Introduction: This chapter records David’s careful preparation for the future building of the Temple and his exhortations to both the people and Solomon in building it. From David’s actions, God reveals seven things that He desires from you. These include your: (1) fellowship, (2) unity, (3) preparation, (4) faithfulness, (5) obedience, (6) service, and (7) perseverance.
First, David exhorted the people to build God’s Temple for both the atonement of sins and to allow God to dwell with His people. Through faith in Jesus’ atoning sacrifice, God also desires your fellowship. Second, David exhorted all the people to build the Temple together. God also desires for every person to work together through the Spirit to be co-builders of His Church. Third, David used God’s blessings and his time to carefully prepare his son Solomon to succeed in serving God. God also wants you to count the cost to prepare to serve Him. Fourth, David encouraged Solomon with God’s faithfulness by revealing that God had made an eternal Covenant with David’s heirs. God will also be faithful to keep His Covenant with you through Jesus. God desires that you respond by being faithful to Him. Fifth, David encouraged Solomon that God would bless him when he acted in faith-led obedience. As the fruit of your faith, God also desires your obedience. Sixth, David exhorted the people to use the many gifts that God had given them for service. God also desires that you use the talents or gifts that He has given you to serve Him. Finally, David exhorted the elders to continually seek God with all their hearts so that He could guide them. God also desires that you persevere in seeking Him.
David prepares for the future Temple for God to forgive sins and dwell with His people. After God gave David victory over the Jews’ enemies, David encouraged the people to build a permanent house for God. This would allow for the atonement of sins and for God to dwell with His people: “1 Then David said, ‘This is the house of the Lord God, and this is the altar of burnt offering for Israel.’” (1 Chr. 22:1). David had just purchased the land for the future Temple (1 Chr. 21:22-30). Until this time, God’s presence was with His people in a Tabernacle. For years, the Jews also failed to observe the process that God had ordained with animal sacrifices for the atonement of sins.
The restoration of fellowship required obedience to God’s system of blood atonement1
God’s Temple was meant to restore His fellowship with His people. David initially tried and failed to build the Temple (1 Kgs. 5:5). Until God rebuked him, David incorrectly believed that God needed for David to build an actual living place for Him (2 Sam. 7:1-3; 1 Chr. 17:1-2). God, however, was not someone whom David needed to pity or take care of. God’s real throne is in heaven, not on Earth. Thus, He did not need David to build Him a home. “Thus says the LORD, ‘Heaven is My throne and the earth is My footstool. Where then is a house you could build for Me? And where is a place that I may rest?’” (Is. 66:1; Acts 7:48-49). God cared more about selecting David and his descendants to rule over Israel than building His Temple on Earth: ‘“Since the day that I brought My people Israel from Egypt, I did not choose a city out of all the tribes of Israel in which to build a house that My name might be there, but I chose David to be over My people Israel.’” (1 Kgs. 8:16). Thus, God’s Temple was a place where His power and presence could be felt for believers to find fellowship with Him. It was not His literal residence. Today, God’s presence dwells inside each believer (Ro. 8:11).
God’s Word is sufficient for mankind to enjoy fellowship with Him. God promised to dwell with His people through His Tabernacle. “Let them construct a sanctuary for Me, that I may dwell among them.” (Ex. 25:8). “I will dwell among the sons of Israel and will be their God. They shall know that I am the LORD their God who brought them out of the land of Egypt, that I might dwell among them; I am the LORD their God.” (Ex. 29:45-46). ‘“Moreover, I will make My dwelling among you, and My soul will not reject you. I will also walk among you and be your God, and you shall be My people.’” (Lev. 26:11-12; 2 Cor. 6:16). Thus, the Jews did not need to do anything more than build the Tabernacle to have God dwell with them. They could find fellowship by trusting in His Word. Believers also don’t need to go to a particular building to find fellowship with Jesus. Believers instead can find real fellowship by reading His Word in faith, repenting of sin, praying for the Spirit’s guidance and opening their hearts to Him. Jesus knocks on the heart of every believer: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.” (Rev. 3:20). He seeks your fellowship as well. This is more than being saved. It is a deep, ongoing relationship. You can find it by continually seeking His fellowship.
