is why he encourages him to show himself strongly and to take up the work.
The Design of the Temple and the Materials
In these verses the plans for the building of the temple are given. David gives his son “the plan” of the temple (1Chr 28:11). For the building of the tabernacle also a plan, or pattern, is given (Exo 25:9; 40; Exo 27:8). Just as the plans for the building of the tabernacle are given to Moses, so Solomon is given a description of the temple. This means that nothing is left to the imagination of Solomon himself. The plan that David gives him, does not originate from David himself. The plans for the temple have been made known to him by the Spirit [“he had in mind” is literally “the spirit with him”] (1Chr 28:12). When building the tabernacle, it is also the Spirit who gives wisdom to build.
In 1Chr 28:19 it is added that the LORD also gave him the plan in writing. We see that the building also happens with the use of what is written. Word and Spirit always go together. Word and Spirit together are sufficient for the order and practical furnishing of God’s house.
There is a list of all that David has gathered (1Chr 28:13-18; 1Chr 22:14-16). Of everything the right weight is given. We find the weight, in the sense of importance, of all these things in the New Testament. It concerns the principles about the church and being a church which we can understand through the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit and put into practice through the Word of God.
Gold and silver are weighted. The reality of the church is full of these two aspects: gold represents Divine glory and silver represents atonement.
David Orders Solomon to Build the Temple
1Chr 28:20 connects to 1Chr 28:10. When everything has been announced and prepared, it is time to act. As noted in the introduction to this chapter, what David says to Solomon reminds us of what Moses says to Joshua (Jos 1:5-7). Moses is the great leader of the people who has led the people to a certain point, while he has had to leave the rest to Joshua. The same we see here with David and Solomon. David is in this respect a second Moses and Solomon a second Joshua.
With the powerful encouragement “act”, David encourages Solomon to get to work. He made great efforts to prepare the temple building. He gave Solomon safety, a place to build the temple, materials, overseers and staff, a whole team for the temple service and also a plan for the temple. However, all this work is of no use if Solomon does not carry out the assignment.
In this day and age, we recognize what David has done in the work that Christ has done and still does; in what David commands Solomon, we see the command to all believers to help build the church, the house of God now. The believers must work to ensure that the church looks as God intended, as the place where God and the Lord Jesus can find rest. Christ has done and given all that is necessary for this. The plan for the building we have in Scripture. Now it comes down to us doing it.
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 28". "Kingcomments on the Whole Bible". https://studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 22 / Ordinary 27