Our reading today of 1 Chronicles 29 is from a book in the Bible that I realize I have often overlooked and not fully appreciated for its historical significance. Because of where it falls in our Bible, if I am reading through the OT when I run into it, I find myself thinking, “didn’t I just read that?” because of its retelling of some stories from 1 and 2 Samuel and I and 2 Kings.
Since I like history and context in what I’m reading, I thought I’d dig around for a little information to help me understand more as we jump into this last chapter of 1 Chronicles. While 1 Chronicles falls mid-way in our Old Testaments, in most Hebrew Bibles it forms the conclusion as the last book. 1 Chronicles was originally combined with II Chronicles when written in the 5th century BC , and it was written ~ 600 years after the stories it tells. Time wise, that would be like me writing about what happened in the Middle Ages today. During that long period of time, some major things had changed in the world. The fall of Israel, the exile of the Jews, the growth of the Roman Empire and emerging development of the Greeks, and the eventual return of Ezra (believed by many to be the author of Chronicles) and some exiled Jews to rebuild the temple centuries later.
As Chapter 29 starts with verse 1, we are reminded that GOD does not choose people to serve Him as the world chooses, and the tasks He calls us to are great because He is worthy.
“Then King David said to the whole assembly: “My son Solomon, the one whom God has chosen, is young and inexperienced. The task is great, because this palatial structure is not for man but for the Lord God.”
As the chapter goes along, we get some of the details of the temple reviewed which are pretty noteworthy. Like umm….100 metric tons of gold! It makes me think a little more about what the kingdom will be like given what His earthly temple included.
Verses 10-19 are such a beautiful prayer of David in his later years, and we hear fatherly wisdom and child-like humility all at once. In his prayer for his son, he understands what to ask for. Not health, happiness, security, peace, or victories, but what he knows matters most,
v. 19 “And give my son Solomon the wholehearted devotion to keep your commands, statutes and decrees. . .”
The chapter ends retelling the stories of Solomon being made king and his unprecedented level of splendor, and ends with David dying, to sleep with his fathers until the return of Jesus.
I am glad these parts were some of the ones chosen to be retold, and I can see why they were worth the reminder for the Israelites at that time. Despite everything else changing around them, God was sovereign. With or without a temple, God was sovereign. With or without a king, God was sovereign and had a plan to continue King David’s line forever through the coming Messiah. Thousands of years later, David’s prayer and hope is still applicable for all of us.
Questions for Reflection and Discussion
- What changes have you seen in your lifetime? What has changed in the past 2000 years? How do you see a sovereign God over all history?
- David and the people gave generously a great amount of gold, silver, bronze, iron and precious stones for the building of the temple. David said, “But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand.” What has God blessed you with? How will you use it to honor Him?
- David prayed, “Keep these desires and thoughts in the hearts of your people forever, and keep their hearts loyal to you.” What desires and thoughts was he referring to? Are these desires and thoughts in your heart today? Is your heart loyal to God? Are there areas you want to be more loyal to God? How?
- What do you most look forward to in God’s Coming Kingdom?