Introduction: 1 Chronicles concludes with David’s last acts as king. He encouraged the people to work together under Solomon’s direction to build the Temple. From David’s final instructions and the response of the people, God reveals seven things that He desires from you. These include: (1) service, (2) tithing, (3) worship, (4) gratitude, (5) joy, (6) submission, and (7) faith.
First, before his death, David assembled the Jews together to urge them to work together under Solomon’s leadership to build the Temple. From David’s exhortation, God reveals that He desires that you serve Him out of gratitude. Second, the people responded to David by giving generously to help build God’s Temple. From this example, God reveals that He desires that you tithe from His gifts to support His kingdom. Third, David then blessed and praised God. Through David’s example, God reveals that He desires that you worship Him out of gratitude. Fourth, David’s final words included humble gratitude for God’s mercy and grace. From David’s example, God reveals that He desires that you thank Him out of gratitude. Fifth, in addition to giving tithes, the people sacrificed many of their best animals out of joy. From their example, God reveals that He desires that you find joy through your walk with Him. Sixth, after Solomon was sworn in, the people pledged their support for God’s appointed leader. God also desires that you submit to Him and His appointed leaders. Finally, the book concludes with God’s faithfulness in fulfilling His promises to make David king. God is also faithful to keep His promises to you. God desires that you trust Him and have faith in His promises to you.
David called upon the Jews to give to help build the Temple. Before his death, David assembled the people together to urge them to work together under Solomon’s leadership in building the Temple: “1 Then King David said to the entire assembly, ‘My son Solomon, whom alone God has chosen, is still young and inexperienced and the work is great; for the temple is not for man, but for the Lord God. 2 Now with all my ability I have provided for the house of my God the gold for the things of gold, and the silver for the things of silver, and the bronze for the things of bronze, the iron for the things of iron, and wood for the things of wood, onyx stones and inlaid stones, stones of antimony and stones of various colors, and all kinds of precious stones and alabaster in abundance. 3 Moreover, in my delight in the house of my God, the treasure I have of gold and silver, I give to the house of my God, over and above all that I have already provided for the holy temple, 4 namely, 3,000 talents of gold, of the gold of Ophir, and 7,000 talents of refined silver, to overlay the walls of the buildings; 5 of gold for the things of gold and of silver for the things of silver, that is, for all the work done by the craftsmen. Who then is willing to consecrate himself this day to the Lord?”’ (1 Chr. 29:1-5). David’s total reign as king lasted 40 years (2 Sam. 3:3). These events took place at the very end of his reign and his life, when he was 70 years old (2 Sam 5:4-5). Both David’s traumatic life and his many sins took a toll on his health (Ps. 32:3-4). His body could no longer regulate his temperature. Even blankets would not allow him to become warm (1 Kgs. 1:1-6). Yet, despite being in a weakened state, David gathered the strength to instruct the leaders of Israel on their most important pending task. They would need to work together under the direction of Solomon and the Holy Spirit to build God’s Temple. David had partially prepared for the building of the Temple by gathering and saving many of the resources that the Jews would need. Although Solomon would later receive God’s blessing of wisdom, he started off his reign as a young man. Thus, he needed the help of the entire nation of Israel and its elders in building the Temple. This included consecration of the people by purifying themselves of sin so that they could serve God (1 Chr. 29:5).
Moses’ similar request for the Jews to help build the Tabernacle. Hundreds of years earlier, Moses also exhorted the Jews to be obedient and help build the Tabernacle (Ex. 35:10-19). Like David, Moses did not need to berate the Jews to serve. He simply told the Jews what was needed. The people then left and mediated on his words. Then, out of gratitude for being spared for their many rebellions against God, all those with a stirred heart gave generously in the building of the Tabernacle (Ex. 35:20-29).
God’s gifts were meant for His glory. Through his own example, David showed that a Spirit-led believer uses their God-given gifts for His glory. In a similar account of the building of the Tabernacle, Moses directed each skilled worker to use his or her gifts for God: “10 ‘Let every skillful man among you come, and make all that the Lord has commanded:’” (Ex. 35:10). God has given you gifts for you to use as a co-builder of His Church: “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: . . .” (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 . . .” (1 Cor. 12:1-7). Every person’s gift is needed in the body because no one person has them all (1 Cor. 12:13-27). Moses could not have built the Tabernacle on his own. Solomon also could not build the Temple by himself. Christ wants you to labor for the Church (Col. 3:23). Are you using your gifts for Him?
