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Passage: 1 Chronicles 22-24

On Saturday, May 17, 2014, Yujin wrote,

Only the Lord give you discretion and understanding, and give you charge over Israel, so that you may keep the law of the Lord your God. Then you will prosper, if you are careful to observe the statutes and the ordinances which the Lord commanded Moses concerning Israel. Be strong and courageous, do not fear nor be dismayed (1 Chronicles 22:12-13). 

Notice that David's instruction to Solomon was also a prayer and wish: "Only the Lord give you discretion and understanding." Where does discretion and understanding come from? It comes from the Lord. Solomon would later write,

For the Lord gives wisdom;
from his mouth come knowledge and understanding (Proverbs 2:9).

Perhaps David was thinking back to his own history of folly, particularly his adultery with Bathsheba and his murdering of her husband, Uriah the Hittite. Perhaps he thought about how little he trusted in the LORD when he was fleeing from Saul, even relying on human devices like lies and trickery to save himself. David understood that he desperately needed God's wisdom, discretion and understanding. Thus, he writes in the Psalms,

Give me understanding, so that I may keep your law
    and obey it with all my heart (Psalm 119:34).

Your hands made me and formed me;
    give me understanding to learn your commands (Psalm 119:73).

Direct my footsteps according to your word;
    let no sin rule over me (Psalm 119:133).

David had a great project for Solomon to do, namely, building the House of God and ruling over the people of God. David had made all the preparations for the Temple, and He had fought many battles in order to turn over a stable, peaceful and prosperous kingdom to his son. Yet, David understood better than anyone that all of this could be lost if Solomon forgot the one most important thing. Nothing was so important for Solomon to remember and to follow as this one central truth: to obey the Law of God. 

Thus, David's counsel to his son was two-fold. First, it was to trust in the Lord, whereby He was to seek discretion and understanding from the Lord. Thus, Solomon would need to stay humble, prayerful and utterly dependent on God. Second, it was to obey the Lord, whereby He was to diligently learn the Law of God and put it into practice. Thus, Solomon had to make God's Word the central priority of His life and rule. 

By trusting and obeying the Lord Solomon would be acknowledging and declaring the sovereignty and providence of God. It would not be easy. That was why David also counseled,

Be strong and courageous, do not fear nor be dismayed.

Friends, how easy it is for us to simply trust our gut instincts or else to take counsel from our closest friends. When we have counsel from elders, we are even more assured of what to do. Yet, the Lord is pleased when we consider His counsel and when we put His counsel above all else. For when we seek and exalt His counsel, we are seeking and exalting His Name, acknowledging His sovereignty and confessing our utter dependence upon His providence. 

Let us, therefore, exalt the Name of our God. Let us inquire of Him in all things. Let us follow the counsel of His Word above all else. Let us make this our regular and constant practice, so that whatever and everything we do will be to the glory of God.

Passage: 1 Chronicles 22-24

On Friday, June 7, 2013, Fernando wrote,

1 chronicles 24: 7

The first lot fell to Jehoiarib

I have always read “lot” as a ‘throw of the dice.’ I think it I do because of my intrigue that God used such a ‘short straw’ method of assigning duties; verses like these have set the stage:

Proverb 16:33, The lot is cast into the lap, But its every decision is from the LORD

“Goral” in Hebrew, is used more widely than this idea. It would be more correct to read the word by itself, “lot.” Such as “your lot in life” or “he won the whole lot,” in other words reading “lot” is simply to mean a portion to be received.

I know, this isn’t a great revelation, but it has helped me to separate the dice throwing from the allotted (there’s that word again) portion and seeing passages more clear.

Certain passages need not to imply a throw of the dice, but again the focus in many passages is not in the means but the results and their duties; in fact several times this is used without ‘shalak’ – to throw.

