Category Archives: I Chronicles

I Chronicles 29

Once everything is set up and ready to go for building God’s temple, David recites this most amazing prayer:

10 David praised the Lord in the presence of the whole assembly, saying,

“Praise be to you, Lord,
    the God of our father Israel,
    from everlasting to everlasting.
11 Yours, Lord, is the greatness and the power
    and the glory and the majesty and the splendor,
    for everything in heaven and earth is yours.
Yours, Lord, is the kingdom;
    you are exalted as head over all.
12 Wealth and honor come from you;
    you are the ruler of all things.
In your hands are strength and power
    to exalt and give strength to all.
13 Now, our God, we give you thanks,
    and praise your glorious name.

David’s “doctrine of God” was amazing, and could not be more Reformed. In his universe, God is the sovereign ruler; everything comes from him, through him, and to him. And the prayer goes on in the same way as David acknowledges that all the wealth they have given for the building of the temple has come from God. He never confuses God and man, which is what all sinful human beings do. He says, “our days on earth are like a shadow, without hope.” That is, without hope without the Lord, but with him we have eternal hope. Everything David says and does points us toward what is ultimate and not what is ephemeral.

The chapter and book ends with Solomon ascending the throne, and David dying at “a good old age.”

Advertisements

I Chronicles 28

Prior to his fast approaching death, David now prepares the people and Solomon for the building of the temple. Very interesting that he says he got these plans directly from the Spirit of God:

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.

and

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.”

Where God dwells on earth, as if any dwelling could contain him, must be built to his own exacting specifications. Though humans would build it because God uses human agency to accomplish his plans, his temple is a product of his mind. As I think back on the Pentateuch, and how exacting all the details were for his dwelling, I am reminded here that God’s presence with men must be mediated, and it is an awesome thing. Think about the fear and awe people experience before a great thunderstorm or tornado, or huge waves on a beach, or any number of amazing spectacles in all of creation, and we have a very small glimpse into what God’s presence must be like.

Over and over again in the OT we are reminded how incredible is the salvation Christ has secured for us; he is the perfect mediator. As Paul says in 1 Timothy 2:5:

For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus . . .

In three paragraphs in this chapter, David uses the word “forever” four times. Maybe it’s hyperbole, but given scripture is God-breathed, I think this hearkens to an actual forever, that God’s kingly rule on earth would in fact be eternal. We know the end of the story, and that is exactly the case!

 

I Chronicles 23-27

Lots of names and lots of counting. Chapter 23 starts with David old and making Solomon his successor. Then he gathers all the leaders and priests and Levites together, and thus begins the counting. Since this book was likely written by a priest or Levite, the focus is on worship, and all the preparations that go into what will become the temple and a golden age in Israel’s history. The writer goes into intricate detail about who did what when. From what I’ve read, it seems the purpose for the people of Israel post-exile was to give them hope, that the Lord saw fit to bring about this great kingdom with his presence at its center, and that he can do it again.

Of course we know the end of he story, and that only in Christ can God’s presence among his people be finally and firmly and forever established. He is the final temple, the final fulfillment of Israel, the eternal tabernacle where God will dwell among us; the final sacrificial lamb who takes away the sins of the world. Can you imagine what ancient Israelites would have thought if they knew that our very persons would be the new temple! That this God who is a consuming fire, the one that evoked such fear and awe, that brought death because of his holy and perfect justice against sin, now by his Holy Spirit lives within us! And we his Church, his very body, bring his kingdom rule into this world of darkness to establish that rule forever. God was, and is, in the driver’s seat all along.  No wonder Paul ends his explanation of all this with doxology in Romans 11:

33 Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
    How unsearchable his judgments,
    and his paths beyond tracing out!
34 “Who has known the mind of the Lord?
    Or who has been his counselor?”
35 “Who has ever given to God,
    that God should repay them?”
36 For from him and through him and for him are all things.
    To him be the glory forever! Amen.

We are driven to worship by the specter of such a great salvation.

I Chronicles 18-22

Much in these chapters is covered in more detail in 2 Samuel. We read again of David sinning against the Lord and counting his fighting men in chapter 21, over a million, one of those stories we moderns have a real problem with as I commented on previously. Yet, sin it is and as we know the wages of sin is death. All Christendom knows of David’s sin of adultery and killing a man to try to get away with it, but almost no one mentions David counting his fighting men as an example of David’s sin. In many ways it is much worse, for because of his pride and arrogance and refusing to listen to men of God around him, over 70,000 men died!