David exhorts the people to work together to assemble the Temple materials. Because God’s Temple was meant to be a light to all the Earth, David called upon both Jews and gentiles to work together in building it: “ 2 So David gave orders to gather the foreigners who were in the land of Israel, and he set stonecutters to hew out stones to build the house of God. 3 David prepared large quantities of iron to make the nails for the doors of the gates and for the clamps, and more bronze than could be weighed; 4 and timbers of cedar logs beyond number, for the Sidonians and Tyrians brought large quantities of cedar timber to David.” (1 Chr. 21:2-3). Moved by the Spirit, pagans from Lebanon brought stone, cedar wood, and the expertise needed to help build the Temple.
Believers are co-builders of His Church. God could have built a Temple on His own. He instead works through believers: “For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.” (1 Cor. 3:9). An incredible number of people were needed to build the Temple. Every person’s gift is needed in the body of Christ because no one person has them all (1 Cor. 12:13-27). Moses could not have built the Tabernacle on his own. David and Solomon also could not have built the Temple on their own. Christ also wants you to be His laborer and co-builder of His Church. (Col. 3:23).
Work together as one body for Jesus. Just as the Jews and gentiles had to work in unity to build God’s Temple, believers are called upon to act with one accord as the Spirit leads the body to help build the Church. “For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.” (1 Cor. 3:9). “so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.” (Ro. 12:5). “Since there is one bread, we who are many are one body; for we all partake of the one bread.” (1 Cor. 10:17). “For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ.” (1 Cor. 12:12). “But now there are many members, but one body. And the eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I have no need of you’; or again the head to the feet, ‘I have no need of you.’” (1 Cor. 12:20-21). “There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling;” (Eph. 4:4). Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.” (Col. 3:14). Are you responding for duty with your brothers and sisters when God calls you to serve?
Jews and gentile believers in Jesus will one day worship Him together. During the Millennial Reign when God’s perfect rule is restored, the Bible says that people will worship Jesus together in the restored Temple: “‘from Sabbath to Sabbath, all mankind will come to bow down before Me,’ says the Lord.” (Is. 66:22-23; Ez. 20:12-26). Thus, you should never look at a Jew as a rejected member of God’s people. He wants to save them all. But many are waiting for someone like you to share the Gospel with them.
David prepares Solomon to succeed in building the Temple. Because Solomon was young and inexperienced, David took steps to ensure his success by carefully preparing him and the materials that he would need: “5 David said, ‘My son Solomon is young and inexperienced, and the house that is to be built for the Lord shall be exceedingly magnificent, famous and glorious throughout all lands. Therefore now I will make preparation for it.’ So David made ample preparations before his death.” (1 Chr. 21:5). Solomon was a young man when he became king: “Now, O LORD my God, You have made Your servant king in place of my father David, yet I am but a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in.” (1 Kgs. 3:7). Yet, age is not an impediment to service. Jeremiah was also very young when God called him to service: “Then I said, ‘Alas, Lord GOD! Behold, I do not know how to speak, because I am a youth.”’ (Jer. 1:6). You and your children can serve at any age. You can, however, assist them by preparing them.
Jesus wants you to be prepared to serve Him2
Count the cost before serving Jesus. Jesus calls upon believers to count the cost before serving Him: “For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.”’ (Lk. 14:28-30). He doesn’t want you to walk away after you commit to serving Him. Your preparation should include reading the Word, prayer, worship, service, and accountability.