Passage: 1 Chronicles 22-24

On Friday, May 17, 2013, Yujin wrote,

In 1 Chronicles 24 we have laid out by King David the 24 priestly divisions that would serve in the Temple. Each of these 24 divisions consisted of 6 priestly families. Each priestly division served one week, with each family in the division serving one day of the week, and all six families serving together on the Sabbath (i.e. the seventh day). Every Sabbath, at the completion of the service, there would be a changeover to the next division. Since there were 24 priestly divisions, every division served at least twice every year.

What David insituted here remained in place until the exile (c. AD 586 B.C.), when the Temple was destroyed by Babylon, and then was reestablished some seventy years later when the Temple was rebuilt under Ezra, and this lasted until 70 A.D., when the Temple was again destroyed by Rome.

Now, knowing this background may help us to understand what is going on in Luke 1, where we are told of the announcement of the birth of John the Baptist to Zechariah:

In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zacharias, of the division of Abijah; and he had a wife from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth... Now it happened that while he was performing his priestly service before God in the appointed order of his division, according to the custom of the priestly office, he was chosen by lot to enter the temple of the Lord and burn incense (Luke 1:5,8-9).

Zechariah was a priest of the division of Abijah. If we look back to 1 Chronicles 24:10, we discover that Abijah was the eighth priestly division (of the 24 priestly divisions) that served in the Temple. He was being faithful to do his duty according to the Law of Moses. This is consistent with how he is characterized in the Gospel:

They (i.e. Zacharias and Elizabeth) were both righteous in the sight of God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and requirements of the Lord (Luke 1:6).

Remember, the priests were descendants of Aaron, who was one of the sons of Levi. Even though all of the Levites were chosen by God to minister before Him, only the Aaronic priests were allowed to handle the holy articles and offer the sacrifices to make atonement for the people. 

A family tree of Levi may help give a little perspective on where Aaron (priestly line) fits. Click here.

Friends, why is this historical background important? I believe there are at least two reasons. First, it reminds us that these biblical accounts are not based in fable but in fact.

Second, the historical background provides us with mental hooks to help us both remember and understand, as well as appreciate, all great things that God did for His people. It also helps bring together the sometimes hodge podge of disparate events that span thousands of years. 

Just as an aside, this benefit has been seen in the recent resurgence of classical education, which emphasizes grammar, logic and rhetoric, where the "grammar stage" consists of lots of memorization, a recognition that before one can process, evaluate and apply information, one must first observe and internalize a lot of it.

This is also the basis for proper biblical interpretation. Before one discovers what a text means or how to apply a text, one must fully know what a text says. Thus, thorough observation must precede interpretation, and careful interpretation must precede application. 

This is why I encourage a daily reading of the Bible and an annual reading through of the entire Bible. When we do this, we are a approaching a thorough observation. When you fixate on one text, or even one book, without understanding the whole testimony of the Bible, then you may misinterpet that text, which will lead to a misapplication of that text. 

This is also why I discourage people from memorizing just individual verses from the Bible. Every verse has a context, and ripping it out of that context just to memorize it because it "sounds cool" is idolizing the words and failing to honor God by properly understanding the teaching that surrounds it. Instead, while it takes a little more effort, I  encourage people to at least memorize a chapter at a time, and even better, a whole book. Then you will be much less likely to misunderstand any given verse in that book.

Passage: 1 Chronicles 22-24

On Thursday, May 17, 2012, Fernando wrote,
1 chronicles 22
11 “Now, my son, the Lord be with you, so that you may succeed in building the house
19 Now set your mind and heart to seek the Lord your God. Arise and build the sanctuary

The lord was with Solomon. But Solomon was also instructed to seek the Lord. Written to Christians, the book of James gives similar instructions:

James 4:8 come close to God and he will come close to you.

God is everywhere...

Psalm 139:7 Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence

And especially as he lives in his believers...

1 corinthians 3:16 Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you?

Even if God is with us and is everywhere there is still a seeking after him that we should do TO abide in him

John 15:4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.

The NIV though I think captures the spirit of these messages: Remain in me, and I will remain in you.

