Covenant Words
Covenant Words

Episode · 6 years ago

David's Exemplary Prayer (1 Chronicles 29)

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Rev. Christopher Chelpka

We conclude first chronicles this evening with chapter twenty nine. I have no real authority to say this, but I wonder if this might be one of the greatest but most neglected chapters in the Bible. There are so many wonderful things here in this chapter that I wonder if so many Christians seem to have not even read it. But here it is, right in the middle of chronicles, and and so excellent and good for us this evening we have given to us it's great example of piety and this great testimony to the God of David. So let me read it to you this chapter tonight from First Chronicles Again, Chapter Twenty Nine, and let's give our attention to God's word. And David the king, said to all the Assembly Solomon, my son, whom God has chose alone, has chosen, is young and inexperienced, and the work is great, for the palace will not be for man but for Jehovah, God. So I have provided for the House of my God so far as I was able, the gold for the things of gold, the silver for the things of silver and the bronze for the things of Braun bronze, the iron for the things of iron and wood for the things of wood, besides, great quantities of Onyx and owns for setting antimony colored stones, all sorts of precious stones and marble. Moreover, in addition to all that I have provided for the Holy House, I have a treasure of my own of gold and silver, and because of my devotion to the House of my God, I give it to the House of my God. Three thousand talents of gold, of the gold of O fear, and seven thousand talents of refined silver for overlaying the walls of the house and for all the work to be...

...done by the craftsmen. Gold for the things of gold and silver for the things of silver. Who, then, will offer willingly, consecrating himself today to Jehovah? Then the leaders of the father's houses made their free will offerings, as did the leaders of the tribes, the commanders of thousands and of hundreds and the officers over the king's work. They gave for the service of the House of God, five thousand talents and Tenzero derecks of gold, tenzero talents of silver, eighteen thousand talents of bronze and a hundred thousand talents of iron. And whoever had precious stones, gave them to the Treasury of the House of Jehovah and the care of Jehiel, the Garret Gershenite. Then the people rejoiced because they had given willingly, for with a whole heart. They had offered freely to Jehovah. David, the king, also rejoiced greatly. Therefore, David Blessed Jehovah in the presence of all the assembly, and David said, blessed are you, Oh Jehovah, the God of Israel, our father forever and ever. Yours, Oh Jehovah, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the Majesty, For all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the Kingdom of God, Oh Jehovah, and you are Exalted as head above all. Both riches and honor come from you and you rule over all. In your hand our power and might, and in your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all. And now we thank you, our God, and praise your glorious name. But who am I and what is my people that we should be able? US to offer willingly, for all things come...

...from you and of your own have we given you? For we are strangers before you and sojourners, as all our fathers were. Our days on the Earth are like a shadow and there is no abiding. Oh Jehovah, our God, all this abundance that we have provided for building you a house for your holy name comes from your hand and is all your own. I know, my God, that you test the heart and have pleasure and uprightness. In the uprightness of my heart. I have freely offered all these things, and now I have seen your people, who are present here, offering freely and joyously to you. Oh Jehovah, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, our fathers, keep forever such purposes and thoughts in the hearts of your people and direct their hearts toward you. Grant to Solomon, my son, a whole heart that he may keep your commandments, your testimonies and your statutes performing all that he may build the palace for which I have made provision. Then David said to all the Assembly, Blessed Jehovah, your God, and all the Assembly Blessed Jehovah, the God of their fathers, and bowed their heads and paid homage to Jehovah and to the king, and they offered sacrifices to Jehovah and on the next day offered burnt offerings to Jehovah, a thousand bulls, one thousand rams and one thousand lambs, with their drink, offerings and sacrifices in abundance for all Israel. And they ate and they drank before Jehovah on that day with great gladness. And they made Solomon, the son of David, King the second time, and they anointed him as Prince for Jehovah and Zadok as priest. Then Solomon Sat on the throne of Jehovah as King in place of David, his father, and he prospered and all...

