Covenant Words
Covenant Words

Episode · 7 years ago

The King's City (1 Chronicles 11:4-9)

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Rev. Christopher Chelpka

Well, if you are able, please remain standing and let's give our attention to first chronicles, chapter eleven. First Chronicles Eleven, verses four through nine. This is God's word. Please give your attention to the reading of it. And David and all Israel went to Jerusalem, that is Jeebas, where the jebucides were, the inhabitants of the land. The inhabitants of Jebas said to David, you will not come in here. Nevertheless, David took the stronghold of Zion, that is the city of David. David said, whoever strikes the jebucides first shall be chief and commander. And JOAB, the son of Jeruiah, went up first. So he became chief and David lived in the stronghold. Therefore it was called the city of David and he built the city all around from the Melo in complete circuit, and joab repaired the rest of the city and David became greater and greater, for Jehovah of Hosts was with him. Ay God bless his word to us. Please be seated when we consider the provision of the Lord, as we did in the hymn we just sung. It's very helpful to remember the specific ways in which he has provided. Of course, reflecting on your own life is a great place to start. You can consider the past day, the past week, years so on from there. Another way to consider the provision of the Lord is to look at the scriptures on the way that he reveals himself there as a provider in these specific events in the history of the world. We read of that kind of provision here in First Chronicles, Chapter Eleven, as God establishes his people in the land of Canaan, this country which he had promised them, establishing them with King, King David, and now, in these verses, establishing them in a city in particular, and not just any city, but a very strong and powerful city, a city that would become the capital of the people, the city of David, the place where David dwelled, a lived, a city, Jerusalem, Zion, that would become and would receive an importance, not just politically in this moment in time, but would carry forward and carry in it many, many great things and promises of God. In all this and all of these actions and seeing David established on the throne and seeing him take hold of this city, we see God's provision. I'm God as the one in control. Next time will begin to consider some of David's mighty men and the warrior aspect of his kingship. There's a great transition between that next section coming up in this one that we just read. David became greater and greater, for Jehovah of Hosts, was with him. Jehovah has his mighty armies. Jehovah is Powerful. Jehovah is the one who is establishing this man. David did not take this city without God, without God...

...on his side. And so here I'm we are, I'm given this reminder that God is our king, even as he is given David as a king to his people. You remember the way in which the people who first heard this book are hearing this this history. They're people. These are not things to look forward to, but this is a history of things that have happened in the past. The people that hear and receive chronicles in the first place are people that have come out of exile. Jerusalem and David in many ways were a long, long time ago. It's talking about the great establishments of the country, of the King of the capital, but also recognizing, as they hear this, that the city lay in ruins, that the great king and his sons are no more, that the temple itself that Solomon would later establish there on in Jerusalem, I lay in ruin desolation. How do you hear a story about the founding of this great city as you look at it and see it in ruins? Well, in some ways it of course, it's very sorrowful. It highlights the loss, it reminds them of their sin, but it also reminds this reminds them of their God, of our God, that the way that they began it was a good way, and the same God who began the way it began things in this way have now brought them back. They didn't just wander back, they didn't just happen upon this great city of old nowadays and ruins. No, God has brought them back here, and God is reminding them of these beginnings of this history for this purpose of teaching them about their sin, but also about his provision as their king is ruling over them. So what do we see here in this beginning story? Well, first we see that David comes to a city that is already existing. David doesn't come and look out and say, well, this is a really Nice Mountain, I think we should build a fortress here. It's got great views, I think it's very powerful, a good strategic position. Let's use this. And then they built a city from there. Now they came to a city that was already established, indeed, in a city that they had already attacked. I'm back in judges chapter one, as Israel comes into the land and as continuing their establishing there, the tribe of Judah goes and attacks this city. They defeat the city, even they take Jerusalem, they burn it, judges one eight says, but you read a little bit on in the chapter and Judges One hundred and twenty one says that they allowed the inhabitants to remain there. Well, you can kind of fill in the rest of the story by reading this passage. They didn't remain in control of the city, did they? Indeed, it was so strong that we read in a parallel passage as this that when David went to the sake the city, that JEB asides were so confident that David would not be able to do this that they said, you know what, David, we're going to send our blind and our lame to defeat. You is, of course, you know, a way of mocking him, of threatening him, of showing their power. But they were very confident. It was a very strong city, a city that had been taken once but regained, and they were not...