God is everywhere. But even more so for those whom he has claimed, even more so for those who obey him. This idea of 'location,' such as he is everywhere, only paints a picture. When we die we don't go to a location called heaven, we enter a condition called heaven. This condition of being or abiding or relating to God is unveiled at death, the kingdom is unveiled but the kingdom is with us and in us.

Where his Kingdom is, power is. For Solomon, his instruction was 'Be with the Lord and succeed; set your mind to God arise and build.' We first must have our mind and purposes with God, we then should move where God would have us go.

Solomon did not choose where God would act, he went where God said he would act; God was with him and he remained with God by 'rising and building.'

Now if only we could receive such revelation...

We have!
Matthew 28:18
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in2 the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Set your mission to build God's temple as Solomon. Be with God, as Solomon; and you will be abiding as if in heaven.

Passage: 1 Chronicles 22-24

On Thursday, May 17, 2012 (Last Updated on 5/17/2013), Yujin wrote,

Friends, in 1 Chronicles 22:18 David counsels his son Solomon, "Now set your heart and your soul to seek the LORD your God."

Of all things that this greatest of kings would pass on to his son and successor, he highlights this one thing, to seek the LORD with all his heart.

Jesus, the King of kings and Lord of lords, also taught the same thing: "Seek first God's kingdom and righteousness" (Matthew 6:33).

I am reminded of my responsibility to spiritually parent my daughter Sophia so that she will seek the LORD with all her heart. There are really only two commands in the New Testament specific to parents raising their children:

Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. (Ephesians 6:4 TNIV; cf. Colossians 3:21)

We are commanded (1) not to exasperate (or provoke) our children, and (2) to bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. Actually, these two commands are set in contrast, so that we should understand the commands as one command: Rather than exasperating our children, we are to INSTEAD bring them up in the way of the Lord. 

What can we learn from this? Our current obsession with getting our kids in the "best" schools, getting them to learn musical instruments, having them play all kinds of sports, and supplying them with all manner of educational and other toys may be just what we should not be doing. We may be "exasperating" our kids with everything but the one thing that God commands ought to be their focus and ours, namely, the training and instruction of the Lord. In other words, when we fill the lives of our kids with all manner of "other" preoccupations, we are inadvertently adding distractions from the main thing. Our adult Christian life is full of distractions as it is, but should we be passing this distracted life now to our children? 

There is only one measure of good parenting in the Scriptures, and that is the bringing up of our children in the training and instruction of the Lord. By filling our kids' lives with all manner of activities, even excessive educational pursuits, we may be doing more spiritual harm than good. 

I'm speaking particularly to the parents among us. I know that you want what is best for your children, as I do. So I encourage you to stop and reflect with a vision that transcends success as it is measured in this earthly life. Are you teaching your children to prioritize earthly values over heavenly ones? Are you immersing your kids in earthly pursuits, which the Bible repeatedly says are passing away, rather than emphasizing the things that endure forever. 

Now, to those of you that have not brought such distractions into your kids' lives, I advise you not to be too smug. Even though you are not filling your kids' lives with distractions, are you givng that much attention to bringing them up in the training and instruction of the Lord? We are responsible to model and teach spiritual priorities to our children. Are you daily in God's Word? Do you pray diligently? Are you proclaiming the Gospel in your work places? Are you showing love to fellow believers by ministering to their needs? Are you loving your wife as Christ loved the church? Are you thinking of creative ways to teach the moral and spiritual lessons of the Bible to your kids?

It is not so much that we give less attention to our kids, but we need to give the right kind of attention, so that their lives are not directed toward the pursuit of worldly things but to following the Lord with all their hearts.

Parents, I pray that you will not be offended by this but that you will at least engage in a dialogue with me, a fellow parent, who desires to do God's will in the bringing up of my child. 

Passage: 1 Chronicles 22-24

On Wednesday, May 18, 2011, Unmi wrote,
David made elaborate preparations for the Temple.  He drew up the plans (as instructed by the Holy Spirit), designated the site on which the temple was to be built, gathered the raw material and the skilled personnel to build it, separated the Levites and priests into divisions and assigned specific roles for everyone and even designated the exact weight of gold or silver that was to be used in making the temple articles.