Israel obeyed him. All the leaders and the mighty men and all also all the sons of King David, pledged their allegiance to King Solomon. And Jehovah Made Solomon Very Great and all the sight of Israel and bestowed on him with such royal magics, or bestowed on him such Royal Majesty as had not been on any king before him in Israel. Thus, David the son of Jesse reigned over all Israel. The time that he reigned over Israel was forty years. He reigned seven years and Hebron and thirty three years in Jerusalem. Then he died at a good age, full of days, riches and honor, and Solomon, his son, reigned in his place. Now the acts of King David, from first to last, are written in the chronicles of Samuel this year, and in the chronicles of Nathan the Prophet, and in the chronicles of Gad this year, with accounts of all his rule and his might and of the circumstances that came upon him and upon Israel and upon all the kingdoms of the countries. Sends the Reading of God's word, may He bless it to us well. Here we read of the great conclusion of David's rule, quite magnificent and as stirring tribute. I'm if you have ever attended a retirement ceremony of some sort. This is that sort of thing, only on a very, very grand scale. This is a king, a King handing over the authority that God had given him to his son. Now there are non inspired works here that God himself recommends to the people. At the end of Chapter Twenty Nine, we read that we can go, or at least people once could, go, to various books and learn about King David and...

...the various things he did. We don't have these anymore, but the good news is we have the best thing and what's even better, which is God's inspired word itself, where he tells us of these things and has been telling us. And what we find here in this chapter is, as I said before, this great example of piety. We see how the greatest of men, a godly man, humbles himself for the glory of God and in doing so God has glorified in him and indeed makes him great. There is this great and wonderful interchange that's going on between God and his servant, and it's all on display, excuse me, in this very grand way. I want you to imagine it for a moment, as we've done before. David is called this assembly to himself. You can pick which person you want to play in the audience, whether you want to be a leader or a commander, part of the mighty men, maybe some of a servant and David's house, maybe Solomon himself, maybe David. But here you all are, gathered in this great assembly. As a side note, you we read here at the end of first chronicles that they made Solomon, the son of David, the king the second time. They anointed him as Prince for Jehovah. You remember that there was something of a controversy and a problem earlier on, not recorded in first chronicles but in the other historical books, where Ad Anisia row rose up and Solomon had to be placed in rule. But all in all the hurriedness and politics of that event, we don't see that here. Here is the Grand Ceremony in which Solomon is made king. You have these two great kings, David, after serving all of these years, forty years, his...

...son, this assembly of rulers, this huge face that follows thousands upon thousands of sacrifices. Have you ever gone out into your neighborhood in the evening? You Go, I think someone's burning a fire somewhere. I think someone's barbecuing. Can you imagine what it might smell like to have thousands upon thousands upon thousands of animals being sacrificed under the Lord? I really can't, but we can say that it would no matter what that it would be quite grand. I don't even know how many tables this would require that, the kind of silverware and plates, how the food would be distributed. But anyway you slice this, we have a great event going on. All the leaders, all the nobles, all the Great People in the kingdom gathered in one place, with David and Solomon rising up over it all. In addition to all these things, that grandness of the events is found everywhere, in these great expressions of wealth. Here is the king, at the beginning of the chapter, saying, because of what God has done, I am freely offering lots and lots and lots of money, gold and silver and bronze and precious stones and all the rest to the building of the temple. Just to hear of them speaks of its greatness. But no doubt there would be visible elements of this as well, sparkling things, piles of treasures, examples of this to be seen even if it weren't brought out of storehouses. So you have these great expressions of wealth. You have everywhere these reminders of David's mighty rule, including these servants who are willingly standing up and saying yes, we give to you our allegiance and even following after David. So He makes this grand speech at...