Prepare your children for service. Like David, God also wants you to prepare your children for service. “Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Prov. 22:6). “You shall teach them to your sons, talking of them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road and when you lie down and when you rise up.” (Dt. 11:19). Although Solomon walked away from the Lord as King, he eventually returned to the Lord in his old age. He urged others not to follow his mistakes: “So, remove grief and anger from your heart and put away pain from your body, because childhood and the prime of life are fleeting.” (Ecc. 11:10). Are you teaching your children to serve and setting a good example for them to follow?
David reveals God’s eternal Covenant with David and his heirs. David sought to encourage Solomon by revealing to him that God had made an eternal covenant with David and his heirs: “6 Then he called for his son Solomon, and charged him to build a house for the Lord God of Israel. 7 David said to Solomon, ‘My son, I had intended to build a house to the name of the Lord my God. 8 But the word of the Lord came to me, saying, ‘You have shed much blood and have waged great wars; you shall not build a house to My name, because you have shed so much blood on the earth before Me. 9 Behold, a son will be born to you, who shall be a man of rest; and I will give him rest from all his enemies on every side; for his name shall be Solomon, and I will give peace and quiet to Israel in his days. 10 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 forever.’” (1 Chr. 22:6-10). God’s Temple was meant to be a place of peace. David could not build it because of his prior actions. But Solomon would fulfill God’s plan.
The Temple symbolized God’s peace, and only Solomon, a man of peace, could build it. Although David wanted to honor God by building a Temple, God would not allow him to do so: “Go and say to My servant David, ‘Thus says the LORD, ‘Are you the one who should build Me a house to dwell in?”’’ (2 Sam. 7:5). As a man who constantly shed bloodshed through war, God determined that David was the wrong man to build the Temple of peace: “But God said to me, ‘You shall not build a house for My name because you are a man of war and have shed blood.”’ (1 Chr. 28:3). “But the word of the LORD came to me, saying, ‘You have shed much blood and have waged great wars; you shall not build a house to My name, because you have shed so much blood on the earth before Me.”’ (1 Chr. 22:8). In contrast, Solomon was a man blessed with God’s peace and wisdom: “For he had dominion over everything west of the River, from Tiphsah even to Gaza, over all the kings west of the River; and he had peace on all sides around about him.” (1 Kgs. 4:24). “Behold, a son will be born to you, who shall be a man of rest; and I will give him rest from all his enemies on every side; for his name shall be Solomon, and I will give peace and quiet to Israel in his days.” (1 Chr. 22:9). Thus, as a man filled with God’s peace and wisdom, God told David that Solomon would be allowed to build His Temple. “12 When your days are complete and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your descendant after you, who will come forth from you, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.” (2 Sam. 7:12-13). “He said to me, ‘Your son Solomon is the one who shall build My house and My courts; for I have chosen him to be a son to Me, and I will be a father to him.”’ (1 Chr. 28:6).
Jesus is the real Temple, and He offers the peace that surpasses all understanding. Jesus is our Temple (Rev. 21:22). The Temple that Solomon built therefore was in honor of Jesus. God previously allowed for the Tabernacle to be built so that His Holy glory could be amongst God’s people: “Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.” (Ex. 40:34; Lev. 16:2; Nu. 7:89; 9:15-16). His presence later filled the Temple: “so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled the house of the LORD.” (1 Kgs. 8:11). God’s holy presence later became flesh through Jesus (Jo. 1:1, 14). Jesus is the Prince of Peace (Is. 9:6). He promises to leave believers with His true peace that surpasses all understanding: “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.” (Jo. 14:27). “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.” (Col. 3:15). “For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall,” (Eph. 2:14). “And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:17). If your life is in turmoil, are you looking to Jesus for peace?