...a concerned about this David. But nevertheless, David takes it from the jebusides. They say you will not come in here and in almost a sort of wave of the hand, scripture says nevertheless, David took the stronghold of Zion. Even it's named the City of David, the city of David. Jerusalem seems to have this particular place within it, this stronghold called Zion, and it is renamed here in in just a passing moment, almost as if it had always been that way. David Takes The stronghold of Zion, that is the city of David. And then David says whoever strikes the JEBYSIDE shall be first in chief, a commander, and that man is Joe AB. They take it, they call the city of David and then they begin to rebuild it. After they're taking of the city, they begin to establish the city is a capital. What we have here is the beginning of a very powerful city, the rule of a king under which God, under which God, is ruling over them. And all this, of course, is right in a line with what we considered last time. God's Covenant Promises With David. God promised to David, you shall be a shepherd of my people. This is verse two. You shall be a shepherd of my people, Israel, and you shall be prince over my people. You remember that Saul, this great failure, is that he was not able to defeat the enemies in the land. But David, this one who has been established by God, who is replacing Saul, goes forward. He does so with confidence and in victory, as I mentioned. For those who are hearing this, there is some sour sorrow in this as they consider how far they have come Um but most importantly, there is this very hopeful note that is struck. Though Israel and our kings had failed, had failed to remain in the city, to protect it, to a rule over it in righteousness, and as a result, God brought his wrath, coming down from Babylon and destroyed the city. Though Israel and its kings had failed, God had not, and God was bringing them back here and God was establishing them here, and even as he did of old, he would again, God would establish a king, a temple, a people out of the rubble. And he does that. If you remember, on the city is rebuilt, there are work projects that are done, there are walls that are built up and even one day the temple would be built again. And as wonderful as that was and as exciting as that was to see those things happen, the Bible tells us that these things were, even in themselves, yet a prelude to a greater work. That greater work, of course, is the work of Jesus Christ. You See, this city of Zion, this city or this Mount Zion, city of Jerusalem, City of David, was pointing forward to something that would be not just temporal but eternal, something that could not be destroyed. Listen, for example, to the words of the Prophet Isaiah and Isaiah Chapter two, versus two through four, Isaiah, to versus two through four. Here, Oh heavens and give ear o Earth, for Jehovah Has Spoken. I'm sorry, I...

...was chapter one, verse two of Chapter Two. It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the House of Jehovah shall be established as the highest of the mountains that shall be lifted up above the hills, and all the nations shall flow to it, and many people shall come and say, come, let us go up to the mountain of Jehovah, to the House of the God of Jacob, that he may teach us his ways, that we may walk in his paths, for out of Zion shall go the law and the word of Jehovah, from Jerusalem. If you have ever taken a bucket, sort of spun it and you see how the water sort of sticks to the sides as you spin it around and around, the opposite is happening here. It's as if the whole world is spinning inward, as if the center is Jerusalem, the city of God. The Nation's pouring in, gravitating in, the word of the Lord goes out and the people come in to live, to worship, to be known and be under the rule of the king. These pictures, these heightened pictures, never actually happen here, in this particular piece of land, with these particular stones. Indeed, the temple would be destroyed again and even today is is no longer remains. But when Jesus comes, he comes to establish something greater in this life, in line with the story of David and all that David is foreshadowing day Jesus comes and establishes something greater. You remember what he says about his own body and about the temple. He says this temple will be a destroyed, but in three days I will cause it to be raised again. People were angry. The leaders were upset that he would say such a thing, of as of that as the temple. But consider what happened when Jesus died and rose again. He took with him to the grave all of the the sins that Israel had committed in causing the temple to fall apart in the first place, to break down in the kingship, to flight fail. In light of all of our sin and the context of all the ruin and destruction, God enters into the world and declares himself as king and establishes something that cannot fail. Consider revelation twenty one. We consider the glory of the Temple of old. Consider what Jesus does in raising up a temple for himself. We read in revelation twenty one, verse nine. Come I will show you the bride, the wife of the lamb see here, what you see here, what one of these seven angels comes and says to John, says, I am going to show you the bride of Christ, the people of God. He is going to show John You, he's going to describe you, he's going to show you who you are. Now listen to the description of the bride, the wife of the lamb, in verse ten. And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain and showed me the holy city Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, having the glory of God, it's radiance like a most rare jewel, like Jasper, clear as crystel. Let me pause for a moment. You remember, back in Psalm Forty Eight, which we can ordered earlier, there was this call to go and look at Zion, to consider the city of our God and what he has...

