Covenant Words
Covenant Words

Episode · 6 years ago

A Leader's Farewell (1 Chronicles 28)


Rev. Christopher Chelpka

Well, I hope as we started, as I started reading those very first few verses, you were able to picture in your mind what was going on here. You Remember, back in twenty two perhaps, that David spoke in a private way concerning his son Solomon and what would be required, what must be done, that the temple would be placed in his hands for him to build. What was done privately there is now done very publicly. Outward commitment is often just as important as an inward one, and so the scene is set at the very beginning of this chapter David Assembling everyone, not all Israel, as is done before, but the officials of Israel, all the people of the palace and the temple, the armies, the special guards, palace officials, all of the leaders are there because they are about to witness a kind of coronation ceremony. Here are the people that saw that will be most directly a reporting to Solomon, the people that Solomon will most directly be in charge of the Nara is David, King David and all of his wisdom, after all of his battles, after all of the things he had done, looking at his son and saying this you will do be st wrong and courageous and do it. He speaks to Solomon in this way, but he's, of course, not just speaking to Solomon. There is this host of people there that are paying attention to this, and that's for an important reason. How the king moves, well, so goes the people. The king, in some ways is kind of like a wind on a flame. He could blow hard on that flame and extinguish his people, or you can blow another way and cause it to grow and become stronger. The king really matters and the people know this. But in all of this and this great coronation ceremony and all of these instructions is David is handing over his reign to Solomon, one thought stands out above all the rest, one idea, one thing that gets hammered again and again and again in all kinds of different ways, and it's this God is king. It's an interesting thought. Right in the middle of an coronation ceremony where the kingship is being handed from one King, David, to his son Solomon, the chief thought in the whole process is of another King, God the king, and this really has characterized David's whole minister three administry kingship. David's work, David's anointing, David's calling has been to point to God as king, to seek after him, to follow him, to do as he commands. So yes, we read in First Chronicles Twenty eight that Israel will have a king after David, but this king will rule in the name of Jehovah, he will rule in the name of God, the God of the universe, the God of David, the God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob. Solomon may be great, he may be awesome, he may be glorious, but only God is king, and David Sets that before Solomon and before these other leaders and, in a sense, before all Israel and even before you tonight, and this is important to hear as now... much as it was then. It's true, we don't belong to the Kingdom of Israel anymore, but as but in so far as the Kingdom of Israel was an expression of the Kingdom of God, we do belong to that. And you know what still true about the Kingdom of God? God is King, he is the king of Kings, he is the Lord of Lords, he is one, and there is only one God. God, since the time of David and Solomon, did not step down or abdicate his rulers, his authority. He has not been overruled, he has not died, but he remains a king as strong as ever. And in fact, in Christ we have a new and final human king over us, over God's people. And then when we consider him in that kingdom, as we will, we come to see that God's authority, God ruling over us as his king, is not abated, but it's even strengthened and become more clear. So tonight we consider the kingship of God and David's farewell address and will consider it under both the old kingdom and the new. Well, if you'll forgive me for being a little listy, we're going to just tick through some things here on various aspects of the text to see this point. All right, this is an important part. Whenever we study the Bible we ask what does it say? How does it say it? Where do we see it before we begin thinking about its meaning or its application? So how do we see this point that God is King? Well, comes to us in several ways. The first way is historical. Briefly, you see in verses two and three that David had a plan. He says I had it in my heart to build the house. I wanted to build the temple a for the Lord and he said No. We see God's sovereignty over these things. There is this vus thing that has happened that David says God was sovereign over. We have plans, we make them, but God is ultimately the one who decides. This is the first thing David says before he hands over this commission to Solomon and says this is your work, my son. You need to do this work. He establishes the work as having begun not by him but by God and in God's own timing. The second we see, way we see God's authority and expression of his authority, is in the temple itself and in the arc in particular. The notice that the establishment of Solomon as king is really all about one thing, the temple, building the temple. There's that long section in the middle that's listing all of these various temple objects and temple people, temple servants. The whole thing begins by David saying I had it in my heart to build a temple, but God said no, and so I'm giving that to you. All of these things that Solomon is called to do. You might think of all of the things that would be required of him as king there is one thing that is going to mark Solomon's Kingship, one job in particular that he is going to be called to do. And indeed, David says in Verse Twenty, He will not leave you or forsake you until all the work of the service of the House of the Lord is finished.

