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Bible Commentaries

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

1 Chronicles 14

Verses 1-17

2. Restoring fellowship with Yahweh ch. 14

God blessed David and his kingdom because David had honored God by seeking to bring the ark into Jerusalem. The Chronicler recorded three instances of divine blessing in this chapter. First, God gave David favor in the eyes of his neighbor allies. This resulted in his kingdom experiencing great honor in the ancient Near East (1 Chronicles 14:1-2). Second, God increased David’s personal fertility by giving him many children (1 Chronicles 14:3-7).

A problem that bothers some students of David’s life is this. In view of the high moral standards that God requires for qualification as an elder in the church, why did God bless David as He did since he had many wives (1 Chronicles 14:3)? First, an appreciation of the Holy Spirit’s ministry in the Old Testament is crucial to understanding this apparent inconsistency. References to the Holy Spirit’s ministry to select Old Testament saints connect with His enabling them to gain military victories to deliver His people from their enemies (e.g., Judges 3:10; Judges 6:34; Judges 11:29; Judges 14:6; Judges 14:19; 1 Samuel 11:6; et al.). The Spirit’s indwelling ministry to every Christian after the day of Pentecost focuses on the transformation of the believer’s character into Christ’s image (e.g., Galatians 5:16-24; et al.). Second, an appreciation of God’s different purposes in Israel and the church is helpful. In Old Testament Israel, God was manifesting His glory primarily through the uniqueness of Israel and through its national institutions. In the New Testament church, God is glorifying Himself primarily through the lives of the individual and corporate temples that He indwells. These are Spirit-controlled people and churches. God was more merciful with David’s polygamy in view of His purposes then. In view of His purposes now, He requires a higher degree of personal holiness. Third, the progress of revelation helps us understand this issue. Old Testament saints had revelation concerning the sin of polygamy (Genesis 2:24; Deuteronomy 17:16-17). However, they did not have the added privilege and responsibility of the teachings of Jesus Christ and the apostles on this subject (Matthew 5; Matthew 19; 1 Corinthians 7; Ephesians 5; Colossians 3; 1 Timothy 3; Titus 1; Hebrews 13; 1 Peter 3). Greater privilege always results in greater responsibility. David’s understanding of God’s will was not as comprehensive as ours is, and consequently God did not hold him as culpable as He holds us in this particular matter.

The third instance of God’s blessing in this chapter is that God gave David victory over his enemies, the Philistines (1 Chronicles 14:8-17). Since Saul’s death the Philistines had dominated Canaan. Finally David brought them under his control. The result was that other nations feared David (1 Chronicles 14:17).

In the renaming of Baal-perazim (1 Chronicles 14:14), as well as Perez-uzza (1 Chronicles 13:11), David and the Chronicler emphasized God breaking into the life of His people. In the first instance it was for judgment, but in the second it was for blessing. This record would have encouraged the restoration community to remember that God could do the same for them.

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Bibliographical Information
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on 1 Chronicles 14". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/dcc/1-chronicles-14.html. 2012.