Serving God fulfills your highest calling. God has called every believer by name before the foundation of the world 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). How are you fulfilling your calling for His “good works”?
Serve others for the good of the Body of Christ. David called together the nation of Israel because building the Temple would require the combined and unified effort of the nation. As a believer, you are also called upon to work together with others under the unity of the Body of Christ: “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). Are you working together with others to work for the greater good of Body of Christ?
The Jews willingly gave to help build the Temple. The Jews responded to David’s Spirit-led call to serve by generously giving from what God had given them: “6 Then the rulers of the fathers’ households, and the princes of the tribes of Israel, and the commanders of thousands and of hundreds, with the overseers over the king’s work, offered willingly; 7 and for the service for the house of God they gave 5,000 talents and 10,000 darics of gold, and 10,000 talents of silver, and 18,000 talents of brass, and 100,000 talents of iron. 8 Whoever possessed precious stones gave them to the treasury of the house of the Lord, in care of Jehiel the Gershonite. 9 Then the people rejoiced because they had offered so willingly, for they made their offering to the Lord with a whole heart, and King David also rejoiced greatly.” (1 Chr. 29:6-9). Even more important than the amount of gold, silver, and other items that the Jews gave was that they did so with grateful hearts. God only wants you to tithe as a cheerful giver (2 Cor. 9:7).
The Jews also gratefully gave to build the Tabernacle. When Moses asked the Jews to build the Tabernacle, the Jews knew that God gave them everything they had when He freed them from captivity (Ex. 12:35-36). Thus, they also gave with a willing heart: “21 Everyone whose heart stirred him and everyone whose spirit moved him came and brought the Lord’s contribution for the work of the tent of meeting and for all its service and for the holy garments. 22 Then all whose hearts moved them, both men and women, came and brought brooches and earrings and signet rings and bracelets, all articles of gold; so did every man who presented an offering of gold to the Lord. 23 Every man, who had in his possession blue and purple and scarlet material and fine linen and goats’ hair and rams’ skins dyed red and porpoise skins, brought them. 24 Everyone who could make a contribution of silver and bronze brought the Lord’s contribution; and every man who had in his possession acacia wood for any work of the service brought it. 25 All the skilled women spun with their hands, and brought what they had spun, in blue and purple and scarlet material and in fine linen. 26 All the women whose heart stirred with a skill spun the goats’ hair. 27 The rulers brought the onyx stones and the stones for setting for the ephod and for the breastpiece; 28 and the spice and the oil for the light and for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense. 29 The Israelites, all the men and women, whose heart moved them to bring material for all the work, which the Lord had commanded through Moses to be done, brought a freewill offering to the Lord.” (Ex. 35:20-29). When you give to God, do you do so out obligation or out of devotion?
Give back from what God has given you with gratitude. Every good and perfect thing in your life comes from above, even if someone in the world hands it to you (Ja. 1:17). God commands each believer to give back from the things that God 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. Satan had once induced Aaron to raise a counterfeit offering for a golden calf from things that should have gone for the Tabernacle (Ex. 32:2-6). Are you giving to God from what He has given you? Or, has your coveting robbed from resources that could be going to God?
David blessings and praises the Father of Israel. As one of his final acts, David then prayed blessings and praises for God: “10 So David blessed the Lord in the sight of all the assembly; and David said, ‘Blessed are You, O Lord God of Israel our father, forever and ever. 11 Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, indeed everything that is in the heavens and the earth; Yours is the dominion, O Lord, and You exalt Yourself as head over all. 12 Both riches and honor come from You, and You rule over all, and in Your hand is power and might; and it lies in Your hand to make great and to strengthen everyone. 13 Now therefore, our God, we thank You, and praise Your glorious name.”’ (1 Chr. 29:10-13). David referred to God as “our father” (1 Chr. 29:10). As one commentator observes: “This is the first time in the Bible that God is addressed directly as a Father over His people. Jesus taught His disciples to pray beginning with this phrase, our Father (Matt. 6:9-13). Jesus may have had this passage in mind when teaching His disciples about prayer, because there are other similarities between the two passages.” (David Guzik on 1 Chr. 29).
