Covenant Words
Covenant Words

Episode · 6 years ago

Kingly Commitment (1 Chronicles 22)

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Rev. Christopher Chelpka

Well, let's hear God's Word From First Chronicles chapter twenty two. Will Continue First Cross continue preaching through first chronicles, hearing the God's word. Here I'll be reading the whole chapter. First Chronicles, chapter twenty two. Then David said here shall be the House of the Lord God, and here the altar of burnt offering for Israel. David commanded to gather together the resident aliens who were in the land of Israel, and he set stone cutters to prepare dressed stones for the building are for building the House of God. Verse Three. David also provided great quantities of iron for nails for the doors and of the gates and for clamps, as well as bronze in quantities beyond weighing and Cedar Timbers without number, for the Sidonians and the tyrians brought great quantities of Cedar to David. For David said, Solomon, my son, is young and inexperienced, and the House that is to be built for the Lord must be exceedingly magnificent, of fame and glory throughout all lands. I will therefore make preparation for it. So David provided materials in great quantity before his death. Then he called Solomon, his son, and charged him to build a house for the Lord, the God of Israel. David said to Solomon, my son, I had it in my heart to build a house to the name of the Lord, my God, 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 before me on the earth. Behold, a son shall be born to you who shall be a man of rest. I will give him rest from all his surrounding enemies, for his name shall be Solomon, and I will give peace and quiet to Israel. In his days, he shall build a house for my name. He shall be my son and I will be his father, and I will establish his royal throne in Israel forever. Purse Eleven. Now, my son, the Lord be with you, so that you may succeed in building the House of the Lord, your God, as he has spoken concerning you. Only may the Lord grant you discretion and understanding that, when he gives you charge over Israel, you may keep the law of the Lord your God. Then you will prosper if you are careful to observe the statutes and the rules that the Lord commanded Moses. For Israel. Be Strong and courageous. Fear not, do not be dismayed. With great pains. I have provided for the House of the Lord One hundred thousand talents of gold, a million talents of silver and bronze, and iron beyond weighing, for there is so much of it. Timber and stone too. I have provided to these, you must add, you have an abundance of workmen, stone cutters, Mason's carpenters and all kinds of craftsmen without number, skilled in working gold, silver, bronze and iron. Arise and work. The Lord be with you. David also commanded all the leaders of Israel to help Solomon, his son, saying is not the Lord your God with you, and has he not given you peace on every side? For he has delivered the inhabitants of the land into my hand, and the land is subdued before the...

Lord and his people. Now set your mind and your heart to seek the Lord your God. Arise and build the sanctuary of the Lord God, so that the Yark of the covenant of the Lord and the holy vessels of God may be brought into a house built for the name of the Lord. Amen, he may be seated. I was at Home Depot recently and I noticed that on the side of some of the boxes they were tell you not only what's in the box itself, but they also have listed the materials that you'll need to complete the project. So there may not be a hammer in the box, but there's one in the other aisle that you can go and get to do what you need to do. If this is true for hanging a door or putting in a window or something like that, can you imagine? Would you? Can you imagine the kind of preparations it would take to build a whole house? What about now, a house for God, a temple where people will worship, where animals will be sacrificed, and not any temple either. Notice what David wants in particular. He doesn't just want a Nice House for the Lord. He doesn't just want a good temple and average temple, he wants one that is exceedingly magnificent, of fame and glory throughout all lands. I'm not sure how many things that we could think of that could be DIS cribed this way. Can you think of something that is exceedingly magnificent of fame and glory throughout all the lands. On our vacation we went to the Grand Canyon and we notice there that there were lots and lots of people there that weren't from Arizona, people from Spain, people from France, people from Canada, people from all over the United States. Maybe the Grand Canyon comes close as a good decide, something that describes this exceedingly magnificent of fame and glory throughout all the lands. That's what David wants for the Temple of God. Now, imagine you're in David's position. You want to build a temple like this, a temple that everyone will talk about, that everyone will know about, that everyone will think of Israel, will think of Jerusalem ago, yes, the temple of Yahwa, nothing like. What would you include? What kind of preparations would need to be made? We that's what we have here in this chapter, is we have a description of David's preparations. Now, ultimately it's going to be Solomon who's going to build the house, and there's a reason given here. David tells Solomon that the Lord has kept him from building the House. I'm partly because the reason that's listed here is that he is a man of war. It's worth mentioning that this is not a punishment against David, just as an aside. God made David a man of war. He is the one who sent him out into the battle. He's the one who wanted him to go and defeat the Philistines, as you remember from a few chapters back. But nevertheless, God wants his temple to be established in a time of peace. He wants the completion to be done in a period of rest and quiet, and that's why Solomon is being called to the task. It tells something about what the temple is going to be. Sometimes, when people retire, they move to places where all they can...