The Temple honored the power of the “name” of God. David told Solomon that the Temple was for the “name” of God to dwell in: “7 David said to Solomon, ‘My son, I had intended to build a house to the name of the Lord my God.” (1 Chr. 22:7). When Solomon became king, he also said that he wanted to build a house for God’s “name” (1 Kgs. 5:3). Both David and Solomon were referring to God’s holy presence. In the Bible, a name was not only a means of identification. It expressed a person’s identity as well. “A good name is to be more desired than great riches.” (Prov. 22:1). We see many examples of this in the Old Testament. For example, in two places in the Book of Genesis, Abraham called upon the “name of the Lord.” (Gen. 12:8; 13:4). In two other places, the term referred to an act of worship when someone called upon “the name” of the Lord (Gen. 21:33; 26:25). Likewise, on two occasions in the Book of Exodus, God proclaimed His “name” to Moses (Ex. 33:19; 34:5). Three times in the Book of Leviticus, He warned first the Jews and then the gentles not to profane “the name” of the Lord (Lev. 13:21; 22:2, 32). The Third Commandment also warns against taking “the name of the Lord in vain.” (Ex. 20:7; Dt. 5:11). In the Book of Deuteronomy, Moses also commanded the priests to minister in “the name” of the Lord (Dt. 18:5; 21:5). Joshua likewise called “the name” of God wonderful (Josh. 13:18). To fully know God’s “name” means that the person has put complete trust in all the Holy attributes of God to solve any problem or dilemma that the believer confronts: “The Lord also will be a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble; and those who know Your name will put their trust in You, for You, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.” (Ps. 9:9-10). God will also protect His name: “For the sake of My name I delay My wrath.” (Is. 48:9). The Temple was the place where God’s people could come to know Him. Out of gratitude, the people could then worship Him in the Temple.
Respond to God’s faithfulness by being faithful. God promised David that his house would endure “forever”: “‘Your house and your kingdom shall endure before Me forever; your throne shall be established forever.”’ (2 Sam. 7:16). Jesus fulfilled God’s covenant as the son of David. He is the Son of David (Matt. 1:1). He is also the Son of Man (Matt. 8:20). He is further the Star of Jacob (Nu. 24:17), the Seed (Gen. 3:15), the King of Kings (Rev. 19:16), and the ruler over all creation (1 Tim. 6:15). His kingdom will have no end (Lk. 1:33). The fulfillment of God’s promises to David shows that you can also trust His promises for you as well. “Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass” (1 Thess. 5:24). “Know therefore that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God, who keeps His covenant and His lovingkindness to a thousandth generation with those who love Him and keep His commandments;” (Dt. 7:9). “God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” (1 Cor. 1:9). You can give thanks for His faithfulness by being faithful to Him.
David promised Solomon God’s blessings if he acted out of faith-led obedience. David sought to encourage Solomon that God would bless him when his faith produced the fruit of obedience: “11 Now, my son, the Lord be with you that you may be successful, and build the house of the Lord your God just as He has spoken concerning you. 12 Only the Lord give you discretion and understanding, and give you charge over Israel, so that you may keep the law of the Lord your God. 13 Then you will prosper, if you are careful to observe the statutes and the ordinances which the Lord commanded Moses concerning Israel. Be strong and courageous, do not fear nor be dismayed.” (1 Chr. 22:11-13). Your salvation is not tied to your obedience. But God still desires that you respond to His faithfulness by obeying Him. When you are faithful and obedient, He will bless you.
Obedience should be the fruit of your faith3
God would discipline the descendants of David out of love. God warned David that his eternal kingship would not exempt his future heirs from discipline, just as a loving father disciplines a wayward son: “14 I will be a father to him and he will be a son to Me; when he commits iniquity, I will correct him with the rod of men and the strokes of the sons of men,” (2 Sam. 7:14). In a similar way, God disciplines His people out of love: “Thus you are to know in your heart that the LORD your God was disciplining you just as a man disciplines his son.” (Dt. 8:5; Heb. 12:7; 1 Cor. 11:32). If God has disciplined you, rejoice because He loves you. If He has corrected you, change your ways for Him.
