Introduction: God previously told Moses to build a Tabernacle so that He could dwell with His glory amongst His people (Ex. 26:1; 40:34). God then sacrificed having His Temple until He had David fulfill His promise to deliver the Promised Land from oppression. At the end of his reign, David gathered the leaders of Israel and Solomon together for their important task in building the Temple. This would bring both God’s holy presence and the opportunity for the Jews to be in fellowship with Him. From David’s address to the leaders of Israel, God reveals seven signs of a person in fellowship with Him. These include: (1) peace with others, (2) humility, (3) obedience, (4) fearing God, (5) being Spirit-led, (6) faith, and (7) service.
First, David wanted to build the Temple. God, however, would not let David build the Temple because of the blood on his hands. This included his murder of Uriah. God’s Temple and His presence were meant to bring peace. God therefore designated Solomon, a man of peace, to build the Temple. Although David was in fellowship with God, God uses this account to reveal that a person in fellowship with God is at peace with others. Second, David knew that he was a sinner, and he was humble in giving God the credit for selecting him as king. From David’s example, God reveals that a person in fellowship with Him is humble and gives Him credit for all good things. Third, David urged Solomon to obey God’s Word. Through David’s instructions, God reveals that a person in fellowship with Him obeys His word. Fourth, David warned Solomon that God would discipline him if he rejected God’s Word. Through David’s warning, God reveals that a person in fellowship with Him fears disobeying Him. Fifth, through the Holy Spirit, God revealed to David the exact details of the Temple. David urged Solomon to follow the exact details revealed to him while building the Temple. Solomon was later faithful in following these Spirit-led directions. From David and Solomon’s examples, God reveals that a person in fellowship with God is led by the Holy Spirit. Sixth, David urged Solomon to have faith and trust in God’s faithfulness, even when he experienced God’s discipline during times of rebellion. Through David’s encouragement, God reveals that a person in fellowship with Him has the faith to trust in His faithfulness to keep His promises to never leave nor forsake His people. Finally, David commanded the Jews to serve Solomon as Solomon built the Temple. The Jews later faithfully served to carry out this command. From David’s instructions and the Jews’ example, God reveals that a person in fellowship with Him serves Him out of devotion.
God prevented David from building the Temple because of his bloodshed. Prior to his death, David gathered all of Israel’s leaders together for what would be their most important task following his death, the building of the Temple. Although David wanted to build the Temple, God did not permit him to build his holy Temple because of the blood that he had spilt: “1 Now David assembled at Jerusalem all the officials of Israel, the princes of the tribes, and the commanders of the divisions that served the king, and the commanders of thousands, and the commanders of hundreds, and the overseers of all the property and livestock belonging to the king and his sons, with the officials and the mighty men, even all the valiant men. 2 Then King David rose to his feet and said, ‘Listen to me, my brethren and my people; I had intended to build a permanent home for the ark of the covenant of the Lord and for the footstool of our God. So I had made preparations to build it. 3 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. 28:1-3). After a botched effort to retrieve the ark that resulted in Uzzah’s death, David previously instructed the prophet Nathan to build a temple for the ark (2 Sam. 7:1-3; 1 Chr. 17:1-2). The King of Tyre in modern day Lebanon built a house for David out of cedar trees as an act of tribute (2 Sam. 5:11). David assumed that he needed to build a house for God in a similar act of tribute. He even collected the materials to build the Temple (see, 1 Chr. 29:2-9). Yet, before David could build the ark, God came to him in a vision and rebuffed David’s failure to consult His will: “4 But in the same night the word of the Lord came to Nathan, saying, 5 ‘Go and say to My servant David, ‘Thus says the Lord, ‘Are you the one who should build Me a house to dwell in? 6 For I have not dwelt in a house since the day I brought up the sons of Israel from Egypt, even to this day; but I have been moving about in a tent, even in a tabernacle. 7 Wherever I have gone with all the sons of Israel, did I speak a word with one of the tribes of Israel, which I commanded to shepherd My people Israel, saying, ‘Why have you not built Me a house of cedar?’’’” (2 Sam. 7:4-7; 1 Chr. 17:3-6). God was not someone whom David needed to pity or take care of. His 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). God would soon build His Temple and dwell with His people. But it was not part of God’s will for David to build His Temple. David’s sins included his murder of Uriah, Bathsheba’s husband (2 Sam. 11:15; 2 Sam. 12:9). Although God forgave David, his sins still had consequences: “because David did what was right in the sight of the LORD, and had not turned aside from anything that He commanded him all the days of his life, except in the case of Uriah the Hittite.” (1 Kgs. 15:5).
