Then David said, This is the house of the LORD God, and this is the altar of the burnt offering for Israel.
1 Chronicles 22:5
I. Consider the motive which set David to work in preparing for the building of the Temple. This motive was thankfulness for a great mercy. It was on the threshing-floor of Araunah the Jebusite, in a moment of deep thankfulness to God for His mercy in arresting the pestilence, that David resolved upon building the Temple as a thank-offering. "This," he exclaimed, "is the altar of the Lord God; this is the altar of the burnt-offering for Israel."
II. Observe the high estimate David had formed of what he had set himself to do. His feeling was that if anything were to be attempted by him in the service of God, it must be, so far as he could make it, on a splendid scale. If anything is fatal to greatness in human endeavour, in act, in work, in character, it is a stunted estimate of what we have to do. Our only chance lies in forming a high estimate of what we have to be or to do, and in keeping that estimate well before us.
III. But the great distinction of David's work of preparation for the Temple is its unselfishness. David did not think of the Temple as having to be built either for his own glory or Solomon's glory, but for the glory of God. If it was to be built for God's glory, the important thing was that it should be built when and as it could be built; it did not matter much by whom, if only it should be built for God's glory. To have had a hand in building it, however small, was a privilege and a joy which carried with it its own reward.
IV. The details of David's contribution to the future Temple are not recorded for nothing in the Bible. They point to a great truth: the preciousness of work unrecognised by man, unrewarded here; they suggest that in this life of shadows labour and the credit for labour do not always go hand in hand. (1) David's example at the close of his life suggests to all of us the duty of preparing, so far as we may, for the building up of the house of God in the world after we ourselves have gone. (2) David's example should encourage all those who are tempted to think that life is a failure because they can only prepare for a work which will be completed by some one else. The Divine Son of David never forgets those who have laboured to promote His cause and His kingdom.
H. P. Liddon, Penny Pulpit, No. 1164 (see also Christian World Pulpit, vol. xxx., p. 88).
1 Chronicles 22:7-8A fine and delicate sense of the becoming hindered David from building the Temple. A voice within him had whispered, "No: however right and praiseworthy the idea, you are hardly the man to carry it out. Your hands are too stained with blood." When the Divine word came, simply interdicting, it awoke in him at once a Divine perception of the reason and reasonableness of it; and the God-taught, God-chastened spirit within him made him see at once why the work of enshrining the ark, the ark of the holy and awful presence, must not be his.
I. Consider the remarkable self-restraint displayed by David. He who had lived much in camps and on the battlefield, whose will was law through the length and breadth of the land—he could stay himself from prosecuting his darling scheme with the thought of incongruity.
II. (1) The self-restraint of David reveals the intense reality which God was to him, as well as the impression which he had of the character of God. How pure and lofty would be his conception of the almighty Ruler when it struck him as altogether inappropriate and inconsistent that a shrine should be built for Him by one who had been engaged, however patriotically and for the interests of his country, in shedding much human blood. (2) The picture indicates that, although a man of war from his youth, David had never been proud of fighting. He had had dreams perhaps in his father's fields of quite another sort of career for himself, and could see something far more attractive and desirable; it was not his ideal life; but it was what his lot had rendered inevitable for him and incumbent on him; it was what he had to do, and he did it. (3) Then, once more, observe revealed here the remarkable preservation of David's higher sensibilities. Neither the tumult and strife of years of warfare, nor the elation of successes gained by bow and spear, had prevailed to coarsen him, to render him gross and dull of soul. He emerges from it all, on the contrary, sensitive enough to answer readily to the whispered suggestions of seemliness, to be restrained and turned back upon the threshold of a coveted enterprise by a sense of the becoming. (4) Although precluded from doing what he had purposed and wished to do, he did not, as is the case with many, make that an excuse for doing nothing; did not, therefore, sulkily fold his hands, and decline to see what there was that he might do. (5) Then see how his true thought and noble aim survived him, and survived him to be ultimately realised. The Temple grew and rose at last in all its wonderful splendour, though he was not there to behold it.
S. A. Tipple, Echoes of Spoken Words, p. 251.
References: 1 Chronicles 22:16.—Clergyman's Magazine, vol. xiii., p. 18. 1 Chronicles 22:19.—Ibid., vol. ix., p. 16. 1 Chronicles 26:27.—Homiletic Magazine, vol. viii., p. 131. 1 Chronicles 28:6.—Clergyman's Magazine, vol. x., p. 333.
And David commanded to gather together the strangers that were in the land of Israel; and he set masons to hew wrought stones to build the house of God.
And David prepared iron in abundance for the nails for the doors of the gates, and for the joinings; and brass in abundance without weight;
Also cedar trees in abundance: for the Zidonians and they of Tyre brought much cedar wood to David.
And David said, Solomon my son is young and tender, and the house that is to be builded for the LORD must be exceeding magnifical, of fame and of glory throughout all countries: I will therefore now make preparation for it. So David prepared abundantly before his death.
Then he called for Solomon his son, and charged him to build an house for the LORD God of Israel.
And David said to Solomon, My son, as for me, it was in my mind to build an house unto the name of the LORD my God:
But the word of the LORD came to me, saying, Thou hast shed blood abundantly, and hast made great wars: thou shalt not build an house unto my name, because thou hast shed much blood upon the earth in my sight.
Behold, a son shall be born to thee, who shall be a man of rest; and I will give him rest from all his enemies round about: for his name shall be Solomon, and I will give peace and quietness unto Israel in his days.
He shall build an house for my name; and he shall be my son, and I will be his father; and I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel for ever.
Now, my son, the LORD be with thee; and prosper thou, and build the house of the LORD thy God, as he hath said of thee.
Only the LORD give thee wisdom and understanding, and give thee charge concerning Israel, that thou mayest keep the law of the LORD thy God.
Then shalt thou prosper, if thou takest heed to fulfil the statutes and judgments which the LORD charged Moses with concerning Israel: be strong, and of good courage; dread not, nor be dismayed.
Now, behold, in my trouble I have prepared for the house of the LORD an hundred thousand talents of gold, and a thousand thousand talents of silver; and of brass and iron without weight; for it is in abundance: timber also and stone have I prepared; and thou mayest add thereto.
Moreover there are workmen with thee in abundance, hewers and workers of stone and timber, and all manner of cunning men for every manner of work.
Of the gold, the silver, and the brass, and the iron, there is no number. Arise therefore, and be doing, and the LORD be with thee.
David also commanded all the princes of Israel to help Solomon his son, saying,
Is not the LORD your God with you? and hath he not given you rest on every side? for he hath given the inhabitants of the land into mine hand; and the land is subdued before the LORD, and before his people.
Now set your heart and your soul to seek the LORD your God; arise therefore, and build ye the sanctuary of the LORD God, to bring the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and the holy vessels of God, into the house that is to be built to the name of the LORD.