Day 95—The Temple—“The Pursuit of Good”—1 Chronicles 22:2 – 27:34
April 5, 2021, 9:12 AM

Day 95—The Temple—“The Pursuit of Good”—1 Chronicles 22:2 – 27:34

Today we read about David’s preparations to build the temple that he is not allowed to build. The Chronicler (the person writing the book of Chronicles, who has never been named), seems to need David to have a much larger role that we read about in 2 Samuel. In fact, in 2 Samuel, God simply tells David that David’s son, who was not named by God in 2 Samuel 7: 12-13 “I will raise up your offspring after you…and he shall build a house for my name.” We know from the continued history of the Kingdom of David that Solomon was chosen as that son, and became the builder of the Temple.

But 1 Chronicles gives us a much different picture of David’s involvement, which points to key differences in the Chronicler’s account, an account that attempts as much as possible to put a halo on David’s head alongside the crown.

So today, David is the ‘thoughtful’ master planner. David knows the place where the Temple will be built, he prepares all the materials for his son, Solomon, and before his death, King David appoints his son Solomon in one simple line from 1 Chronicles 23:1 “When David was old and full of days, he made his son Solomon king over Israel.”

Do you remember the earlier, historic story of the battle over kingship as David neared death? Re-read the very first chapter of 1 Kings when Adonijah, another of David’s sons, attempted to gain the throne before David’s death by conniving and building a following, and Solomon had to be officially anointed and declared king in front of all the people.

Well, in Chronicles, that story went much more smoothly to make it appear seamless, and to emphasize important, common details. Solomon was appointed king, and his reign was long and peaceful, as God said it would be. Solomon did build the Temple, as commanded by God, but the Chronicles version makes David seem much more involved in the planning stages, including, as we will read tomorrow, provided complete plans for the Temple that he hands over to his son. This might be considered the story that a king would want to have told about himself if he commissioned someone to tell it, but the purpose, remember, is to assure the people of their foundations as the people of Judah, chosen by God to continue the line of David even after their return from exile.

King David was considered the standard for all kings, not because of his sinlessness, but because of his deep and abiding connection to the LORD despite his sinfulness. (Note however, that there is no mention of Bathsheba in the Chronicler’s story about David. Some of David’s transgressions have been whitewashed from our picture.)

We conclude today with yet another listing of names, and these are important. While we may not need to know individual names unless we plan to be Old Testament bible scholars (not me!!), the list includes these jobs:
            Levites, descendants of Moses—who attended to the work of the temple as gatekeepers (security), musicians (also considered to be prophetic), treasurers, officers and judges of the temple (money would be regularly given by those who visited, and gifts would be given in honor of God by visiting dignitaries as well). Their job was to attend to the priests and to provide all that the priests needed to conduct proper worship.
            Levites, Aaronite priests descended from the line of Moses’ brother—all these were the men assigned to actually enter the holiest of holy places in order to offer sacrifice to the LORD.

One major change to the responsibility of those who served the high priests was added to the list of requirements, however, and it speaks to the emphasis being placed on the legacy of David and the continuance of the House of David by those who had been exiled and left bereft: “They shall stand every morning, thanking and praising the LORD, and likewise at evening,” 1 Chronicles 23: 30

David also was reported as saying to his son Solomon “You will prosper if you are careful to observe the statutes and the ordinances that the LORD commanded Moses for Israel,” 1 Chronicles 22:13.  This is the crux of the story—obedience to the law handed down from the patriarch. Those who listened to this scroll being read out loud would remember also the importance of where they came from (remember that 1 Chronicles begins with the name “Adam”—the very first man recorded in scripture), and who they were to serve.

Success creates a bubble of self-sufficiency in ancient people as well as modern ones, a bubble that can edge God out. Chronicles attempts to remind people who may feel rudderless and without guidance after their exile about the history of their people in order for them to reclaim, to remember and to recommit to the ordinances, the worship and the care of the LORD who has saved them once again.

Be blessed, and be a blessing to others,

ML

 

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