God desires obedience more than sacrifice. God wanted Solomon’s obedience more than his sacrifice. “Samuel said, ‘Has the LORD as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams.” (1 Sam. 15:22). David previously learned that “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.” (Ps. 51:17). Are you obedient in your walk with Jesus?
Jesus is not your Lord if you refuse to do what He says. A believer may proclaim Jesus as Lord. Yet, Jesus is not your Lord if you disobey Him: “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.” (Matt. 7:21). “Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” (Lk. 6:46). “But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.” (Jam. 1:22). “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock.” (Matt. 7:24). “Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand.” (Matt. 7:26). If you call Jesus your Lord, is there any area of your life where you are refusing to obey Him?
David exhorts the people to serve with the gifts that God had given them. God had blessed the Jews with incredible resources and abilities. David encouraged the Jews to use those gifts to serve Him: “14 Now behold, with great pains I have prepared for the house of the Lord 100,000 talents of gold and 1,000,000 talents of silver, and bronze and iron beyond weight, for they are in great quantity; also timber and stone I have prepared, and you may add to them. 15 Moreover, there are many workmen with you, stonecutters and masons of stone and carpenters, and all men who are skillful in every kind of work. 16 Of the gold, the silver and the bronze and the iron there is no limit. Arise and work, and may the Lord be with you.” (1 Chr. 22:14-16). Most scholars assume that a talent weighs about 75 pounds. Thus, God blessed the Jews with approximately 3,750 tons of gold. With 1,000 talents of silver, He blessed them with approximately 37,500 tons of silver. David did not use this wealth to glorify himself. Instead, he knew that he was simply God’s steward. Thus, David preserved God’s gifts to build His Temple.
Give gratefully from the things God has given you. God has given you talents for you to use as a co-builder of His Church (Matt. 25:14-30). If you are faithful with the small things that He gives you, He will entrust you with greater things: “As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. ” (1 Pet. 4:10). “Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.” (Ro. 12:6-8). “And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ;” (Eph. 4:11-12). “Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware. . . . .4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. 6 There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. 7 But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.” (1 Cor. 12:1-7). Every good and perfect thing in your life comes from above, even if someone in the world hands it to you: “Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.” (Jam. 1:17). God commands each believer to give back from the things that He has given. He in turn promises to bless you as a steward with more gifts (Mal. 3:8-10). Yet, He only wants you to give out of gratitude, not obligation (Ex. 36:2-7; 2 Cor. 9:6, 8-14). Satan will also seek to cause you to sin by keeping God’s tithes. Are you giving to God from what He has given you? Or, has your coveting robbed from resources that could be going to God?
Be obedient in God’s call to serve Him. God also calls every believer by name to do good works for Him: “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” (Eph. 2:10). “Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work.” (2 Tim. 2:21). God has not called you to be a spectator. If you don’t know your calling, you should pray for Him to reveal it (Jam. 1:5). Are you being obedient in God’s calling in your life?
God will also supply all that you need when you labor out of love for His Church. Because David wanted to serve God, God also blessed him with all that he needed. Solomon also initially had a heart to serve God, and God also blessed him with the materials that he needed (1 Kgs. 5:10). When you serve God, He promises to provide for all that you need: “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matt. 6:33). “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed;” (2 Cor. 9:8). “And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:19). “A Psalm of David. The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want.” (Ps. 23:1). “O fear the LORD, you His saints; for to those who fear Him there is no want.” (Ps. 34:9). If you are missing anything, are you seeking to use your talents for yourself or for Him?
God will give back in proportion to your giving to Him. To the extent you give to God in faith, He will give back proportionally to you: “Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7 Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Cor. 9:6-7). “And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by means of the wealth of unrighteousness, so that when it fails, they will receive you into the eternal dwellings. 10 “He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much. 11 Therefore if you have not been faithful in the use of unrighteous wealth, who will entrust the true riches to you?” (Lk. 16:9-11). Are you giving to God faithfully?
