Shall we turn now in our Bibles to I Chronicles, chapter twenty three.
So David was old and full of days, and he made Solomon his son king over Israel (23:1).
David had a long, and illustrious career. He started out as a nobody, just a shepherd boy, watching his father’s sheep around the hillsides of Bethlehem. But he was chosen by God to be the king over Israel. He was a very successful, and powerful ruler. Through David’s leadership the nation was brought into an apex of glory and power. Their enemies were subdued. But, David in his older years, had a tremendous urge to make his life count for something more than just being known as a warrior, just being known as a psalmist. He wanted to do something for God to make his life count for God.
This so often happens. We have many men who come to us, who have been successful in business, have had very successful business careers, are now retired. They’ll say, “Chuck, I only have a few years left. I want to serve the Lord with what I have left. I don’t need any money, I’ve got all that I ever need, God has blessed me. But I want to serve the Lord in my last years. What can I do for the Lord?” So I have the privilege of serving a lot of these men in service for the Lord. It happens in your older years. You begin to think about the eternal. You begin to realize that, “I haven’t done much for the eternal. I’ve done a lot for myself. I’ve got this empire, I’ve built this business, I have this income, I have these homes, and these lands, and so forth. But now I want to do something for God.”
So, David was pretty much in that frame of mind. “I want to do something for God.” It was in his heart to build a magnificent house for God, a palace. But God told David, that he could not be involved in the actual construction of the temple, because of his many wars, of his bloody hands. He had shed too much blood. But God promised that his son, would be able to build the temple.
Now, David was still obsessed with the idea of the temple. So, in his latter years, he drew up the plans for the temple, all of the details. He gathered together the materials for the building of the temple. He designed it, he ordered the stones to be cut, he gathered together the materials for the building. Then, he even went so far as to organize the whole ritual for temple worship, of the tribe of the Levis. He organized them how they would come in and serve their turn in the temple, and then return to their various villages.
As you know, the Levites lived in certain cities, that were apportioned to the Levites throughout the land. They were cities of refuge. They would come in for a two week period, and minister in the temple. Then they’d go back and live their normal lives in their communities, for the rest of the year. But for two weeks out of every year, they came to the temple, for temple duty. The various sons of Levi, who developed family heads, had different uh, kind of uh, jobs to do, within the temple. But David got the whole thing organized. He set up the whole organizational charts, and he apportioned out the work for each of the families, and when they would come in, and separated them all into groups of twenty fours. So that you have every two weeks, a rotation, and a new group coming in every two weeks.
So as we get from chapter twenty three to twenty seven, it is dealing with David’s division of the task, and the division of the families for these tasks, so that they set up the various courses, and when they would come, and when they would minister in the temple during the years. So, “David was old, full of years, and he made Solomon his son king over Israel”.
In the book of Chronicles, it doesn’t tell us at the death of David how that, the other sons were vying for power, and there was a power struggle. One of his sons had actually acclaimed himself as king. Bathsheba came to David, and said, “I thought you promised my son would be king”, and so, David passed the scepter onto Solomon, before his death, to cut short the attempt of Adonijah to usurp the kingdom. We’re not told of that in Chronicles, just that David made Solomon his son, king over Israel.
So he gathered together all of the princes of Israel, with the priests and the Levites. Now they had numbered the Levites from the age of thirty years, and upwards: [They had to be thirty years old before they could begin their ministry unto the Lord. It is interesting that Jesus was thirty years old when he began His public ministry. The priests spent the first thirty years in training for the ministry. At thirty years, they began their active ministry, and at fifty years they retired from their ministry. So, “At thirty years, they numbered the Levites”,] and their numbered by polls, [Or by the census.] man by man, was thirty eight thousand. [Above the age of thirty.] Of which, twenty four thousand were set for the work of the house of the Lord; six thousand were appointed as officers and judges: Moreover four thousand were porters; [Janitors.] and four thousand praised the Lord with instruments which, David said, I made, to praise therewith. And David divided them into courses among the sons of Levi, namely, [The family heads were…] Gershon, Kohath, and Merari (23:1-6).
These were the three family heads from Levi. Thus they were divided in their courses by David. Twenty four thousand to serve in the house of the Lord, six thousand were to be officers over the land, and judges. Then, four thousand to take care of the janitorial work, the upkeep and so forth, of the temple. Four thousand just to spend their time singing and praising the Lord, with the various musical instruments that David had made, for this task.
So we first of all get the listing of the families of the Gershonites, and then in verse twelve, the families of Kohath, and of course from Kohath, came Aaron and Moses. Then the family of Merari, beginning with verse twenty one. Then in verse twenty five, we read…
David said, The Lord God of Israel hath given rest unto his people, that they may dwell in Jerusalem for ever: Also unto the Levites; there shall no more carry the tabernacle, nor any vessels of it for the service thereof (23:25-26).
