Wednesday, February 22, 2012

1 Chronicles 22 & 23 - Solomon and the Temple

LINK: 1 Chronicles 22 & 23

BACKGROUND

The material from 22:1 - 29:30 does not overlap with the parallel passages in 2 Samuel. Remember that the chronicler was a priest, and his primary focus was the temple, the priests, and the royal theocratic Messianic kingdom under David and Solomon.

1 Chronicles 22

At the beginning of this chapter, David designates that the house of the LORD God (temple) is to be at the threshing floor of Ornan (Araunah) the Jebusite (Jebus is Jerusalem) and not Gibean where Saul had moved the tabernacle. Gibeon is two hours northwest of Jerusalem.

The location of this temple is so significant. Please do not miss it! It is a hill north of the capital city that David took from the Jebusites (2 Samuel 5:6, 7). David built an altar and offered sacrifices there (2 Samuel 24:18-25, 1 Chronicles 21:18-30). It is also the hill, called Mt. Moriah, where Abraham obeyed God and was willing to offer the sacrifice of his son, Isaac (2 Chronicles 3:1; Genesis 22:1-14). 

David was a man of war, and he could not build the temple. There is thought to be a play on words in this chapter since David was a man of war and Solomon was a man of peace. Solomon sounds similar to the Hebrew word for peace, shalom. In fact, some scholars believe that his name is derived from shalom.

1 Chronicles 23

David was an old man, and he turned the reigns of leadership over to his son Solomon. The Chronicler omits the fight for the kingdom by Solomon's older brother, Adonijah, and his eventual execution (1 Kings 1-2). Remember, the chronicler's primary concern is the temple and the line of David and Solomon.

The chapter concludes with an accounting of the Levites who were organized by three clans (GershonKohath, and Merari). The descendants of Kohath were Aaron and Moses. Aaron's descendants were to be the priests while the descendants of Moses had lesser duties. Note that David lowered the age of temple service from 30 years (Numbers 4:1-3) to 20 years (1 Chronicles 23:24, 27).

The principle responsibilities of the Levites were to assist the priests in the temple, prepare the bread of the Presence and grain offerings, and to thank and praise God during the burnt offerings every morning and evening (1 Chronicles 23:28-31).

REFLECTION

I took a class where I was to give a presentation about an "achievement in my adult life that was a breakthrough, one that was done deliberately and required effort" and one that I was "proud of." I spoke about being the back-up center to an All-American and eventual 1984 Olympic Gold Medalist in basketball, Carol Menken-Schaudt. I brought her gold medal as a "prop" for the presentation. The gold medal was not my achievement, but my premise was that sometimes achievement in life is measured by making other people successful in their God-given roles.

This is what David did for his son, Solomon. He knew that God had not ordained for Him to build a temple, but he did everything he could to help Solomon succeed by selecting a site, providing materials, and giving a command and a promise: "Now begin the work, and the LORD be with you" (22:16).

Sometimes God does not have for us to be the one who achieves the "great things" or becomes the "star" of the team, but we all have a role to play. Through my experience with Carol, I learned a very hard lesson of becoming a behind the scenes servant by working as hard as I could in practice to make her better in the games in which she played and I watched from the bench. It was humbling, but it was definitely a "breakthrough" in my life where God began to build in me the heart of a servant who can be behind the scenes building others up by discipling them to be all that God made for them to be!

APPLICATION


"The Scriptures were not given to 
increase our knowledge 
but to change our lives.
D.L. Moody


What about you? Who are you helping to achieve great things for God (can be children, spouses, employees, people you are discipling)? What are you doing?

PRAYER

Lord, help us to be content with the position you have for us to play in this life. Help us to make others achieve great things for You like David did for Solomon. We ask this in Jesus' name. Amen.
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