This doesn't mean that as soon as it's done, God leaves. In fact, as the opposite happens. You remember, we thought about this this morning. The glory of the Lord descends down upon the temple when it's finished. The word until there, I think, means a kind of even up to a kind of sense, but nevertheless, the point is that God is going to be with him. He has this job to do. And if Solomon is all about the temple, well then what is the temple about? Is that about Solomon? No, it's about God. It's not the Temple of Solomon, it's not the Temple of Solomon's God, it's the Temple of God. What another way we see that not only in the temple, is in the ARC in particular. Notice that it's how it's described, for example in verse eighteen, for the Altar, I'm sorry, are also his plan for the Golden Chariot of the Cherubeam that spread their wings and covered the arc of the covenant of the Lord. It's described there as a chariot and earlier it's described as a footstool. This is something I've been hinting at all along, as we've been talking about the arc again and again, and here's one of the places it comes from. This is one of the places that speaks in the Bible this explicitly about these kinds of things. It might help to understand this if you think in the context of Israel's neighbors. In the ancient Near East, it was very common that you would build a temple, you would construct your idol and then at the foot of that idol you would place important documents, charters, treaties, these kinds of things. It was a way in which it was symbolized that the god of the people ruled and had authority. He was sitting, he was in charge and they're at his footstool. Were was the law. Well, without getting into a which came first, the chicken or the egg, Israel or her neighbors and all that. What we do see here is a something very similar going on, a very similar kind of imagery that God is establishing here. He calls the arc his footstool, except the difference is is in this temple there's no idol, there's no god that you can go and see. It is a room and in a way he god is described in other portions of scripture as being up in the heavenly places, seated high above even creation itself, with his feet kind of resting down here on Earth at the ARC. And you remember what's in the ARC, most importantly the law of God, those two tablets that God gave Moses on Mount Sinai in all of this, on all of this imagery that God is establishing for his people, he is doing what he is saying. I am King, he's sang the Solomon build my throne room. And also we see in this language of footstool and throne and all of these other things, chariot, for example, a kind of sitting action. Now that's important as well, because it shows a kind of authority. Especially in the ancient world, a person who sits down is one who sits down and takes rule. You see an example of this and verse five, I believe. Let me see if I can find it here. Right and of all my...

...sons, for the Lord has given me many sons, he has chosen solemn in my son to sit on the throne of the Kingdom. You see what he's saying here. He's using this language of sitting to demonstrate and to talk about authority and rule. Well, that's exactly what God is doing. It's sort of what we confess when we confess the creeds and we say that the Lord goes and sits down at the father's right hand. It's not just sort of a throw in verb to say, well, he's doing something, it's a way we are expressing authority of kingship and rule. So how is God, how is David, reminding Solomon and to us and all these people in front of him that God is King? Well, it's not just in the change of plans, but it's also in all of this imagery surrounding the temple and the ARC in particular. A third way we see it is in God's sovereign election. First of David. In verse four, we read that God chose David from all his father's house to be king over Israel forever. And then he talks about the tribe. He says for he chose Judah as leader and in the House of Judah, my father's house and among my father's sons, he took pleasure in me to make me king over all Israel. So he has the special choosing of David Right this language to where it says that he was pleased to do these things, he took pleasure in me. Is a way that as a phrase that's used in scripture, not when God looks at something and says, like you might go into a gift shop and you see something you oh, this is so wonderful, we have to buy this, I love this thing, it's so pretty. It's not that kind of thing. It's the kind of it was my pleasure to do it, and so I did it. kind of sense. It's a way in which God says, I do what I choose to do, I do what I please. In most cases where this phrase is used, that's used in a way to describe people that are weak and frail and helpless. That God chooses even these things, and that's what he does with David. You remember the story, right, Samuel Goes and David's father pervails before. I'm all these sons, and Sam's like, Oh, surely must be this one or this one or this one. Finally, he is like, wells none of these. Do you have any other sons? Well, yeah, there's old David out the you know, back forty, watching the watching the sheep. Okay, bring him in, and that was him. How different that is from Saul ahead, taller than all the rest of Israel. Impressive. Grand everyone's like, well, we know who's going to be the king. Obviously no Godd was pleased to choose David. He is King, God is King. He's the one who's doing the choosing, the royal the right to reign is not because of good looks or power or prominence or political intrigue. The right to rule is because God said they had a right to rule, and that's true of David. So God's kingship. You see in this sovereign electing love of David. I'm you also see it in Solomon, right, and I've read this verse once or twice now, but in all my sons, for God has given me many sons. He has chosen Solomon and we don't have the description of how all that happened. You'll have to go back to the other historical books and and read about that. But it's not the necessarily the obvious choice Solomon. We know Solomon is being wise here. He's alluded to as being obedient and good, but this is not but God has chosen Solomon,...