...the beginning he says, I give to the Lord all of these things. WHO's with me? And then they start pouring out their treasures, giving gold and silver and all the rest, anything that they can find. They're pouring it out to the Lord. How different this is than so many other collections that we've seen in history. Sometimes we don't call them collections, we call it taxation or plundering or theft, all different kinds. I'm not equating all of those together, but I'm just saying there are the other ways in which money can be gathered, and not all of them very pleasant. But that's not what we see here. And even the people of God are marveling at it, aren't they? Notice what David says? We read the in verse nine that the people rejoiced because they had given willingly. They're all looking around it each other going this is fantastic, this is a party. We are all giving freely with our whole heart. Everyone is in it together. There is excitement and joy in the Lord. Nobody's being pressured, nobody's being forced, nobody's having their arm twisted to give something they don't want to give. There is pleasure and willingness for with a whole heart they had offered freely to Jehovah. David, the king, also rejoiced greatly. So we have the sacrifices and these feasting and food and coronations and wealth everywhere. But, as we've seen again and again throughout chronicles, even in the middle of the grandest moments politically speaking, David is always pointing up instead of out and around him. As wonderful as it is, as amazing and grand as all these things...

...are around him, the people, the wealth, the ceremonies, and on and on and on, David always sees something greater, even higher. He sees it in God himself. Of course, David's not discontent. He's not saying well, I wish I had something more. He has something more. He has the Lord, his God. He knows that he has received all these from his hands, and you see that in this chapter. You see David's expression, is expression of this thankfulness. Is Good, how God has been so good to him. You see it in the whole ways the story is recorded, but particularly in the prayer itself, and I want to point this out by going through a number of ways in which David draws our attention not to him, him and his greatness, though great he is, but to God, who is infinitely greater, notice all of the ways in which David, in the humbleness of his heart and in the greatness of all that God has given to him, bows his heart down to the Lord, his maker and his God. The first thing we see is God's choice. In Verse One, David the King said to all the assembly, solemn, my son, whom God a little, excuse me, who, God alone has chosen? Now, he goes on to say, is he's young and experience. The work is great. Help him out, be there for him. I'm serve him, but it's for the way he begins to describe his son is by saying that he, that Solomon, is this chosen one, chosen by God. David isn't saying you need to follow him, because I have set him over, as king this is my choice and my right, as king to make this choice. He points to the Lord God. We have...

God's choice. We also have God's palace. Throughout first chronicles I've been describing to you the temple of the Lord as a kind of palace or Throne Room. We saw that last week when the Ark was described as the footstool of the king. Here we have it explicitly described as the palace. The temple is God's Palace. It will not be for man, but it will be for Jehovah, God. These things, this offering that David gives not doesn't go to Solomon. The offering that the people give don't go to Solomon. In other contexts that might make sense. The baton is being passed along, the crown is being passed along. It's time for you people to demonstrate your loyalty, show Solomon that you are behind him, and I'm while I still have this authority as king. David might say, I'm going to make sure this happens. That's not what he says. Instead of devoting all of this to Solomon, it's devoted to the Lord. Solomon is going to put it to use, but it is the Lord's it is his palace, it is his place. After noting these things, let's go over into David's prayer, this beautiful player at prayer, amazing prayer that is worth hours and hours and hours and years of your study. David begins by talking about the perfections of God. He points us to the Lord. By talking about the Lord, he doesn't describe God in a vague and abstract way. He doesn't think of God is just some sort of higher power or nice therapist in his life. He describes God as God. Look at first eleven. Yours, Oh Jehovah, or Yahweh, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty for All that is in the heavens and in the earth...