Now you remember originally, when Moses divided the families, there was one family that were the porters, who had to carry the tabernacle through the wilderness. Whenever they would move camp, they would collapse the tabernacle, and they would carry it. Then, they would set up the camp, they would set up the tabernacle again. But it was a portable kind of a place of worship, and they were carrying it through the wilderness. When they came into the land, they first of all, set the tabernacle in Shiloh, later, in Gibeah. But it was still a tent, it was still a portable kind of a, an edifice.
Now, David said, “We’re gonna build this temple. Jerusalem is the place. It’s going to be here, and we’re not gonna need these fellows anymore from the tribe of Levi, who were the porters. Their job is over, because it’s going to be an established place to worship God.” Therefore they were the maintenance men, and given the task of keeping the place up, keeping it maintained and all. So they were to wait on the sons of Aaron, to take care of, to make sure that the shewbread was all prepared, to make sure that the oil was there, and so these fellows were involved in the worship aspects from behind the scenes, making sure that everything was all set, and prepared, and ready for Aaron…
As they would minister every morning, thanking the Lord, and praising the Lord and likewise at evening (23:30).
Verse thirty. So they were the ones that made the shewbread for the meal offerings, the unleavened cakes, and they took care of the behind the scenes kind of work.
Now in chapter twenty four, we have the divisions of the sons of Aaron.
They were divided by lot, [verse five] for the governors of the sanctuary, and the governors of the house of God (24:5),
They oversaw the sanctuary, the house of God. Now, I will only point out one, and that’s in verse ten. And this was the seventh course, there were twenty four courses. As I said, they would serve two weeks.
The seventh course fell upon Hakkoz, the eighth to Abijah (24:10).
Now, “The eighth to Abijah”. You say, “Well, so what.” Something interesting. Turn to the new testament, the gospel of Luke, chapter one, and verse five. “There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: (The “Abia”, is the Greek for Abijah.) and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth. They were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. They had no child.” Verse eight, “It came to pass, that while he executed the priest’s office before God in the order of his course,”. Now, you understand what David was setting up.
It so happened in the new testament, this program that David inaugurated, was still being followed a thousand years later! Here is Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist, his turn has come. He was of the family of Abijah, and thus it was his course, and he was of the eighth course of the priest. He was serving his two week duty in Jerusalem. When you would come, then they would draw lots as to what part of the priesthood you would fulfill. It so happened while Zacharias was there, that it came his lot, they drew lots, it came his lot, to offer the incense, before the altar of incense, before the Lord.
So this whole organizational chart was set up by David. This whole order of priesthoods, and all was set up by David. A very excellent program. I am amazed at David! He was a man of many talents. Tremendous organizational skills. A tremendous lyricist, he wrote so many songs. He was an architect, he designed. But before we give David too much credit, we should listen to David’s own words concerning these things. We will take a jump ahead to chapter twenty eight, verse nineteen. “All this, said David, the Lord made me understand in writing, by his hand upon me, even all of the works of this pattern.” So, David acknowledges it was all from the Lord, it was by inspiration.
Now, we know from the new testament, that David was a prophet. That many of the Psalms are prophetic. In referring to the prophetic psalms, David is referred to as a prophet. But David was also a king, a prophet, and a king. Being a prophet, God spoke to David, and God gave David understanding. More so in his later years, as he had sort of settled down from his wild, early, youthful years, and committed his life to the Lord, in serving the Lord.
So, the twenty four orders are given here, for those who would serve in the priesthood. Then, in verse twenty.
They divided the house of Kohath, the Koathites (24:20).
Then the Mirarites (24:36).
David and the captains of the host separated the service of the sons of Asaph, and Heman, and Jeduthun, who should prophesy with harps, and with the psalteries, and with the cymbals: and the number of workmen according to the service was (25:1).
And it lists then, the families…
Who prophesied with a harp, to give thanks and praise unto the Lord (25:3).
And so God gave to Heman [The latter part of verse five.] fourteen sons and three daughters. And these were under the hands of their father for son in the house of the Lord, with cymbals, and psalteries, and harps, for the service of the house of God, So the number of them, with their brethren that were instructed in songs, even all of those who were cunning on their instruments, were two hundred and eighty eight (25:5-7).
Four thousand all together, involved in the music. They would come in, and there was to be continual music, worship, and praise offered to God, by the singers and those that would play on the various instruments. So, any time you would come to the temple, day or night, you would hear the music, the worship, the praises going up unto God. It must have been quite a, a experience. It’s one of those things that I wish that, somehow we could get in a time machine, and go back, and observe some of these fabulous festivals of worship of God, as we would observe what was going on during the time of Solomon, when they inaugurated this whole system that had been organized by David.
So they divided them by lot or, the casting of lots, into twenty four orders, and those are given to us in the rest of the chapter.
In chapter twenty-six.
The divisions of the porters: from the family of Kore (26:1).
And, it tells us of the divisions of these porters.
And they were there to minister there in the house of the Lord (26:12).
That is in the maintenance aspects.
Then, the guarding of the gates that led into the temple. The men that would stand, and guard the gates. Now, they had the outer court, then, which was the court of the Gentiles, could come in, but then they could not, the Gentiles could not come past a certain line. There were signs warning Gentiles not to enter, with a threat of death. Then the inner court, and the gates that led into the temple, and so the families that were assigned to guard the gates.
