Tonight, we pick up our study of 1Chronicles with chapter 22. However, in order to grasp the first verse of chapter 22, we need to back up three verses into chapter 21...
1Chr. 21:28-30 At that time, when David saw that the LORD had answered him on the threshing floor of Or-NAWN the Jebusite, he offered sacrifice there. For the tabernacle of the LORD, which Moses had made in the wilderness, and the altar of burnt offering were in the high place at Gibeon at that time. But David could not go before it to inquire of God, for he was terrified by the sword of the angel of the LORD.
God had wiped out 70,000 men of Israel for their sin. The judgment number was supposed to be many more, and Jerusalem was to be destroyed as well. But God's mercy restrained the judgment, and the angel with the sword was told to put it away.
King David was commanded to build an altar to the Lord on the threshing floor of Or-NAWN the Jebusite. He bought the 12.5-acre site at fair market value, and offerred burnt offerings and peace offerings. And the Lord accepted the sacrifices, so David continued offering sacrifices there. He didn't go back to where the original altar of sacrifice was, in the tabernacle at Ghib-OHN, six miles away.
This was the place that God had accepted David's sacrifices. This was the place where the judgment came to a halt. This was the place where the destroying angel put the sword back in its sheath.
And so David continued using the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite as his temple, even though there was no temple there. This is the context when we read verse one of chapter 22...
David proclaimed that the threshing floor of Or-NAWN the Jebusite which he had purchased and on which he'd offered sacrifices was the new temple for Israel, the designated spot where the offerings would be made.
It was at this time Psalm 30 was penned.
Psa. 30:0 A Psalm; a Song at the Dedication of the House. A Psalm of David.
People have often thought that this was mistakenly attributed to David, since Solomon built the temple after the death of David. Since that was so, how could David write a song at the dedication? It was this proclamation of dedication we have heard David make.
Psa. 30:1 I will extol You, O LORD, for You have lifted me up, and have not let my enemies rejoice over me.
Remember, one of David's choices was to be swept away by his foes for three months.
Psa. 30:2-3 O LORD my God, I cried to You for help, and You healed me. O LORD, You have brought up my soul from Sheol; You have kept me alive, that I would not go down to the pit.
If God hadn't stopped the angel, all of Jerusalem would have been wiped out.
Psa. 30:4-5 Sing praise to the LORD, you His godly ones, and give thanks to His holy name. For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for a lifetime; Weeping may last for the night, but a shout of joy comes in the morning.
God's mercy had ruled the day, and the three-day judgment was cut short.
Psa. 30:6 Now as for me, I said in my prosperity, "I will never be moved."
David's sin of numbering the people had come from pride in his victories and placing hisconfidence in his armies, rather than in God.
Psa. 30:7-12 O LORD, by Your favor You have made my mountain to stand strong;
You hid Your face, I was dismayed. To You, O LORD, I called, and to the Lord I made supplication: "What profit is there in my blood, if I go down to the pit? Will the dust praise You? Will it declare Your faithfulness? "Hear, O LORD, and be gracious to me; O LORD, be my helper." You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have loosed my sackcloth and girded me with gladness, that my soul may sing praise to You and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks to You forever.
David offered sacrifices, praised the Lord, and sang worshipfully, for God had proven Himself to be a great God once again. This was when David proclaimed, "This is the house of the Lord."
And so, as we spoke of briefly last week, this was going to be the spot on which the temple would be built, today called Temple Mount.
David gave orders to gather the foreigners in the land. At first, this reads like he's collecting slaves. And in fact, Solomon would later use forced laborers (1Kings 9:21). But at this point, it was the skilled craftsmen from other nations that he needed. Workers in stone cutting and metallurgy were not abundant in Israel (2Chron. 2:7-8), so David found guys that were good at this.
This is a fact that seems to escape many people's notice in the Christian world today. I had several people ask me during our building project if I was aware that this contractor or that company wasn't "Christian." My response was always something along the lines of, "I'm not hiring them to be ministers. They are the builders building the church building."
Some people insist that they will only use a Christian contractor, a Christian accountant, a Christian mechanic, a Christian grocer, and a Christian doctor. But the Bible doesn't have qualifications listed as requirements for being a professional or craftsman.
Christians say, "But we're supposed to avoid all of those immoral people!" True, Paul said to avoid the immoral. However, the Christians he said that to misunderstood then in the same way people do now. So he clarified,
1Cor. 5:9-11 I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people; I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters, for then you would have to go out of the world. But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler—not even to eat with such a one.
David wanted the best men for the job, not whatever Jews he could find that thought they could take a crack at it.
The guys from Tyre and Sidon were bringing massive amounts of lumber to David. And so David had the metalworkers prepare the iron and bronze that would be needed.
Now, all of this sounds an awful lot like David is building the temple, doesn't it? Wasn't he told not to build God's house? We hear David's response to that in the next verse...
David had been told by God through Nathan the prophet,
1Chr. 17:4 ..."You shall not build a house for Me to dwell in"
1Chr. 17:11-12 "When your days are fulfilled that you must go to be with your fathers, that I will set up one of your descendants after you, who will be of your sons; and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build for Me a house, and I will establish his throne forever."
David knew that the responsibility of building God's temple was going to be on his son's shoulders. The temple, by all rights, should be "exceedingly magnificent," spectacular, splendid, glorious, and breath-taking. But his son was young and inexperienced. Was he supposed to start from scratch? Not if David could help it.