...his electing love. The final way we see saw it, God's sovereign kingly election not only David, not only in Solomon, but is also in the temple plans, verse nineteen. David says all this. He made clear to me and writing from the hand of Jehovah. All the work to be done according to the plan, and David has received a plan from God which must be executed. So we see God's Kingship, his sovereignty, David's expression and reminders of these things in the history of the events in the throne and the temple, in his sovereign election and then finally in the obedience that is required. Think about what David could have said. David could have said Solomon Saul blew it, but I've done well. I've established a kingdom and here are the rules and the laws that I want you to enforce. I have us made good treasuries and store houses of things, and I want you to continue of expanding on these and growing them. For My name's sake. David could have called him to be obedient to his rule, to his decisions, and in some ways he does in other portions of scripture. But the obedience that David requires of his son is not first and foremost to him, it is to God. Solomon is a king, but he is also a subject, as we all are. And so, for example, listen to some of these verbs and, as I give these, I want you to take this not only as David's call to Solomon, but this is a lesson in how to obey. You want to know how to obey the Lord, you want to know what it means to to follow after him. Here's how. Verse Eight he says, observe and seek out all the commandments of Jehovah, your God. Observe and seek. We also have in verse seven what we have in other places, this command to be strong in keeping my commandments, he says. In Verse Nine He says, Solomon, my son, know the god of your father and serve him. So be strong in keeping the commandments. Observe and seek. No, and serve and you are to do this, Solomon. You are to do this citizen of the Kingdom of God, with a whole heart and a whole mind. Some of the opposites are given in verse twenty. Be Strong, courageous, do it, but also don't fear, don't be dismayed. Thinking about the opposites is helpful when we think about obedience. If God calls us to observe and seek him, what are the opposite sit's ignorance, laziness, not paying attention, not caring, just sort of sitting around not paying attention. If knowing and serving God with a whole heart and a whole mind, what is required is what is is what is required. Well, what's the opposite? How do we not serve God well, when we are double minded, when we win our hearts want two things? Or what about be strong, courageous and do it? Well, what's the opposite of that? Well, weakness, fear, lack of follow...

...through. That's not obedience and that's not what David Calls Solomon to do. We see God's expressing himself to us as the King of Israel in the history, in the temple, in the throne, in his sovereign election and in his requirement for obedience, perfect obedience, wholehearted obedience, full throated confessions of love for the Lord. Know Me, serve Me, seek after me, observe these things. And in all of the this, God establish him some said, God establishes himself as King, and in that he promises Israel a new history, a history tree of rest. David calls it this, and verses two and three. This idea of resting is found in the footstool. There is this idea that Solomon himself is a man of rest, not David, a man of war. This is the era that God is seeking to lead them into in his kingship. This is the benefit. Protection from enemies plenty in the land, peace all the way around. Well, how are we to think about these things? If this is the old covenant, if this is the old kingdom or the old expression of the Kingdom of God, how do we think about ourselves in the New Kingdom? How do these things point us to and teach us about, Jesus as our King? Well, we can save a few brief things, and I think they'll be both obvious and smile inducing. The first is that in both we see that God chooses his own king right his sovereign election. But in the new covenant, this Human King That's chosen is the son of God himself, this one whom the father has set his love on from all eternity, a mutual love, back and forth, perfection, unity, forever and ever. And this one whom God has chosen, this one whom the father has chosen, even his very own son, using language that David Uses here and first chronicles twenty eight, you choose, is his son and he requires of him obedience, just like he does of Solomon. But the difference is is that Solomon, you remember, didn't quite obey. In many ways, he did, but not in every way. But Jesus it's different. Jesus, the king, does obey with a whole heart and he does secure the requirement, he fulfills the requirement. Remember what David says here. He says, listen, Solomon, if you obey me, if you are sorry, if you obey the Lord, God will give you rest, but if you forsake the Lord, he will reject you. What happens with Jesus? He obeys and he obeys perfectly and he does it in such a way that perfectly fulfills this requirement for us, so that the rest that's promised to Solomon will never be taken away from us. We stand like these officials stand when we hear the gospels, when we hear about Jesus saying, like David, I've done your will, father. I've said up forth these things. I've fulfilled the commands, except, of course, in a perfect way. We stand in this court room and we hear God's electing love, as he says to his son, like in Psalm...