David’s final words included a blessing for God. Believers can learn a lot from the final words of the great leaders in the Bible. With Noah’s final recorded words, he blessed and gave prophetic words for his children (Gen. 9:24-27). During what Isaac mistakenly thought were his final days, he sought to bless his eldest son Esau. Yet, he was tricked into giving that blessing to Jacob (Gen. 27:34-41). At the end of his life, Jacob/Israel blessed the children of Joseph and adopted them as his own (Gen. 48:13-22). In the final moments of his life, he then blessed and gave prophetic words to each of his 12 sons (Gen. 49:1-27). At the end of Moses’ life, he also blessed and gave prophetic words to each of the 12 tribes (Dt. 33:1-29). Jesus’ final words on the cross included the blessing of forgiveness for those who persecuted Him (Lk. 23:34). After His resurrection, His final words included a blessing that He would never leave or forsake His people: “I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matt. 28:20). Here, David’s final words are also instructive. He blessed God as a final act of worship and as a tribute to God.
The importance of praise in avoiding sin. Being full of gratitude for Christ’s sacrifice for you on the cross is an important way to keep yourself free from returning to your sin. If you don’t care about His sacrifice or if you don’t internalize the price He paid for you, you are more likely to backslide into sin. One way to remain grateful is to constantly thank Christ for His sacrifice: “Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.” (Heb. 13:15). As our example, David regularly thanked God through songs of praise (e.g., Ps. 18:49; 26:7; 30:4, 12; 50:14; 69:30; 75:1; 79:13; 92:1; 95:2; 97:12; 100:4; 106:1; 107:1, 8; 116:17; 118:1, 119:62; 140:13; 147:7). Being grateful should not be limited to the times when things turn out right for you. Your gratefulness should also include the stressful times when adversity strikes. You can always give thanks because God is in control. Are you giving thanks for all of God’s blessings in both the good times and during your trials?
David humbly thanks God for their blessings. In his final act, David expressed humble gratitude for God’s mercy and grace: “14 But who am I and who are my people that we should be able to offer as generously as this? For all things come from You, and from Your hand we have given You. 15 For we are sojourners before You, and tenants, as all our fathers were; our days on the earth are like a shadow, and there is no hope. 16 O Lord our God, all this abundance that we have provided to build You a house for Your holy name, it is from Your hand, and all is Yours. 17 Since I know, O my God, that You try the heart and delight in uprightness, I, in the integrity of my heart, have willingly offered all these things; so now with joy I have seen Your people, who are present here, make their offerings willingly to You. 18 O Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, our fathers, preserve this forever in the intentions of the heart of Your people, and direct their heart to You; 19 and give to my son Solomon a perfect heart to keep Your commandments, Your testimonies and Your statutes, and to do them all, and to build the temple, for which I have made provision.’ 20 Then David said to all the assembly, ‘Now bless the Lord your God.’ And all the assembly blessed the Lord, the God of their fathers, and bowed low and did homage to the Lord and to the king.” (1 Chr. 29:14-20). At the end of his life, David was identified as a man of humble origins whose greatest accomplishment was his love for God: “Now these are the last words of David. David the son of Jesse declares, the man who was raised on high declares, the anointed of the God of Jacob, and the sweet psalmist of Israel,” (2 Sam. 23:1). Sin separated David from God (Is. 59:2). Yet, his humility and love for God always brought him back.
Give thanks for Jesus’ mercy and grace. David celebrated God’s faithfulness in keeping His covenant with Abraham (Gen. 17:1; 26:24), Isaac (Gen. 28:13), and Jacob/Israel (Gen. 50:24; Ex. 3:15). He knew that the Jews did not deserve God’s mercy and grace. Thus, he offered Him songs of thanksgiving: “. . . To you I shall offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and call upon the name of the Lord, I shall pay my vows to the Lord.” (Ps. 116:1, 17-18). “ . . . I will render thank offerings to You. For you have delivered my soul from death.” (Ps. 56:12-13; 116:8). “. . .Let them also offer sacrifices of thanksgiving, and tell of His works with joyful singing.” (Ps. 107:1, 2, 22). “in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thess. 5:18). “always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father;” (Eph. 5:20). No one deserved to have Jesus die on the cross for them. Like David, have you given thanks for Jesus’ mercy and grace in your life?