God gave Solomon the right to build the Temple after the Jews defeated their enemies. God’s Temple was meant to be a place of peace. He would not let David build the Temple because of the amount of blood on his hands. Yet, He promised that David’s son Solomon could build the Temple. He further called Solomon a “man of rest”, which referenced his future peaceful ways as king: “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 Chron. 22:8-9). ‘“You know that David my father was unable to build a house for the name of the LORD his God because of the wars which surrounded him, until the LORD put them under the soles of his feet. But now the LORD my God has given me rest on every side; there is neither adversary nor misfortune. Behold, I intend to build a house for the name of the LORD my God, as the LORD spoke to David my father, saying, ‘Your son, whom I will set on your throne in your place, he will build the house for My name.’”’ (1 Kgs. 5:3-5). Solomon later confirmed his right to build God’s Temple: “Now it was in the heart of my father David to build a house for the name of the LORD, the God of Israel. But the LORD said to my father David, ‘Because it was in your heart to build a house for My name, you did well that it was in your heart. Nevertheless you shall not build the house, but your son who will be born to you, he will build the house for My name.’” (1 Kgs. 8:18-19; 1 Chron. 22:7). True fellowship with God brings peace with those around you. Although Solomon was a sinner, God’s fellowship with Solomon brought peace to both Solomon and the entire nation of Israel.
Be a source of God’s peace, reconciliation, and restoration1
Jesus is the Prince of Peace, who gives us the peace that surpasses all understanding. God’s permanent presence on Earth foreshadowed when Jesus came to dwell on Earth. Jesus is the Prince of Peace who offers the peace that surpasses all understanding: “For a child will be born to us, a . . . Prince of Peace.” (Is. 9:6). “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. 4:7). “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ . . .” (Rom. 5:1). His definition of peace, however, is different from the world’s definition: “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). To understand the peace that Jesus offers, we must look at the meaning of the word peace in Hebrew. In Hebrew, the word Shalom or “peace” has a different meaning than the English translation. Rabbi Robert Kahn observes: “One can dictate peace; shalom is a mutual agreement. Peace is a temporary act; shalom is a permanent agreement. One can make a peace treaty; shalom is the condition of peace. Peace can be partial; shalom is whole. Peace can be piecemeal; shalom is complete.” If you are looking to be made comfortable, this is only a temporary condition that will fade. God wants to form a permanent agreement with you. An ongoing faith in Jesus provides the peace that surpasses all understanding. His peace does not prevent stressful things from happening. It is instead the ability to stay calm, collected, and happy in the face of adversity. In other words, God will not give you peace by changing your surroundings. He will give you peace by changing your response to your surroundings and other people. But this requires faith that Jesus is in control and that He will protect you.
God’s mercy and grace in forming an eternal covenant with David. Despite the bloodshed on his hands and his many sins, God showed His mercy and grace in forming an eternal covenant with David: “4 Yet, the Lord, the God of Israel, chose me from all the house of my father to be king over Israel forever. For He has chosen Judah to be a leader; and in the house of Judah, my father’s house, and among the sons of my father He took pleasure in me to make me king over all Israel.” (1 Chr. 28:4). After humbling David, God revealed that He elevated David from a lowly sheepherder to be King over Israel and protected him from his enemies so that he could bless all of Israel: “8 Now therefore, thus you shall say to My servant David, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, “I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, to be ruler over My people Israel. 9 I have been with you wherever you have gone and have cut off all your enemies from before you; and I will make you a great name, like the names of the great men who are on the earth. 10 I will also appoint a place for My people Israel and will plant them, that they may live in their own place and not be disturbed again, nor will the wicked afflict them any more as formerly, 11 even from the day that I commanded judges to be over My people Israel; and I will give you rest from all your enemies. The Lord also declares to you that the Lord will make a house for you.”’’ (2 Sam. 7:8-11). Thus, God did not select David because he was the most worthy king. Instead, God picked him because he was a man of faith who cared about the plight of God’s people under his supervision.
