Tonight we begin with chapter twenty, of I Chronicles.
It came to pass, that after the year was expired, at the time that the kings go out to battle, that Joab led forth the power of the army, and wasted the country of the children of Ammon, and came and besieged Rabbah. But David tarried at Jerusalem. And Joab smote Rabbah, and destroyed it (20:1).
Now in the previous chapter, we noticed how that the people of Ammon had disgraced David’s men, that he sent to comfort the king, at the death of his father. They disgraced David’s men, sent them home in a shameful state. So it perpetrated the war. They then called for the Syrians to come and help them, and how that in two separate battles, the combined forces of the Ammonites, and the Syrians, were defeated by Joab, and the army. However there was not a full victory. The city of Rabbah was not taken. They would retreat to the city. The walls of the city were such, that it was not a wise kind of a venture, to try to take the city of Rabbah.
But at the end of the year, and it’s interesting, there are times, especially in those days, which were more conducive for warfare. You don’t want to fight when you’ve gotta harvest crops, you don’t want to fight while you have to plant crops. But, when the crops are growing, the women can tend the crops, so you can go to war. And, the weather is nice, if you have to sleep out you know, you’re not going to get all wet in the rain. So they wouldn’t fight in the wintertime, when it’s muddy and sloppy, you don’t want to fight in those conditions. But, summertime, the crops are growing, and you can spend your night out in the open and all, and not worry about getting wet. So the time to go out to war.
So the kings go out to battle, and Joab led the armies of David, and they captured the capital of Ammon, and they besieged the city of Rabbah. “But David tarried at Jerusalem. And Joab smote Rabbah, and destroyed it.”
And David took the crown of their king from off his head, and he found it to weigh a talent of gold, [Uh, a talent of gold in today’s market, at, of course I didn’t look at today’s market, gold is somewhere, I suppose, still around four hundred dollars an ounce. So you’re talking about a couple hundred thousand bucks worth of gold in this crown. “And it was taken off the head of the king.”] and there were also precious stones in it; and it was set upon David’s head: and he brought also exceeding much spoil out of the city. He brought out the people that were in it, cut them with saws, and with harrows of iron, and axes. Even so dealt David with all the cities of the children of Ammon. And David and all the people returned to Jerusalem (20:2-3).
Remember, we’ll find in a couple of chapters, that because of David being such a bloody man in wars and so forth, God refused David the desire of his heart, to build the temple for God. Here we see some of this kind of cruelty.
It came to pass after this, that there arose a war at Gezer with the Philistines; and they killed Sibbechai the Hushathite slew Sippai, who was of the children of the giant: [related to Goliath] and the Philistines were subdued. Then they had another war with the Philistines; and Elhanan the son of Jair slew Lahmi the brother of Goliath. And another war in Gath, and there was a man of great stature, who had six fingers on each hand, and six toes on each foot: he also was a giant who was slain in that battle (20:4-6).
So, it evidently was, there was a family of big fellows. Ha, ha! Of course in hand-to-hand combat, they make a very formidable foe.
But when he defied Israel, Jonathan the son of Shimea David’s brother slew him. And these were those that were born unto the giant in Gath; they fell by the hand of David, and by his servants (20:7-8).
Now Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel (21:1).
An interesting verse of scripture. How that Satan put in David’s heart, a desire to number the men of war. Now, behind the desire to number them is probably a thing of pride. There’s really no need to know the number of men that you have available for battle. But it would seem that David’s pride was involved in this whole issue. Though Joab, and his other counselors advised him against it, David was inanimate in his intention of taking this census. But the scripture points out, that it was behind the whole thing, Satan was standing up against Israel, and he was the one that provoked David to number Israel.
We have, all of us experienced the pressure of being tempted by Satan, to do things that are not pleasing to the Lord. So often the area that Satan comes to us at, is the area of pride. David king of Israel, becomes really the prey to Satan’s guises, as Satan puts it in his mind, provokes him, and that’s a little stronger than just, put in his mind, the Hebrew word, literally means, “enticed” David, to number Israel. But lest you go to the stone pile, to pick up stones to throw at David, I would just suggest that he that is without sin, let him throw the first stone. He that has not succumbed to the enticements of Satan, somewhere along the line, are the ones that would be qualified, perhaps, to throw the stones at David.
