1Chronicles 28:1 ¶ And David assembled all the princes of Israel, the princes of the tribes, and the captains of the companies that ministered to the king by course, and the captains over the thousands, and captains over the hundreds, and the stewards over all the substance and possession of the king, and of his sons, with the officers, and with the mighty men, and with all the valiant men, unto Jerusalem.
1Chronicles 28:2 Then David the king stood up upon his feet, and said, Hear me, my brethren, and my people: As for me, I had in mine heart to build an house of rest for the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and for the footstool of our God, and had made ready for the building:
1Chronicles 28:3 But God said unto me, Thou shalt not build an house for my name, because thou hast been a man of war, and hast shed blood.
David called for all the leaders in Israel, including the recognized leaders of the tribes, military captains, the king’s stewards, his sons, his mighty men and all the bravest soldiers to gather in Jerusalem. The king stood to address the gathering. David was growing quite weak at this time, and I am sure that is why it was significant to note that he stood to speak to the people. I would imagine that the LORD strengthened him for the task because it was important for the people to know that Solomon was acting in accordance with the wishes of his father as revealed by the LORD.
David told the people of his desire to build a temple to house the ark of the covenant, the place of God’s presence among His people, and how he had prepared to do so. He then explained that God had told him that he could not build a temple for Him because he had shed so much blood in war.
JFB made this observation on “the footstool of God” – “God seated between the cherubim, at the two extremities of the ark, might be said to be enthroned in His glory, and the coverlet of the ark to be His footstool.”
1Chronicles 28:4 Howbeit the LORD God of Israel chose me before all the house of my father to be king over Israel for ever: for he hath chosen Judah to be the ruler; and of the house of Judah, the house of my father; and among the sons of my father he liked me to make me king over all Israel:
1Chronicles 28:5 And of all my sons, (for the LORD hath given me many sons,) he hath chosen Solomon my son to sit upon the throne of the kingdom of the LORD over Israel.
1Chronicles 28:6 And he said unto me, Solomon thy son, he shall build my house and my courts: for I have chosen him to be my son, and I will be his father.
1Chronicles 28:7 Moreover I will establish his kingdom for ever, if he be constant to do my commandments and my judgments, as at this day.
David pointed out that the LORD had chosen him among all his brothers to be king over Israel forever. He had designated the tribe of Judah as the ruling tribe and the house of Jesse as the ruling family. He went on to explain that just as the LORD had chosen him among his brothers, He had chosen Solomon among all his brothers to be the next king of Israel. This public declaration that God had chosen Solomon as David’s successor is pretty significant when one considers how Adonijah tried to thwart God’s will by attempting to seize the throne right before David died. (See 1Kings 1-2.)
I think it is significant to note that the LORD goes to great lengths throughout scripture to let us know that He is not to be boxed in with our expectations. It was expected that the oldest son would inherit the ruling position, be it in family or in royal succession. David explains that God’s choices are according to His own will and purposes, and scripture is very clear in telling us that His reasoning and actions are far beyond our understanding.
Isaiah 55:8–9 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
The LORD had told David that Solomon would build a house for the LORD. The LORD God had promised to treat him as His own son and establish his kingdom forever if he would continue to be obedient to His commands and laws.
I couldn’t help but think of how blessed I am to know that I am a joint-heir with Jesus as part of the family of God. My identity as His daughter is not based on my works, although my works should testify to that identity. My identity is secured by my faith in the LORD Jesus as my Savior and is sealed by the Holy Spirit forever.
Romans 8:16–17 “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ….”
Ephesians 1:13–14 “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.”
1Chronicles 28:8 Now therefore in the sight of all Israel the congregation of the LORD, and in the audience of our God, keep and seek for all the commandments of the LORD your God: that ye may possess this good land, and leave it for an inheritance for your children after you for ever.
Reminding them that God was their witness, David then urged these leaders of Israel to keep and seek to follow all the commandments of the LORD “their” God. If they did, He would ensure that they kept possession of their land so that they could leave it as an inheritance to their descendants forever.
Personally, I am reminded that all I possess as a child of the KING is guaranteed by the seal of the Holy Spirit that became mine once I accepted the gift of salvation offered me in the person of Jesus.
Ephesians 2:8–9 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
1Chronicles 28:9 And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever.
David then turned his address to Solomon. He urged him to know with a surety (from the Hebrew) the God of his father and serve Him with his whole heart and with a desire to please Him—not just out of a sense of duty. He reminded Solomon that the LORD knows what is going on inside of us; He knows our very thoughts. Those who seek after Him will find Him, but He will reject those who forsake Him.