A, a passage of scripture, that for some crazy reason has become popular. It’s verse eighteen, and you hear it quoted often. Someone says, “What’s your favorite scripture?”, and it’s quite often, some joker will say, “First Chronicles, twenty-six, eighteen.” But it was just one of the gates. Parbar.
And at Parbar westward, four at the causeway, and two at Parbar (26:18).
And, for some reason, people like that scripture. But it just talks about the guards that were set up at that gate on the west side.
Then there were those who were assigned to oversee the treasuries of the temple.
And Ahijah was over the treasures of those things that were dedicated (26:20).
And Shelomith and his brethren were also over the treasures and the dedicated things. [The things that they, the spoils from battles, so many times they would say, “Lord, if you give us this city, we’ll give you the spoils of the city”. So, so many of the spoils in the temple, that came from the various battles,] they dedicated to maintain [As a maintenance for the house of the Lord.] And all that Samuel the seer, and Saul the son of Kish, and Abner, and Ner, and Joab [Who were the generals of the armies.] and Zeruiah, the things that they had dedicated; whosoever had dedicated any thing, it was under the hand of Shelomith, and his brethren (26:26-28).
Then the next listing is for the officers, and the judges, for the judges also came from the tribe of Levi. They would judge in any manner that pertained to the law of God, and the affairs of the king.
They set up the twelve captains, who were over the thousands and the hundreds, to serve David each month, a new group of twenty four thousand (27:1).
They were sort of the personal army of, of the king, that would come in each month. A new captain, with twenty four thousand men. Those are listed in chapter twenty-seven there.
Coming now to verse twenty-three.
So David did not take the number of those who were under twenty years old: [Remember these are just those that are above thirty.] because the Lord had said that he would increase Israel like the stars of heaven. And Joab [The general.] the son of Zeruiah began to number, but he didn’t finish the census, because God’s wrath came against Israel; [We studied this last week.] and neither was the number put in the account of the chronicles of king David (27:23-24).
Then, David again, tremendously organized. Of course, you realize if you’ve got all of this, all of this kind of stuff, you’ve got to have organization.
And David had a man Azmaveth who was over [the finances] the treasures of David, Adiel: was over the warehouses in the field, [Where they would bring in the grain, and so forth, at the time of harvest.] and in the cities and villages, and in the castles, was Jehonathan: And over them that did the work of the field for tillage [The farm foremen.] was Ezri: And over the vineyards was Shimei. And over the olive orchards and fig trees that were in the low plains was Baalhanan: and over the [vast barrels, the] cellars of oil [That’s c-e-l-l-a-r-s, not s-e…, “the cellars of oil”,] was Joash: Over David’s herds that fen in the valley of Sharon was Shitrai: and over the herds that were in the valleys of Shaphat the son of Adlai: Over the camels was Obil: and over the flocks was Jaziz. And all of these were the rulers of the substance which belonged to David (27:25-31).
So you got a lot of, got a lot of stuff man. You’ll need a lot of help. So David had those organized who took care of the farm, and took care of the storage of the food, took care of the olive orchards, that took care of the herds, and the herds in the various valleys, that were David’s.
And Jonathan was David’s uncle, he was David’s counselor, he was a wise man, and also the recorder, the scribe: and Jehiel the son of Hachmoni was with the king’s sons: But Ahithophel was the king’s counselor: [And we remember how Ahithophel had gone over to Absalom, when he rebelled against David, and was upset, and went out and committed suicide.] and Hushai became David’s chief companion and counselor: And after Ahithophel committed suicide, Jehoiada the son of Benaiah, [Who was one of the priests, became David’s counselor.] and the general of David’s army was Joab (27:32-34).
So David assembled all of the princes of Israel, [Now this whole thing is organized. We’ve got it all organized, and it’s all set. So David is now getting ready to pass on. He realizes that he has done just about all he can do, as far as the house of the Lord is concerned. So, “David assembled all of the princes of Israel”,] of the various tribes, the captains of the companies that ministered to the king by course, [All of these twenty four fellows had their, or the twelve fellows that had their men that would come in.] the captains over the thousands, and over the hundreds, the stewards of all of his substance [All of these chief fellows.] the possessions of the king, all of the sons, with the officers, with the mighty men, and with all the valiant men, to Jerusalem (28:1).
Big conclave of the you know, the chief people of the nation.
Then David the king stood up on his feet, and said, Hear me, my brothers, and my people: As for me, I had it in my heart to build a house of rest for the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and for the footstool of our God, and I had made ready for the building: But God said unto me, You shall not build a house for my name, because you have been a man of war, and have shed blood. Howbeit Jehovah God of Israel chose me before all of the house of my father to be king over Israel for ever: he has chosen Judah to be the ruler; and of the house of Judah, and the house of my father; and among the sons of my father he liked me to make me king over all of Israel (28:2-4):
David recognized that God had chosen him. He had chosen the tribe of Judah, way back when Jacob prophesied over his sons. Jacob prophesied that, “The scepter shall not part, depart from Judah, until Shiloh comes”. So the scepter, the reigning power came to the tribe of Judah. David said, “The Lord liked me over my brothers”. Now, that’s just God’s sovereign choice. David realizes, “I was chosen by God to be king”.
