Monthly Archives: July 2019

David, Desire and Designs

1 Chronicles 23-27 details the event of King David towards the end of his life. David was a young shepherd who made his “coming out” by taking on the Philistine giant Goliath. He was the youngest son of Jesse and of the line of Judah. David was called a “man after God’s own heart.” David was not a perfect man, but was a repentant man. Psalm 51 tells of his great desire to be right with the LORD. King David’s life was anything but simple and peaceful. War seemed to be the motif that surrounded him. He fought against the enemies of Israel, with his children, with giants [Philistines] and with the reigning King – King Saul. In these last chapters that conclude King David’s life, we find that he still has the DESIRE to serve and honor God. David had to learn so valuable lessons. One of those lessons was captured for us in 1 Chronicles 21, where he arrogantly requested that Joab perform a census. The taking of the census itself was not bad, but the prideful arrogance of the king to glory in the size and number of Israel caused it to be bad. Joab performed the census, and reported the findings to David. Israel was 1,570,000 strong. We may not be impressed with that number, but for a small land mass of Israel, that was a strong amount of people. The outcome of David’s arrogant pride was accounted for by God – because the census displeased God, He offered one of three options as punishment. [21:9-13] David could have 3 years of famine, 3 months of subjection to his enemies or 3 days of pestilence which would cause death angel to hover over Israel. David again admits that he was the one who had sinned, and asked God to be merciful. King David elected to take the 3 days of death, and 70,000 people died. God was about to destroy Jerusalem, but had compassion on the people and said “it is enough” to the angel of death. [1 Chrono 21:14-15] David and the Elders displayed a great brokenness and humility before God, which then God had compassion on them and stayed the hand of death. As I was reading this all I could think of was the 70,000 that died because of King David’s arrogance and pride. It was the leader that greatly sinned; the story written by Lord Alfred Tennison the “Charge of the Light Brigade.” The men , 600 of them marched into a valley and we all killed. The men – soldiers followed their commanders orders and payed with their lives. Here David sinned and caused 70,000 to die. Now I don’t know or begin to understand the why of it all, for 70,000 to die because of someone else’s sin except that Jesus – innocent was delivered over on our behalf and crucified for our sins. The innocent die for the guilty happens in all three cases. I could ask why innocent have to bear the brunt of sinful men; but then God’s ways are not our ways, His thoughts not our thoughts. Sin has always been a problem and destroyer of the innocent. In our world today, many lament over the guilty, depraved men and women destroying lives for their own pleasure and benefit.

David came back to the LORD after the death of these men. He repented and was restored to fellowship with God. It was after this great sin aftermath that King David desired to honor and glorify God with a “House” for the Ark of the Covenant. He was allowed to design, develop and raise the resources for the building of the Temple, but not allowed to build the building. The reason was that David had blood on his hands. He was a man of war. He also had innocent Uriah killed, and as we just saw 70,000 died because of him.  Solomon will be the next king, from all of David’s children. How ironic that from an adulterous relationship with Bathsheba, the next king of Israel would come.

David was allowed to develop designs of how the Temple would look and was also the architect of how the Temple worship would function. This is a huge shift for the people of Israel and God. No longer would the Temple be a temporary place, but a fixture in the land. King David also put forth how worship would be conducted, again changing the way wilderness worship previously was done. David lived to be 70 years old. He reigned over all of Israel for 40 years. He designed and desired to bring great glory though a House of God, but never saw it completed. Talk about planting a tree he would never sit under the shade of!

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A House For the LORD

A House for the Lord from 1 Chronicles 13-17
Our passage reading begins with David trying to bring the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem. While he probably thought he was doing a good thing – he was doing it the wrong way. Often in our own lives we can attempt to do the good work of ministry, only to find out we should have consulted with the LORD on how to get it done. The incident that stops the whole show is when the oxen stumble and Uzza reaches out to steady the cart. God strikes him dead and then King David gets angry at the anger of the LORD. Needless, to say the Ark winds up staying three months with Obed-Odem and the blessings of the LORD are poured out there instead of Jerusalem. There is a bit of mysticism with the Ark of the Covenant – now I’m not trying to go Indiana Jones on you, but the Blessings that seemed to accompany anyone who had the Ark in their possession seems odd at best. The exception is when the Philistines capture the Ark [thinking that they have Israel’s god] and are “blessed with hemorrhoids. I found it quite interesting that the place from which the Ark had been left all the days of King Saul was in Kiriath-jearim. By now you are saying where? The place Kiriath-jeraim was the location in Numbers 13/14 where Israel was to crossover the first time into the Promised Land. Very Interesting, could this mean that we must sometimes have to go backwards to the point of our last failure/disobedience in order to start fresh? Probably so!
The Ark of the Covenant appears to have an unknown power about it; even the anger of the LORD if not properly handled. The Israelites felt there was a mystical power with it; they took the Ark before them before crossing the Jordan River and into battles. There is a great identity of the Ark and the Presence of God.
David has two battles against the Philistines which he ensures that God is with him in the battles – God affirms the how of the attack as well as the victory for David. The fear of King David grows throughout the land. King David attempts a second movement of the Ark. This time with great detail and caution, involving the Levites, priests and seems like just anyone else to ensure proper procedures are followed. We have covered the disgruntled Michal with David’s dancing and subsequent barrenness.
There is a great time of worship of the people, even King David is benevolent; he gives everyone a loaf of bread, raisin cake and portion of meat.
King David has an established unified throne with Judah and Israel. He lives in a fine house of Lebanon cedar. David had created a Tent for the Ark of the Covenant but appears to see the House of God as insufficient when compared to his house. He talks to Nathan about wanting to build the LORD a house. Nathan says go ahead. But the LORD comes to Nathan in a dream and says – Nope – not my way. Interesting that David desires to build a House for the LORD; and the LORD God turns around and establishes the HOUSE OF DAVID and the Throne of David as a perpetual eternal throne. The Covenant that God makes with David is an “unequaled covenant.” By this I mean that God and David are not equal. Just when David thought he could do good FOR God; God does more for David.
In this Davidic Covenant we have the establishing of Solomon to build the great Solomon’s Temple to the LORD, but also have the throne of David, the LION OF JUDAH prophecy. David was covenanted by GOD that there would not cease to be an heir of David on the throne of Judah. Ultimately, this prophecy is fulfilled in Jesus Christ. Jesus was born of the tribe of Judah, and will one day be the LION of Judah, sitting on David’s established throne pictured here.
Speechless is what I would be. But I think we must remember that GOD is the initiator of the Covenant relationship. We are blessed beyond measure with God’s love towards us. We do not DO to receive the blessing; but are merely recipients of God’s blessing through faith in Jesus Christ. Just when we think we can honor God and bless Him; He blesses us more. Think now on John 14:1-6 and the House of God prepared for those who love Him.

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