He had obviously let his success get to his head, as if his victories and wealth were from him and not God’s blessing. In 2 Samuel 24 it says that this counting took almost 10 months, so David had plenty of time to listen to counsel or his own conscious, but he refused. One interesting connection between the two accounts is what inspired David to do this beyond his own pride and arrogance. In 2 Samuel 24:1 it says:

Again the anger of the Lord burned against Israel, and he incited David against them, saying, “Go and take a census of Israel and Judah.”

In 1 Chronicles 21:1 it says:

Satan rose up against Israel and incited David to take a census of Israel.

So in one the anger of the Lord causes it, in the other it is Satan (this is the first time in the OT that Satan is referred to). Since this is written post exile, something about Israel’s time in Babylon developed this concept of a personal epitome of demonic evil. We who believe in a living, Sovereign God who is Lord of history see it as being revealed by God himself as part of his progressive revelation.

This is similar to Job, where Satan goes before the Lord and accuses him, and God grants him permission, but here the Lord is the one initiates, and gets Satan to do the dirty work. Satan does nothing on his own outside of God’s providence.

David’s response to all this when it is brought to his attention is to immediately confess that he has “sinned greatly,” and beg for his guilt to be taken away. As a Hebrew who is perfectly versed in the sacrificial system, David knows that there is a price that must be paid for sin’s guilt. The Lord gives him three choices: a famine for three years, to fall into the hand of his enemies, or three days of plague. David chooses the latter because he trusts that the Lord’s “mercy is very great.” And indeed he was, but it’s a strange read for those who see sin against a holy God who is a burning fire as a trivial matter:

14 So the Lord sent a plague on Israel, and seventy thousand men of Israel fell dead. 15 And God sent an angel to destroy Jerusalem. But as the angel was doing so, the Lord saw it and relented concerning the disaster and said to the angel who was destroying the people, “Enough! Withdraw your hand.” The angel of the Lord was then standing at the threshing floor of Araunahthe Jebusite.

16 David looked up and saw the angel of the Lord standing between heaven and earth, with a drawn sword in his hand extended over Jerusalem. Then David and the elders, clothed in sackcloth, fell facedown.

17 David said to God, “Was it not I who ordered the fighting men to be counted? I, the shepherd, have sinned and done wrong. These are but sheep. What have they done? Lord my God, let your hand fall on me and my family, but do not let this plague remain on your people.”

God’s justice is a terrible thing, but far from being something completely foreign to us, like the cynic or skeptic thinks it is, it really makes total sense. The moral law is a reflection of his being, and when it is broken a price must be paid. That is why we get a ticket when we are caught speeding, or thieves are thrown in jail, etc. We all understand justice intuitively; what we can’t stand is the standard of God’s holiness, that this episode in David’s life and the loss of 70,000 men is actually just by God’s standards. It is! And God did not have to relent, but he did. That’s what makes Christ’s sacrifice so incomprehensible; the infinite, perfectly pure standards of God’s holiness were perfectly met in his life and death. God’s wrath is completely satisfied, our guilt completely washed away, the price fully paid. What more can we say but, Praise the Lord!

 

I Chronicles 17

Once David gets settled into his palace all nice and comfy, he begins to feel bad that here he is living in a palace, and the presence of God represented by the ark is in a tent. So Nathan the prophet tells him to go for it and build God a new home, but it is not to be. That night the word of the Lord comes to Nathan that David will not be the one to build God a house. Then we get as clear a prophecy about Christ as their is in the OT:

“‘I declare to you that the Lord will build a house for you: 11 When your days are over and you go to be with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, one of your own sons, and I will establish his kingdom. 12 He is the one who will build a house for me, and I will establish his throne forever. 13 I will be his father, and he will be my son. I will never take my love away from him, as I took it away from your predecessor. 14 I will set him over my house and my kingdom forever; his throne will be established forever.’”

Something strange is going on here. That last bit of verse 10 doesn’t seem to fit with the rest of the prophecy. The context is David wanting to build this house, and the Lord telling him his offspring will build the house. But the Lord declares here the He will build a house for David? Verse 12 seems to contradict this because it is this offspring who will build a house for the Lord. Yet who really is the builder? God himself.

The word “house” in verse 10 can be interpreted to mean ‘dynasty’, ‘temple’, and even ‘household.’ So God himself is going to establish David’s line; it is not dependent on human agency to establish God’s kingdom. If it were, there would never be one, even as we read the story of Israel’s continual failure; all human efforts are simply not working, they are not enough. Clearly this one who will build the Lord a house refers to Solomon, but more than that it refers to Christ as verse 13 leaves no doubt. Forever is a very long time, and this reference to forever refers to the person spoken about here; this person is eternal. I love the way David Guzik argues this from scripture:

God promised David that the reign of his dynasty will last forever.