God had announced that there would be one from David’s seed who would sit upon the throne for ever. Of course the promise was of the Messiah, that would come. We still wait for the fulfillment of that promise. The coming of Jesus Christ, to reign forever. “And of the increase of His government, and peace there shall be no end.” But that recognition, “God chose me fellas. For His own reasons, for His own purposes, God chose me”.
The wonderful thing is that God has chosen each of you. Now so often in Evangelistic services, we hear the evangelist say, “Now choose to serve the Lord! Make your choice to follow Jesus!” But, in reality, the Lord has chosen you. Jesus said to His twelve disciples, “You didn’t really choose me, I chose you, and ordained that you should be my disciples, that you should bring forth fruit, that your fruit should remain”.
That can be said of each of you tonight, who are following Jesus Christ. You are following Him, because He chose you, because He likes you. Oh don’t ask me to explain why! That’s what grace is all about! He chose me because He liked me! Not because I was deserving, or worthy, or had any special kind of merits, or He you know, could see down the line, and see that I would do this, and that, and the other. No, just said, “Hey, I like him.” He chose me. That’s the sovereignty of God. It’s something that we can’t understand, we can’t understand the mind of God, we can’t understand the purposes of God, or the ways of God. God said, “My ways are beyond your finding out”. Because if God chose me, then does that mean that I had no choice in the matter? Well, no it doesn’t, because you had to choose.
So many times in the bible, they were exhorted, “Choose this day whom you will serve”. You say, “But how can you put the two together?” You can’t! God’s ways, beyond my finding out. You see, on the gate to the kingdom of God, there was the inscription on the outside, “Whosoever will let him come, and drink of the water of life freely”. Then you said, “Oh man, I’m thirsty. I’m tired of this life of misery, and emptiness, and sin, and oh that looks so good!” “Come unto me all ye that labor, and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” “Alright Lord, I’m weary of life as it is, I come.” And, you come to Jesus Christ, and you enter the gate, into the glory, and you look back up, and on the inside of the gate it says, “You did not choose me, I chose you, and ordained that you should be my disciple”.
So the bible speaks of us chosen in Christ, before the foundations of the world, that we should be heirs of His glorious grace. You say, “Well, that isn’t fair. I don’t know if I appreciate that”. Well, I appreciate it tremendously. I’m not really, I’m not challenging the Lord at all. If He chose me, hey alright! I accept that, I’m not gonna argue with Him on that score at all. I’d be crazy to argue with God on the fact that He chose me! I just rejoice in the fact that He chose me! You say, “Yeah, but it isn’t fair, if He didn’t choose me. Why would He choose me, you, and not me? It’s not fair that God would choose some, and not choose others”. Fair?
You’re challenging the fairness of God? Do you think you have a right to choose the one that you’re gonna spend the rest of your life with? How would you like it if someone said, “Her man!”. “Hey wait a minute! I want a choice here! I gotta spend the rest of my life with this woman!” Yes. I appreciate the choice, and I was able to make the choice. Thank God, I made the right choice. Well, if I have the right to choose who I’m gonna spend the rest of my life with, shouldn’t God have the right to choose who He’s gonna spend eternity with? I would think so. I would grant Him that right.
You say, “Yeah but, maybe He didn’t choose me. That wouldn’t be fair if He didn’t choose me”. Well, how do you know He didn’t choose you? “Well, I’m not a Christian.” Well, why aren’t you a Christian? “Well, I don’t know if I believe in that stuff or not!” Well, you can find out very quickly whether or not you were chosen. Just ask Jesus Christ to come into your life, and forgive you your sins, and make you His child, and you’ll find out He chose you. The very fact that you’re able to do that, means that you were chosen of Him.
You say, “But maybe I don’t want to do that”. Then maybe you weren’t chosen. Ha, ha! But you really can’t blame Him can you? Because, He said, “Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden”. Now, if you don’t want to come, that’s your problem, not His. Because if you were, if you do come, chosen or not, He won’t turn you away. Because, He said, “Whosoever cometh unto me, I will in nowise cast out”.
So you see from a technical sense, no one can blame God and say, “Well God didn’t choose me, that’s not fair”. Because, God gave you the same opportunity as everybody else. He said, “Look, if you’ll come, I’ll not cast you out”. The moment you come, and receive Jesus Christ, you discover the glorious thing, that God, from the beginning, had chosen you to be the heir of this glorious grace in Jesus Christ. You say, “I don’t understand it!” That’s alright, join the crowd. I don’t either, but I don’t argue with it. I just, just enjoy it. He chose me.