God picked David as a lowly shepherd to shepherd His people. David recounted how God picked him when he was the youngest and least important member of an insignificant family to be Israel’s future king (1 Chr. 28:4). God previously told Samuel to pick the youngest member of Jessie’s family, a lowly shepherd, and anoint him as Israel’s King (1 Sam. 16:11-12). All of the great patriarchs were shepherds before they became leaders. David’s training as a shepherd gave him all of the skills that he would need to be a great king. “He also chose David His servant and took him from the sheepfolds; from the care of the ewes with suckling lambs He brought him to shepherd Jacob His people, and Israel His inheritance. So he shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart, and guided them with his skillful hands.” (Ps. 78:70-72). A true shepherd puts the needs of the sheep before his or her needs. David later showed his shepherd heart by asking God not to punish God’s sheep for his sins. “Then David spoke to the LORD when he saw the angel who was striking down the people, and said, ‘Behold, it is I who have sinned, and it is I who have done wrong; but these sheep, what have they done? Please let Your hand be against me and against my father’s house.”’ (2 Sam. 24:17). “David said to God, ‘Is it not I who commanded to count the people? Indeed, I am the one who has sinned and done very wickedly, but these sheep, what have they done? O LORD my God, please let Your hand be against me and my father’s household, but not against Your people that they should be plagued.”’ (1 Chr. 21:17). Like David, will you humbly place the needs of others before your own needs?
David received his training to be King by being a humble, faithful, and caring a shepherd2
Jesus was the Good Shepherd who died for His sheep. Jesus was the Good Shepherd. He humbly gave up His life to save His sheep who were lost to sin and facing eternal death. “But He answered and said, ‘I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.’” (Matt. 15:24). His leaders are also called upon to love His sheep. “As a shepherd cares for his herd in the day when he is among his scattered sheep, so I will care for My sheep and will deliver them from all the places to which they were scattered on a cloudy and gloomy day.” (Ezek. 34:12). Will you humbly sacrifice for those who are lost to sin?
God’s eternal covenant through David. In a foreshadow of Jesus, God promised to create an eternal kingdom through David’s descendants: ‘“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. 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, 15 but My lovingkindness shall not depart from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you. 16 Your house and your kingdom shall endure before Me forever; your throne shall be established forever.’ 17 In accordance with all these words and all this vision, so Nathan spoke to David.” (2 Sam. 7:12-17). In the Old Testament, God promised five great covenants with His people. His Covenant with David was His last covenant to be fulfilled before Jesus. He promised His five great covenants (the number of grace) through: (1) Noah (Gen. 9:11); (2) Abraham (Gen. 12:1-3); (3) Moses (Ex. 19:5-6); (4) David (2 Sam. 7:12-17); and (5) Jeremiah (Jer. 31:31-34). His promise to Jeremiah was for a New Covenant, which Jesus later fulfilled (Lk. 22:20; Heb. 8:7-8; 9:15; 1 Cor. 11:25; 2 Cor. 3:6).
Jesus is the fulfillment of God’s covenant of an eternal Kingship through David. On many occasions, God repeated His promise of an eternal kingship through David: ‘“I will establish your seed forever and build up your throne to all generations.’ Selah.” (Ps. 89:4). “So I will establish his descendants forever and his throne as the days of heaven.” (Ps. 89:29). “He gives great deliverance to His king, and shows lovingkindness to His anointed, to David and his descendants forever.” (Ps. 18:50). “I also shall make him My firstborn, the highest of the kings of the earth.” (Ps. 89:27). “For thus says the LORD, ‘David shall never lack a man to sit on the throne of the house of Israel;”’ (Jer. 33:17). “For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this.” (Is. 9:6-7). “A throne will even be established in lovingkindness, and a judge will sit on it in faithfulness in the tent of David; moreover, he will seek justice and be prompt in righteousness.” (Is. 16:5). “Behold, the days are coming,” declares the Lord, ‘When I will raise up for David a righteous Branch; and He will reign as king and act wisely and do justice and righteousness in the land. In His days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely; and this is His name by which He will be called, ‘The Lord our righteousness.’”’ (Jer. 23:5-6). Jesus was born into the line of David (Matt. 1:1). He came to fulfill God’s covenant with David as the eternal King of Kings: “He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.” (Lk. 1:32-33). “And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, ‘King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.’” (Rev. 19:16). You may declare Jesus to be your Lord. Yet, is He Lord over every aspect of your life?
