Christ on Every Page

Solomon and the Temple

1 Chronicles 28, 29 & 2 Chronicles 6

monday:  DAvid's desire to build the temple

Read 1 Chronicles 28:1-21


When we last saw David, he had properly constructed a new tabernacle and brought the ark into Jerusalem to its new and permanent home. 2 Samuel 6


David was a great king. The Lord established his kingdom and gave him rest from his enemies on every side. But there was an unfinished work in David’s heart, to build a house for the ark.


Now it came to pass when the king was dwelling in his house, and the Lord had given him rest from all his enemies all around, that the king said to Nathan the prophet, “See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells inside tent curtains.”” (2 Samuel 7:1–2, NKJV)


David appointed stonemasons to cut stones for the temple. He prepared iron for nails for doors, gates and joints for the project. He procured bronze in abundance and much cedar wood from the Sidonians. God had given him the plans for the temple as Moses had received explicit instructions for the original tabernacle.  

(1 Chronicles 22)


“Every part of this plan,” David told Solomon, “was given to me in writing from the hand of the Lord.”(1 Chronicles 28:19, NLT)


Though he gathered all the materials and had architectural plans, David was not the one to build the temple. His greatest desire would not be realized in his lifetime. It would be his son Solomon’s task to complete.  


We all will pass from this earth with what seems like unfinished business


Abraham Lincoln looked brightly ahead during his second inaugural speech. He spoke of the needed healing work of reconstruction after the great devastation of the civil war. But just one month later, an assassin’s bullet would end his work here on earth. 


We will not live forever here. Hebrews 11:39-40  


David had a great desire burning in his heart but he would not see it. He had, by God’s assignment, served his purpose in his generation.


 “For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, fell asleep and was laid with his fathers and saw corruption,(Acts 13:36, ESV)  


It would be someone else’s work to pick up. As one puritan writer put it:


The believer is to persevere in his Christian course to the end of his life; his work and his life must go off the stage together.”

William Gurnall


In the twilight of his life, David spoke to all of his great leaders and all of his people with tenderness and respect. 


He calls them his brethren.  


Jesus, in the twilight of his earthly life, spoke tenderly to his disciples. He could have called them servants, because that was what they were. But he said, “No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.” (John 15:15, NKJV)


See Christ here: He is the great King. Yet He opens his heart to the smallest of us. Isn’t this amazing? We may have, not only audience with God to share our hearts with Him, but He, the great King of the universe, will share His heart with us! 


Job echoes this great open secret that God is knowable.


“Now acquaint yourself with Him, and be at peace; Thereby good will come to you.” (Job 22:21, NKJV) 


Jesus will speak to us with all tender openness, if we will only receive Him. He extends this invitation to the whole church in Laodicea, but he recognizes that there may be only one who will hear and respond.


Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If ANYONE hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.(Revelation 3:20, NKJV) 


If even one will take this invitation at face value, His promise is good. Though none may believe and respond, will you?

Tuesday:  Solomon's task, not david's

Read 1 Chronicles 28:2-3


Then King David rose to his feet and said, “Hear me, my brethren and my people: I had it in my heart to build a house of rest for the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and for the footstool of our God, and had made preparations to build it. But God said to me, ‘You shall not build a house for My name, because you have been a man of war and have shed blood.’” (1 Chronicles 28:2–3)


David has been told of the Lord that he will not build the temple because he has been a man of war. 


David had shed blood from his youth. His first casualty was Goliath. Many other enemies of Israel would fall by David’s own hand. These bloody engagements were necessary for the defense of God’s people and the establishing of Abraham’s promised land. 


Though David fought with honor, it would seem that his bloody history made him unfit for building the temple that was all about saving life. 


See Christ here: His first coming was to save and not to destroy. “For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.”  (Luke 9:56, NKJV)  


David served the Lord with sword and shield. It would be Solomon who would serve the Lord with a measuring rod and a plumb line. We are each gifted in time and place. 


We should be careful not to compare ourselves with others.


And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased. And if they were all one member, where would the body be? But now indeed there are many members, yet one body.” (1 Corinthians 12:16–20, NKJV)


God gifted David to establish the kingdom. God gifted Solomon to systematize and expand it. David was both charismatic and a skilled man for war. Solomon was both wise and a builder. 


We are all different by God’s design and we are all usable to God for his purposes.


David had fulfilled God’s purposes in his life. Now, Solomon was chosen by God to bring David’s greatest desire into reality.