So David recognizes, “Hey the Lord liked me, and He chose me!” Now, there are things of David that are likable, and there are some things of David that aren’t so likable. So it is I’m sure, with each of us. Certain things that are likable in each of us, and certain things that aren’t so likable. But the thing is, God loves us all. David said, “He chose me above my brothers. He liked me to be the king over Israel.”
and he hath chosen Solomon my son [verse five] to sit upon the throne of the kingdom of Jehovah over Israel (28:5).
So David recognizes now, this truth of God, as the one who made the choices. We are here because of God’s divine choice. He recognizes that behind the scene, I may act, but God is the one who’s directing. God is the one who chose me. “And so He hath chosen Solomon.”
And he said to me, Solomon thy son, shall build my house and my courts: for I have chosen him to be my son, and I will be his father (28:6).
So, David was chosen, Solomon was chosen.
Moreover [The Lord said] I will establish his kingdom for ever, if [Notice “if”] he be constant to do my commandments and my judgements, as it is this day (28:7).
“If he’ll just continue in my path”, Solomon can reign his kingdom, and he can be a part of the whole thing. Solomon unfortunately did not continue in the ways of the Lord, as we’ll find out in our lessons, as we progress. So it was a conditional promise. “His kingdom to be established if he was constant to do His commandments.”
Now therefore in the sight of all Israel the congregation of the Lord, and the audience of our God, David said, Keep and seek for all of the commandments of the Lord your God: that you might possess this good land, and leave it for an inheritance for your children after you for ever (28:8).
“Keep the ways of God, walk in the paths of God.” Really, he gives an interesting reason, “That you might be able to leave this land to your children”.
Now there are some people who are extremely selfish, and they care not for the future at all. They would destroy totally, our environment, they would destroy the landscape, they would use up all the trees for paper for us, and the next generation be hanged. “That’s their worry, that’s their problem.”
I think that it’s almost criminal for our government to continue spending programs increasing yearly, the national debt. Because in reality, what we are doing is laying on our children, and our grandchildren, the price of our extravagances. Because we want to live in a certain type of a lifestyle. We want to maintain a certain standard of living, that in reality we can’t afford. That’s why we’re going into debt. That’s why the government is going into debt. The programs that the government cannot afford, but we are requiring them, so that we can live in a better standard of living. But some day, they’re gonna have to pay. But, we don’t seem to care that our kids, and our grandkids, are gonna be hung with this trillion dollar debt!
But we should be concerned about leaving an inheritance for our children. The land as an inheritance. Leaving it in tact, and we would do so if we would keep the commandments of God, and walk after the Lord. I wonder often times, just what are we leaving for our children, and what are we leaving for our grandchildren?
As I look at the conditions of the world, and I see the deteriorating moral values, and standards. As I see these people made heroes, gods, and goddesses, who live such totally immoral life, and yet they’re held up, you know as the life. I just wonder, what are we leaving for our children? What hope are we leaving for our children? What future are we leaving for them? It should be a concern. David says, “Look you should keep the commandments of God, so that you can leave for an inheritance something for your kids, this land for them”.
And turning to Solomon, he said, Solomon my son, know the God of your father, and serve him with a [complete heart, the] perfect heart [The perfect heart, is a complete heart.] and a willing mind: [Good advice! “Know God, serve God with a complete heart, and a willing mind.” Let your service to God be total, a total commitment, a complete commitment to God. A willing mind, serving the Lord. Great advice for any son.] for the Lord searches the hearts, and he understands the thoughts and the imaginations of the thoughts: [Heavy duty! The bible said, “Everything is naked and revealed before Him, with whom we have to do”. You don’t hide anything from God. He knows what’s in your imagination. He knows what’s in your heart. “God searches the hearts, the imaginations.” David said, “God knows my thoughts before I think them. He knows them in their origins”. When Ezekiel was sort of questioning the judgement of God upon the people, the Lord gave Ezekiel a vision. He saw a wall. God said, “Dig a hole in the wall”, and he dug a hole in the wall, He says, “Now, crawl through it”, and he crawled through the hole. He came in this room, and he looked around and there was all kinds of filthy pornography all over the wall. All kinds of vile, horrible, degrading things. And the Lord said to Ezekiel, “I’ve allowed you to penetrate within the minds of the leaders of the people. This is what they are thinking. This is the corruption that is there. This is what’s in their minds, their imaginations.” God knows what’s in your mind, in your heart, in your imagination. That’s why David said, “Search me, O God. Know my heart, try me and know my thoughts, and see if there be some way of wickedness in me. And lead me in your path.” God knows my imaginations, God knows my thoughts, God knows my heart, that’s why I need the grace of God. That’s why I’m so thankful that God chose me. Serve the Lord. And, He said,] if you seek him, you will find him; but if you forsake him, he will cast you off for ever (28:9).
If you seek the Lord, you’ll find Him. No one has ever sought for the Lord, and not found Him. Jesus said, “Ask, and you shall receive. Seek, and you shall find”. David is saying that to Solomon. “Seek the Lord, you’ll find Him son. But if you forsake Him, He’ll cast you off for ever.”