...have, or all that they want, is a little peace and quiet, right, a little rest, a little relaxation. It implies that the busyness of life, the war of life, is over, and that's what God wants for his people. No more war, no more work, just peace and rest in the land. And that's the setting, that's the context in which God will dwell with his people in the temple. Well, focusing on this and reading this chapter is not just interesting and amazing to hear how this was built, or the kinds of things that went into it. But it will really help us to understand the kind of temple that Jesus builds. David and Solomon together work to picture Jesus, our king, who builds a temple not out of stones but out of people. Seeing something of the model helps us understand something of the real thing, of the thing that it points to, and so we want to spend some time this evening thinking about what God says in First Chronicles twenty two, of getting a sense of the greatness of the temple. But as you we do this, as we discuss this and think about this, I want you all ready to be thinking about how the temple of Jesus, the Temple of God that he makes out of you and me, is all the more greater. So first, what is needed? What is David preparing? I wonder if you can list them in your mind as you kind of tick through the things you heard in first chronicles twenty two. What are some of those things? Well, one of the things that David needs and is preparing our workers. If this temple is going to be built, he can't do it by himself. He is going to need workers, and we see that right away from verse two. Interestingly, the people that are going to be working are not Israelites but resident aliens, people who were in the land of Israel, gentiles are going to be building this most Holy House of the Lord. And he sat and then we read in verse two that he set stone cutters to prepare dressed stones for the building of the House of God. This is hard work. You have to go into a big quarry where there's large stones. From what I understand, they would, one of the things they would do is drive these long wedges into cracks and then fill soak those wedges with water so that the stones would break apart. And then once you have this these large pieces of stone broken apart, you have to chisel off the sides. You have to move them somehow, probably on little lead balls or something like that. It's a lot of work. There are these people particularly skilled at this craft, and that's what he needs. He needs workers, stone cutters. We have other people listed, other workers listed in Verse Fifteen. In Verse Fifteen, Paul, I'm sorry, David says to his son. You have an abundance of workmen, stone cutters, Mason's, carpenters and all kinds of craftsmen without number, skilled in working gold, silver, bronze and iron. Well, what else does David prepare other than the workers? He also prepares the materials. We read of the stones, of course. In verse two we read of these various minerals, iron, Bron on's gold, Cedar, a Seedar, obviously, a tree, the trees that were, by the way, gifted to the kingdom from the Sidonians and the tyreans. And what we see in all of these things is there is a lot of them. Remember David says about the workers there...

...without number. Well, he says the same thing about the bronze and the iron. It's so much bronze and iron going into this temple that you can't even begin to weigh it. It's sort of an impossible task, so much of it. And that's true not only of these less precious elements, but even the silver and the gold. Take the gold, for example. The silver, it says there's a million talents. I'm I'm forgetting all of a sudden a hundred thousand talents of gold. That's three thousand seven hundred and fifty tons of gold. If you took all the gold together in your house, how much do you think you have? Don't tell me, but how much? How many rooms can you fill with the gold that's in your house? Three thousand seven hundred and fifty tons. That's about forty five billion dollars worth of gold. And you know what David says to solemn about that gold. Make sure you add more, more, put more on, more El more gold, more silver. This is an amazing amount of gold. Outside, inside of first chronicles, the second highest number is only a hundred and twelve tons. Outside of chronicles we only see twenty five tons, an amount that was given to Solomon yearly. There are other amounts of gold mentioned in the ancient Near East, but very rarely. There's only one instance where I'm forgetting the name of the city, but in the time of Alexander, the great a city is mentioned and it's the amount of gold. It exceeds this hundred thousand talents by just a little bit, and this is the city with the greatest wealth in the world at the time. This is an amazing amount of materials, amazing amount of precious materials. Why is all this important? Well, it's magnificent right. He's meeting his goal. He wants the template of God to be exceedingly magnificent, and with this kind of material and these kind of workers, certainly it will. But it also reminds us that this is a special at place. It's to be exceedingly magnificent because the Lord God of Israel is exceedingly magnificent. You don't go by a Strativarius and then put it in a sack and carry it around with you. You don't go get an expensive sports car and then leave it outside and not garage it. You don't build a temple to the Lord God, Almighty, Maker of Heaven and earth, and not build it like this. That's David's vision here. We are going to do this right, we are going to do this well. Yah Ways. Name is going to be known throughout the land. In many ways, the temple was meant to picture heaven itself. Indeed, the closer you moved into the holy of holies, the more precious these materials would become, the more beautiful everything would be. The entire temple was meant to express the magnificence of God. As you approached it, as you saw it, as you heard about it from a far away land. It was supposed to impress on you the truth of Yah ways greatness and of his great love for Israel. So we have the workers, we have the materials. What else does David Need? Well, he needs a man of character and obedience to make all of this work. If you were going to build a house, you would go higher, an architect, a contractor, you would gather together people who would be in charge of the project, especially if you were not capable...

