Category Archives: 1 Chronicles
This is a great chapter to end 1 Chronicles with. The people are willing to give things to God, and a beautiful building is about to be built because of it.
1Ch 29:9 Then the people rejoiced, for that they offered willingly, because with perfect heart they offered willingly to the LORD: and David the king also rejoiced with great joy.
The good part about this is that the people were giving willingly. God doesn’t want coercion. I believe that that is ultimately why Adam and Eve were given a choice in the Garden of Eden. God could have simply shut Satan out and not allowed him to even tempt them. However, God wanted people to make the choice to love Him rather than have a bunch of robots.
Of course, we can certainly get into a debate as to whether or not there really is free will. After all, if God does the future, then He must not be waiting to see what we do.
That debate divides denominations, and I honestly don’t think that I have all of the answers. If you want to talk about it, leave some comments, and I am more than happy to talk about it. However, for right now, let’s get back to 1 Chronicles.
The people were giving willingly. They wanted to help out in this process. Obviously they intended to worship in the Temple someday, but they weren’t just there for the end result. They were putting in some work as well by supplying the raw materials.
All of the things that I just mentioned are ways that we are still able to support Christian ministries today. We can obviously help these things financially like they were doing in this chapter, but we can also give our time or our efforts.
Nevertheless, it goes back to the beginning. If we are going to do any of this stuff, we need to do it willingly. God wants us to do it because we love Him.
There are plenty of jobs that can be overwhelming. Sometimes, we have a lot of pressure put on by our families, teachers, bosses or really any ready for that matter. That can definitely be stressful.
Now, imagine that you are building something for God. That is a lot of pressure because you would want to please Him. After all, as a Christian, you worship God, and you understand that He is the infinite King of the universe. How do you ever build something that would live up to those standards? That is a lot of pressure.
However, in 1 Chronicles 28, David was telling all of the powerful people in Israel that Solomon was going to be the one to build the Temple for God. Now, he has the pressure of trying to build something that will glorify God, and the eyes of all of the most powerful people in Israel were being focused on him.
David must have understood this feeling a little because he offered Solomon some pretty strong encouragement.
1Ch 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.
To basically condense all of that down into one thought, David said that Solomon could do it because God would not leave him. That is a pretty simple thought, but it is a powerful one.
Whenever we end up facing something that feels insurmountable, we don’t need to worry. God is omnipresent. He is everywhere at once, and He is with us. What could we possibly be afraid of?
God made humans pretty intelligent. However, I often marvel at how we do things that we know are wrong. In 1 Chronicles 27, we hear about yet another census that the people of Israel wanted to take.
If they could only remember a few chapters before, that turned out to be a really bad idea. David wanted to count the people, and Joab told him not to. Now the roles were reversed.
1Ch 27:23 But David took not the number of them from twenty years old and under: because the LORD had said he would increase Israel like to the stars of the heavens.
1Ch 27:24 Joab the son of Zeruiah began to number, but he finished not, because there fell wrath for it against Israel; neither was the number put in the account of the chronicles of king David.
That is the inconvenience of having a sin nature. Even though in the earlier chapter they saw that there were bad consequences for doing this, Joab felt like he had to do it again.
Intelligence is not the issue here. With perfect logic, the memory of the bad consequences would certainly stop any person from committing the action because of the consequences. After all, nobody likes to be punished. Any reasonably intelligent person could certainly come to the same conclusion without too much work.
The issue is that we still have this annoying sin nature. There is still something about us that wants to live in rebellion to God.
Rom 7:15 For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.
Paul had the same problem. He obviously wanted to live for God, but somehow sin kept creeping into his life.
We’re not going to be able to overcome this problem because of our own intelligence or our own willpower. The only one who is able to help us fight sin is God. We are not perfect, but fortunately He is.
Everything seems to come together. In 1 Chronicles 26, we hear a lot about people being assigned to different offices, but we also find out how the temple was supplied with all of the things that were necessary for all of the sacrifices.
1Ch 26:26 Which Shelomith and his brethren were over all the treasures of the dedicated things, which David the king, and the chief fathers, the captains over thousands and hundreds, and the captains of the host, had dedicated.
1Ch 26:27 Out of the spoils won in battles did they dedicate to maintain the house of the LORD.