Then David gave Solomon the pattern for the temple. The pattern of the porch, and the houses around about it, the patterns for the treasuries, the upper chambers, the inner parlors, and the place of the mercy seat, [David had drawn it all out. The specs, the design, the engineering.] The pattern for all that he had by the spirit, [The Lord, by the Spirit, gave this all to David. Even as the Lord directed Moses in the building of the tabernacle, so the Lord directed David, by His Spirit, in the design of the temple,] the courts of the house of the Lord, the chambers about those courts, the treasuries, the treasuries for the dedicated things: And for the courses of the priests and the Levites, for the work and the service of the house, [All of this thing that David, the organization, God gave it all to David.] Then He even told him how much gold to use in each candlestick, how much gold to use in each basin (28:10-15).
David had the gold all weighed out. “Now this gold here is for the basins, this gold is for the candlesticks”, and all. That’s pretty good, not ever having made a candlestick before, to know just how much gold it would take you know, to make it. But, it was all by the Spirit of God that David was directed in setting out for the temple.
All this, said David, [verse nineteen] the Lord made me to understand in writing by his hand upon me, even all of the works of this pattern. [“This all has come to me from God, the work of God’s Spirit.”] And so David said to Solomon his son, Be strong and of good courage, and do it: fear not, nor be dismayed: for Jehovah God, even my God will be with thee; [These are much the words that David spoke in our text last Sunday morning, if you remember. “Be strong and of good courage, don’t be afraid, don’t be dismayed.” Why? Because the Lord is with us. That’s always the key of strength and help, and courage, “God’s with me”. That always dispels the fear, “God is with me. The Lord is with me, I will not fear what my enemies might do.”] he will not fail you, nor forsake you, until you have finished all the work for the service of the house of the Lord. And, behold, the courses of the priests and Levites, even they shall be with thee for all of the service of the house of God: and the workmanship every willing skillful man, for any manner of service: and the princes and the people will be wholly at thy commandment (28:19-21).
“You’re in charge son. Take over, and all of these people will be there.”
Furthermore David the king said to all the congregation, [Now, this was the personal charge to Solomon, now he turns to all these people, and he says to them,] Solomon my son, whom alone [Because there was the insurrection by Adonijah, but, “who alone”,] God has chosen, he is yet young and tender, and the work is great: for the palace [That is to be built.] is not for man, but for Jehovah God (29:1).
“Hey this is going to be something awesome! It’s not for man, it’s for Jehovah God. And Solomon is young, he’s tender, he’s inexperienced fellas. So, I want you to stand behind him. I want you to work with him.”
And now I have prepared with all of my might for the house of my God. I’ve prepared the gold for the things to be made of gold, the silver, for the things to be made of silver, the brass, for the things of brass, and the iron, for the things of iron, the wood; the onyx stones, the stones that are to be set, the glistening stones, of various colors, all manner of precious stones, and marble stones in abundance (29:2).
My! Don’t you know that, that thing must’ve been something magnificent to see, with all of these gem stones sparkling! Everything covered with gold and with silver, ah, must have been awesome! Well I guess it was. Queen of Sheba came, and when she saw it, she was just totally wiped out. She said, “I heard of the glory and the fame, but man! They didn’t tell me the half of it!”. When she saw how they went in, and all of the glory, and it says that, it just, she almost passed out at the, at the glory and the magnificence of the whole thing.
Moreover, [David said] because I have set my love for the house of my God, I have of my own goods, of my gold and silver, which I have given to the house of God, over and above all of that which I have prepared for the holy house, [“From my own personal account.”] I have given three thousand talents of gold, [A talent is thought to be about sixty-six, and three quarter pounds. In the British museum, there is a talent that is a hundred and twenty-five, and three quarter pounds, but they think that it is two talents. It’s listed as, as two talents. A talent was a stone that was carved in a cylindrical form that was used in the balance scales. They had the smaller talents, the shekels, and so forth, but the big, for the wheat, and all of that, the big heavy talents. About sixty-six, and three quarter pounds. So if you take the sixty-six, and three quarter pounds, multiply it by the three thousand talents, multiply it by the sixteen ounces to a pound, and then multiply it by the four hundred dollars per ounce for gold, you’ll find that David’s contribution in gold was something like one billion, two hundred and seventy seven million dollars. This guy was a pretty wealthy dude!] I have given three thousand talents of silver, [Again, by multiplying it out and placing silver at six dollars an ounce, you have about seventy, or no, you have forty four million dollars in silver, that David donated out of his own pocket. “This is, this is out my own personal account. Plus, all of the rest of the stuff that I’ve laid up, this is what I’ve personally given.”] the talents of gold, the Ophir, the silver in order that they might overlay the walls of the houses with the gold: For the gold is for the things of gold, the silver for the things of silver, and all the manner of work that is to be made by the artisans. And who then [David said] is willing to consecrate his service this day unto the Lord (29:3-5).
“Which of you fellas are willing to really consecrate your lives to the Lord? Giving the Lord your life, your service, your willing to serve the Lord?” So he’s calling for that commitment to serve God. A call that has gone out again, and again through the centuries. “Who will give your life to serve the Lord?” What a glorious life it is, serving the Lord. What tremendous rewards there are in serving the Lord. Deep satisfaction, in that commitment to Him. David’s calling for this consecration of service.