...is yours. Yours is the Kingdom, oh Lord, and you are exalted as head above all. Here we have first God's eternality, in verse eleven, when he says or, I'm sorry, in verse ten, when he says, blessed are you, the God of Israel, our father forever and ever. God is not like a rock or a stone which is created. God lives forever and has always lived. He points to God's greatness. There is nothing greater than God. He points to God's power, who upholds all things, who strengthens all things, his power which is indeed irresistible. He points us to the glory of God. Everything is unto him, all this splendor, all this glory. David's own service is for God. He points not only to his eternity, his greatness, his power, his glory, but to his victory. David's God is a God who wins every battle, and it's a day. It's a truth David knows very well. He also speaks of His Majesty. All of these things belong to him, though. Here are two great kings, some of the grit too, of the greatest kings that have ever lived, the greatest being certainly, that ever were under Israel, and and David is not talking about them. He is talking about the majesty of the King God. He's talking about his palace, his choices, his perfections, His Majesty. Do you see what the Lord's Great Servant is doing? Even in all of his greatness, he humbles his heart, and he does it honestly and openly. As he says later on, you can judge hearts. You know whether I'm offering this willingly or not. He says to God, my conscience is clear. I give this wholeheartedly to you, and indeed he does well. In addition to God's choice and God's Palace,...

David also points us to God's perfections and also to God's will. You See, in verse twelve, he says we read both riches and honor come from you and you rule over all. In your hand our power and might, and in your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all. Perhaps David is remembering that he was once a shepherd moving about in his father's fields, being ridiculed by his older brothers, shamed real least they tried. David knows that God can bring up rulers and brought them down. He saw that in his predecessor. We saw that at the beginning of chronicles when Saul, who is this great king over Israel, fell on the battlefield under God's curse. But David points to God, he points to God's will. He says it is from you that you we receive these things. Anyone who is great, anyone who is good, anyone who is holy, any and every good thing, comes only from one place. It comes from God, and David confesses this with his whole heart. He thanks God also on there. I'm in that same place, and he speaks of his own loneliness in verse twelve, I'm sorry, in verse fourteen, this Great King, at this coronation ceremony for his son, says, who am I not really establishing his leadership right, going up before the people in reminding them who is boss. Now he says just the opposite. He says who am I and what is my people that we should be able to thus offer willingly this great...

...thing that they're all experiencing, this moment of joy and rejoicing? He says, how is this even possible? Who Are we? This is not possible apart from God. He says this exactly, and for in the continual second half of that verse, Verse Fourteen, for all things come from you and of your own or end of your own, we have given you. See what he's saying there. He's not saying, all right, Lord, look at all of this wealth I have amassed and am now giving to you. You should be proud of me. He's saying who am I and where did this come from in the first place? It's all yours anyway. It belongs to you, it always has, and we offer it freely with her own hearts. He calls himself and his people strangers, a quite a significant thing when you remember that they are not strangers in the land anymore. They're not wandering about like Abraham and Isaac and Jacob. They're stablished. How could they ever be more established than they are at this moment. But David knows deep down in his hearts that this thing that God has done is but a shadow. It can pass away and even his own life, as granded as it is, as many good days as he will have, it's a shadow. He says, he considers himself a stranger and he identifies himself with the promises of God to his father's a striking thing in lie to the fact that God, in Chapter Seventeen, made a covenant with David. It's promised amazing things to David, but he identifies himself here in all of his humility. In Verse Fifteen, we are strangers before you and sojourners, as our fathers were. He speaks to them and identifies himself with these people and recognizes that he...

...belongs to God by God's grace. He also speaks to God's knowledge in verse Seventeen, which I alluded to. I know, my God, that you test the heart and you have pleasure and uprightness in the uprightness of my heart. I have freely offered all these things, and now I have seen your people, who are present here, offering freely and joyously to you. And he is also the God of the Covenant. David points us to in verse eighteen, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel are fathers, keep forever such purposes and thoughts in the hearts of your people and direct their hearts toward you. David sees this great blessing that has been poured out on the people, not so much in the wealth but in the free, wholehearted giving of that wealth. He sees the people's hearts on display and he begs the Lord. He prays to the Lord and says, please, let this continue, let this go on, because he knows that it can only go on when God keeps him. He identifies himself with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob or Israel and appeals to them and God's promise as to them in all of these things and asking for God's grace and asking for him to keep his people. And even he is son. In Verse Nineteen, grant to my son Solomn and a whole heart that he may keep your commandments. In all of these ways, what do we see? We see David pointing US away from himself, away from the gold, away from the silver and the bronze and the ONYX and the emeralds and all the rest. He points to God and says, here is where our heart should be, and here is the one who keeps our hearts. This is his choice, his palace. We worship him in...