But, it’s amazing how good judgement can go out the window, under the heavy enticements, or temptations of Satan. Here, though he has good counsel, by his friends, David forsakes their counsel, he holds to the intent, and orders it to be done.
David said to Joab and to the rulers of the people, Go, number Israel from Beersheba to Dan; bring the number to me, that I may know it. [So this is an abuse of power.] Joab answered, May Jehovah make his people a hundred times more than they are: but, my Lord the king, are they not all my Lord’s servants? why does my Lord require this thing? why will you be a cause of trespass to Israel (20:3)?
“Why would you, why would you put this sin upon the nation of Israel, by numbering them?” The Lord had promised Abraham, that He would make his seed like the sands of the sea, which could not be numbered. They took this as an edict from God, as to not take a census. “May God just multiply the seed, so they just really can’t be counted.” Yet David now, in his pride, or whatever, wants to know, “Just how many men do I have available?”. So we read…
The king’s word prevailed. [That was a tragic day for Israel.] Wherefore Joab departed, and he went throughout all of Israel, and he came back to Jerusalem. And Joab gave the sum of the number of the people unto David. And all of Israel were a thousand, thousand [Or a million.] a hundred thousand men that drew sword. [So, one million, one hundred thousand men, of all of Israel.] And from the tribe of Judah, there was four hundred and seventy thousand men that could draw the sword. Now Joab didn’t count the tribe of Benjamin [It was a small tribe.] nor did he count the tribe of Levi: for the king’s word was abominable to Joab. [He was dragging his heels all the way.] And God was displeased with this thing; therefore he smote Israel. And David said unto God, I have sinned greatly, because I have done this thing: but now, I beg you, do away with the iniquity of thy servant; for I have done very foolishly (20:4-7).
So God began to plague Israel, and David prayed unto the Lord, “Lord, I’m the guilty one, I have sinned, in that I have done this. Now take away the iniquity of your servant, because I have done very foolishly.” How many times I think we’ve come to God with the same kind of a prayer, “Lord I have sinned, I have done foolishly. Take away my guilt”. How thankful we are for Jesus Christ, and the blood of Jesus Christ, that cleanses us from all sin.
There is a verse in Hebrews that Satan often uses to club Christians to death with. Couple of passages, one in the sixth chapter, and one in the tenth chapter that talk about our sinning willfully, after we’ve come to the knowledge of truth, and uh, “There remains no further sacrifice for sins”, and all. Satan uses that to club people to death. I have a letter uh, oh on an average of one a month, and I have people come up, on the average of two a month, who feel that those passages refer to them, and they’ve committed the unpardonable sin, because they, they, they sinned willfully, after they had come to the knowledge of Jesus Christ. It’s a passage that Satan often uses to bash people with. We have all of us, sinned, after coming to the knowledge of Jesus Christ.
John writing his epistle, to those who believe, “These things have I written unto you that believe in the name of Jesus Christ, that you might know that you have eternal life”. In this epistle that he writes to the believers, he declares, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, the truth isn’t in us. If we say that we haven’t sinned, we make God a liar”. After coming to the knowledge of the truth, we have all been guilty of sin, and many of us of willful sin. We knew what we were doing was wrong. The Spirit convicted of us, convicted us of it before we ever did it.
The case in Hebrews was of course one where he was writing to those who had grown up in the Jewish faith, who had taken their sacrifices faithfully, to the priests, their sin offerings, who came to the glorious knowledge of Jesus Christ, that He is our sacrifice, He is the sin offering, He has put away our sins once and for all. If they should try to go back to taking a lamb to the priest, there remains no further sacrifice for sin. The lamb won’t do it for you anymore. You’ve come to the knowledge of truth, in Jesus Christ. That’s what the writer of Hebrews was referring to, but as I say, Satan uses that as a Christian basher, many times. Trying to make us feel that God won’t forgive.
David, his was a willful sin. “Lord, I have sinned”, and confession, “I have done very foolishly”. How many times I look at myself and say, “Chuck that was very foolish”.
The Lord spake to Gad, who was David’s seer [David’s prophet, at this point.] and he said, Go and tell David, saying, Thus saith the Lord, You have three choices: choose one of them, that I might do it to you. So Gad came to David, and he said, Thus saith the Lord, Choose. Either three years’ of famine; or three months to be destroyed before your enemies while that the sword of your enemies overtakes you; or else three days the sword of the Lord, even the pestilence, in the land, and the angel of the Lord destroying throughout all the coasts of Israel. Now therefore advise thyself what word I shall bring again to him that sent me (21:9-12).