Then the chief of the fathers, and the princes of the tribes, and the captains of the thousands and hundreds, with the rulers of the king’s work, offered willingly (29:6),
David said, “Who is willing?” They offered willingly. Anything that I give to God must come from a willing heart, if is to be a valid, acceptable gift. God will not accept some gift from you if you feel pressured, or if you feel sort of obligated, or resentful, towards what you’re giving.
It is a crime, that many times in the raising of funds, for various religious products, or various religious buildings, or whatever, that we get involved in pressuring people for money. We encourage people to do something, just out of pressure. We stand there and say, “Well now how much are you gonna give?”, you know, and we have all these dignitaries there, and you don’t want to feel like a cheapskate! So you, “Well….I think I can give uh, (you’re thinking ten bucks, but you say,) a thousand dollars”. “Ooh, did I say that?!” The pressure and all! These guys staring at me, and they’re looking at me, and man, I feel this heavy, you know”. Then man when it comes to give, “Oh no! Man I can’t afford this, why did I do that? Ugh!”, you know and you write it out, and there’s just that, better that you call up and say, “Hey, I cancel my pledge. Can’t do it.” Can’t do it with a willing heart. If you can’t do it with a willing heart, you shouldn’t do it at all. “They gave willingly”, and over and over, you read where it was a “willing offering”. They gave it willingly.
They gave for the service of the house of God five thousand talents, and ten thousand drams of gold, and of silver ten thousand talents, [Man they doubled David’s silver, and almost doubled the gold that David gave. So, imagine now, we’ve got enough money to do a pretty good job here. We’re approaching the four billion dollar mark. That’s a pretty good offering. Ha, ha!] And those who had precious stones gave them to the treasurer of the house of the Lord, by the hand of Jehiel the Gershonite. And then the people rejoiced, in that they offered willingly, because with a perfect heart they offered willingly to the Lord: [That’s the way to give! With rejoicing, a willing heart, a heart completely towards God, giving. Oh it’s glorious, it’s joyful. That’s the kind of giving God wants. Paul, writing to the Corinthians said, “Don’t give out of necessity, or don’t give grudgingly, for the Lord loves a hilarious giver.” Here they were just having a hilarious time, peeling off their diamonds, and rubies, and, “Ahh Lord, here you are!”] David the king also rejoiced with great joy (29:7-9).
Time of giving should always be a time of great joy. Because, in reality, what can I give to God? Anything I have, God gave to me. David recognizes that and David goes on.
David blesses God now, and gives thanks before the people: he said, Blessed are you, Jehovah God of Israel our father, for ever and ever. [“Lord this is marvelous! You’re blessed for ever and ever!”] Thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, [The Lord’s prayer, Thine is the kingdom, the power, the glory, for ever. “Thine O Lord”, the greatness, the power, the glory.] and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in heaven and in the earth is yours; [“Lord, this all belongs to you.”] yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all (29:10-11).
“Lord, you know, you really don’t need a thing from us. Yours is the kingdom, yours is the glory, yours is the honor, yours is everything Lord, anything! It’s all yours!”
Both riches and honor come from you, and you reign over all; and in your hand is power and might; and it is in your hand to make great, and to give strength unto all. Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name (29:12-13).
Acknowledging the greatness of God, the glory of God, the beneficence of God, the goodness of God. “Lord, we just praise and glorify your name!”
For who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to give to you, offer so willingly of this sort? for all things have come from you, and of thine own we have given thee (29:14).
In other words, “Lord it’s all yours, and we just gave you back which was yours anyhow. It all belonged to you, and we’ve only given back what is yours!” We need to recognize that. I can’t really give anything to God, but what it isn’t His anyhow. God gave it to me, if I have it, and He’s really just sort of entrusted me with it. It belongs to Him. I need to look at life, and possessions as God’s entrusting unto me, these things as a steward to use them for His glory. Talents, abilities, whatever, been entrusted to me, by God.
For we are just strangers and sojourners in this earth: [“Lord, we’re just passing through this earth.”] our lives are just like a shadow, fades away so quickly (29:1;5).
Only one life that’ll soon be passed. Only what we do for Christ will last. None of us are abiding. We’re, all of us, just passing through. But as we are passing through, we are laying up treasures in heaven, if we are wise. Jesus said, “Don’t lay up treasures on earth, where moth and rust can corrupt, and decay, and thieves can break through and steal, but lay up rather, treasures in heaven.” So, we’re passing through, we’re strangers, we’re pilgrims, we’re sojourners. Life is but a shadow. None of us are going to abide. We’re all gonna pass on. What have I done with what God has placed in my hands?
O Lord, our God, all this store that we have prepared to build your house with, the house in your holy name, has come from your hand, and is all your own. [“Lord, we’ve just given to you, what is yours.”] And I know also, my God, that you try the hearts, and you have pleasure in uprightness. As for me, in the uprightness of my heart, I have willingly offered all these things: and now I have seen with joy your people, which are present here, to offer willingly unto thee (29:16-17).
