Lord, keep me faithful to Your vision.
Read 1 CHRONICLES 22:1–19
22 Then David said, “The house of the Lord God is to be here, and also the altar of burnt offering for Israel.”
Preparations for the Temple
2 So David gave orders to assemble the foreigners residing in Israel, and from among them he appointed stonecutters to prepare dressed stone for building the house of God. 3 He provided a large amount of iron to make nails for the doors of the gateways and for the fittings, and more bronze than could be weighed. 4 He also provided more cedar logs than could be counted, for the Sidonians and Tyrians had brought large numbers of them to David.
5 David said, “My son Solomon is young and inexperienced, and the house to be built for the Lord should be of great magnificence and fame and splendor in the sight of all the nations. Therefore I will make preparations for it.” So David made extensive preparations before his death.
6 Then he called for his son Solomon and charged him to build a house for the Lord, the God of Israel. 7 David said to Solomon: “My son, I had it in my heart to build a house for the Name of the Lord my God. 8 But this word of the Lord came to me: ‘You have shed much blood and have fought many wars. You are not to build a house for my Name, because you have shed much blood on the earth in my sight. 9 But you will have a son who will be a man of peace and rest, and I will give him rest from all his enemies on every side. His name will be Solomon, and I will grant Israel peace and quiet during his reign. 10 He is the one who will build a house for my Name. He will be my son, and I will be his father. And I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel forever.’
11 “Now, my son, the Lord be with you, and may you have success and build the house of the Lord your God, as he said you would. 12 May the Lord give you discretion and understanding when he puts you in command over Israel, so that you may keep the law of the Lord your God. 13 Then you will have success if you are careful to observe the decrees and laws that the Lord gave Moses for Israel. Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged.
14 “I have taken great pains to provide for the temple of the Lord a hundred thousand talents of gold, a million talents of silver, quantities of bronze and iron too great to be weighed, and wood and stone. And you may add to them. 15 You have many workers: stonecutters, masons and carpenters, as well as those skilled in every kind of work 16 in gold and silver, bronze and iron—craftsmen beyond number. Now begin the work, and the Lord be with you.”
17 Then David ordered all the leaders of Israel to help his son Solomon. 18 He said to them, “Is not the Lord your God with you? And has he not granted you rest on every side? For he has given the inhabitants of the land into my hands, and the land is subject to the Lord and to his people. 19 Now devote your heart and soul to seeking the Lord your God. Begin to build the sanctuary of the Lord God, so that you may bring the ark of the covenant of the Lord and the sacred articles belonging to God into the temple that will be built for the Name of the Lord.”
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Review how you came to faith, asking God to show you how he was at work. Express your thanks for how his grace has been seen in your life.
Only now are we told why God does not allow David to build the temple—he has “shed much blood and fought many wars” (8). David does not, however, turn away from God in disappointment over what he is not permitted to do. Instead, he pours his energy and devotion into what he can do by gathering many of the materials that his son Solomon would require for constructing God’s house in Jerusalem. How true it is that when God closes one door, he opens another. For David, that means providing the background support his son will need to accomplish his work. In that sense, David is the temple’s co-builder. How much do those on the front line of Christian ministry depend on others who provide them with spiritual and material support? All of us are working together as co-workers with God in the building of his temple!
Solomon will have every reason to succeed in building the temple. His father has laid the groundwork necessary for the temple’s construction, and the Lord has promised him rest from his enemies and peace during his reign for the fulfillment of his assigned task—but he must be “careful to observe the decrees and laws that the Lord gave to Moses for Israel”’ (13).
Ultimately, in spite of his achievements, Solomon will fail. The kingdom will be divided in two because this “man of peace and rest” (9) will relax his vigilance when it comes to the spiritual enemies arrayed against him. The foreign gods of his hundreds of wives and concubines will lead him astray.
The church’s history is riddled with examples of Christian men and women with lives full of potential to do great things in God’s service, but who let their guard down and fell into sin. In this, we need to be much wiser than Solomon!
Spend time praying for God’s servants on the front line, at home and abroad: pastors, preachers, evangelists, missionaries, etc. Consider how you might better encourage and support them.
Lord, may my children serve You even more faithfully than I as they remember the example I have set for them.
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