So Gad came to David, and said, “David, the Lord has given you three choices for your punishment, for your sin”. Now remember, David is under the law, we are under grace. Thank God, Jesus took our guilt, our sin, the punishment for our sin upon Himself. But the Lord gave David three choices. “You can have three years of famine.” That’s stretching it out a long time. “You can have three months where your enemies will defeat your troops, or you can have three days, the hand of the Lord, the angel of the Lord, and pestilence against the land.” Well, David made, I think, the wisest choice of the three. If you’re gonna have punishment, let’s get it over with.
David in his response, said, [That’s tough! Hard to decide!] I’m in a great strait: but let me fall now into the hand of the Lord; for very great are his mercies: don’t let me fall into the hand of man. [God is more merciful than man. God is more gracious than man. When I’ve made a mistake, or when I have sinned, God is far more gracious than man. So David chose to receive the punishment directly from God. “I don’t want man. I know that God is merciful, so I’ll submit myself to God’s judgement.”] So the Lord sent a pestilence upon Israel: and there fell of Israel seventy thousand men (21:13-14).
Now the pestilence could’ve been in the form of a bubonic plague, or some other type of, of you know, viral kind of infection, or whatever, that wiped out seventy thousand men. Here he had numbered, to boast in the army, and God’s gonna start cutting it down to size.
And God sent an angel unto Jerusalem to destroy it: and as he was destroying, the Lord beheld, and he repented him of the evil, and he said to the angel that destroyed, It’s enough, stay now your hand. And the angel of the Lord stood by the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite (21:15).
Now we have great difficulty describing the actions of an infinite God, with finite language. But language is all we have, and thus we have to use language, as inadequate as it is, to express the activities, or the actions of God. The word that is used here, “And it repented God of the evil…”, in our thought of the word, “repentance”, we think of it as a change. In fact, the word basically in our definition of repentance, there is a change. If there is no change, there’s no real repentance. For repentance leads to change, it creates the change, and, and the change is the sign of true repentance.
Now when God is moving in a direction, and it seems that God changes, the angel is coming and is smiting, and then God stops the angel. There’s a change of activity. All we’ve got is human language, to express the infinite character of God, and so we have to say, “God repented”. But, yet we read, “God is not a man that He should repent, nor the son of man. God is not a man that He should lie, nor the son of man, that He should repent, hath He not spoken, and shall He not make it good?”. But, that’s again the weakness of language, and especially when you try to describe the activities of God, in human language.
It should be noted, that no doubt, God all the time intended to stop the angel, where He did. It would seem like the angel’s gonna destroy all of Jerusalem. God says, “Stop right there!”. Now, from our viewing it would look like, “Well God changed His mind from destroying the whole city”. “And so it repented the Lord of the evil, and He said to the angel, Stop there!” But that’s only using human language, to describe the activities of God, in which you always have a problem, a weakness. So the Lord said, “It’s enough. Stay now your hand. And the angel of the Lord stood by the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite”. Now the reason why I say this, is from the subsequent things that take place.
David lifted up his eyes, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing between earth and heaven, having a drawn sword in his hand stretched out over Jerusalem. Then David and the elders of Israel, who were clothed in sackcloth, fell on their faces (21:16).
Boy don’t you know that must have been something awesome! They know that the pestilence is going through the land. They know that people are dropping like flies all over the land. So David puts on sackcloth, ashes on his head. It was a, as a sign of, of affliction, afflicting himself, wearing that rough camel’s skin backwards, so that the irritating hair is against your body, scratching, miserable.
Ashes on your head, as a sign of great mourning, and repentance. David and the elders are there before the Lord repenting, and David looks up in the sky, and he sees this angel of the Lord, between earth and heaven, standing. And, his sword is stretched out over Jerusalem. Heavy!
And David said unto God, Is it not I that commanded the people to be numbered? even I it is that have sinned and done this evil indeed; but as for these sheep, what have they done? let thy hand, I pray thee, O Lord my God, be on me, and on my father’s house; but not on thy people, that they should be plagued (21:17).