Saints, this is something that every godly adult should be considering: We shouldn't want the younger people to be starting from scratch. Yes, maybe we had to learn all of our lessons the hard way, get educated through the school of hard knocks, and gain experience through hard-won effort. But we should desire more abundant life for the next generation.
Now don't get me wrong. Today's culture has corrupted this idea into simply leaving a monetary legacy. But God has established through bold Old and New Testaments that the legacy we leave is instructional and spiritual.
For example, once the Levites reached fifty years of age, they were no longer to perform service in the tabernacle (Num. 8), Instead, they were to instruct the young men in the ways of service.
In much the same way, older women in the church are to encourage the young women, instructing them in the ways of marriage and godliness (Titus 2:3-5).
Because Solomon was young and inexperienced, David helped out as much as he could with the preparations. Some might say that it was purely financial, but when you read from verses six to 16, you realize that this is not the case at all. David was leaving a legacy that was not only financial, but instructional and spiritual as well.
David charged Solomon with building the temple. Interestingly, the major translations of the Bible (KJV, NIV, NAS, etc.) all use the verb "charged" here. The word ("tsaw-VAW") is most often translated as "commanded." Solomon was commanded to build the temple - David didn't give him a choice or an option. It was expected.
Some people believe that a child should be raised with a "free spirit," encountering "no boundaries." I believe that a child should be raised to encourage their individuality, to explore their interests, and to pursue those things which are their strengths. However, there also have to be some charges, some commands, some areas which are not optional.
Children without boundaries learn very quickly that they are running the show, and will always take advantage of that. Some parents are afraid that if they place requirements and boundaries in a child's life that when the child is grown, the parent will be hated. Solomon didn't do that. As a matter of fact, he wrote the proverb which says,
Prov. 29:15 The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child who gets his own way brings shame to his mother.
And so David commanded Solomon to build the house. He explains that although he intended to, he wasn't allowed. It is interesting that this is the first we hear that the reason for not being allowed to build the temple was that David was a man who had shed much blood and waged great wars.
Back in chapter 17, when Nathan gave God's refusal to David, there was no mention of blood or wars. Was this left out? No, only later did David find out God's reasoning for not allowing him to build the temple. Though I have only the context of these few verses, I believe that God told him this when Solomon was born and named.
You see, although we call him Solomon after the Greek pronunciation of his name ("Sol-om-ONE"), his name is Hebrew is really pronounced, "Shel-o-MO," meaning, "peace." God said that his name was to "Shel-o-MO," because Israel would be given "Shaw-LOME" (peace) in his days.
This was probably when God said something like, "By the way, David, the reason I wouldn't let you build the temple is because you are a man of war. Solomon will be a man of peace, so I'm having him do it."
David tells Solomon that he will prosper if he follows God's commands. Is this a different topic than the building the house of God? Not at all. They go hand-in-hand. After all, what good is the house of God if you don't have a heart for God? Why build a temple to the Lord if you're just going to walk away from the Lord?
This is what Israel would eventually do. By the time of Isaiah's ministry, this temple has been built, and it's being used. Unfortunately, it's being used by people that have no heart for God. He says to them,
Is. 1:11-13 "What are your multiplied sacrifices to Me?" Says the LORD. "I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams and the fat of fed cattle; And I take no pleasure in the blood of bulls, lambs or goats. When you come to appear before Me, who requires of you this trampling of My courts? Bring your worthless offerings no longer, incense is an abomination to Me."
Saints, it is so much better to have a heart with no house than a house with no heart. In the early days, when the people had a love for God, they were instructed,
Ex. 20:24 "You shall make an altar of earth for Me, and you shall sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and your peace offerings, your sheep and your oxen; in every place where I cause My name to be remembered, I will come to you and bless you."
My biggest fear for us as a church, and the subject of my constant prayer, is that the love we've had for God when we were few and transient would ever begin to grow cold now that we have a permanent home. I'd rather love God in my living room than have a cold heart in a beautiful building.
This treasure which David had gathered for the temple was hard-won. It came as the result of many wars against unrighteous nations, at the cost of many lives and the risk of many more. Solomon is not to take it for granted, for it was gotten "with great pains."
One thing I find fascinating is that a large amount of this gold was from these nations' idols and images. They were melted down and eventually turned into the gold that would be so prominent in God's temple that Solomon was going to build. Like unbelieving craftsmen, gold from these sources wouldn't sit right with a lot of Christians today.
But listen: God will use building blocks of unrighteous and disreputable sources.
- After all, wasn't the tabernacle made with Egyptian gold and thread (Exo. 12:35-36)?
- Wasn't the wall around Jerusalem repaired with timber from the King of Persia's forest (Neh. 2:8)?
- Wasn't the temple restored with King Cyrus' subjects being commanded to give the Jews gold and silver (Ezra 1:4)?
This is what it is to be sanctified, to be set apart for God's use. I think of my own life: After all, my music and recording skills were gained in the world of satanic speed metal, and yet God has used them to build part of the ministry here.
I have met many believers who feel ashamed and condemned about where their talents or experience has come from, believing that God couldn't and wouldn't use those things because of their history. But when we allow the Lord to melt those things down and be re-created, or to be sanctified and set apart for God's use, He is delighted to use them.
David commanded (same word as "charged" Solomon) the leaders of Israel to help Solomon in this project. He gave them the same commands: construct the temple and seek after God.
If we are seeking the Lord, His house will be a place of refuge for us:
Psa. 27:4-6 One thing I have asked from the LORD, that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD and to meditate in His temple. For in the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle; In the secret place of His tent He will hide me; He will lift me up on a rock. And now my head will be lifted up above my enemies around me, and I will offer in His tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the LORD.