David’s charge to Solomon to obey God’s commandments. In addition to picking the youngest member of Jessie’s family, God selected the youngest and least esteemed member of David’s family to continue God’s covenant with David. David then tried to teach Solomon from his own mistakes to keep God’s covenant: “5 Of all my sons (for the Lord has given me many sons), He has chosen my son Solomon to sit on the throne of the kingdom of the Lord over Israel. 6 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. 7 I will establish his kingdom forever if he resolutely performs My commandments and My ordinances, as is done now.’ 8 So now, in the sight of all Israel, the assembly of the Lord, and in the hearing of our God, observe and seek after all the commandments of the Lord your God so that you may possess the good land and bequeath it to your sons after you forever.” (1 Chr. 28:5-8). Solomon was the youngest son and David’s son through Bathsheba (2 Sam. 12:24). By the world’s standards, he was not next in line for the throne. Amnon was David’s first-born and the original heir to the throne (2 Sam. 3:2). But Absalom murdered Amnon as an act of revenge after Amnon raped Absalom’s sister Tamar (2 Sam. 13:28-29). The second oldest son Chileab would have been the next heir (2 Sam. 3:3). But his name is never recorded again following his birth. This suggests that he died at an early age or became disqualified. Absalom was David’s third son and heir to the throne after Amnon (2 Sam. 3:3). Yet, Joab killed Absalom after he led a rebellion against David (2 Sam. 18:14-15). By the world’s standards of male succession to the throne, Adonijah was next in line as David’s fourth son. His mother was Haggith (2 Sam. 3:4). Adonijah then conspired with others against God’s will to take power from David in his weakened state because his pride would not allow his youngest half-brother Solomon to become king. He likely gained support by describing Solomon as a bastard child from an adulterous union. Like David, God did not select Solomon to be king because he was the most deserving. Instead, God selected him out of His mercy and grace. Thus, David exhorted Solomon not to become prideful and disobey God. Based upon his mistakes, he wanted Solomon to be obedient.
God is sovereign over all creation and every government. These events also show that God is sovereign and has control over kings, nations, and all time. Daniel explained: “It is He who changes the times and the epochs; He removes kings and establishes kings; He gives wisdom to wise men and knowledge to men of understanding.” (Da. 2:21). “He makes the nations great, then destroys them; He enlarges the nations, then leads them away.” (Job 12:23). “Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket, and are regarded as a speck of dust on the scales; behold, He lifts up the islands like fine dust.” (Is. 40:15). “All the nations are as nothing before Him, they are regarded by Him as less than nothing and meaningless.” (Is. 40:17). “The LORD is King forever and ever; nations have perished from His land.” (Ps. 10:16). “You shall multiply the nation, You shall increase their gladness; . . .” (Is. 9:3(a)). “All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, but He does according to His will in the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of earth; and no one can ward off His hand or say to Him, ‘What have You done?’” (Dan. 4:35). Even in hard times, do you trust that God is fully in control?
Obey God’s commandments out of love. David exhorted Solomon to obey God in all that he would do: “observe and seek after all the commandments of the Lord your God so that you may possess the good land and bequeath it to your sons after you forever.” (1 Chr. 28:5-8). Obedience was a command that Moses also gave frequently (e.g., Dt. 6:3-4; 9:1; 20:3). Joshua also encouraged the Jews to be strong and courageous when doing God’s work: “‘7 Only be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go.’” (Josh. 1:7). Joshua and Moses knew that the purpose behind the Law might not always appear clear at the time. They were required to be obedient even if they did not understand. God’s thoughts and His ways are greater than our own (Is. 55:8). Today, Christians are not “under the Law” in the sense that they must comply with it to be saved (Gal. 5:18; Ro. 7:6; 8:3). By “fulfilling” the Law, Jesus freed us from the impossible task of trying to obtain salvation through the Law (Matt. 5:17). Jesus is the great “I AM” who gave Moses the Ten Commandments (Jo. 8:58; Ex. 3:14). Although not a salvation test, He reveals that, if you love Him, you will keep His Commandments: “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” (Jo. 14:15, 21; 15:10; 1 Jo. 5:3; 2 Jo. 1:6). His “disciples” were the “disciplined ones” in keeping His Commandments. As bondservants or freed slaves, they were obedient out of love, not obligation. Whether you follow the Law out of love instead of obligation is a test for whether you really know God: “By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments.” (1 Jo. 2:3). Even Paul observed that: “Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but what matters is the keeping of the commandments of God.” (1 Cor. 7:19). Do you obey God’s Word?
