Rebuilder and Restorer
1 Chronicles 29:10-20
10 Therefore David blessed the Lord in the presence of all the assembly. And David said: “Blessed are you, O Lord, the God of Israel our father, forever and ever. 11 Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all. 12 Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all. In your hand are power and might, and in your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all. 13 And now we thank you, our God, and praise your glorious name.
14 “But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able thus to offer willingly? For all things come from you, and of your own have we given you. 15 For we are strangers before you and sojourners, as all our fathers were. Our days on the earth are like a shadow, and there is no abiding. 16 O Lord our God, all this abundance that we have provided for building you a house for your holy name comes from your hand and is all your own. 17 I know, my God, that you test the heart and have pleasure in uprightness. In the uprightness of my heart I have freely offered all these things, and now I have seen your people, who are present here, offering freely and joyously to you. 18 O Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, our fathers, keep forever such purposes and thoughts in the hearts of your people, and direct their hearts toward you. 19 Grant to Solomon my son a whole heart that he may keep your commandments, your testimonies, and your statutes, performing all, and that he may build the palace for which I have made provision.”
20 Then David said to all the assembly, “Bless the Lord your God.” And all the assembly blessed the Lord, the God of their fathers, and bowed their heads and paid homage to the Lord and to the king.
In God’s story we learn of God making or building all things by his powerful word. Part of what he made was mankind. He made us to rule over what he made and to reflect his glory by making or building from what the Lord made. He started with Adam and Eve in a garden, but God’s ultimate plan is to live in a city with his people. And so history progresses from mankind cultivating the garden to cultivating all he has given us. God set mankind on the process of building a culture in this world to demonstrate God’s surpassing worth, value, and beauty.
However, mankind rejected God’s blueprint and has tried to build a different city, a culture that reflects mankind’s significance and value apart from the Master Designer. And the consequence of this choice is not only some works of beauty, because we cannot totally abandon what we are—God’s image bearers. But the consequence also results in much ugliness, violence, and the degradation of humanity. We see this darkness alongside of the light in God’s story. We learn that the Master Builder must enter human history as the Rebuilder and Restorer, and that requires a number of rebuilding projects to reach his final goal. Chronicles is the summary record of God and his people rebuilding prior to the arrival of Jesus Christ.
Structure of Chronicles
- Genealogies (1 Chrn 1-9)
- Saul (1 Chrn 10)
- David (1 Chrn 11-29)
- Solomon (2 Chrn 1-9)
- Kings of Judah (2 Chrn 10-36)
Ideas and features of Chronicles
- The Hebrew name of the book is something like “the events of the years”; the English name comes from the works of the Bible translators Jerome and Luther
- As the book of Kings records the sins that led to the exile of God’s people from the land, so Chronicles provides reasons for hope in the Lord after the exile; it has a positive message
- It tells us God’s sovereign acts of election to bring about his purposes: of the Levites (1 Chrn 15:2; cf. 23:24-32); of David as king (1 Chrn 28:4; 2 Chrn 6:6); of Solomon (1 Chrn 28:5-6, 10; 29:1); of Jerusalem (2 Chrn 6:6, 34, 38; 12:13; 33:7); and of the temple (2 Chrn 7:12, 16: 33:7); all this bolsters confidence in God’s master plan
- It reassures God’s people returning from exile about the continuing value of the Davidic covenant and the temple
- There is much about the bad consequences of forsaking the Lord and the good consequences of seeking him; the Holy Spirit emphasizes the good that came from kings like David, Jehoshaphat, Hezekiah, and Josiah who sought the Lord
- In addition, the purpose of worshiping the Lord is given prominence
I. David rebuilds the kingdom (1 Chrn 11-29)
A.Reuniting the people
1.He received the allegiance of all the people (11:1-3). This was a fulfillment of God’s promise. This provided him with an encouragement to carry out what the Lord had called him to. Do we have fulfilled promises to encourage us? Yes, the whole story of God that we read in the Bible. Have you called on the Lord? Has he saved you and given you the Holy Spirit? You see, we live in the reality of fulfilled promises.
2.He conquered Jerusalem, the chief stronghold of the remaining Canaanites, and rebuilt the city (11:4-9). His power increased because the Lord was with him. Christ’s new covenant people need to act on the reality of the Lord’s presence with us (Mt 28:20). There are many people to be reached with the good news of Jesus in our immediate area. We may think that they live in impregnable fortresses of religion and godlessness. But the Lord Almighty is with us. By his sovereign grace, we may take this area for the glory of God.
3.He constructed a mighty army (11:10-12:40). This would be necessary for the defense and expansion of the kingdom. David organized them; they followed him because of faith in God (12:18). We need people who have the spirit of the men of Issachar (12:32). We need men and women who will build a Christian culture in this area.