...his perfections. This is his holy will. We are nothing, we are known by him. These are his covenants. Throughout all of these things you see David in Great Holiness and exemplary piety, pointing away from himself and relying holy on his God. Most of us, I think, have a long way to go before our prayers even begin to come close to this. But as we see this example, we're given US headstart, not just in seeing how we ought to pray, true enough, but more so in seeing the god to whom we pray. This is the thing that inspires our prayers, the thing that ignites our hearts and makes us filled with joy. Not by dissecting David's prayer and saying, all right, if I can follow all of these things, I'll make sure to mention all these, then I too will be godly. Doesn't feel very inspiring, does it. We find that the heat of prayer we find the joy in the Lord, in the Lord by setting our minds and our hearts on the god of whom David speaks. Think about how ironic it would be for us to take a passage like this and to turn our attention to David, to turn our attention to him and to give David Glory and honor and praise. It would be exactly contrary to David's intentions. would be exactly contrary to God's intentions, who inspired this word and wrote it down so that we would know him as king over Israel. We have an example, sure enough, and I think we should study it and follow it, but we cannot do that apart from coming to know the god...

...of whom David speaks. We study this, we think about who God is, in the greatness of his works, in his perfection and his power, in his glory's and his victory and His Majesty. We think about all the things that God has done for David, the things that he will do for Solomon, the time of rest and peace that he has brought them into, the Majesty that he has bestowed upon his people. And when we do are we will find that our hearts desire to pray and to speak of him in this way, especially when we consider ourselves, like David, not capable of these great things, not capable of offering wonderful prayers, not capable of giving of our possessions and our time and ourselves freely, but as strangers and sojourners and weak people and nothing people. When we begin there, then we might have a start, because we are turning away from ourselves onto God and his goodness and His grace. We come to find a joy that David has and that the people have in this moment. When we find the source of that joy, the goodness of God and His grace. We find that in humbling ourselves and we find it in looking to him, as he's displayed these things not only in David, his son, but also all close in David's greater son, in Jesus. The greatness of God's works on display here with David are amazing. They are breathtaking, the goodness that he pours out on David and his son. But they don't compare, do they, to the greatness...

...of the glory that God pours out on Jesus when Jesus ascends to the father's right hand to dwell with him and eternal and heavenly holiness, where he rules with infinite might over all the world, the heavens and the earth belonging to him. Every cattle, every blade of grass, every hair on our heads, all belonging to the Lord Jesus. Every square inch of the earth, every thought that we have, every action that we do, it all belongs to him. He has more honor and wealth and glory than David even began to have. And these things, though not always evident now, will be made manifest on the last day when the Lord Jesus comes with great glory and victory and power and might. We will not look to David, but will stand along with him and with all the people here in Israel and with every person who's ever put their heart and faith in God, through his promises and His grace, and we'll all offer ourselves up, completely and holy and freely unto the God of our salvation, the God of glory. David is a servant, and we are too. David's honor and his his glory as ultimately not found in all of these external things. It was found in his humble heart and in his shining back the glory that God was shining down on him. And that means that for you, you don't need to be a king. In order to be like David, you don't need to have a son whom you are going to pass on a nation to, but a heart that's...

...humble, in whatever circumstances you're in and whatever God has given to you, to confess with David that you are nothing and that every good thing that you have comes from God, to confess that God is everything and that all good things come from him. In that we will know the goodness of God and you will find service of the Lord a great pleasure. May God grant these things to us. Even as David prayed for his son and for his people, let us also pray for ourselves and ask that God would give us wholehearted service and delight in him as we put our faith in his goodness and His grace. So let's pray.

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