1 Chronicles 29 Devotional
By Pastor Lawrence
It’s likely that you’ve heard an expression before similar to this one: “when the man died, his dream died with him,” which is sort of an Ecclesiastes point of view signifying that the life labors and aspirations of a man often come to naught. That frustrating sense of futility that is often associated with our finite works is sometimes set in contrast to God’s will and God’s work which is always brought to fruition. Thus for a man’s works to stand the test of time, it would make sense for him to pursue God’s works and join his creator and redeemer in building something that would last, and that is exactly what David sought to do in the remainder of his life, to give the majority of his time and resources into building up the kingdom of God on earth that would benefit not only his contemporary generation but also many generations to come.
The Chronicler has continually focused on the twin themes of God’s kingdom and God’s temple throughout this book to flesh out God’s covenant with David to bring forth God’s promise of righteousness and rest through the rule of the messianic king. Every decision and action that David has taken in these passages since the revelation of the Davidic Covenant has been in preparation for the temple of God to be built and for the Son of David to reign on his throne forever. He has already appointed all the priests, singers, and gatekeepers to their respective rotations. He has already chosen all the materials along with the craftsmen and weavers to shape them. He has already pointed out his successor and taught him what he needs to know to take up the scepter. The only thing that remains are the offerings and supplications made on behalf of the temple and the kingdom.
Not wanting to build anything for God that cost him nothing personally, David did not simply tax the people, as our government leaders do today so casually, but first showed them the importance of the project through his own gifts given in devotion unto God and his kingdom. Like the widow who was commended for the giving of her mite, David gave a vast sum of treasure from his own storehouse, consisting of gold and silver, bronze and precious jewels of various kinds. He then charged the people saying, “Who then will offer willingly, consecrating himself today to the Lord?” And the leaders of Israel were the first ones to respond to this appeal also giving very large gifts unto the Lord for the building of the temple. And then the people followed their lead giving generously unto God’s holy place. And the Chronicler records that the people rejoiced with a whole heart that they had offered freely to the Lord, and this caused David to rejoice greatly as well.
With the same eager expectation, David once again handed the scepter over to his son Solomon in the sight of all the people expressing great pleasure in God’s anointed one who would take his place and do even greater works than these. And this too was designed to rally the people to revere and to serve the Son of David, which they did with great joy at this time. Just as they had offered up their monies unto the Lord in the building up of the temple, so they had offered up their loyalty and service unto the king, who stood in the place of God mediating his will amongst the people of Israel. And again the people rejoiced and David delighted in this wonderful consecration and celebration amongst God’s people causing him to break out in praise unto God.
In vv.10ff, David gives thanks unto God for such a day as this in which all of God’s people revel in God’s temple and in God’s king. In considering all the ways of the God who had condescended to him in love and who had initiated such a glorious covenant with him and his people, David piles on the praise of the “greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty” of the Lord, acknowledging that He is the king overall and that riches and honor and power all come from him. And instead of begrudging the great amount of treasure handed over to the Lord, David rejoices in the fact that the Lord had blessed them with so much wealth that they could give in such a generous way unto God’s kingdom, for God had taken a lowly people out of Egypt and had made them to ride now on the heights of the earth.
But David would not be content with this initial display of zeal for the things of God. In the rest of his prayer David is pleading for his people that the Lord would sustain this wholehearted devotion unto God the rest of their days long after he has passed away. Likewise, he is praying for his son Solomon that he too would walk wholeheartedly with the Lord keeping his commandments and building up God’s kingdom and temple. For David was determined that this dream would not die with him, but that he would give his last breath and spend his last prayer on building up the kingdom of God for the generations to come.