When times are tough, test God by giving Him more than you can afford. Giving is the one area where God encourages you to test Him. If you give to Him in faith, He promises to bless you with even more: “But you say, ‘How have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings. 9 You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing Me, the whole nation of you! 10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,” says the Lord of hosts, ‘if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.’” (Mal. 3:8-10). Are you giving God the opportunity to bless you abundantly?
Make your life a living sacrifice for God. God also wants you to tithe your life as a “living sacrifice” to Him: “Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.” (Ro. 12:1). Are you giving God the best of your life to Him?
David urges the leaders to seek God with all their hearts and souls. Finally, David exhorted the leaders of Israel to seek God with all their hearts and souls so that He could guide them: “17 David also commanded all the leaders of Israel to help his son Solomon, saying, 18 ‘Is not the Lord your God with you? And has 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. 19 Now set your heart and your soul to seek the Lord your God; arise, therefore, and build the sanctuary of the Lord God, so that you may bring the ark of the covenant of the Lord and the holy vessels of God into the house that is to be built for the name of the Lord.’” (1 Chr. 22:17-19). God also wants you to seek Him with all your heart and soul through prayer. When you do, He will guide you.
Continually seek after God4
Don’t become complacent when God blesses you. David reminded the leaders of Israel that God had subdued their enemies and had given them peace on all sides: 18 ‘Is not the Lord your God with you? And has 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.” (1 Chr. 22:18). Since the time period of the judges, the Jews had fallen into a familiar cycle of sin. “18 When the Lord raised up judges for them, the Lord was with the judge and delivered them from the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge; for the Lord was moved to pity by their groaning because of those who oppressed and afflicted them. 19 But it came about when the judge died, that they would turn back and act more corruptly than their fathers, in following other gods to serve them and bow down to them; they did not abandon their practices or their stubborn ways.” (Jdgs. 2:18-19). David exhorted the elders of Israel to help Solomon not to make the same mistake. But they ignored David’s warning and took God’s grace for granted. Thus, Solomon and the kings who followed fell back into the same cycle of sin.
Persevere by seeking God with all your heart. To keep the Jews from falling back into sin, David exhorted the elders “19 Now set your heart and your soul to seek the Lord your God; . . .’” (1 Chr. 22:19). This echoed the Shema or “call to worship”. It begins as a call to love the Lord with all your heart, mind, and soul: “5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” (Dt. 6:5). Only if the Jews continually sought after God would they keep themselves from sinning.
The greatest commandment: to love the Lord with all your heart, soul, and might. In Hebrew, the reference to a person’s “heart” also includes their “mind.” (e.g., Zech. 8:17; Dt. 9:4; 2 Sam. 13:33; 2 Kings 23:25; Esth. 4:13; Is. 10:7). Centuries later, a Pharisee lawyer sought to test Jesus. He asked Jesus to name the greatest Commandment (Matt. 22:34). Jesus responded by quoting the second verse of the Shema. Yet, because the word “heart” in Greek does not include the word “mind,” He added the word “mind” when He stated the greatest commandment: “You shall love the Lord God with all your heart, and all your soul and with all your mind.” (Matt. 22:35-38; Mk. 12:29-30; Lk. 10:27; Ex. 20:1-8). If you devote yourself to Him, He will also keep you from sinning.
Show your perseverance through your service. David exhorted the elders to persevere by helping Solomon to build the Temple (1 Chr. 22:19). Jesus urges believers to persevere by investing their “treasures” in service to His Kingdom: “The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid again; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.” (Matt. 13:14). If you love God, you will also want to keep His commandments out of love and not obligation: “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.” (1 Jo. 5:3). Thus, you can persevere for Jesus by devoting your time, talent, and treasure to Jesus and by obeying Him out of love and not obligation.
God will bless those who persevere for Him. If you can persevere through your trials, God will bless you: “Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.” (Jam. 1:12). Have you given Jesus a reason to bless you in this area?
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