David Makes Preparations for the Temple

First Chronicles 22: 1-19

DIG: From ADONAI’s point of view, why was David disqualified from building the Temple himself? What feelings can you read between the lines? Is David able to “let go” of his dream? What resources did David provide for his son? In one sense that made it easier for Solomon, but in another sense what burden would Solomon inherit because of all of David’s preparations? How did David greet his son? What virtues did David insist that Solomon cultivate? How would the LORD help him with that? Are David and Solomon cast from the same mold? Why or why not?

REFLECT: When have you “passed the torch” to a subordinate at work? To an heir in the family? What preparations have you made for passing on your life’s work or family values? Would you “arrange” your child’s life, as David did for Solomon? What kind of a head start (or stunted development) in life did you get from your father? Mother? Grandfather? Grandmother? Uncle? Aunt? Or was God your heavenly Father because no one else was there for you?

David started making arrangements for Temple services
several years before the end of his life.

The LORD didn’t permit David to build the Temple, but He did honor the preparation David made for his son Solomon to do the job. We’re not sure when ADONAI began to give David the plans for the Temple, but the purchase of Araunah’s threshing floor seemed to be the signal for action (see El – David Builds an Altar). When God sent fire from heaven to consume David’s offerings, David knew that his sin was forgiven and that he was back in fellowship with ADONAI. But David also knew that his altar was very special to YHVH, and he continued to sacrifice there instead of going to the Tabernacle at Gibeon. God let him know that Mount Moriah was the place where He wanted the Temple to be built. David probably wrote Psalm 30 at that time, even though there was an actual building to dedicate. By faith, he dedicated to Ha’Shem the threshing floor he had purchased and the building that would one day stand on it. Then David declared: The house of ADONAI, God is to be here, and also the bronze altar (see the commentary on Exodus Fa - Build an Altar of Acacia Wood Overlaid with Bronze) for Isra’el (First Chronicles 22:1).

Site, materials and workers: So David gave orders to assemble the foreigners residing in Isra’el, and from among them he appointed stonecutters to prepare dressed stone for building the house of God. The enormous quantity of materials is striking. He provided a large amount of iron to make the nails for the doors of the gateways and for the fittings, and more bronze than could be weighed. He also provided more cedar logs from Lebanon than could be counted, for the Sidonians and Tyrians had brought large numbers of them to David (1 Chron 22:2-4). David enlisted both Jews and resident aliens (1 Kings 5:13-18) to help construct the Temple. The division of David’s government was under Adoniram (1 Kings 4:6). The 30,000 Jewish workers cut timber in Lebanon for a month and then returned home for two months, while the 150,000 alien laborers cut and delivered massive stones from the hills, supervised by Jewish foremen (1 Kings 5:13-18, 9:15-19; 2 Chron 2:17-18). For years, David had been amassing the materials for the Temple, the total value of which was beyond calculation. Much of it came from the spoils of the battles David had won (First Chron 18:9-11; 26:26-28). David, the warrior, had defeated Isra’el’s enemies and taken their wealth so that Solomon, his son, would have the peace and provisions necessary to build the house of God.515

Solomon the builder: We don’t know how old Solomon was when he started this project, but David said: My son Solomon is young and inexperienced. This explains why David bothwarned and encouraged his son several times to obey ADONAI and finish the work God had assigned to him (1 Chron 22:6-16, 28:9-10 and 20-21). He also reminded the elders of the people to encourage and assist their new king in the great project. David knew that the house to be built for the LORD should be of great magnificence and fame and splendor in the sight of all nations. Therefore, I will make preparations for it. So David made extensive preparations before his death (First Chron 22:5).

David encouraged Solomon by assuring him that the Temple project was the will of God. Then he called for his son Solomon and charged him to build a house for ADONAI, the God of Isra’el. David spoke to Solomon, saying: My son, I had it in my heart to build a house for YHVH, the LORD my God. 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. 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 Isra’el peace and quiet during his reign. 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 Isra’el forever” (First Chronicles 22:8-10). David emphasized the Temple was to be built, not for the glory of David or even Solomon, but for ADONAI. David wanted to be sure that Solomon would build a house that would honor YHVH and not build a monument to honor himself.

David continued to counsel Solomon. Now my son, ADONAI be with you, and may you have success and build the house of the LORD your God, as He said you would. May YHVH give you discretion and understanding when He puts you in command over Isra’el, so that you will observe the Torah of ADONAI your God. Then you will have success if you are careful to observe the decrees and regulations that the LORD gave Moshe for Isra’el. The words: Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged (First Chron. 22:11-13), remind us of how Moshe encouraged Joshua, his successor (Deut 31:5-8 and 23); Ha’Shem repeated that encouragement after Moses died (Joshua 1:6 and 9). Moshe and Joshua were faithful men, and God saw them through all their trials and enabled them to complete their work. He would do the same for Solomon.516

The third encouragement David gave his son was the great amount of wealth the king had accumulated for the project. I have taken great pains to provide for the Temple of YHVH 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. You have many workers: stonecutters, masons and carpenters, as well as those skilled in every kind of work in gold and silver, bronze and iron – craftsmen beyond number. Now begin the work, and the LORD be with you (First Chronicles 22:14-16).

The leaders of Isra’el: David ordered the leaders to cooperate with Solomon and help him complete the project. Then David ordered all the leaders of Isra’el to help his son Solomon. He said: Is not ADONAI 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. Now devote your heart and soul to seeking YHVH your God. Begin to build the sanctuary of ADONAI your 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 YHVH (First Chronicles 22:17-19). His only concern was that the name of the LORD be glorified.

If you were asked to name David’s two greatest sins, you would probably reply, “His adultery with Bathsheba (see Dc – David and Bathsheba) and his numbering of the people (see Ek – David Counts the Fighting Men),” and you would be right. Though David’s sins were great, so was David’s repentance great. His heart was torn by his sin. God forgave David and allowed him the privilege of collecting much of the materials that would be used in the building of the Temple. Bathsheba gave birth to Solomon, and YHVH chose him to succeed David on the throne. On the property David purchased and on which he erected an altar (see El – David Builds an Altar), Solomon built the Temple and dedicated it to the glory of the LORD. What ADONAI did for David is certainly no excuse for sin (Romans 6:1-2), because David paid dearly for committing those two sins. However, knowing what God did for David does encourage us to seek His face and trust His grace when we have disobeyed Him. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more (Romans 5:20b).517

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