Introduction

We have to keep reminding ourselves that Chronicles was written from the point of view of teaching how to establish the things of God according to God’s will and ways and not man’s. Do we seek His direction as fervently and eagerly for the “good” things to the same degree we do in times of hardship, trial, or distress? Just because something seems good and right and logical doesn’t mean we should pursue it without first seeking God’s approval because God has a plan not just for each of us individually, but from one generation to the next. The spiritual legacy that we hand down to the next generation is actually based on how well we use the things of God according to His will and ways rather than our own and often an exercise in submitting to God’s schedule and requirements rather than our own.
28:1Now David assembled at Jerusalem all the officials of Israel, the princes of the tribes, and the commanders of the divisions that served the king, and the commanders of thousands, and the commanders of hundreds, and the overseers of all the property and livestock belonging to the king and his sons, with the officials and the mighty men, even all the valiant men.

[Read v.1]

Q: Who is missing from this list whom you’d normally expect to see, especially a meeting which finalizes the plans for the temple? Why are they absent?

A: The priests and Levites. Just because a temple is going to be built does not mean their normal duties cease. They would continue in the Tabernacle and before the Ark of the Covenant all the time the temple is being built. David is reinforcing to the priests and Levites their first and foremost duty to serve and worship God, and not to be distracted by a building program, as well as teaching the rest that they have a responsibility to ensure that “normal” worship activities continue unabated.

Application: What is wrong with putting ministry activities on hold while executing a large undertaking of some type? What are the REAL priorities for ministry? Have you known churches or organizations where things like building programs suck all the resources and attention from everything else?

2Then King David rose to his feet and said, "Listen to me, my brethren and my people; I had intended to build a permanent home for the ark of the covenant of the Lord and for the footstool of our God. So I had made preparations to build it. 3But God said to me, 'You shall not build a house for My name because you are a man of war and have shed blood.' 4Yet, the Lord, the God of Israel, chose me from all the house of my father to be king over Israel forever. For He has chosen Judah to be a leader; and in the house of Judah, my father's house, and among the sons of my father He took pleasure in me to make me king over all Israel. 5Of all my sons (for the Lord has given me many sons), He has chosen my son Solomon to sit on the throne of the kingdom of the Lord over Israel. 6He said to me, 'Your son Solomon is the one who shall build My house and My courts; for I have chosen him to be a son to Me, and I will be a father to him. 7I will establish his kingdom forever if he resolutely performs My commandments and My ordinances, as is done now.'

[Read v.2-7]

Observation: While studying this passage, whenever reference is made in any way to the temple, also think of it in the context of 1 Corinthians 6:19, “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?”

Q: What are the first two descriptions David gives of the temple? What is the deeper spiritual significance?

  • a permanent home for the ark of the covenant of the Lord” – The temple is to be the dwelling place of God’s Word.

  • the footstool of our God” – The temple was to be the very dwelling place of the presence of God.

Point: These are the same qualities which we, as His temple, are to attain to. David doesn’t begin with “It will be a great place to do the sacrifices”, he begins with characteristics which reflect beginning with a right heart.

Q: How is David explaining God’s calling on his life in the context of the temple to come?

A: His elevation and success did not come about by the will of man or his own ambition, but by the power and will of God. So, too, God’s intervention to choose how and when and by whom the temple will be built is taking it out of man’s hands. Just as David was not qualified for the job, neither in reality is Solomon; this is really the work of the Lord.

Q: Why does the fact that Solomon’s mother is Bathsheba make God’s using him so remarkable?

A: Arguably David’s greatest personal sin came about with Bathsheba. It’s an amazing testimony to God’s grace that something man began under such sinful circumstances can be redeemed and used by God for His glory and will.

Q: How does God’s promise in v.6 that Solomon will “be a son to Me, and I will be a father to Him” reflect on Solomon as a type of the Messiah to come?

A: Solomon is in the role of both the founder and the foundation of the temple, just as Christ will be not only of the church as God’s temple, but of the Gospel itself.

Q: But what are the conditions which must be met?

A: Obedience to God’s Word. (v.7)

  • if he resolutely performs my commandments

  • if he resolutely performs...My ordinances”.