Now He said to me, ‘It is your son Solomon who shall build My house and My courts; for I have chosen him to be My son, and I will be his Father.” (1 Chronicles 28:6, NKJV)


See Christ here: There is much imagery of Christ in the choosing of Solomon. David reports what the Lord had said to him:


 “I have chosen him to be my son, and I will be his father.” vs 6


This is remarkably perfect to Psalm 2:7 which prophecies Christ: 


“Today, You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.” (Psalm 2:7, NKJV)  


“It is your son Solomon shall build my house.” Christ is the builder of the temple. Upon Peter’s confession that He was the Christ, Jesus spoke said that he would build his gospel temple upon that revelation: 


And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.” (Matthew 16:18


Finally, David declares the Lord’s words, “I will establish his kingdom forever.”  


We know that Solomon did not live forever, so he cannot reign forever. But Christ lives and reigns forever!  Isaiah saw His day:


Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.” (Isaiah 9:7, ESV)  


Wednesday:  david's charge to solomon

Read 1 Chronicles 28:9-20


These are some of the last words of David to Solomon:


“As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a loyal heart and with a willing mind; for the Lord searches all hearts and understands all the intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will cast you off forever. Consider now, for the Lord has chosen you to build a house for the sanctuary; be strong, and do it.”” (1 Chronicles 28:9–10, NKJV)


In light of eternity, there is nothing more important than your soul. Here, David calls Solomon to attend to his soul in the Lord. “Know Him, serve Him…” 


David had the wisdom to give to Solomon the most important advice of his life. “Seek Him, He will be found by you.”   Possessions, work, buying and selling, trinkets and pleasures are worthless compared to the value of a soul. 


Such vanities are all passing away in view of a coming kingdom.


Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world.” (1 John 2:15–16, ESV)  


We will all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. The only thing that matters is what we do, or do not do, with the Lord. 

 

David had the confidence to say to his son, “know the God of your father.”  


He could point to himself and his relationship with the Lord and say, 


“You’ve seen my walk with the Lord and all that He has done in my life.”  


Many great things were only possible in David’s life because he walked in intimacy with the Lord.  David is in his final years so he speaks with authority. He sees God now more clearly than ever.


“When we first believe in Christ, we see only a little of Him. The higher we climb, the more we discover His beauty.”  

C.H. Spurgeon


David’s life was an open book that testified to the relationship he had with the Lord. His devoted life was what he was recommending to his son.

When we say that his life was an open book, this includes the low points of his life too. 


David hadn’t led a perfect life. He was a sinner in need of grace. He had certainly stumbled greatly. He messed up with the first return of the ark. He committed adultery with Bathsheba. He masterminded a plan to have her husband killed in battle to cover a pregnancy her husband had nothing to do with.  


Solomon himself was the child of Bathsheba.


We shouldn’t be afraid, when the time is right, to share our failing testimonies with our children. 


For many of us, our greatest turnarounds were experienced at sin’s dead end.  


Transparent testimonies may serve both as a warning from sin and also testimony of His mercies. Our sons and daughters need to know our “God story”.


I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever; With my mouth will I make known Your faithfulness to all generations.” (Psalm 89:1, NKJV)  


See Christ here: Many came to Jesus wrecked in sin and found mercy and repair: 


The woman caught in adultery and nearly stoned, Zaccheus, the sinful woman who wept on Jesus’ feet, Peter’s forgiveness and restoration;  all of these remind us that Christ forgives greatly those who have failed greatly. 


Such as these are never the same again.


“It proves a mercy to sinners to have their sin brought to light, that they may sin no more presumptuously. Better our sin should shame us than damn us, and be set in order before us for our conviction than for our condemnation. In the wake of her experience, along with Christ’s merciful words, it is unlikely that she ever took sin lightly again.”  

Matthew Henry


The soul is a terrible thing to waste. Jesus spoke strongly to the value of the soul. “If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell.” (Matthew 5:29, ESV) 


How much would you take for your right eye? $100,000?  How much would you take for the two? The question is preposterous. Your eye is very valuable!   Yet Jesus says, there is something much more valuable—your very soul. Christ, as David, called you to the highest priority of attending to your soul. It is the only one you will ever have.  

Thursday:  

David helps Solomon

Read 1 Chronicles 29


Here is a chapter that shows David going out with a bang and not a whimper. He gives his son and next King, Solomon, everything he can to prepare him, to equip him and to ultimately launch him with great success in the Lord. 


David has gathered many resources for the temple. He has done so not only from the kingdom’s resources but from his own personal treasure as well. He then asks, not for money from the people, but for themselves to be given over to the great work for the Lord.


“The Lord doesn’t need your money. He wants your life.”

Keith Green


Their whole-hearted response is to give themselves! But of course, when one gives himself, he gives his resources too. The people respond with great generosity and their giving isn’t small. It is very sacrificial. 


