We have to keep reminding ourselves that Chronicles was written from the point of view of teaching how to establish the things of God according to God’s will and ways and not man’s. Do we seek His direction as fervently and eagerly for the “good” things to the same degree we do in times of hardship, trial, or distress? Just because something seems good and right and logical doesn’t mean we should pursue it without first seeking God’s approval because God has a plan not just for each of us individually, but from one generation to the next. The spiritual legacy that we hand down to the next generation is actually based on how well we use the things of God according to His will and ways rather than our own and often an exercise in submitting to God’s schedule and requirements rather than our own.
Read verse 1
Q: Who is missing from this list whom you’d normally expect to see, especially a meeting which finalizes the plans for the temple? Why are they absent?
A: The priests and Levites. Just because a temple is going to be built does not mean their normal duties cease. They would continue in the Tabernacle and before the Ark of the Covenant all the time the temple is being built. David is reinforcing to the priests and Levites their first and foremost duty to serve and worship God, and not to be distracted by a building program, as well as teaching the rest that they have a responsibility to ensure that “normal” worship activities continue unabated.
Application: What is wrong with putting ministry activities on hold while executing a large undertaking of some type? What are the REAL priorities for ministry? Have you known churches or organizations where things like building programs suck all the resources and attention from everything else?
Read verses 2-7
Observation: While studying this passage, whenever reference is made in any way to the temple, also think of it in the context of 1 Corinthians 6:19, “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?”
Q: What are the first two descriptions David gives of the temple? What is the deeper spiritual significance?
“a permanent home for the ark of the covenant of the Lord” – The temple is to be the dwelling place of God’s Word.
“the footstool of our God” – The temple was to be the very dwelling place of the presence of God.
Point: These are the same qualities which we, as His temple, are to attain to. David doesn’t begin with “It will be a great place to do the sacrifices”, he begins with characteristics which reflect beginning with a right heart.
Q: How is David explaining God’s calling on his life in the context of the temple to come?
A: His elevation and success did not come about by the will of man or his own ambition, but by the power and will of God. So, too, God’s intervention to choose how and when and by whom the temple will be built is taking it out of man’s hands. Just as David was not qualified for the job, neither in reality is Solomon; this is really the work of the Lord.
Q: Why does the fact that Solomon’s mother is Bathsheba make God’s using him so remarkable?
A: Arguably David’s greatest personal sin came about with Bathsheba. It’s an amazing testimony to God’s grace that something man began under such sinful circumstances can be redeemed and used by God for His glory and will.
Q: How does God’s promise in v.6 that Solomon will “be a son to Me, and I will be a father to Him” reflect on Solomon as a type of the Messiah to come?
A: Solomon is in the role of both the founder and the foundation of the temple, just as Christ will be not only of the church as God’s temple, but of the Gospel itself.
Q: But what are the conditions which must be met?
A: Obedience to God’s Word. (v.7)
“if he resolutely performs my commandments”
“if he resolutely performs...My ordinances”
Point: The things of God, no matter how grandiose or well-intentioned, are worthless if not founded on and maintained in accordance with the Word of God.
Application: Do you see that everyone involved in a major project or activity for the Lord must first and foremost maintain their commitment to God’s Word? Have you known someone that believes “serving” exempts them because they’re too busy? Have you known Christian undertakings to distract participants from their normal prayer life, Bible study, fellowship, witnessing, etc? How should this be handled?
Read verse 8
Q: What is David’s very first challenge to all the people as he explains the building program?
A: To first and foremost remain faithful to God’s Word.
Point: The temple, like most “things” of God, is only useful when employed in concert with a life properly committed to the right things to begin with.
Q: What is the real legacy David is speaking of regarding their children? Is it really just the land?
A: The inheritance of the land is the END result of living a rightly committed life to God’s Word. It’s not about passing on the temple or the land to the next generation, but the spiritual lessons which enables each generation to properly use and enjoy the things of God. They only get the land if they learn to be completely obedient to God’s Word.
Application: What’s wrong with the thinking that everything will be “better” or “made right” once the job is completed? What does this reveal about their life in the mean time?
Read verses 9-10
Q: What is David’s personal challenge to Solomon? What does David mean when he states that Solomon should “know” God?
A: Basically it’s the same challenge as to the people at large, to remain faithful to God’s Word from the mind and heart. To “know” God in this sense is not to obtain head knowledge, but to enter into a personal relationship, to seek to fulfill what was stated in v.6 of having a father-son relationship with God.
Q: What is significant about the term David employs in v.10 to describe the temple?
A: “Sanctuary” has been used in the Bible to also describe the land of Israel, the tabernacle, and God’s holy habitation in heaven as well as the temple. It’s a term that embraces the WHOLE facility, both the inner chambers and the outer courts as a place of worshiping the presence of God. Again, it’s teaching that the temple is much more than just a building.
Read verses 11 & 19
Q: In the context of the discussion thus far, why is it important to emphasize that the plans did not originate with David?
A: This did not come about as the result of human will, ambition, or pride, but by the direction of God.
Application: How confident are you that the things you’re involved in are born and directed of God’s will rather than yours or another’s? Have you ever rushed headlong into a project because it sounded so good you didn’t think it needed a lot of prayer to seek God’s approval?
Q: How does David having such detailed plans for the temple speak of Him as a type of the Messiah?