Out of gratitude, make your life a living sacrifice for Christ. Jesus perfected the need for any further physical sacrifices with His death on the cross (Heb. 10:14). Yet, this hopefully did not eliminate your gratitude for your undeserved salvation. Without any sacrifice for Jesus, your faith is meaningless. Yet, instead of making physical sacrifices, you are called upon to make “spiritual sacrifices” to Him: “you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” (1 Pet. 2:5). This includes praising God in all that you do: “Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.” (Heb. 13:15). This also includes presenting your body as a living sacrifice for God: “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). Out of gratitude for His mercy and grace, are you offering Christ the best of your life?
God’s everlasting covenant was based upon mercy and grace. David knew that he did not deserve God’s “everlasting covenant” (2 Sam. 23:5). God previously promised David that: “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.” (2 Sam. 7:12). “He gives great deliverance to His king, and shows lovingkindness to His anointed, to David and his descendants forever.” (Ps. 18:50). ‘“I will establish your seed forever and build up your throne to all generations.’ Selah.” (Ps. 89:4). He knew that God’s blessings were based solely on grace. His knowledge of and appreciation for God’s mercy and grace made him a man after God’s heart (Acts 13:22).
The Jews’ sacrifices of praise. In addition to giving generously, the Jews sacrificed their best animals and celebrated out of Spirit-led joy: “21 On the next day they made sacrifices to the Lord and offered burnt offerings to the Lord, 1,000 bulls, 1,000 rams and 1,000 lambs, with their drink offerings and sacrifices in abundance for all Israel. 22 So they ate and drank that day before the Lord with great gladness.” (1 Chr. 29:21-22a). The example of the Jews is instructive for believers today. You can give simply by going through the motions. Yet, God knows what is in your heart. If you are giving out of obligation, God may not think much about your tithes. He wants you to be a joyful giver.
The animal sacrifices. The many animal sacrifices were part of both an act of worship and for the atonement of sins. True fellowship with God is impossible without a burnt offering of sinless blood to atone for a person’s sins. During Old Testament times, this was done through animals (Lev. 1; Heb. 9:22; Lev. 17:11). Christ later gave His sinless blood to offer salvation to everyone (Rev. 7:9). Through Christ’s death -- and not our own works -- we are made right or “justified” before God (2 Cor. 5:21; Rom. 3:25; Gal. 3:13; Mk. 14:24; 1 Pet. 1:18-19). Believing that He died for your sins also means that you do not take His sacrifice for granted. How are you giving thanks for His sacrifice?
Let your life be a sacrificial drink offering of gratitude. The Jews also drank with joyful gladness (1 Chr. 29:22). Jesus is the vine of life that you drink (John 6:53). Your life should be in communion with Christ. What you do should also always honor Him. Your drink offering should further be filled with joy for others to see. This is what Paul meant when he said: “But even if I am being poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I rejoice and share my joy with you all.” (Philip. 2:17). Is your joy a light for others to see? (Matt. 5:14). Or, do others only see you complain?
The people pledge their allegiance to Solomon, God’s appointed king. Upon David’s death, the Jews pledged allegiance to God’s appointed king, Solomon: “And they made Solomon the son of David king a second time, and they anointed him as ruler for the Lord and Zadok as priest. 23 Then Solomon sat on the throne of the Lord as king instead of David his father; and he prospered, and all Israel obeyed him. 24 All the officials, the mighty men, and also all the sons of King David pledged allegiance to King Solomon. 25 The Lord highly exalted Solomon in the sight of all Israel, and bestowed on him royal majesty which had not been on any king before him in Israel.” (1 Chr. 29:22b-25). Just before his death and with David’s health failing, David’s son Adonijah declared that he would be king (1 Kgs. 1:1-6). The Jews rejected Adonijah’s attempt to exalt himself as king. They instead accepted and submitted to Solomon as God’s anointed King of Israel.