...done right, to go around Zion, consider its citadels, consider its fortress, it's power, consider the God who has established this. Let's do that now again in revelation twenty one, as the angel takes us to look at the bride of Christ, the city of God. It had a great high wall with twelve gates, and the gates of twelve angels, and on the gates the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel were inscribed. On the East three gates and the North three gates, on the south three gates, and on the West three gates, and the wall of city. The Wall of the city had twelve foundations. On them were the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the lamb I'm the one who spoke with me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city and its gates and its walls. The city lies four square, its length the same as its width, and he measured the city with his rod twelve thousand Stadia. Its length and width and height are equal. He measured its wall hundred and forty four cubits by human measurement, which is also an angels measurement. The wall was built of Jasper, while the city, the was pure gold, clear as glass. The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with every kind of jewel. The first was Jasper, the second Sapphire, the third agate, the Fourth Emerald, the fifth onyx, the sixth Carnelian, the seventh chrystallite, the eight barrel, the Ninth Topez, the ten Chrysoprice, the eleven Jacinth, the twelve Amethyst, and the twelve gates were twelve pearls. Each of the gates made of a single Pearl, and the street of the city was pure gold, transparent is glass. And I saw no temple in the city, for it's Temple is the Lord, God, the Almighty and the lamb. And the city has no need of a son or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives its light and its lamp is the lamb. By its light the nation's walk and the Kings of the earth will bring their glory into it, and the gates will never be shut by day and there will be no night there. They will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations, but nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the lamb's book of life. Where do you start? Maybe we could start by comparing and contrasting this with the Great City of David. This amazing story in first chronicles of David taking this mighty stronghold all of a sudden begins to kind of be sort of met when compared with this in revelation, twenty one David and is mighty warriors taking the city, Joe Ab becoming this great commander, the Jedbusides, with all of their boasts and might having to flee, and the city being rebuilt and one day the temple being built under Solomon, the glory of God descending on the temple that his name might dwell there. As amazing and wonderful as that is, it's still dirt, isn't it? It's still the stuff of this world. And here we have a description of something that is otherworldly, beyond description. The jewels and gold just piling up beyond imagination. Almost the light bearing down on this city...

...is the glory of God itself. They don't have to shut up the gates at night, because what could ever get in? God is protecting him the protecting this city in a way that this city will never ever fall. But who is the city? It is the bride, the lamb. There is this amazing complex of images and ideas and truths coming together here. We are the temple, we are the bride, we are the city, we are Zion, God dwelling in us, and all of this is secured through Jesus on the Cross, isn't it? When Jesus raises up his body and establishes himself as the corner stone of a new temple again, to use more biblical language, we are described as living stones built on that foundation here, described further as the foundation of the twelve apostles of the lamb, who went forth and spoke that word of Christ and gave us the word of God. So this is where we are in the story when we consider these this historical these historical events in first chronicles eleven, this taking of the city, the establishing of Jerusalem, the fall calling of Jerusalem, the rebuilding of Jerusalem, the falling again of Jerusalem. We stand as the new Jerusalem, and in this way we don't need to look for another earthly city to be built again. We don't need to keep our eyes on the Holy Land, as Orthodox Jews and dispensationalist evangelicals are waiting for some temple to be built. We don't need to wait, the scripture says, we don't need to hope in an earthly temple, because that veil has been ripped. You are the temple and God is establishing something among us that he's eternal and cannot fall, because it's established by the death of the King and his resurrection. This is where we stand and this is how we live our lives in the world. The effect of it is manifold. How do you respond to the fact that you are this city, you are this bribe described in revelation twenty one? How do you respond to the fact that David's greater son is our king and that have of hosts as watching over US and protecting us? I hesitate to even give you answers that you might stop thinking of them yourself. But you might consider our security, you might consider our joy to be able to look around at the things of this world and seeth are not the things of this world but the things that God is doing in this world, and see them with eyes of faith, to see a cup of water given in Jesus's name, to hear the word of God proclaimed, to receive a hug from a Christian friend in a moment of empathy and sympathy, and to see in that not just a hug or a cup of water or sermon, but all of the beautiful jewels,...

...the radiance and glory of God described here, of his people should cause a sense of amazement in us at even the humble things of this of our pilgrim lives and the spiritual manifestations of his kingdom in this world. We can be secure, we can be joyful, we can be filled with praise that, even though we might worship and dark work, dimly lit places, ultimately one day we will worship by the glory of God, His light shining on us. We can know that we can worship anywhere in this world, that he is the one who is binding us together, and we can live in a way that desires that word to continue to be sent out, that that temple would be continued to be built, that one day it might be a complete and revealed when Jesus comes again. Let us consider these things and look on this world and the things that God is doing in this world with eyes of faith, knowing that Jesus, this great king, has come earlier. Be Thou my vision was requested. Consider the last words of that him, High King of Heaven, my victory one may I reach Heaven's joys, Oh Bright Heaven Son, heart of my own heart, whatever befall, still be my vision. A ruler of all. This is who we look to when we consider our king. Let us pray.

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