God desires obedience more than sacrifice. God wanted the Jews’ obedience more than their sacrifices. “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). “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.” (Ps. 51:17). If you are trying to impress God with your acts while rebelling, He will not be impressed.
Obey Jesus as your King of Kings, Lord, and Savior3
Obedience out of love brings God’s blessings. God never wants you to obey Him out of some kind of quid pro quo expectation that you will get something in return. Instead, He wants your obedience as an outgrowth of your love for Him. Approximately 24 years after Solomon became the King of Israel and after he built the Temple in the exact manner that God had revealed to David, God blessed Solomon for his Spirit-led obedience. After God’s Shekinah glory had entered the completed Temple and Solomon gave a prayer of dedication (1 Kgs. 8:22-53), God appeared to Solomon and promised to bless Solomon and his descendants if they remained faithful and obedient: “3 The Lord said to him, “I have heard your prayer and your supplication, which you have made before Me; I have consecrated this house which you have built by putting My name there forever, and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually. 4 As for you, if you will walk before Me as your father David walked, in integrity of heart and uprightness, doing according to all that I have commanded you and will keep My statutes and My ordinances, 5 then I will establish the throne of your kingdom over Israel forever, just as I promised to your father David, saying, ‘You shall not lack a man on the throne of Israel.’” (1 Kgs. 9:3-5). At a prior time when Solomon made many sacrifices and brought the nation to repentance at Gideon, God asked Solomon to name a request for God to fulfill (1 Kgs. 3:4-5). Because Solomon only asked for wisdom, God granted him both the wisdom that he asked for and wealth and power that he did not ask for (1 Kgs. 3:10-14). God was pleased that Solomon used his power to build a great place of worship and made it holy (1 Kgs. 9:3; 8:10; 1 Chr. 7:1-7). God then confirmed His conditional promise to Solomon and his descendants that they could rule forever.
God’s conditional blessings offered to Solomon and his successors. David further warned that some of God’s blessings were conditional. If Solomon rebelled against God, God would be forced to discipline him: ‘“9 As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a whole heart and a willing mind; for the Lord searches all hearts, and understands every intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will let you find Him; but if you forsake Him, He will reject you forever. 10 Consider now, for the Lord has chosen you to build a house for the sanctuary; be courageous and act.” (1 Chr. 28:9-10). God also made a similar conditional promise to David (2 Sam. 7:12-16). God’s conditional promises to Solomon also repeated the conditional promises of blessing that He gave to Moses (Dt. 28:1-14; Lev. 26:1-13). Solomon’s obedience would begin in building the Temple exactly how God revealed it to David. Solomon’s initial obedience would result in God’s blessings upon both Solomon and the entire nation. If Solomon feared God by hating the evil of rebellion (Prov. 8:13), he would obey God.
God’s warning to Solomon. God later repeated David’s warning that He would impose discipline upon Solomon, his descendants, and the nation if they disobeyed Him: “6 But if you or your sons indeed turn away from following Me, and do not keep My commandments and My statutes which I have set before you, and go and serve other gods and worship them, 7 then I will cut off Israel from the land which I have given them, and the house which I have consecrated for My name, I will cast out of My sight. So Israel will become a proverb and a byword among all peoples. 8 And this house will become a heap of ruins; everyone who passes by will be astonished and hiss and say, ‘Why has the Lord done thus to this land and to this house?’ 9 And they will say, ‘Because they forsook the Lord their God, who brought their fathers out of the land of Egypt, and adopted other gods and worshiped them and served them, therefore the Lord has brought all this adversity on them.’’” (1 Kgs. 9:6-9). God’s prophetic warnings included promises that He would: (1) destroy the Temple (1 Kgs. 9:7); (2) expel the Jews (1 Kgs. 9:7; Dt. 29:24-28); and (3) the Jews would become pariahs amongst the nations (1 Kgs. 9:7; Dt. 28:37). God fulfilled each of His warnings. He allowed foreign armies to destroy the Temple in 586 B.C. He also allowed the Jews to be taken into both Assyrian and then Babylonian captivity. The Jews were then derided by the pagans. Solomon ultimately rebelled against God because he did not fear Him enough to hate evil.