How heavy that must’ve come upon David. “My sin has caused such grief!” Of course, that’s the price of leadership, but that’s also the cost of sin. I have heard so many people say, “Well, it only hurts me. Yeah, I do drugs a bit, but it only hurts me”. Baloney! It hurts all of those around you. It hurts your family, and the hurt goes out, and out, and out, and everyone suffers for what you do. No man really sins unto himself. Your sin has an effect, a rippling effect, that goes out, and out, and others are hurt, and affected by what you do. Don’t deceive yourself into thinking, “Well, I’m the only one that is hurt by this”. Many, many, many, are touched and hurt by it.
David’s sin caused hurt to so many, and David said, “Lord, I’m the guilty one! I was the one that did this Lord! These poor sheep, don’t take it out on them!”. David is willing now, to give himself, “Lord take it out on me, I’m the guilty party. As for these people, they, they’re not guilty. They weren’t the ones that were wrong, that they should be plagued”.
Then the angel of the Lord commanded Gad to say to David, that David should go up, and set up an altar unto the Lord in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite (21:18).
Now, Gad no doubt, was with David. The elders were with him, they all saw the angel. But the Lord spoke to Gad, and said, “Tell David to go and to make an altar there on the threshingfloor, below where the angel is standing”.
Now Ornan turned back, and saw the angel; [So it wasn’t something that just David and his elders saw. This fellow was threshing wheat, looked up and saw this angel, standing there with a sword drawn. And, “He turned back and saw the angel”,] and his four sons were with him and they hid. [I think I would’ve too.] He was in the process of threshing wheat. And as David came to Ornan, Ornan looked and he saw David, and he went out of the threshingfloor, and he bowed himself to David with his face to the ground. Then David said to Ornan, Grant me the place of this threshingfloor, that I may build an altar therein unto the Lord: for thou shalt grant it me for the full price: that the plague might be stayed from the people (21:20-22).
“Sell this to me. Sell it to me for the full price, that this plague might be stopped.”
And Ornan said to David, Take it, let my Lord the king do that which is good in his eyes: lo, I’ll give it to you, and the oxen also for the burnt offerings, and the threshing instruments for the wood, and the wheat for the meal offering; I’ll give it all. And king David said to Ornan, No; I will truly buy it for the full price: for I will not take that which is yours for the Lord, nor offer burnt offerings without cost (21:23-24).
Or, “I will not give unto the Lord that which cost me nothing”.
So David gave to Ornan for the place six hundred shekels of gold by weight (21:25).
Now in the account in Samuel, it talks about fifty shekels of gold. For the fifty shekels of gold, he bought the cattle, and the instruments, for the, that he used in the plowing and all, for the altar. That was fifty shekels, but for the property itself, he gave him six hundred shekels of gold. Those that like to find discrepancies in the bible, often point to this, as to one of the discrepancies, but it’s cleared up in the Hebrew language. For in the Hebrew language, the threshing floor is the goram, and here you find the area. He gave fifty shekels for the uh, this is the maximum is the property itself, the goram are the things that were on the property. So a total price of six hundred and fifty shekels, but divided, one speaks of the property itself, the other speaks of the things that were on the property.
So David built there an altar unto the Lord, he offered the burnt offerings, and the peace offerings, and he called upon the Lord; and he answered him from heaven by fire upon the altar of the burnt offering. And the Lord commanded the angel; and he put up his sword in the sheath. At that time when David saw the Lord had answered him in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite, then he sacrificed there. For the tabernacle of the Lord, which Moses made in the wilderness, and the altar of the burnt offering, were at that season in the high place at Gibeon. But David could not go before there to inquire of God: for he was afraid because of the sword of the angel of the Lord (21:26-30).
So up until this time, all of the sacrifices that were made unto God, were made in Gibeon. That’s where the tabernacle was, and the place of the sacrifices. But the Lord commanded David to buy the threshingfloor of Ornan, and to build an altar there, and to offer sacrifice unto the Lord.
So the first verse of chapter twenty two.
Then David said, This is the house of the Lord God (22:1),
In other words, “This is the place for the temple!” God had ordered that on this spot, the altar be built, and the sacrifice made. They had been doing that only in Gibeon, up to this point, there at the tabernacle. But God is signifying, by the building of the altar, and the offering of the sacrifice here, that this is where the house of the Lord is to be built.