Point: The things of God, no matter how grandiose or well-intentioned, are worthless if not founded on and maintained in accordance with the Word of God.

Application: Do you see that everyone involved in a major project or activity for the Lord must first and foremost maintain their commitment to God’s Word? Have you known someone that believes “serving” exempts them because they’re too busy? Have you known Christian undertakings to distract participants from their normal prayer life, Bible study, fellowship, witnessing, etc? How should this be handled?

8So now, in the sight of all Israel, the assembly of the Lord, and in the hearing of our God, observe and seek after all the commandments of the Lord your God so that you may possess the good land and bequeath it to your sons after you forever.

[Read v.8]

Q: What is David’s very first challenge to all the people as he explains the building program?

A: To first and foremost remain faithful to God’s Word.

Point: The temple, like most “things” of God, is only useful when employed in concert with a life properly committed to the right things to begin with.

Q: What is the real legacy David is speaking of regarding their children? Is it really just the land?

A: The inheritance of the land is the END result of living a rightly committed life to God’s Word. It’s not about passing on the temple or the land to the next generation, but the spiritual lessons which enables each generation to properly use and enjoy the things of God. They only get the land if they learn to be completely obedient to God’s Word.

Application: What’s wrong with the thinking that everything will be “better” or “made right” once the job is completed? What does this reveal about their life in the mean time?

9"As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a whole heart and a willing mind; for the Lord searches all hearts, and understands every intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will let you find Him; but if you forsake Him, He will reject you forever. 10Consider now, for the Lord has chosen you to build a house for the sanctuary; be courageous and act."

[Read v.9-10]

Q: What is David’s personal challenge to Solomon? What does David mean when he states that Solomon should “know” God?

A: Basically it’s the same challenge as to the people at large, to remain faithful to God’s Word from the mind and heart. To “know” God in this sense is not to obtain head knowledge, but to enter into a personal relationship, to seek to fulfill what was stated in v.6 of having a father-son relationship with God.

Q: What is significant about the term David employs in v.10 to describe the temple?

A: “Sanctuary” has been used in the Bible to also describe the land of Israel, the tabernacle, and God’s holy habitation in heaven as well as the temple. It’s a term that embraces the WHOLE facility, both the inner chambers and the outer courts as a place of worshiping the presence of God. Again, it’s teaching that the temple is much more than just a building.

11Then David gave to his son Solomon the plan of the porch of the temple, its buildings, its storehouses, its upper rooms, its inner rooms and the room for the mercy seat;

 

19"All this" said David, "the Lord made me understand in writing by His hand upon me, all the details of this pattern."

[Read v.11 & 19]

Q: In the context of the discussion thus far, why is it important to emphasize that the plans did not originate with David?

A: This did not come about as the result of human will, ambition, or pride, but by the direction of God.

Application: How confident are you that the things you’re involved in are born and directed of God’s will rather than yours or another’s? Have you ever rushed headlong into a project because it sounded so good you didn’t think it needed a lot of prayer to seek God’s approval?

Q: How does David having such detailed plans for the temple speak of Him as a type of the Messiah?

A: Jesus possesses and carries out the master plan of how we as His temple are constructed and function. The individual elements of David’s earthly temple coming together to form the sanctuary as a whole is also a teaching of our roles and gifts as applied to the building up of the body under Christ its head.

20Then David said to his son Solomon, "Be strong and courageous, and act; do not fear nor be dismayed, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you nor forsake you until all the work for the service of the house of the Lord is finished.

21"Now behold, there are the divisions of the priests and the Levites for all the service of the house of God, and every willing man of any skill will be with you in all the work for all kinds of service. The officials also and all the people will be entirely at your command."

29:1Then King David said to the entire assembly, "My son Solomon, whom alone God has chosen, is still young and inexperienced and the work is great; for the temple is not for man, but for the Lord God.

[Read v. 20-29:1]

Q: What is the nature of David’s first encouragement to Solomon?

A: First and foremost that God is with him and can be depended on to see the whole project through to its successful completion. All the spiritual resources Solomon needs are in place.

Q: What is the nature of David’s second encouragement?