To seek God is to pursue a relationship with Him; it involves worship, diligence and a willingness to ask for His help (all from the Hebrew).
What a relief to know that the LORD knows our thoughts, yet loves us still. There is no use trying to put on a pretense about who you are, because the LORD sees right through to the real you. He knows our weaknesses and wants to help us overcome them. He wants us to be dependent upon Him.
Psalms 55:22 “Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.”
John 15:5 “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.”
2 Corinthians 9:8 “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work….”
Hebrews 11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”
1Chronicles 28:10 Take heed now; for the LORD hath chosen thee to build an house for the sanctuary: be strong, and do it.
David then reminds Solomon that the LORD had chosen him specifically to build a house to be a holy place before the LORD. He urges him to be strong and determined to get it done.
1Chronicles 28:11 ¶ Then David gave to Solomon his son the pattern of the porch, and of the houses thereof, and of the treasuries thereof, and of the upper chambers thereof, and of the inner parlours thereof, and of the place of the mercy seat,
1Chronicles 28:12 And the pattern of all that he had by the spirit, of the courts of the house of the LORD, and of all the chambers round about, of the treasuries of the house of God, and of the treasuries of the dedicated things:
1Chronicles 28:13 Also for the courses of the priests and the Levites, and for all the work of the service of the house of the LORD, and for all the vessels of service in the house of the LORD.
These verses reveal that David gave Solomon a pattern of instructions for building the temple proper and its surrounding areas, its treasuries and service chambers, the courses of the priests and Levites, the work involved in serving there and all the vessels needed for that work.
That pattern was revealed to him by the Holy Spirit, and I believe it is based on the heavenly temple and how it functions. I believe this is one of the keys to gaining understanding in Revelation 4.
1Chronicles 28:14 He gave of gold by weight for things of gold, for all instruments of all manner of service; silver also for all instruments of silver by weight, for all instruments of every kind of service:
1Chronicles 28:15 Even the weight for the candlesticks of gold, and for their lamps of gold, by weight for every candlestick, and for the lamps thereof: and for the candlesticks of silver by weight, both for the candlestick, and also for the lamps thereof, according to the use of every candlestick.
1Chronicles 28:16 And by weight he gave gold for the tables of shewbread, for every table; and likewise silver for the tables of silver:
1Chronicles 28:17 Also pure gold for the fleshhooks, and the bowls, and the cups: and for the golden basons he gave gold by weight for every bason; and likewise silver by weight for every bason of silver:
1Chronicles 28:18 And for the altar of incense refined gold by weight; and gold for the pattern of the chariot of the cherubims, that spread out their wings, and covered the ark of the covenant of the LORD.
1Chronicles 28:19 All this, said David, the LORD made me understand in writing by his hand upon me, even all the works of this pattern.
Though a bit harder to understand in the KJV, other translations clarify that David even specifies the amount of gold and silver to be used in making the vessels needed for service in the temple. This included the candlesticks and their lamps of gold, the candlesticks and their lamps of silver, the tables of gold for the showbread, the tables of silver, the gold for the fleshhooks, bowls and cups, basons of gold, basons of silver, the altar of incense, and the golden chariot and cherubim that spread their wings over the ark.
All of this information concerning the temple and its servants was specified in the detailed instructions the LORD had revealed to David.
The furnishings for the temple were quite different from those of the tabernacle. We will learn more detail about the temple and its furnishings in our study of 2Chronicles.
1Chronicles 28:20 And David said to Solomon his son, Be strong and of good courage, and do it: fear not, nor be dismayed: for the LORD God, even my God, will be with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee, until thou hast finished all the work for the service of the house of the LORD.
Once again David charged his son Solomon using the words that the LORD used to charge Joshua when he inherited the mantle of leadership from Moses.
Joshua 1:9 “Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.”
Though the wording is a bit different, the principle of the preceding verse in Joshua is also part of his charge.
Joshua 1:8 “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.”
David emphasized to Solomon that he was speaking to him from experience as he referenced “the LORD God, even my God.” He knew that as long as he stayed committed to serving the LORD in obedience, he could count on His provision to succeed in accordance with His will.
The beautiful truth is that this principle applies to every child of God today.
1Chronicles 28:21 And, behold, the courses of the priests and the Levites, even they shall be with thee for all the service of the house of God: and there shall be with thee for all manner of workmanship every willing skilful man, for any manner of service: also the princes and all the people will be wholly at thy commandment.
David reminded Solomon that he would have plenty of help when it came to building the temple and setting up ministry there. The 24 courses of priests and Levites would oversee in the services provided, and there were many skilled workmen ready to make what was needed. All the leaders and the people of Israel were his to command.