  1. Each of these great promises was partially fulfilled in Solomon, David’s son and successor to his throne.
  • Solomon ruled on David’s throne.
  • God’s mercies never departed from Solomon, though he sinned.
  • Solomon built God a magnificent house.
  1. Yet God’s promise to David was all the more important because of when the Chronicler wrote about it – after the exile, when there was no independent kingdom of Israel and the throne of David seemed vacant. The Chronicler had the faith to see that this promise was not broken even when it plainly seemed to be. He knew that Messiah would indeed come from the seemingly dead line of David and reign forever. He had faith in what the prophets foretold as a greater fulfillment of these promises:
  • Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, that I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness; a King shall reign and prosper, and execute righteousness in the earth. . . . Now this is His name by which He will be called: THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS (Jeremiah 23:5-6)
  • For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. . . Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it . . . from that time forward, even forever. (Isaiah 9:6-7)
  • And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end. (Luke 1:31-33)

iii. God did not want the earthly house built until the spiritual house was promised and established. The more important house had to be in place first, and that house was the dynasty that would result in the throne of God’s Messiah.

  1. As for David, God’s blessing was upon him in a unique way. The New Testament identifies Jesus with David more than with any other human ancestor.
  • Hosanna to the Son of David! (Matthew 21:9)
  • The Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. (Luke 1:32)
  • I am the Root and Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star. (Revelation 22:16)
  1. It also seems that David will be God’s chosen prince over a restored Israel in the millennial earth. Hosea 3:5 says, Afterward, the children of Israel shall return, seek the Lord their God and David their king, and fear the Lord and His goodness in the latter days. Other passages which set forth this idea are Ezekiel 37:24-25, Ezekiel 34:23-24, and Jeremiah 30:9.

Not so sure about number 9 now that I’m amillennial, but what is David’s response? Disappointment? Of course not! His heart toward the Lord is fundamentally one of trust and gratitude, and he is humbled and thankful that he will bless David’s line forever. What Christ accomplished was David’s hope.

 

I Chronicles 16

The ark finally gets settled in a tent David set up for it, and the worship begins. There is joy in the land, the fulfillment of God’s promises and goodness to his people. Most of the rest of the chapter is a psalm of thanksgiving by David, which overflows with praise for God, who he is, and what he has done. David never doubted God; he knew what he said was trustworthy, and that is what made him special despite his human failures. As followers of this God one of the most important attitudes of our heart and mind should be Thanksgiving. He is God our Savior, as David says, so that we may give thanks. How much more after Christ! I remember my last reading through the Bible how much a certain theme stood out, and David addresses that here:

25 For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;     he is to be feared above all gods. 26 For all the gods of the nations are idols,     but the Lord made the heavens.

The Lord, Yahweh, the God of Israel is different than all the other so called gods of the nations; he is the Creator. It’s very simple really; why would anyone pursue any other gods who are idols, who as we’re told again and again are worthless, they are nothing, literally. They can’t fulfill what they promise. Idols in our time aren’t statues we worship instead of God, but any other thing we put in place of God as ultimate meaning or fulfillment for us. We are drawn to idols because we think we’re get something from them God can’t give us; always a lie. We can enjoy all things God provides in context, and the key to doing that is in this psalm, thanksgiving. A heart of gratitude is the key to a godly life, to one that glorifies God and allows us to enjoy everything he has provided. As David says in v.34, “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. Amen!

I Chronicles 10-15

In these chapters David consolidates his power after Saul kills himself, and sets up shop in Jerusalem. He has the ark brought there, and what is covered in these chapters is covered more in depth in 2 Samuel, on which I’ve already commented, including Uzzah dying when he tried to steady the ark as it was being carried by the oxen. David realized that God appointed the Levites and descendants of Aaron to mediate his presence before them, so he has them alone carry the ark of God.

12 He said to them, “You are the heads of the Levitical families; you and your fellow Levites are to consecrate yourselves and bring up the ark of the Lord, the God of Israel, to the place I have prepared for it. 13 It was because you, the Levites, did not bring it up the first time that the Lord our God broke out in anger against us.We did not inquire of him about how to do it in the prescribed way.”

And they did it exactly the way Moses commanded. This is a good lesson. Instead of blaming God as if God could do something unjust, David realized they were not completely obedient. This makes you very grateful Christ is the mediator of the New Covenant, and that we no longer have to worry about the wrath of God being poured down on us because we messed up. It’s all covered in, “It is finished.” The people led by David brought the ark to his city with great rejoicing. Again this is all in more detail in 2 Samuel. Chapter 15 ends with Saul’s daughter Michal watching this whole spectacle and despising David in hear heart.