A: That the priests and Levites have been properly organized for the work, and all of the officials and people are ready and available to assist. All the earthly resources Solomon needs are in place.

Q: 29:1 might sound like a put-down, but why is it actually an encouragement to everyone present?

A: David is instilling in everyone from highest to lowest the fact that they are all responsible together. God’s work has to be accomplished by everyone regardless of their individual standing for the whole to be completed. It’s summarized in the statement, “the temple is not for man, but for the Lord God.”

Point: Special projects are, in fact, to be carried out exactly like any other ministry, each one contributing according to their gifts and calling.

2Now with all my ability I have provided for the house of my God the gold for the things of gold, and the silver for the things of silver, and the bronze for the things of bronze, the iron for the things of iron, and wood for the things of wood, onyx stones and inlaid stones, stones of antimony and stones of various colors, and all kinds of precious stones and alabaster in abundance. 3Moreover, in my delight in the house of my God, the treasure I have of gold and silver, I give to the house of my God, over and above all that I have already provided for the holy temple, 4namely, 3,000 talents of gold, of the gold of Ophir, and 7,000 talents of refined silver, to overlay the walls of the buildings; 5of gold for the things of gold and of silver for the things of silver, that is, for all the work done by the craftsmen. Who then is willing to consecrate himself this day to the Lord?"

[Read v.2-5]

Q: What is the nature of this inventory of raw materials for the temple?

A: These are the things which David has personally acquired and/or contributed.

Q: What might be significant about the fact that David did not lead off the discussion with this information?

A: David was careful to lay the foundation that none of this is coming about as the result of man’s will or ambition, but according to God’s will and plan alone. By establishing this fact first, he defuses the possibility of looking at David the man’s accomplishments and instead sees them as an extension of what God has been doing.

Q: Why does David phrase his challenge for others to give voluntarily to the temple as “Who then is willing to consecrate himself this day to the Lord”?

A: Offerings and sacrifices were the END of the process, not the beginning. In order to come before the Lord and present an offering, one had to undergo the physical and spiritual process of making sure one was spiritually capable of entering into the presence of God and THEN presenting the offering or sacrifice. No one could “buy” their membership into the temple, but had to be walking right with God to begin with. Material giving was an outward sign of the quality of their inward spiritual condition. (David didn’t accept donations unless the heart was right!)

Application: How does the following apply to this situation?

A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which amount to a cent. Calling His disciples to Him, He said to them, “Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the contributors to the treasury; for they all put in out of their surplus, but she, out of her poverty, put in all she owned, all she had to live on.”
Mark 12:42-44

6Then the rulers of the fathers' households, and the princes of the tribes of Israel, and the commanders of thousands and of hundreds, with the overseers over the king's work, offered willingly; 7and for the service for the house of God they gave 5,000 talents and 10,000 darics of gold, and 10,000 talents of silver, and 18,000 talents of brass, and 100,000 talents of iron. 8Whoever possessed precious stones gave them to the treasury of the house of the Lord, in care of Jehiel the Gershonite.

9Then the people rejoiced because they had offered so willingly, for they made their offering to the Lord with a whole heart, and King David also rejoiced greatly.

[Read v.6-9]

Q: What is the evidence of their right, spiritual condition?

A: “They had offered so willingly”. Every aspect of this project was supported by every level, not just by the leader, not just by a few, but by the whole of God’s people.

Q: How did David induce the right results?

A: By living what he preached. He led by example not just as their king, but in his personal life as well.

Q: What promises did David make if they would participate?

A: Trick question: None. He was someone following God’s will and calling, asking others to join in that same way. The reward they received was the result of their personal obedience. There were not “additional” incentives.

10So David blessed the Lord in the sight of all the assembly; and David said, "Blessed are You, O Lord God of Israel our father, forever and ever. 11Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, indeed everything that is in the heavens and the earth; Yours is the dominion, O Lord, and You exalt Yourself as head over all. 12Both riches and honor come from You, and You rule over all, and in Your hand is power and might; and it lies in Your hand to make great and to strengthen everyone. 13Now therefore, our God, we thank You, and praise Your glorious name.