God would discipline Solomon’s descendants out of love. God previously warned that the eternal kingship would not exempt the kings 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). “It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline?” (Heb. 12:7). “But when we are judged, we are disciplined by the Lord so that we will not be condemned along with the world.” (1 Cor. 11:32). When Solomon later adopted idolatry and rebelled against God, God was forced to discipline him and the entire nation of Israel (1 Kgs. 11:1-13). If God has disciplined you, rejoice because He loves you. If He has corrected you, show your reverent fear for Him by hating the evil of rebellion.
The pattern of the Temple that God revealed to David. David further revealed that God had revealed the details of the Temple for Solomon to build: “11 Then David gave to his son Solomon the plan of the porch of the temple, its buildings, its storehouses, its upper rooms, its inner rooms and the room for the mercy seat; 12 and the plan of all that he had in mind, for the courts of the house of the Lord, and for all the surrounding rooms, for the storehouses of the house of God and for the storehouses of the dedicated things; 13 also for the divisions of the priests and the Levites and for all the work of the service of the house of the Lord and for all the utensils of service in the house of the Lord; 14 for the golden utensils, the weight of gold for all utensils for every kind of service; for the silver utensils, the weight of silver for all utensils for every kind of service; 15 and the weight of gold for the golden lampstands and their golden lamps, with the weight of each lampstand and its lamps; and the weight of silver for the silver lampstands, with the weight of each lampstand and its lamps according to the use of each lampstand; 16 and the gold by weight for the tables of showbread, for each table; and silver for the silver tables; 17 and the forks, the basins, and the pitchers of pure gold; and for the golden bowls with the weight for each bowl; and for the silver bowls with the weight for each bowl; 18 and for the altar of incense refined gold by weight; and gold for the model of the chariot, even the cherubim that spread out their wings and covered the ark of the covenant of the Lord. ‘19 All this,’ said David, ‘the Lord made me understand in writing by His hand upon me, all the details of this pattern.’” (1 Chr. 28:11-19). Just as the Jews built the Tabernacle exactly as God ordained (Ex. 25:9; 26:30), Solomon was obedient in building the Temple exactly how God revealed the details to David.
God’s Temple was meant to be a place of atonement, restoration, and fellowship4
God’s Temple would bring His fellowship. God previously 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). But He would not dwell with them unless they followed His guidance.
Let the Holy Spirit guide your actions. God also wants you to let the Holy Spirit guide you: “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.” (Jo. 16:13). “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.” (Jo. 14:16). God wants you to seek His guidance through prayer and the Word. “Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.” (Ps. 119:105; 2 Pet. 1:19). Are you reading the Word and praying on a daily basis to allow the Holy Spirit to guide your steps? If not, you may not be in His fellowship.
David’s encouragement to trust in God’s faithfulness. Although David warned Solomon about the consequences of disobedience, David encouraged Solomon to have faith in God: “20 Then David said to his son Solomon, ‘Be strong and courageous, and act; do not fear nor be dismayed, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you nor forsake you until all the work for the service of the house of the Lord is finished.” (1 Chr. 28:20). David encouraged Solomon with the same words that Joshua had used to encourage the Jews before entering the Promised Land (Josh. 1:5-7). Even when the Jews were unfaithful, God would remain faithful to keep His promises to His people.