I find it interesting because if you look back at all of the battles that Israel had won over the past books and chapters, God was involved in every victory. When the people ran away from God, they lost every battle. Therefore, all of the treasure that was in the Temple must have been a result of the battles that God had allowed them to win.
By using those resources as the implements to maintain the Temple, they were giving back to the God out of what He had given to them.
This is a nice picture of why we still have offering today. God has given so much to us that we should give back a portion of what we have been given to help further the mission of God which is to reach the whole world. Obviously, God does not need our money to help spread His word, but He does allow it to be used by various ministries to do great things around the world.
Some people think that charitable giving really isn’t a big deal because it isn’t a matter of salvation. That is true technically. However, God wants to use us and all of our possessions in great ways. We need to be willing to put everything, including our money, out for Him to use. That kind of commitment is a big deal.
I had a very interesting thought as I was reading 1 Chronicles 25, and it came from verse one.
1Ch 25:1 Moreover David and the captains of the host separated to the service of the sons of Asaph, and of Heman, and of Jeduthun, who should prophesy with harps, with psalteries, and with cymbals: and the number of the workmen according to their service was:
The reason that this verse stood out to me was because there was the interesting combination of prophecy and music. Naturally, I had to look that to find what the Hebrew word for prophecy was here. It wasn’t like why Elijah or Isaiah prophesied in verse.
Using my awesome computer Bible provided by e-Sword, I found out that the Hebrew word here was naba. It means that someone is speaking or singing with inspiration. I love that.
The reason I love that is because it emphasizes how music can be such an important part of our worship experience. I would be one to bet that if you asked the majority of Christian artists how they write their music, most of them would say that they do indeed draw their inspiration right from the Bible for most of their songs.
There are many times in the Bible that music played an important part in worship. David was obviously a masterful musician and psalmist. Paul and Silas sang while they were locked up in jail. We even have an entire book called the Song of Solomon.
Music plays a very important part in the worship of God. Obviously, it doesn’t have to be is not the only way to worship, but it is a great way. We need to be giving God credit for who He is.
Psa 150:6 Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD.
1 Chronicles 24 is kind of interesting because it talks about how the power of the priesthood was divided up under David. Some of them became “governors of the sanctuary,” and some of them became “governors of the house of God.”
1Ch 24:5 Thus were they divided by lot, one sort with another; for the governors of the sanctuary, and governors of the house of God, were of the sons of Eleazar, and of the sons of Ithamar.
I looked on the Internet to try to find the difference between these two terms, but I really could not find much, so if you know anything, I would love to hear it.
Regardless, there is still something interesting about this verse. I personally really like the idea of casting lots. It shows the ultimate faith in God. When you randomly draw someone’s name out of a hat, any type of human perception is thrown out the window. Even if a certain person seemed like the front runner for a position like this based on his resume, he was just as likely or unlikely to be chosen as anybody else in the pool of men.
They were trusting that God would have the right one drawn at the right time so that each position was filled appropriately.
Of course, I don’t think that we need to do this all the time. We need to follow God. That is obvious. However, we don’t have to go through the process of putting all the alternative options on little pieces of paper and drawing one out. As was shown by the writing of the entire Bible itself, God does talk to people, and He can talk to us like that. We can trust Him without casting lots.
The main point of the entire thing is that we need to first of all trust God. By having this type of drawing, there were nothing else for the people to trust. There are other ways to listen to God, but this is the way that was done in this instance. Then, we obviously need to follow through.
In Old Testament times, the tribe of Levi was incredibly important. They were the ones who had the duty of offering sacrifices and doing most of the worship of God. In 1 Chronicles 23, we get a pretty good picture of what their job description was at the time of Solomon.
1Ch 23:30 And to stand every morning to thank and praise the LORD, and likewise at even;
Of course they had all of their priestly duties to do during the day, but near the beginning and near the end, they had to give time to thank and praise God.
I like the pairing of these two verbs. The first part requires that we acknowledge everything that God did. It is hard to thank somebody for something that has not happened yet.
The second part requires that we acknowledge everything that God is. You can praise Him for how awesome He is, how faithful He is or really about whatever you want. You can also praise God for what He has done, but I think two different words were used it to emphasize that difference.