“Lord, you know my heart, and you like uprightness in heart, and as you know, and see my heart, I did this with joy. I, you know, willingly. And, these people, they’ve done it with a willing heart.”
O Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, our fathers, keep this for ever in the imagination of the thoughts of the hearts of your people (29:18),
“Don’t let them ever forget this day. This day of blessing, this day of joy, this day of gladness, when they’ve discovered the joy of giving to God. Don’t let them ever forget the joy of just giving to God.” Oh what joy there is in giving to God! Giving God some time, giving God some energies, giving God some of your talent, using it for the Lord. What joy there is! What fulfillment, what satisfaction! Being in the ministry has to be the most joyful, satisfying, enriching, fulfilling life that one could ever live. It’s glorious! The day it ceases to be fun, I’m quitting, but I enjoy it!
My son, one of them, every once in awhile says to me, “Dad, why don’t you retire? You don’t have to put in all that time, and all. Why don’t you just retire dad?” I said, “If I retire, what would I do for fun?” He doesn’t understand the joy that I have, serving the Lord. It’s just the joy of my life. So, David recognizes the joy that they discovered in giving. “God, don’t let this ever leave their imaginations of their thoughts. Just sort of press it in indelibly, let them always remember Lord, this day. The glory and the joy of this day!”
Give to Solomon my son a perfect heart, to keep your commandments, and your testimonies, and your statutes, and to do all these things, and to build this palace, for which I have made the provisions (29:19).
“God, bless my son. Give him what he needs, the wisdom to keep your commandments, your testimonies and your statutes, and commandments.”
And David said to all of the congregation, Now bless Jehovah your God. And all of the congregation blessed Jehovah God of their fathers, and they bowed down their heads, and worshiped the Lord, as did the king. [They were worshiping with David, the glorious creator.] And they sacrificed sacrifices unto Jehovah, they offered burnt offerings unto Jehovah, on the day after that, even a thousand bullocks, a thousand rams, a thousand lambs, along with the drink offerings, and the sacrifices in abundance for all of Israel: And they did eat and drink before Jehovah on that day with great gladness. And they made Solomon the son of David king the second time, and anointed him unto the Lord to be the chief governor, and Zadok to be the priest (29:20-22).
So a great celebration, great feast! All of these sacrifices, of which of course, then they ate. They barbecued the meat, and ate it, and just a great time!
Then Solomon sat on the throne of Jehovah as king instead of David his father, and prospered; and Israel obeyed him. And the princes, and the mighty men, and the sons likewise of king David, submitted themselves unto Solomon the king (29:23-24).
For a little while there was some trouble with some of David’s other sons, but they all came to surrender, and submit to Solomon.
And the Lord magnified Solomon exceedingly in the sight of all of Sireal, bestowed upon him such royal majesty as had not been on any king before him. Thus David the son of Jesse reigned over all of Israel. And the time that he reigned over Israel was forty years; seven years in Hebron, and thirty three years in Jerusalem. And he died in a good old age, full of days, riches, and honor (29:25-28):
The end of the era. David, the beautiful Psalmist of Israel. A man with a lot of imperfections, but a man chosen by God, and a man that God acknowledged, “Was a man after my own heart”. In spite of his failures, and imperfections in many areas, God said, “He’s a man after my own heart”. Why? Because he was a man who was after the heart of God.
The rest of the acts of David are written in the book of Samuel [Which we’ve also studied.] the book of Nathan, [Which we do not have.] and the book of Gad (29:29),
Which we do not have. Be interesting to get a little further insight on David, however these books are not available. Maybe someday, they will uncover some scrolls, which will be the book of Nathan, and the book of Gad. It would be rather interesting to get a little further insight on David. These are the two prophets, they knew David better than anybody else. We may not like what we would read from these two fellows. But God loved him, and that’s what counts. God loves me, that’s what counts. God chose me, that’s what counts.
So with all of his reign, and his might, and the times that went over him, and over Israel, and over all of the kingdoms of the countries (29:30).
These bring us to the end of David’s career, and we start in II Chronicles, with the story of Solomon, and the building of the temple. Shall we pray?
Father, help us that we might, as David, with a perfect heart, and a willing heart, offer ourselves to You. That You Lord, might take what we are, and what we have, and use it as you see fit, for the glory of Your name. Lord, we recognize that You’ve been good to us, and all that we have, really belongs to You. We cannot give to You but what it isn’t Yours anyhow, so help us Lord, to use wisely, those things that You’ve entrusted in our care. May we lay up our treasures in heaven. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
Now, may the Lord watch over and keep you in His love, and in His grace, as you follow after Jesus Christ, and as you give of yourself this week, as you consecrate your life to serve the Lord, may He lead and guide you, according to His plan. That you may know, the joy, the satisfaction, the fulfillment of being the instrument that God used, to touch another life, with His love.
Edited & Highlighted from “The Word For Today” Transcription, Pastor Chuck Smith, Tape #7129