We see a word re-used in this chapter regarding their giving: willingly. Some versions use the word: freewill. Either way, these gifts are given not by compulsion or pressure of men, but by the love-impulse of their hearts.


Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:7, ESV)  


God doesn’t force anyone to give, that would be strong-arming and gives no place for worship, love and true generosity. No, He would rather have the hard-hearted keep their money buried under the heart of stone rather than to forcefully extract it. Where is the love in that?  


This isn’t the case with the people under King David. He is sacrificially generous because he is all in. They are inspired by his generosity and they are all in too.


Then the people rejoiced because they had given willingly, for with a whole heart they had offered freely to the Lord. David the king also rejoiced greatly.” (1 Chronicles 29:9, ESV)  


The collective of hearts and money has yielded a great offering.  David rejoices with prayer.  There is joy in having all that they need for the work ahead.  David makes a point we should all keep in mind in our giving: 


It all comes from God, so it all belongs to Him too. We do not own anything, but we are stewards of what He has given to us.


O Lord our God, all this abundance that we have provided for building you a house for your holy name comes from your hand and is all your own.” (1 Chronicles 29:16, ESV)  


In the aftermath, Solomon is anointed as king and David passes from the timeline of this world. But before his departure, he gives Solomon everything he can to prepare him, to equip him and to successfully launch him into his work in the Lord.


See Christ here: Christ gave his disciples His greatest asset--Himself. He prepared them by being with them continually for three years with an eye to their future ministry. As His time was short, he promised to equip them by the sending of the Holy Spirit. John 16:7 Ultimately, he will die, resurrect and ascend to heaven, leaving the scene but launching His disciples with the mandate: “Go, make disciples...” 


History proves that they had everything they needed, in Christ, to see the new church built. Friends, we have everything we need to continue building the church according to the riches of Christ he has given to us.


For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.” (2 Corinthians 8:9, ESV)  


And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19, ESV)  


Friday:  Christ is the temple

Read 2 Chronicles 6


In the chapters leading up to chapter six, there is an unfolding beauty as the Temple moves from David’s original desire to Solomon’s reality. Solomon has come of age.  


He has been tested in life and is now ready his greatest purpose, to build the temple. 

2  Chronicles 1:1 


Chapter 2 shows us a massive enterprise, a multitude workforce and the acquiring of a master artisan for the intricate work that will be required. 


Chapter 3 shows us that the temple will be raised in Jerusalem on the mountain where Abraham offered his only begotten son. See Christ here: Jesus, the only begotten son was raised in Jerusalem and he called Himself the temple.


Jesus answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”” (John 2:19, NKJV)


In chapter 4 the great work continues in spectacular detail. After seven years, in chapter 5, it is completed. There is a reverent placing of the ark into the inner Holy of Holies. A choir and a compliment of instruments all raise their voices together with a chorus that is first sung in this chapter but echoed throughout the Bible:


“For He is good, For His mercy endures forever.” 2 Chronicles 5:13 


What immediately follows is a cloud of God’s glory that is so thick that the priests are unable to perform their duties.  


Now in chapter 6, Solomon brings a speech and offers a dedicatory prayer. Please read the whole of chapter 6 and you will find that He describes many scenarios, situations and even geographical places where prayer may be directed to the Temple and assures the people such prayers will be heard.

  2 Chronicles 6:19-21


See Christ here: 


Isn’t this temple Christ? Isn’t He the place and the person to whom all who are needy may turn with any and every situation? 


Christ is the greater ark. Christ is the greater sacrifice. Christ is the greater priest who completed atonement once and for all. Hebrews 9:11-12 See the list that Solomon gives as he prophetically directs us to Christ, who is the place and person to to whom we may turn to in prayer:


Turn toward Christ to sort out issues between brothers. 2 Chronicles 6:22-33


Turn toward Christ to confess sin-related failure and find remedy. 2 Chronicles 6:24-25


Turn toward Christ for refreshing. 2 Chronicles 6:26-27


Turn toward Christ to be taught--especially in sin’s consequences. 2 Chronicles 6:26-27, Psalm 25:8-10


Turn toward Christ to be relieved of burden and grief. He cares. 2 Chronicles 6:28-30


Let the foreigner turn toward Christ. The one who doesn’t “belong” is welcomed. 2 Chronicles 6:32-33, 1 Peter 2:10


Turn toward Christ if you are in Battle. He will maintain your cause. 2 Chronicles 6:34-35


And finally, Christ is the place of return. 2 Chronicles 6:36-40


Isn’t this the prodigal son? He “came to himself” and repented. Didn’t he pray toward “the place” he had left behind in sinful willfulness? In a foreign land, by God grace, he turned toward Christ and went home.