Now, God’s hand behind the scenes all the way. It is this place, on mount Moriah, that years before, Abraham had come. About a thousand years earlier, Abraham had come with Isaac, to offer a sacrifice unto God. As Abraham and Isaac were coming to this mount Moriah, this very place that David is now purchasing, and his son Isaac said, “Dad, we have the fire and the wood, but where is the sacrifice?”. Abraham said, “Son, the Lord will provide Himself a sacrifice”. “In the mount of the Lord”, he said, “it shall be seen”. You remember the story? How that he bound Isaac, placed him on the altar, and he raised the knife, and the Lord said, “That’s enough Abraham. Behold, there is a ram caught by its horns in the thicket, take and offer it”. Abraham called the place, “Jehovah-Jireh”, the Lord will provide. He responded, “For in the mount of the Lord, it shall be seen”.
This is the place where the sacrifices are to be made. This is the place that God had chosen for the temple, back at the time of Abraham, and he makes the prophecy of it then. It doesn’t end there. About a thousand years after David, Jesus was led to the top of mount Moriah, a place called Golgotha, and there He was crucified. So, this holy mount that God chose, as a place of sacrifice. He directed Abraham to it, Abraham prophesied over it. God stopped the angel above the threshing floor, there on mount Moriah. David recognized God said, “Offer the sacrifice there”, and David by that, recognized that, “This is the place God has chosen, for the house of God to be built”. The prophecy then, was completely fulfilled, when Jesus made the sacrifice for sin, and God offered His Only Begotten Son, for our sins, on the mount of sacrifice. So, David recognized, “Hey!”
This is the place for the house of the Lord. And David commanded to gather together the strangers that were in the land of Israel; and he set masons to begin to hew these stones to build the house of God (22:2).
He can’t build a house, but the Lord didn’t say he couldn’t prepare for the building of the house, and so he got the stone masons to work. They started carving out the stones for the temple. Of course, as we go on, we find that he began to gather…
David prepared iron in abundance for the nails for the doors of the gates, and for the joinings; brass in abundance without weight; [You know there was so much, you couldn’t really weigh it.] Also there were cedar trees in abundance: for the Zidonians and they that were of Tyre brought much cedar wood to David. And David said, Solomon my son is young and tender, and the house that is to be built for the Lord must be [Magnificent!] exceedingly magnificent, of fame and glory throughout all the world: and I will therefore now make preparation for it. So David prepared abundantly before his death (22:3-5).
“Can’t build it David”, but, “Hey”, David says, “I can sure provide for it!”.
So then he called for Solomon his son, and he charged him to build a house for the Lord. And David said to Solomon, My son, as for me, it was in my mind to build a house unto the name of Jehovah my God: But the word of the Lord had came to me, saying, That you have shed blood abundantly, you’ve made great wars: thou shalt not build a house unto my name, because you have shed much blood upon the earth in my sight (22:6-8).
“David, you’ve been too bloody a man.”
But behold, a son shall be born to you, he will be a man of [peace or,] rest; and I will give him rest from all of his enemies round about: for his name shall be Solomon, and I will give peace and quietness unto Israel in his days. He shall build a house for my name; and he shall be my son, and I will be his father; and I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel for ever (22:9-10).
So, “Solomon, it was in my mind to build this house for God. God rejected my desire because of my bloody past. But He promised to give me you, as a son. Reign in my stead. You’re to build a house”.