 As I read about this, I thought about all the time and effort I spend in planning things in my life, whether it is a family vacation or making a big purchase such as a house or new car or even in other minor things in my life.  I admit I spend quite a bit of time on researching and carefully planning every minute detail. But all of these are for my personal gain. What about God? Do I expend the same amount of energy and attention to detail when it concerns the work of the LORD? What if the outcome or end product will not be seen in my lifetime?  Many missionaries spend years of their life without necessarily seeing the fruits of their labor, they are planting seeds for a harvest that may not come about in their lifetime. Moses spent 40 years in the wilderness but was not able to step his feet onto the Promised Land.  David spent the last years of his life making plans for a Temple that he would not see. In whatever role the Lord has for us in his Kingdom work, let us do it faithfully and diligently. 

Passage: 1 Chronicles 22-24

On Tuesday, May 17, 2011, Yujin wrote,
Friends, in 1 Chronicles 22:18 David counsels his son Solomon, "Now set your heart and your soul to seek the LORD your God."

Of all things that this greatest of kings would pass on to his son and successor, he highlights this one thing, to seek the LORD with all his heart. Jesus, the King of kings and Lord of lords, also taught the same thing: "Seek first God's kingdom and righteousness" (Matthew 6:33).

I am reminded of my responsibility to spiritually parent my daughter Sophia so that she will seek the LORD with all her heart. Our lives are filled with things to keep us busy, but only one thing is important. Let us not forget this one thing, this main thing. And let us remember to faithfully pass it on to the next generation by our words and our example.

Passage: 1 Chronicles 22-24

On Tuesday, May 17, 2011, Stephen wrote,

"..the house to be built for the LORD should be of great magnificence and fame and splendor in the sight of all the nations."

 Becoming a king or wrodly success was not David's desire. His heart was always after his God. His interest, attention, resources, and everything that he was and had was focused on the Lord. I reflect on my life today to see where my heart has been. My source of joy has not been in the Lord but rather in what I have or can have financially and wordly success. I pray for myself and all of you that God will put the desire of our hearts in accordance with His will which is good in His sight.

Passage: 1 Chronicles 22-24

On Thursday, May 6, 2010 (Last Updated on 5/17/2013), Yujin wrote,

Only the LORD give you discretion and understanding, and give you charge over Israel, so that you may keep the law of the LORD your God. Then you will prosper, if you are careful to observe the statutes and the ordinances which the LORD commanded Moses concerning Israel. Be strong and courageous, do not fear nor be dismayed (1 Chronicles 22:12-13).

David is giving Solomon the charge to build the House of God, the first Temple. Notice that David's emphasis is not the details for temple-building but rather obedience to the Law of God. Notice also that in this Age of Law, prosperity and blessings are directly linked to adherance to the Law. And we will discover that to the degree that Solomon adheres to the Law of Moses, he prospers, and to the extent that he does not, he sets the stage for judgment and curses. Yet, it is important for us to understand that we do not live any longer in the Age of Law, but we live in the Age of Grace. We are no longer to adhere to the Law of Moses, but we are to adhere to the Law of Christ. The temporal blessings and cursings associated with the Law of Moses no longer apply to us; however, the principles at the heart of the Law of Christ look forward to the judgment seat of Christ, where rewards or no rewards are distributed according to what is done on earth.

Interestingly, as I read 1 Chronicles 23, I notice that the whole incident involving Amnon, Absalom, and Adonijah, which involved rape, murder, usurpation, and treason, has been totally excluded. Thus, the Chronicler seems to focus on the positive highlights of David's reign.

In Chapter 24 we learn that David established an extensive order for the worship of God led by the Levitical priesthood. And many of the Psalms that they led the nation in singing were composed by David. Through this we get further insight into God's designation of David as "a man after His own heart."