...at this yourself. You would need need someone who could supervise make good decisions. Solomon needed to be that kind of man. There have been many kings in history who have been given vast amounts of wealth and have squandered it, who have wasted it, lost it through bad policies, through greed, all kinds of things. But psalmn and must be wise. He must be wise and his father praised this for him. He calls Solomon in verse six, to his son and he tells him, I want you to build this house. And then in verse eleven, he says, may God be with you, and then in verse twelve, only may the Lord grant you discretion and understanding. But it's not just for building the house, for managing kind of this big work that he needs discretion and understanding. You See, Solomon's not just a contractor, he's going to be a king. He is going to not just construct a house but rule a kingdom. David goes on to say that when God gives you charge over Israel, you may keep the law of the Lord, your God. The connection between the temple and the law, between the temple and the kingdom or the king who would keep the law, is seen in the last few verses of this chapter, in last few verses, when David is speaking to the other leaders in Israel. He says, arise and build the Sanctuary of Jehovah, God, so that the Ark of the Covenant of Jehovah and the Holy Vessels of God may be brought into the house, into a house built for the name of Jehovah. You see the connection there and that article in particular, the Ark of the covenant. Do you remember what's in the Ark of the Covenant? The Law of God? God doesn't God reveals himself through his law. He wants a kingdom ruled by his law. God is a God who is holy. God is a God who is righteous, who is filled with justice and mercy, who is justice and mercy and love and he wants his king and he wants his kingdom and his people ruled in this way. And that is why, in the place where God dwells, the Ark of the Covenant will be and that is why the king who builds this house, who will place the arc in this holy of holies, must have discretion and understanding that he might rule according to God's law, that he might apply God's law with understanding to his people. The name of God would dwell with his people, but his people must dwell with him, and to do so they must be righteous, they must be holy. So David praise that his son would have discretion, would have understanding. He also calls him to be strong and courageous. Though he's a man of peace, he must not be weak. He must be as vigilant as Joshua, who is also called to be strong and courageous, to go forward into battle. David also was called to be strong and courageous. Well, just as these men were called to be strong and courageous and times of war, so Solomon must be in times of peace. And all and much of what is said here of Solomon extends to the leaders mentioned in verses. Seventeen through twenty two. He says to the leaders of Israel to go and help Solomon, his son. He says God has given you peace, God has given you is subdued the people. Now set your mind. Verse Nineteen. Set...

...your mind and your heart to seek the Lord, your God. You remember this? This theme of seeking has been so important in first chronicles. Do you remember who didn't seek the Lord? Saul? Saul didn't seek the Lord. The people didn't seek the Lord and Saul was replaced. The King of God's people must seek God, must know him, belong to him, submit to him. This is the kind of man that David needs. Well, the last thing that David needs, so to speak, is God. Psalm one hundred and twenty seven famously says this. I'll read it to you. Perhaps you even have it memorized. Psalm one hundred and twenty seven, verse one. It's a song by the way of Solomon. Unless Jehovah builds the house, those who build it Labor in vain. Unless Jehovah Watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil for he who gives for he gives to his beloved sleep. You can have the strongest man, the most courageous man, the most skilled cutters, the largest amounts of gold and silver and bronze and iron. You can have great gifts coming to you from other kingdoms, but nothing, nothing will work unless God is on your side. This is always true of everything that we do. We must always seek after God, we must always seek the he is on our side, that he is with us, that we are going about his word work. And that's why David says and asks and praise that Yahwagh would be with you, that Yah Wah would grant to his son a discretion, understanding peace. Sometimes people want understanding. This will want to deny the work of men. But this isn't true, is it? You see both here, though. God is ultimately supreme over these things, though. God is the one who will built this temple. What is David say to his son? A rise and work, get busy, do the things that I've called you to do. May God be with you. So these are the things that are going to be required, these are the things that David is preparing the temple with workers, materials. He needs a good king a good son and he needs the Lord God of Israel on their side. Well, what does all this tell us? Well, tells us a lot, but we only have a little bit of time. One thing, it tells us that David is most certainly doing God's work. David's not out seeking to gain glory for his own name. Everything that he's doing is centered around the covenant that God has given in and notice how David is doing it properly, in an accord with what God has commanded. God said, no, you shall not build my house, while your son shall build my house. Can you imagine sitting around with all this gold, with all this labor, with so much success, so much power, and have to pass it on, to have to say, well, that'll be for the next generation? Can you imagine being King David and knowing that you would not see this temple that was in your heart to build, that you have prepared for and build? And yet David seems to be okay with this. He's at peace with this because he submitted himself to God's will obediently. He has submitted himself to God,...