So now, my son, [He gives to Solomon the charge.] the Lord be with you; [This is the key to the whole thing. “God has called you to a great task. It’s to be a magnificent temple, it’s to be noted throughout the world. It’s to be one of the great wonders of the ancient world, this temple that is to be built. So, my son, the Lord be with you”. How we need the presence of God for every endeavor that we do for God. It is not enough to just know what God wants done, and then to take it upon ourselves to do it. We must be directed by God, strengthened by God, guided by God, in every work that we seek to do for God. One of the tragic mistakes of the modern church, is to try to do the work of God, with the ingenuity of man. We find that Madison Avenue has invaded the church. You’d be amazed at the mail that I get every week of those professionals that are willing to come, and to help us raise money. All kinds of money raising schemes, that are designed for churches. We get mail all the time, of how to raise funds, you know. How they’ll come in, and set up a whole drive, and go around and give pledges, and how they, they give their success story of how they helped this church raise so many thousands, and this church to raise so much money, in all these money raising schemes. God never intended that the church to be supported by money raising schemes, by pressuring people into giving. By pressuring people into making pledges. God never intended His work to be supported that way. God said, “Let every man purpose in his own heart, and so let him give”. God said that your giving should never be out of pressure, or out of constraint. “For God loves a cheerful giver!” And, the Greek is even more intense, “If God loves a hilarious giver”. Surely the time when the offering is taken, should be the most hilarious part of every service! For God loves a hilarious giver! But, you see the problem with the church is that they’ve adopted worldly methods to accomplish their goals. We have done it, and it’s almost a uh, it’s almost a law within the church, that the end justifies the means. Not so. That’s a lie from the pit! The ends do not justify the means. You say, “But we raised all this money for God!”, well, it wasn’t God’s way. It’s like taking a census of the people in David’s time. God’s not pleased with it. We need to seek God’s guidance in every endeavor that the church launches into, in doing the work of God. We need to be in prayer, that God will show us how, not just what should be done, but how it should be done. “The Lord be with you. It’s a great task that you’re called to do. You know what you’re supposed to do. Now, may the Lord be with you to guide you, to give you wisdom, and to give you understanding, because of this great task that is to be done.] and may the Lord prosper you [with that wisdom, prosper you with understanding], that you build the house of the Lord, as he has said you’re going to do (22:11).
“God has ordained that you do it, but may God be with you and prosper you with wisdom and understanding in doing it.”
And so the Lord give to you that wisdom and understanding, to help you to give charge to Israel, [That is, he’s gonna have to be giving the orders in Israel. “May God give you the wisdom and understanding, to give you the charge concerning Israel”,] that you may keep the law of Jehovah thy God. Then you will prosper, if you take heed to fulfill the statutes and the judgments which the Lord gave to Moses. [The story of Solomon is a story of tragedy, because he started out well. As we get into II Chronicles, the first part is devoted unto Solomon, to the building of the temple, to the completion of the temple. As the temple is completed, and we read Solomon, and the prayer of dedication of the temple, that prayer of Solomon shows great wisdom, great understanding, and a great commitment to the things of God. It’s an extremely powerful, beautiful prayer that was answered by God in a very powerful way. God responded to the prayer of Solomon. But, as the years went by, Solomon turned away from the statutes of the Lord. He turned away from the statutes that God had given to Moses. He did not follow his father’s advice, but as the years went by, and he was prosperous and wealthy, he began to disobey the statutes of the Lord, written in the law of Moses. He began to multiply to himself wives, as the statute said he should not do. He began horse trading with the Egyptians, which the scriptures said he should not do. As he began to take wives of the daughters of the foreign kings, in order to please them, on mount of Olives, across from the area of Offal, where the city of David was, on the mount of Olives, the opposite side there, he began to build temples to the pagan deities, there in the sight of Israel, for his wives’ sake. It became a great stumbling block to Solomon, and to the people of Israel. But David is giving him good advice, and a good counsel here. Too bad he didn’t keep with it.] be strong and of good courage; [And of course our strength and our courage comes from the acknowledgment that, “God is with me. The Lord is with me, I shall not fear.” Just that consciousness of God’s presence, gives great courage, great strength. Also,] it keeps you from dread and dismay (22:12-13).
A lot of times, I can’t see the way out. A lot of times I don’t know how it’s gonna work out. A lot of times, it looks like a real mystery. It’s a puzzler! It looks like a total mess, chaos! I hate it when people come at that time, and say, “Well Chuck, what are we gonna do?” Because I really don’t know! “We’re gonna wait upon the Lord, and see what He’s gonna do.” I don’t have the answer. But I’m not dismayed. God’s with us. God’s in it. God’s gonna work it out! He just hasn’t shown me yet, what His plan is. I know when it comes to pass, we’re gonna say, “My wasn’t that wonderful! Isn’t it great the way that worked out?”
But there are too many people in the middle of the thing, because they can’t see the end results, they’re all disturbed, they’re all upset. Oh how foolish it is for us to judge a situation, until we see the end of the matter. Yet there are always people willing to do that, right in the midst of things, when we can’t see the plan of God, the purpose of God. “Why would God allow this to happen, and that to happen?”, and all. And, and we’re right in the middle of it, and we begin to judge now. “My we sure made a foolish mistake that time, didn’t we?” Well did we?