I want to think about this difference through the lens of someone like Job. God had given Satan a license to really do whatever he wanted to Job as long as he did not kill him. Life did not look so good after a little while, and I don’t think that there was an awful lot that Job could be thankful for. I get it that he could be thankful for his life, and he probably was. However, I’m trying to make a very fine differentiation here. Both of them are good, but we want to make sure that we don’t only praise God for the results that we see here on earth. If all we did was praise God for the physical manifestation of His work in our lives, we are missing half of the picture.
Praising God for who He is needs to become part of our worship routine as well.
If you recall, David was told that he would not be the one to build the temple for God. Even though David had thought of it, God told him that his son would actually be the one to build it.
David must have been a little bit disappointed. After all, he did love God, and he wanted to do something magnificent to honor God.
He could have moped around and been upset. He could have been jealous of his son. He could have even built the Temple himself although doing so disobediently would not have achieved his purpose of glorifying God.
However, rather than do any of these things, he did what he was allowed to do to be helpful in 1 Chronicles 22.
1Ch 22:5 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.
He brought together all the raw materials that Solomon would need. He knew that the house had to be great, and he did his part to make that happen.
It is hard to be the guy in the background sometimes. You do all the work does set someone else up for success, and you rarely get any credit. The situation is a little bit different because David did yet mentioned in this book, but it is obviously still known as Solomon’s project.
If you find yourself in an underappreciated role, don’t get bitter. Do your job like David did and remember that we work for God.
Col 3:23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;
Col 3:24 Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.
1 Chronicles 21 brings up one of the more complicated and admittedly confusing stories of Biblical history. Verse one sets a very interesting tone.
1Ch 21:1 And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel.
It is a bad idea to listen to Satan, so the obvious connotation here is that numbering the people or basically taking a census was some major sin.
You have to wonder why. That is the confusing and complicated part. We count things every day, and if you own a business, you certainly know your inventory. In a way, the people were the inventory of Israel. I don’t mean to dehumanize them, but if you are in charge of the country, it is good to know how many people you are ruling. There are many practical reasons that a king would want to know this.
However, in this case, God said that it was bad, and it was so bad that Satan himself was there trying to convince David to do it.
What is the problem?
We can get a little bit of an idea from the reaction that Joab had when David told him to go and count the people.
1Ch 21:3 And Joab answered, The LORD make his people an hundred times so many more as they be: but, my lord the king, are they not all my lord’s servants? why then doth my lord require this thing? why will he be a cause of trespass to Israel?
Essentially, this sounds like he is asking why David would even bother. They are all his servants anyway, so what does he need to prove by counting them? If I am interpreting that right, then the problem is obvious.
David needed to count them because David wanted to know how great he was for having a nation with so many people. Maybe his interest was beyond administrative and practical. Perhaps pride was creeping in.
That would make sense, and God does have a history of not wanting his people to become proud. That would also explain the harsh reaction were 70,000 people died because of David’s sin.
Pro 16:18 Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.
Giants are kind of rare. You don’t come across them every day. However, in 1 Chronicles 20, it seems as if there were a variety of giants from Gath. For 10 bonus points, tell me someone else who is famous in the Bible and from Gath.
Goliath is the obvious answer, and in this case, it is the right answer. It seems as if there was something in the water over there.
If you remember back when David killed Goliath, he was the only one who had the courage to face the giant. Everybody else was trembling in fear.
Israel must have had a surge of confidence because in this chapter, we hear about three different giants, and they are killed by three different people. Of course, I don’t know if the situation was exactly the same as it was for David. They might not have had the choice to meet the giant. Perhaps they met on the battlefield and it was kind of a life or death situation that they had to address.
Nevertheless, they didn’t run away. They fought the giants, and they prevailed.
What had changed in Israel? As we like to say in business, the tone at the top had changed. Under new leadership, Israel was much closer to God, and there is no doubt that being closer to God is a good thing for your courage. God provides it, and He helps us overcome difficult times.
2Ti 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
We can get rid of our fear, and we can put on the power of God. We might not have the literal giants in our lives that we need to fight like they did in Israel, but we certainly have spiritual giants. There are many things in the world that try very persistently to keep us away from God. We need to take down these giants every day. God will help us do that.