...his father, and is going about things a god. This way, we also see what is required to build the Temple of God a lot of work, costly material, obedience, a godly king. Only through these things would God be present among his people. Now, with that being said, let us turn the corner and consider the work of Jesus and how it compares to the Temple Building we have here. Perhaps the easiest way to do this is to consider how the original hearers would have heard this passage. You remember the WHO the original hearers were? They were people who had returned back from the exile, the people who heard this. We're not people who were waiting for the temple to be built. They were people who had seen the temple destroyed. This is the ears through which they're hearing this history. They're hearing this great story and all this anticipation about David getting the the the Temple Materials Ready, about Solomon being prepared, this young and inexperienced man being prepared and a gifted and anointed by God. But they know the end of the story, don't they? They know how Israel would defile the temple, defile the land, how they wouldn't be holy, how the King's including Solomon, would not follow God's law, how all of it would come crashing down in judgment and in exile and in defilement. This text has this note of joy, but after the exile it has a kind of sadness to it. All the work, all the materials, all that had gone into this were lost, plundered. People put to death, no wonder, but the older people who had seen the temple before it was destroyed wept even as a new one was being constructed. Did hearing this history, on that side of history might very well cause you to weep and to wonder. God had surely kept his promises to judge, but what about his promises of grace? What about his promise to David that his son would be established on a throne forever, it says, a kingdom forever, an eternal covenant? Well, that's where Jesus comes in. For thousands of years, ever since the fall, people have been taking holy things of God and defiling them. They've been taking humanity, has been taking the close relationship that it has with God and separating through sin, taking the temples of God and worshiping idols in them, building towers of Babel in their name and in their glory, when God is the one who made us and God is the one who deserves us. Humanity, ever since the fall, has been constantly separating itself from God, and of course we can't just look over our shoulders and say all all those terrible people right, the same as true of us. Would you do any better? Do you do any better? How often do we try to find God and other than in the places that he would meet us? How often do we seek to work on projects that his will simply isn't in, to build our own towers, to strengthen our own name? Do we, like David, go out and seek the glory of God? Is that something that's important to you? Is that...

...something that you devote your time, your money, your energy, your prayers to? Or do we amass fortunes and pursue careers at any cost? Do we try to find a name for ourselves so that we can finally be independent of God? We do, but these attempts of course, always fail, and this one does as well, not because God failed, but he let his people fail so that they could see what real glory, what real peace, whateverlasting rest and communion with God would be. In some ways, you can think about the temple as a little model. When I was in sixth grade, we all had to do an Egypt project and everybody did different things. I remember there were Barbie dolls wrapped in toilet paper, a little SARCOFFA, the guy and that sort of thing. Other people would take sugarcubes and build little pyramids and things and they would all be on displaying. Well, why? What's the point of this? Well, we were building models so that we could understand something of what the real thing was. So you'd walk down the Sixth Grade Hallway and you'd see a little pyramid and you'd look inside and there'd be a little chamber, a burial chamber, and be some pots over here, and but it wasn't anything like the Pyramids really, right, you didn't stand in front of this thing and be amazed at the magnificence that Tommy put together. They're just a little sugar cubes, right. What's pretty much exactly the same thing with this temple. As grand as it is, as much gold as was poured into it, as much workman skilled and all the rest that were devoted to this temple, it's really just a sugarcube pyramid compared with the temple that Jesus builds. Do you believe that, how do we know that? Let's tick through the list quickly. The materials right. What about the materials? Gold, silver, bronze. What could be more expensive? What could be more costly? What could be more magnificent? Listen to first Peter two, verse five, Verse Four. As you come to him, that is Jesus, a living stone, rejected by men but in the sight of God, chosen and precious. You yourselves, like living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable and pleasing to God. If you didn't catch it there, listen to Ephesians too, Effesians two, nineteen through twenty, twenty two. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens and saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Christ, Jesus himself being the cornerstone in whom the whole structure being joined together grows into a Holy Temple and the Lord. In Him, you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the spirit. Talk about materials. We're not talking about rocks anymore. We're talking about people. What could be more costly, what could be more magnificent and wonderful than God taking each one of you and building you into a holy house, a temple for him to dwell in? What about...

