WORD AND SPIRIT
Lord, we serve You with a loyal heart and a willing mind.
Read 1 CHRONICLES 28:1–21
David’s Plans for the Temple
28 David summoned all the officials of Israel to assemble at Jerusalem: the officers over the tribes, the commanders of the divisions in the service of the king, the commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds, and the officials in charge of all the property and livestock belonging to the king and his sons, together with the palace officials, the warriors and all the brave fighting men.
2 King David rose to his feet and said: “Listen to me, my fellow Israelites, my people. I had it in my heart to build a house as a place of rest for the ark of the covenant of the Lord, for the footstool of our God, and I made plans to build it. 3 But God said to me, ‘You are not to build a house for my Name, because you are a warrior and have shed blood.’
4 “Yet the Lord, the God of Israel, chose me from my whole family to be king over Israel forever. He chose Judah as leader, and from the tribe of Judah he chose my family, and from my father’s sons he was pleased to make me king over all Israel. 5 Of all my sons—and the Lord has given me many—he has chosen my son Solomon to sit on the throne of the kingdom of the Lord over Israel. 6 He said to me: ‘Solomon your son is the one who will build my house and my courts, for I have chosen him to be my son, and I will be his father. 7 I will establish his kingdom forever if he is unswerving in carrying out my commands and laws, as is being done at this time.’
8 “So now I charge you in the sight of all Israel and of the assembly of the Lord, and in the hearing of our God: Be careful to follow all the commands of the Lord your God, that you may possess this good land and pass it on as an inheritance to your descendants forever.
9 “And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every desire and every thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever. 10 Consider now, for the Lord has chosen you to build a house as the sanctuary. Be strong and do the work.”
11 Then David gave his son Solomon the plans for the portico of the temple, its buildings, its storerooms, its upper parts, its inner rooms and the place of atonement. 12 He gave him the plans of all that the Spirit had put in his mind for the courts of the temple of the Lord and all the surrounding rooms, for the treasuries of the temple of God and for the treasuries for the dedicated things. 13 He gave him instructions for the divisions of the priests and Levites, and for all the work of serving in the temple of the Lord, as well as for all the articles to be used in its service. 14 He designated the weight of gold for all the gold articles to be used in various kinds of service, and the weight of silver for all the silver articles to be used in various kinds of service: 15 the weight of gold for the gold lampstands and their lamps, with the weight for each lampstand and its lamps; and the weight of silver for each silver lampstand and its lamps, according to the use of each lampstand; 16 the weight of gold for each table for consecrated bread; the weight of silver for the silver tables; 17 the weight of pure gold for the forks, sprinkling bowls and pitchers; the weight of gold for each gold dish; the weight of silver for each silver dish; 18 and the weight of the refined gold for the altar of incense. He also gave him the plan for the chariot, that is, the cherubim of gold that spread their wings and overshadow the ark of the covenant of the Lord.
19 “All this,” David said, “I have in writing as a result of the Lord’s hand on me, and he enabled me to understand all the details of the plan.”
20 David also said to Solomon his son, “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the Lord is finished. 21 The divisions of the priests and Levites are ready for all the work on the temple of God, and every willing person skilled in any craft will help you in all the work. The officials and all the people will obey your every command.”
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.
In your reading of today’s passage, and indeed every day, ask for help from the Holy Spirit to understand and appropriate what God wants to say to you.
In today’s housing market, many new homes are presented as “turnkey” properties. Everything is taken care of (furnishings, appliances, etc). You only need to turn the key and move in! Most people, however, like to furnish and decorate their homes themselves—but they still have little say in the actual construction of their place of residence. A fortunate few are able to draw up personalized plans with an architect.
The temple in Jerusalem was not to be built according to David’s or Solomon’s plans. Just as the Lord had shown Moses the pattern for the tabernacle, so also the Lord reveals to David a detailed blueprint of how the temple is to be built. We do not know exactly how this happened, but somehow God’s Spirit impresses upon David’s mind what this magnificent edifice should look like (12,19). C. H. Spurgeon’s comment is most appropriate: “If God was to be the Tenant, should it not be built to suit him? And who knows what God requires in a habitation but God himself?”
The same principle applies to the construction of God’s spiritual house, built on the foundation of Christ and made up of Christians, its “living stones.” This house is the new-covenant temple, where God dwells by his Holy Spirit. About this great edifice, Jesus says, “I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” The Bible is the only God-given blueprint for its construction under the masterful direction of its divine Architect, the Holy Spirit. Word and Spirit together—what a glorious combination ensuring the successful completion of that heaven-designed temple! Let us be careful to stick to God’s blueprint!
The church is not a building, but the people of which it is formed. It holds firm when its “living stones” stick together. Pray for Christian unity and harmony.
Lord, help us to profitably assist in the building of the Church by showing us how to fit into the plans You have drawn up.