Those same people come around later, when the whole thing is worked out, when, when it’s all worked out, then they say, “Man that was a smart move wasn’t it? Shrewd! That was just absolutely brilliant!”, you know. “How did you know that was gonna happen?” Well, you didn’t! You just take one step at a time, and let God lead you. But as long as the Lord is with you, you don’t be dismayed. You’re not dreading it. You say, “Hey, God’s gonna work it out. God’s in this thing”.
We’ve got a couple of issues pending right now, that God’s gonna work out. “But what’s He gonna do?” I don’t know yet, but hey, it’s gonna work out, God’s in it. It’s His church. He’s very interested in His church. He’s watching over His church. “The Lord is with us, I’ll not be dismayed. I’ll not dread.”
David said, Now, behold, in my trouble I have prepared for the house of the Lord a hundred thousand talents of gold, [Someone do a little research on that. Find out how many ounces in a talent, and multiply it by four hundred, and you’ll find out how many hundreds of millions of dollars of gold this is.] a thousand, thousand talents [A million] of silver; [What is silver now? Eight dollars an ounce?] brass and iron without weight; [So much that our scales won’t handle it.] for it is in abundance: I also have timbers and stones that I have prepared; that you might add to them. Moreover there are workmen in abundance, those who are able to hew the wood, those that are able to work with the stones, and the timbers, and all manner of skillful men for every manner of work. The gold, the silver, the brass, the iron, there is no number. Arise therefore, and be doing, and the Lord will be with you (22:14-16).
“Son, I’ve gone as far as I can. I’ve prepared it all. Now, get to it. Get going, do it, and the Lord be with you.”
So David also commanded all of the princes of Israel to help Solomon his son, saying, Is not the Lord your God with you? and hath he not given you rest on every side? for he has given the inhabitants of the land into my hand; and the land is subdued before the Lord, and before his people. Now set your heart and your soul to seek the Lord; [What tremendous advice! “Set your heart and your soul to seek the Lord.” I would like to encourage each one of you, just set it in your heart. Set it in your mind. “I’m gonna seek the Lord.” You’ll find no better path for life. No wiser move could you ever make, than that of just seeking the Lord.] and bring back the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and the holy vessels of God, into the house that is to be built in the name of Jehovah (22:17-19).
So, these sacred instruments, the ark of the covenant, and those vessels. “Bring them into this temple that is to be built.” So David has set things, for his son, Solomon to take over, at his death.
Father, help us tonight to seek You, with all of our hearts, with all of our soul. Lord, we realize that even as David laid upon Solomon, this solemn charge, this tremendous responsibility, this awesome task, so you have called us for an awesome task. To be lights shining in this dark world. To be a witness for You. Lord, we thank You for the power of Your Holy Spirit, that is sufficient. Through the presence and the power of your Spirit in our lives, that consciousness that You are with us, and we know Lord, that when You are for us, there’s no power that can stand against us. Lord, may we go forth, to do Your work. Father, we pray that You’ll give to us, wisdom, and understanding in how it’s to be done. May Your Spirit guide us Lord, in every endeavor that this church launches into. May we be directed by Your Spirit Lord, each step of the way. Lord, it is our prayer, and our desire, that this church become an expression to the world, of what You want your church to be. So we submit Lord, to You, that you might work in this church Lord, by Your Spirit. So that when people come, they will be able to see, what you had in mind, when You built Your church. Lord, we submit every issue unto You. We recognize that Jesus is Lord, and the Head over the church. We’re just here Lord, to serve You, however you might direct. Lord You’re in control. We want it to be that way. We want, Lord, to be Your expression to the world. Help us, grant to us Lord, that wisdom and understanding, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
I pray that the Lord will just give you a special week of blessing, the awareness, and the consciousness of His presence. So, as David said to Solomon, the Lord be with you, guiding you all week long, prospering you in the things of the Spirit, giving you wisdom, and giving you understanding, that you might become God’s witness to this world around us. Blessed of God, used of God, may you be rich in the things of God. In Jesus’ name.
Edited & Highlighted from “The Word For Today” Transcription, Pastor Chuck Smith, Tape #7128