David’s Final Temple Guidance
“David said to Solomon his son, ‘Be strong and courageous and do it. Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed, for the LORD God, even my God, is with you. He will not leave you or forsake you, until all the work for the service of the house of the LORD is finished’ “ (28:20).- 1 Chronicles 28:20–29:9
We have noted that in Scripture, the last recorded words of significant figures reveal important truths about the history of redemption. For instance, the last words of Jacob included the promise that the Messiah would come from the tribe of Judah (Gen. 49:8–12). Given the significance of David, his last words likewise convey important truths about redemption. Thus, the amount of time David spent giving Solomon the plans for the temple and assigning the temple personnel indicate the temple’s importance in the history of salvation (1 Chron. 22–26).
As the Chronicler continues his record of David’s final words in today’s passage, the importance of the temple stands out once again. We see that after delivering the plans and the materials for the temple, David encouraged Solomon not to be afraid but to press forward with constructing the sanctuary. Solomon could be courageous, David said, because the Lord would be with him and because the people would support him (1 Chron. 28:20–21). Solomon needed to hear these words, for building the temple was no small undertaking. In fact, it would take seven years to complete it (1 Kings 6:37–38). But Solomon was not the only one who needed such encouragement. The original readers of 1 Chronicles were the Jews who had come back to the promised land after the exile. They needed to be encouraged that the Lord was with them as they rebuilt the temple and faced much opposition in doing so (Ezra 4). These words from David to Solomon also encouraged them. Moreover, these words from David encourage us today. Properly speaking, we do not build God’s temple; Christ alone builds His church (Matt. 16:18). However, Jesus ordinarily works through us to build His church as we engage in the work of the Great Commission. Just as the Lord was with Solomon in building the temple, He is with us in building the church (28:18–20).
Today’s passage also reveals the generosity of both David and the people in giving to the temple’s construction (1 Chron. 29:1–9). Solomon could build the temple because of the sacrificial giving of the Israelites and the sacrificial giving of Israel’s king, who gave from his own personal funds as well as from the nation’s treasury. The message for all succeeding generations is clear: we must contribute our offerings to the building of the kingdom of God. In our day, that means supporting the work of the church.
To build the temple of God, Jesus made a greater sacrifice than David, giving not merely monies but His very life. We are called to give our lives as well, which may involve a martyr’s death for some of us. More likely, it will involve sacrificially giving of our time, talents, and treasures. Let us generously support the work of the church as Christ builds His kingdom on earth.
Passages for Further Study
2 Corinthians 8:1–15