...the workmen? Well, did you hear what Paul said? WHO BUILDS THAT HOUSE? The spirit, not gentiles who happen to be around, or gentiles foreigners, who are being pressed into Labor, the spirit of God taking you and putting you one next to another, joining you together, building you up. If you doubt the cost of your own soul, consider who paid the price to put you there. Jesus, the son of God, giving his own life, shedding his own blood so that he could take you and corry you and put you on himself, so that he can dwell in you. Very interestingly, we read an acts hundred and forty seven, and then again in chapter seventeen, that this temple that God is building, it's described as one that's built without human hands, without human hands. That's how the new temple, the temple that Jesus is described, or that Jesus builds, is built, that is to say, it's built spiritually. There's all kinds of implications of this. I'll tell you just one, one really exciting one. Do you remember, if you were here, when we were going through Daniel, how Nebuchadnezzar had this dream that there are all these kingdoms of the world built up and then there was this thing that came and blew at all the smitherines. Do you remember what that thing was? It was a stone and it was a stone uncut, untouched by human hands. And this stone, Daniel says he interprets, grows so big that it becomes a mountain and fills the entire earth. What he's describing here is the temple of God. He describes it as an individual stone, but ultimately it's all of these stones. It's us in Jesus, the foundation of the temple, the Apostles and the prophets there with him ministering his word, and US built on them. This is a temple that will fill the earth, and this tells us something else about the temple and how much grander it is. This temple the David built was indeed large, was indeed magnificent and wonderful, but did it fill the entire earth? No, not even close. But this is what the Temple of the Lord does. In fact, when John sees the people, when God sees us, our sorry, when John Sees in revelation, these the visions of God in his dwelling place, he doesn't even see a temple, he just sees a people feeling filling the earth. The materials are more magnificent, more costly, the the ex the size of the temple is a greater what about the man who builds the temple? Jesus, Not Solomon, who, yes, was wise, who yes, was great, but failed in many ways. Married foreign wives, many married many foreign wives, brought in all kinds of idolatry. There are many points at which Solomon was not strong it, which he was not courageous, but never Jesus, and this is the great thing, beloved, Your Foundation is established on the rock of our salvation. Jesus was always strong, he was always courageous, he never got...

...weak knees, he never buckled under temptation, he never went the wrong way, he always did the thing that was right, he always did the will of his father, and because of that he was able to establish peace between us and God in the Kingdom of God, and he will establish it completely and perfectly when he comes again. So this is the temple that Jesus built, as wonderful as David's is, it doesn't really compare. It's just a little sugar cube structure. Ultimately, it's kind of like the story of the three little pigs, you know. One goes out builds a house of Straw, one goes out builds a house of sticks, sticks, and finally someone does it right. That's what Jesus does. He does it right because he does it eternally, he does it perfectly. Stones fall apart, gold tarnishes, things rust, doors fall off. The temple was rated, the temple was destroyed, it was plundered, the people were killed, but the temple that Jesus is, Jesus builds, can never be destroyed. It's made by the spirit of God, through spiritual means, through the preaching of the Gospel, through the administration of the sacraments, through the changing of our hearts, by the Holy Spirit themselves, unto resurrected life where we will never die. This is a temple that cannot perish, a temple that cannot be destroyed. And so that means, brothers and sisters, that our communion with God is forever and ever and ever, and our kingdom is forever and ever. He is eternal and established, just as God promise. We get to hear this passage with different ears as well. Just like the Jews after the exile heard it with a particular understanding, we do as well, don't we? We hear it not just as those who have been who who came back from the exile, but as those who have been built up in the new temple itself and by our great King Jesus. So, with that in mind, shall we do any less than Solomon? Shall we be weak and cowardly when it comes to doing the work of the Lord? Shall we be hesitant in bringing sacrifices, in giving ourselves? Shall you not give all that you have and all that you might? Will you not live belonging to God, enjoying his presence, knowing the safety and security that you have in him, the rock of our salvation? That's how we hear this passage rightly. We see the thing that it points forward to, it see it points forward to us, and we rejoice and we live happily and securely in him. Let us pray and ask that God would help us in these things.

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