God’s faithfulness to David in defeating David’ enemies. David was able to encourage Solomon to have faith in God because He had seen God’s faithfulness throughout his life. As part of His covenant, God promised to prepare David to become king by building up his reputation: “I will make you a great name, like the names of the great men who are on the earth.” (2 Sam. 7:9). When Saul was king, God first faithfully built up David’s reputation during his battles: “Then the commanders of the Philistines went out to battle, and it happened as often as they went out, that David behaved himself more wisely than all the servants of Saul. So his name was highly esteemed.” (1 Sam. 18:30). After making David king, God continued to faithfully build his reputation: “So David made a name for himself when he returned from killing 18,000 Arameans in the Valley of Salt.” (2 Sam. 8:13). “I pursued my enemies and overtook them, and I did not turn back until they were consumed.” (Ps. 18:37; 144:10). God built David up so that He fulfilled His promise to deliver the Promised Land to His people: “10 I will also appoint a place for My people Israel and will plant them, that they may live in their own place and not be disturbed again, nor will the wicked afflict them any more as formerly,” (1 Sam. 7:10). God also wants you to trust in His faithfulness. He is faithful even when we are not: “If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.” (2 Tim. 2:13).
God would discipline the descendants of David out of love. Jesus cannot sin (2 Cor. 5:21). But David and his descendants would sin. God warned that the eternal kingship would not exempt them from discipline, just as a loving father discipline 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). “It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline?” (Heb. 12:7). “But when we are judged, we are disciplined by the Lord so that we will not be condemned along with the world.” (1 Cor. 11:32). If God has disciplined you, have you changed your ways for Him?
God will not forsake you when He disciplines you. Even though God would discipline Solomon’s descents, He promised never to forsake them: “Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the LORD your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.” (Dt. 31:6; Heb. 13:5). ‘“Moreover, I will make My dwelling among you, and My soul will not reject you.”’ (Lev. 26:11). “No man will be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I have been with Moses, I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you.” (Josh. 1:5). “For the LORD will not abandon His people on account of His great name, because the LORD has been pleased to make you a people for Himself.” (1 Sam. 12:22). “ but My lovingkindness shall not depart from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you.” (2 Sam. 7:15). Sin would, however, limit the extent of their blessing to the land of Judah: ‘“However, I will not tear away all the kingdom, but I will give one tribe to your son for the sake of My servant David and for the sake of Jerusalem which I have chosen.”’ (1 Kgs. 11:13). “So the LORD was very angry with Israel and removed them from His sight; none was left except the tribe of Judah.” (2 Kgs. 17:18). “But I will not break off My lovingkindness from him, nor deal falsely in My faithfulness.” (Ps. 89:33). Sin may prevent you from experiencing the fullness of God’s blessings. But He will never leave you or abandon you because of sin unless you reject Jesus as your source of atonement.
David’s command for the Jews to serve Solomon as he served God. Finally, David urged the Jewish leaders who were present to serve Solomon as Solomon served God: “21 Now behold, there are the divisions of the priests and the Levites for all the service of the house of God, and every willing man of any skill will be with you in all the work for all kinds of service. The officials also and all the people will be entirely at your command.” (1 Chr. 28:21). God, however, did not want the Jews to serve out of obligation. Instead, He only wanted their acts of service as an outgrowth of their devotion to Him.
Respond to God’s calling to serve Him. Like Isaiah, God wants you to respond to His calling to serve Him: “Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?’ Then I said, ‘Here am I. Send me!”’ (Is. 6:8). Jesus made clear that He needed many more to step forward the same way Isaiah and David’s men did: “And He was saying to them, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”’ (Lk. 10:2). Like the Jews who served Solomon, will you step forward to serve God?
Serve Jesus in humility for others the same way He served mankind. Although Jesus was God, He “emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.” (Phil. 2:7). As an example to all believers, He came to serve and not to be served (Matt. 20:28; Mk. 10:45). He did not even have a home or a bed to sleep in (Matt. 8:20; 2 Cor. 8:9). He wants you to follow in His example to step forward and serve Him with the right motives: “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Mi. 6:8). If you have been placed in a difficult environment, are you serving others and God? Or, are you simply complaining about your situation?
God is faithful to remember those who faithfully served Him. God was faithful to record and remember the service of each of the Jews who helped build the Temple. When you serve God as an act of devotion, He will also faithfully remember and record your service to Him. “For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His name, in having ministered and in still ministering to the saints.” (Heb. 6:10). If you step forward to serve God, He will be faithful to honor your service.
Serve God without seeking attention or recognition. Jesus also admonishes believers to serve without seeking public praise for their works. A person who serves with the intention of being recognized publicly has received their reward: “So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.” (Matt. 6:2). Are you boasting about your service to God?