14"But who am I and who are my people that we should be able to offer as generously as this? For all things come from You, and from Your hand we have given You. 15For we are sojourners before You, and tenants, as all our fathers were; our days on the earth are like a shadow, and there is no hope. 16O Lord our God, all this abundance that we have provided to build You a house for Your holy name, it is from Your hand, and all is Yours.

[Read v.10-16]

Q: What is David’s initial affirmation in this prayer that ties the whole of this teaching together?

A: David begins by acknowledging and affirming God’s sovereignty, that it has all come about as a result of HIS will and not man’s.

  • Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty” (v.11)
  • Yours is the dominion” (v.11)
  • Yourself as head over all” (v.11)
  • You rule over all” (v.12)
  • It lies in Your hand” (v.12)
  • For all things come from You” (v.14)
  • It is from Your hand” (v.16)

Point: Just as the New Testament teaching that the temple is now composed of individual members of the same body of Christ, united under Him as the head, so David is expressing the Old Testament equivalent.

Q: What is the nature of David’s affirmation concerning the very things they have all voluntarily provided to the project?

A: They weren’t actually their own to begin with, but God’s.

  • Yours...is...everything that is in the heavens and the earth” (v.11)
  • Both riches and honor come from You” (v.12)
  • For all things come from You, and from Your hand we have given You” (v.14)
  • All this abundance that we have provided to build You a house...is from Your hand, and all is Yours” (v.16)

Application: It’s all about being a good steward with that which God has entrusted to us, not what we do with “our” possessions and wealth, or how to get more.

17Since I know, O my God, that You try the heart and delight in uprightness, I, in the integrity of my heart, have willingly offered all these things; so now with joy I have seen Your people, who are present here, make their offerings willingly to You. 18O Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, our fathers, preserve this forever in the intentions of the heart of Your people, and direct their heart to You; 19and give to my son Solomon a perfect heart to keep Your commandments, Your testimonies and Your statutes, and to do them all, and to build the temple, for which I have made provision."

[Read v.17-19]

Q: How is this entire process characterized in v.17?

A: It’s God’s test of their obedience and faithfulness from a willing heart.

Q: How does David want God to pay them back for their giving? Does David ask that they be blessed materially in return for what they’ve done?

A: David asks that the quality of their heart, which at the moment is perfectly aligned with God, be ever maintained. (v.18)

Point: Spiritual rewards are more valuable than material because they don’t fade and last into the life to come. David’s request is opposite what the proponents of the Prosperity Gospel proclaim.

Q: What are the qualities David most covets for Solomon in all of this?

A: Obedience to God’s Word. Obedience breeds a deeper personal relationship with God, the most valuable thing one can bring into God’s temple. (v.19)

20Then David said to all the assembly, "Now bless the Lord your God."

And all the assembly blessed the Lord, the God of their fathers, and bowed low and did homage to the Lord and to the king.

21On the next day they made sacrifices to the Lord and offered burnt offerings to the Lord, 1,000 bulls, 1,000 rams and 1,000 lambs, with their drink offerings and sacrifices in abundance for all Israel. 22So they ate and drank that day before the Lord with great gladness.

And they made Solomon the son of David king a second time, and they anointed him as ruler for the Lord and Zadok as priest.

[Read v.20-22]

Q: What does David do to establish the proper tone and priority of this great project?

A: He leads them in worship. They don’t have to wait for the temple to engage in worship, they need to enter the new temple doing everything they normally do. The temple isn’t supposed to be something “new”, but merely carrying on what transpires in their lives every day. They’re not waiting for the completion of the project to being living rightly, but will open the doors already having put it into practice each and every day leading up to it.

 

Overall Application

The following are the terms used to describe the temple in these verses. Discuss how they apply to us today as the living temple of God in Christ:

  • A permanent home for the ark of the covenant of the Lord” (28:2)
  • The footstool of our God” (28:2)
  • A house for My name” (28:3)
  • My house and My courts” (28:6)
  • A house for the sanctuary” (28:10)
  • The house of the Lord/God” (multiple)
  • The house of My God” (29:2)
  • The holy temple” (29:3)
  • A house for Your holy name” (29:16) End