4.He led his army in battle (14:8-17; 18:1-20:8). In the civil war, General McClellan built the Army of the Potomac, but he wouldn’t use it or didn’t know how to use it. But David knew what an army was for and he led it to many victories. The Lord Jesus has built his church to take the good news to people far from God. We must follow him to places where people gather and engage them in conversation—ask questions, listen to them, and wisely introduce them to Christ and the gospel.
B.Restoring the worship of God
1.He failed in his first attempt (13:1-14). Yes, leaders fail. Even the great leader George Washington failed much more often than he succeeded. David’s failure in this attempt can be traced to not doing God’s work in God’s way. He imitated the Philistine way of moving the ark and failed. Sometimes good people fail, and sometimes we fail because we act contrary to God’s word. We must always maintain a Christ-structured, gospel-formed way of ministry. We must always serve in ways that exhibit the nine-fold fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). But we must not quit because we have failed in the past.
2.He succeeded in his second attempt (15:1-16:43). Not only did they act according to the law covenant, but David also led them in worship and celebration. (God’s people should be joyful!) David also composed a psalm of thanks. One of the basic characteristics of godliness is thankfulness (cf. Rm 1:21; 1 Th 5:18).
3.He paid for the temple site (21:24-26), and gave much for the building of the temple (22:14; 29:1-5). His leadership inspired others to give (29:6-9). God’s work goes forward through the sacrificial giving of his people. This account was intended as a stimulus for the returning exiles to rebuild the temple (2 Chrn 36:23).
4.He reformed the service of the Levites, since they would need other work after the temple was rebuilt (1 Chrn 23:1-26:32). This included reorganizing the priesthood into divisions of service. David knew that he had to remobilize these men to rebuild. When God’s work moves forward in new times, God’s people must change. David saw the need for singers, gatekeepers, treasurers, and other officials. The people of a revitalized church will see the need for new ways of doing God’s work, for new structures conducive to growth, and for new involvement in the spread of the good news.
5.He led the people in prayer (29:10-20). He honored God for his majestic greatness (29:10-13). He humbly acknowledged the Lord’s provision (29:14-16). He prayed for God’s continued work in their hearts (29:17-19). Real change happens through whole-hearted prayer.
Apply: There is an old, worn-out saying that I will dare to repeat. “A church only moves forward on its knees.” Every Sunday when Spurgeon preached to 5,000 people, there were 700 others in the basement of the building, praying for him and the word as he preached. The Four Gospels show Jesus praying at every critical time in his earthly ministry. We have over 50,000 people in our immediate area that we must seek to evangelize. None of this will happen unless we pray fervently (Js 5:16).
Apply: The leadership of David points us toward the Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord used David, a man after God’s own heart, to prepare for the coming of Christ. Jesus is the leader we need to follow. On the cross, Jesus bought and paid for the new covenant temple, the church. By his resurrection, his new life has become ours. When Jesus ascended, he poured out the Holy Spirit, so that he might be present with us and be empowered to serve him. Refresh your heart in the victorious the Lord Jesus Christ!
II. Solomon builds and dedicates the temple (2 Chrn 1:1-7:22)
The Chronicler focuses on this part of Solomon’s life.
A.The building of the temple (2 Chrn 2-4)
1.He gathered workers and more material.
2.He supervised the building of a magnificent structure.
3.He supervised the making of the furnishings for the temple.
B.The dedication of the temple
1.He brought the Ark of the Covenant into the temple. God showed his acceptance and presence by filling the temple with his cloud of glory (5:13-14; cf. Ex 40:34-35).
2.He led the people in worship and prayer (6:1-42). Much of the prayer concerns requests for forgiveness and mercy when the people inevitably sin. His plea is based on the covenant love promised to David.
3.He and all the people joined in worship according to the old covenant (7:1-10).
4.The Lord accepts the temple but warns Solomon and the people against forsaking him (7:11-22). We must remember that the old covenant people had to obey the law in order to stay in God’s presence and in fellowship with him. The law covenant was ruled by an “if”. The new covenant is firmly established in Christ and his better sacrifice.
III. Examples of God helping people who are devoted to him.
A.The Lord delivered his people from a very large army during the reign of Asa (14:8-15).
B.The Lord rescued his people while they praised him during the reign of Jehoshaphat (20:1-30).
C.The Lord defeated the Assyrians through the means of one angel during the reign of Hezekiah (32:1-23).
Point: The living God has many ways to protect his people and to cause them to prosper as they follow him by faith. To see a church revitalized requires that we put our trust fully in our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ (Ti 2:13). He is able to act and to bring about a better future for us. It is our responsibility to trust him.
Pastor Dave Frampton
The faithful and spiritually profitable labors of Dave Frampton are featured here at CMC. As a Bible teacher he excels. Teacher and student alike will profit much from his labor in God’s Word. Visit Newtown Square Baptist Church.