A: Jesus possesses and carries out the master plan of how we as His temple are constructed and function. The individual elements of David’s earthly temple coming together to form the sanctuary as a whole is also a teaching of our roles and gifts as applied to the building up of the body under Christ its head.
Q: What is the nature of David’s first encouragement to Solomon?
A: First and foremost that God is with him and can be depended on to see the whole project through to its successful completion. All the spiritual resources Solomon needs are in place.
Q: What is the nature of David’s second encouragement?
A: That the priests and Levites have been properly organized for the work, and all of the officials and people are ready and available to assist. All the earthly resources Solomon needs are in place.
Q: 29:1 might sound like a put-down, but why is it actually an encouragement to everyone present?
A: David is instilling in everyone from highest to lowest the fact that they are all responsible together. God’s work has to be accomplished by everyone regardless of their individual standing for the whole to be completed. It’s summarized in the statement, “the temple is not for man, but for the Lord God.”
Point: Special projects are, in fact, to be carried out exactly like any other ministry, each one contributing according to their gifts and calling.
Read verses 2-5
Q: What is the nature of this inventory of raw materials for the temple?
A: These are the things which David has personally acquired and/or contributed.
Q: What might be significant about the fact that David did not lead off the discussion with this information?
A: David was careful to lay the foundation that none of this is coming about as the result of man’s will or ambition, but according to God’s will and plan alone. By establishing this fact first, he defuses the possibility of looking at David the man’s accomplishments and instead sees them as an extension of what God has been doing.
Q: Why does David phrase his challenge for others to give voluntarily to the temple as “Who then is willing to consecrate himself this day to the Lord”?
A: Offerings and sacrifices were the END of the process, not the beginning. In order to come before the Lord and present an offering, one had to undergo the physical and spiritual process of making sure one was spiritually capable of entering into the presence of God and THEN presenting the offering or sacrifice. No one could “buy” their membership into the temple, but had to be walking right with God to begin with. Material giving was an outward sign of the quality of their inward spiritual condition. (David didn’t accept donations unless the heart was right!)
Application: How does the following apply to this situation?
A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which amount to a cent.Calling His disciples to Him, He said to them, “Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the contributors to the treasury; for they all put in out of their surplus, but she, out of her poverty, put in all she owned, all she had to live on.”
— Mark 12:42-44
Read verses 6-9
Q: What is the evidence of their right, spiritual condition?
A: “They had offered so willingly”. Every aspect of this project was supported by every level, not just by the leader, not just by a few, but by the whole of God’s people.
Q: How did David induce the right results?
A: By living what he preached. He led by example not just as their king, but in his personal life as well.
Q: What promises did David make if they would participate?
A: Trick question: None. He was someone following God’s will and calling, asking others to join in that same way. The reward they received was the result of their personal obedience. There were not “additional” incentives.
Read verses 10-16
Q: What is David’s initial affirmation in this prayer that ties the whole of this teaching together?
A: David begins by acknowledging and affirming God’s sovereignty, that it has all come about as a result of HIS will and not man’s.
“Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty” (v.11)
“Yours is the dominion” (v.11)
“Yourself as head over all” (v.11)
“You rule over all” (v.12)
“It lies in Your hand” (v.12)
“For all things come from You” (v.14)
“It is from Your hand” (v.16)
Point: Just as the New Testament teaching that the temple is now composed of individual members of the same body of Christ, united under Him as the head, so David is expressing the Old Testament equivalent.
Q: What is the nature of David’s affirmation concerning the very things they have all voluntarily provided to the project?
A: They weren’t actually their own to begin with, but God’s.
“Yours...is...everything that is in the heavens and the earth” (v.11)
“Both riches and honor come from You” (v.12)
“For all things come from You, and from Your hand we have given You” (v.14)
“All this abundance that we have provided to build You a house...is from Your hand, and all is Yours” (v.16)
Application: It’s all about being a good steward with that which God has entrusted to us, not what we do with “our” possessions and wealth, or how to get more.
Read verses 17-19
Q: How is this entire process characterized in v.17?
A: It’s God’s test of their obedience and faithfulness from a willing heart.
Q: How does David want God to pay them back for their giving? Does David ask that they be blessed materially in return for what they’ve done?
A: David asks that the quality of their heart, which at the moment is perfectly aligned with God, be ever maintained. (v.18)
Point: Spiritual rewards are more valuable than material because they don’t fade and last into the life to come. David’s request is opposite what the proponents of the Prosperity Gospel proclaim.
Q: What are the qualities David most covets for Solomon in all of this?
A: Obedience to God’s Word. Obedience breeds a deeper personal relationship with God, the most valuable thing one can bring into God’s temple. (v.19)
Read verses 20-22
Q: What does David do to establish the proper tone and priority of this great project?
A: He leads them in worship. They don’t have to wait for the temple to engage in worship, they need to enter the new temple doing everything they normally do. The temple isn’t supposed to be something “new”, but merely carrying on what transpires in their lives every day. They’re not waiting for the completion of the project to being living rightly, but will open the doors already having put it into practice each and every day leading up to it.
The following are the terms used to describe the temple in these verses. Discuss how they apply to us today as the living temple of God in Christ:
“A permanent home for the ark of the covenant of the lord” (28:2)
“The footstool of our God” (28:2)
“A house for My name” (28:3)