Submit to Spirit-led leadership. God expects order. He commands that we submit to His appointed leaders. “Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves.” (Ro. 13:1-2). Rebellion to God is no better than witchcraft (1 Sam. 15:23). His leaders are His “avengers” against injustice (Rom. 13:4). They also are supposed to “watch out for your souls.” (Heb. 13:17). First, you submit to Him through His Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:14), His Word (2 Tim. 3:16), and His church leadership (Matt. 18:17-20; Heb. 13:17). Second, you submit to Him through your civil authorities (1 Pet. 2:13-14; Rom. 13:1-2). Third, you submit to His family order (Eph. 5:22-25; 6:10). Only when your authorities refuse to follow His Word can you ignore them (Acts. 4:19). Both the leaders and the people are commanded to obey Jesus’ Word and His Commandments. Jesus is the great “I AM” who gave Moses the Ten Commandments (Ex. 3:14; Jo. 8:58). Although you are no longer judged under the Law, Jesus reveals that you show your love for Him when you keep His Commandments voluntarily: “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” (Jo. 14:15, 21; 1 Jo. 5:3; 2 Jo. 1:6). “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.” (Jo. 15:10). “[I]f you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.” (Matt. 19:17). Whether you keep His Commandments out of love (and not obligation) is also the test regarding whether you “know” Him: “By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments.” (1 Jo. 2:3). If your leaders are following God’s Word, are you submitting to them? If they are rebelling, are you praying for them?
David’s death. The book of 1 Chronicles concludes with the recounting of God’s faithfulness in fulfilling His promises to David: “26 Now David the son of Jesse reigned over all Israel. 27 The period which he reigned over Israel was forty years; he reigned in Hebron seven years and in Jerusalem thirty-three years. 28 Then he died in a ripe old age, full of days, riches and honor; and his son Solomon reigned in his place. 29 Now the acts of King David, from first to last, are written in the chronicles of Samuel the seer, in the chronicles of Nathan the prophet and in the chronicles of Gad the seer, 30 with all his reign, his power, and the circumstances which came on him, on Israel, and on all the kingdoms of the lands.” (1 Chr. 29:26-30). David ruled from 1011 B.C. to 971 B.C. His reign was initially divided. For seven of his years, he ruled only Judah from Hebron. For the remainder of his 40-year reign, he ruled a united Israel from the city he liberated, Jerusalem (2 Sam. 5:5; 1 Chr. 29:26-28). The city of David where he was buried is also called “Zion” (1 Kgs. 8:1). His burial place was later referred to as the tomb of David (Neh. 3:16; Acts 2:29). After David had fulfilled God’s plans for him, God brought him home and kept His promise to establish Solomon’s reign as king (1 Kgs. 2:10-12). God’s establishment of Solomon’s monarchy following David’s long life was a fulfillment of God’s Covenant with David (2 Sam. 7:12). God records the fulfillment of His many promises to show that He is faithful to keep His many promises to you as well: “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). “Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.” (1 Thess. 5:24). Have you given thanks that you can trust in His faithfulness even when your faith fails Him?
Jesus fulfilled God’s everlasting covenant to show that you can depend upon Him. Jesus is the eternal King of Kings who came through David’s line to fulfill God’s “everlasting covenant” (2 Sam. 23:5) “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). “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. 9:7). “These will wage war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, because He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those who are with Him are the called and chosen and faithful.” (Rev. 17:14). Just as God was faithful to David, He is faithful to you as well. Thus, you can depend upon His promises and have faith in Him.
While David died and saw decay, Jesus the King of Kings did not decay in the grave. While David was one of Israel’s greatest kings, he was only human. Thus, he died and underwent decay after his death: “For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, fell asleep, and was laid among his fathers and underwent decay;” (Acts 13:36). Yet, God promised to build a house through David that would last forever: “He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.” (2 Sam. 7:13; 1 Kgs. 2:45). Jesus came to fulfill God’s eternal Covenant with David. “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;” (Lk. 1:32; Is. 9:7; Jer. 23:5; Dan. 2:44). Unlike David, Jesus’ body did not decay in the grave: “but He whom God raised did not undergo decay.” (Acts 13:37). He died so that you also can have eternal life.
Be faithful because God is faithful to you. In response to God’s faithfulness, He wants you to be faithful as well. “for we walk by faith, not by sight—” (2 Cor. 5:7). “A faithful man will abound with blessings, . . .” (Prov. 28:20(a)). “But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.” (1 Tim. 1:5). “but holding to the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience.” (1 Tim. 3:9). Have you stayed faithful in your walk with Jesus in both good and bad times?