...too, this is my son, I am establishing him on my throne. Or, as he says at the baptism of Jesus, this is my son in whom I am well pleased. We hear this and we are listening, like the people in the court room, to the coronation of our king, our king. Remember what Jesus says about Solomon. He says that the lilies of the field are arrayed in more glory than Solomon was in his temple. That's to make another point, but the point is that Jesus himself recognizes a a great measure of glory and Power and and Excellency And Majesty and Solomon's reign. But Jesus wasn't subservient to that. He was above that, greater than Solomon, Greater Than David himself, and in that he secures the kingdom perfectly. And that's another big difference. In both the old kingdom and the New Kingdom, this rest is offered, peace is offered, but in the New Kingdom it's permanent. You see, we don't have to sit around and go, man, I really hope Jesus doesn't take another wife. That might be really bad for us. We don't have to sit around and go. I really hope he appoints some decent people this time to rule over the treasuries. Do you think he knows what's going on? I heard the other day about so and so. Do you think he knows? Do you think somebody should tell him? We don't have to think about Jesus and wonder if he's got his pulse on the people. Does he really know what's going on among them? Does Jesus? Does he get aware of his enemies? Boy, I'm sure they thought about that with Solomon and David, just as they did with Saul and every other human king. We look at our leaders and we're always going, I hope everything's okay. Seems like it's okay or boy, things are not okay. However it goes, we always recognize that there are these fault lines in the hearts of our leaders that might break open, that might cause us great harm. But with Jesus we never have to worry about these things. We never have to wonder if he's going to mess up or make a bad decision, if he's not gonna Follow God anymore. He is God. He's not going to renegg on his duties, because that would be to deny himself. God is one, the father and son are one, and Jesus sitting at the father's right hand, should give us such assurance and peace and hope to know that he is our leader and, as he says, even the gates of hell will not prevail against him or his people. They can't, they won't. Sure people will sit around and they'll they'll whisper with one another. How can we break the bond between the Lord and his anointed one? What can we do to destroy the relationship that the father has with the son or that the son has with his people? But they can't do anything because that relationship is bound up by God's covenant promises, the ones he made to David, the ones he's made to us in Jesus, the ones he's made to us in Abraham. And not only are they bound to us, but in his promises, but they are bound. We are bound and tied to God by his own spirit, his anointing on us. He's his people. So how do you hear this message? Well, if you accept...

...the Lord and live and live in light of the things that he has done through our savior and king, then we are called to live as those who belong to a great king, a great leader, a heavenly kingdom that will never pay, that will never pass away. We're called to live as people who have entered into an eternal rest and everlasting glory. Should we be worriors? Should we be anxious people wondering where we're going to feed ourselves or clothe ourselves? I don't think so. Should we worry about what our enemies might do to us? Should we worry about persecutions that we might face? Should we worry about death? Now we live as those who belong to a King, King, Jesus, David's greater son. Of course, those who reject God as king will come to know his power and his strength and his glory in another way, in the way of judgment and death, separation. But this need not be so. If you receive Jesus, your king, by faith and trust that he's offered to you and he says come, you are invited. Belong to me and I will be your God and you will be my son's and daughters. Let us pray.

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