Having finished the Chronicle of persons and things, as pertaining to the service both of the temple and the court; this chapter opens to us on interesting view of some of the concluding scenes of the life of David. He calls his people together; makes an affectionate address to them; delivers the pattern to Solomon of the temple, and earnestly exhorts both him and the people to the greatest care and diligence in the building of it.
1 Chronicles 28:1
We have some account of David's conduct towards the close or his life, in the opening of the first book of the Kings; but by no means so particular, nor so interesting, as in this chapter. David is represented here in a very amiable and affectionate light, and the Holy Ghost hath been pleased to cause the sacred writer to be more particular upon it. He convenes all Israel before him. He is about to take his leave of them forever. The time is arrived that he must be gathered to his fathers. He therefore wishes to see them all once more, and to dismiss them with his love and his blessing, before that he himself receives the Lord's dismission from this world to a better.
No doubt growing infirmities were upon him; nevertheless he will stand on his feet before them. Observe the kind and affectionate manner of his address; he calls them brethren and people. He next tells them what was his intention in the building of the temple, but that the Lord had said nay; in which his heart acquiesced. He then proceeds to point out his claim to the throne; and this not by purchase, nor by conquest, nor by merit, nor by birth-right; but of the Lord's appointment: The Lord chose me. He next points to Solomon, as his successor, and from the same cause; the Lord's pleasure. He then makes a most affectionate appeal, first to the people; and then to his son, Solomon, that both would honour that gracious God who had done so great things for Israel, and walk before the Lord with a perfect heart, and with a willing mind. The whole of this farewell discourse of David's, forms a most interesting period of history in the life of David and is capable of leading out the mind of the Reader into numberless sweet and precious reflections, both of the divine goodness in the instances of mercy recorded, and David's piety. But passing over all these, I rather call the Reader to the more blessed, spiritual beauties of the passage, as all typical of Jesus and his temple, of which Solomon's was but a type. Here indeed in the person of the Lord Jesus, we see that promise breaking out from everlasting, in the decree of divine counsels. Jesus was set up, and all his covenant engagements marked down in the volume of the book, which he alone was found worthy to open. It is of him that God the Father said, I have raised him up in righteousness: and I will direct all his ways. He shall build my city, and he shall let go my captives, not for price, nor reward, saith the Lord of Hosts. To constitute the glory of this house, the labour of Egypt, and the merchandise of Ethiopia shall be brought, and the Lord would consecrate the gain of all the whole earth. Sweet and precious thoughts! and all finally and fully confirmed in Jesus. Isaiah 45:13-14.
There is somewhat very interesting in this account. David is expressly said to have received this model or pattern, from the Spirit. It doth not appear at what time or period of his life this was; yet the fact itself cannot be questioned. Moses had a pattern of the Tabernacle, we are told, given to him, when in the Mount with God, accompanied afterwards with a strict charge to make all things according to it. Hebrews 8:5. But when David received it; or how he received it, whether by open vision, by message, or by dream, is not said. It may serve, however, to teach us the great importance of it. And the reason doth not seem difficult to discover. This temple was to be a type of Christ. Afterwards in whatever part of the earth any of God's people were driven out or scattered, yet directing their hearts by faith towards this hallowed spot, the Lord would be sure to hear. A delightful type of our ever blessed Jesus. 1 Kings 8:46-53. But even this, infinitely grand and important as it was in itself, and independent of every other consideration, yet even this was not all. This temple might be said to be sacramental. It prefigured the body as well as the person of Jesus. And as the body of our dear Lord, for the purpose of sacrifice, was prepared and given without the intervention of an human father, by the miraculous impregnation of the Holy Ghost; so the Church of Jesus, his body, his fair one, his chosen, originated from the gift of Jehovah; and therefore the temple, which represented both, must be the result of Divine counsel and Divine wisdom. Infinitely important, therefore, was the object in the building the temple, that it should be according to the mind and will of God.
All these are beautiful descriptions in continuation of the subject. The refined gold for the altar, (1 Chronicles 28:18) which altar became typical of Jesus and his intercession, is peculiarly striking in the midst. And David's enforcing the whole again by insisting once more, that he had it from the Spirit in writing, gives a validity which stamps the vast importance of the thing itself, and decidedly proves the allusion of the whole to Jesus. Well might he, therefore conclude with strengthening the assurance of his faith to give strength to the faith of Solomon, in adding, the Lord God, even my God, will be with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee, until than hast finished all the work. Reader! how encouraging to our faith is it to behold dying saints among the faithful in all ages thus resting wish firmness on a long-tried and a long found faithful God. So died Jacob. So departed Joseph. So closed Moses at his farewell to Israel. So died Joshua. And thus David. Oh! precious, precious principle of a more precious, precious God and Saviour! Genesis 49:33; Gen_50:25-26; Deuteronomy 34:1-5; Joshua 24:26-29.
READER! behold what an interesting light the Holy Ghost hath placed the departing patriarch David in, before the Church in this chapter. When we behold him going forth in the name of the Lord to the battles of the Lord, against Goliath and the many other such like blasphemers of God and his cause which followed, we could not but admire the stripling, and yet more be led to admire and adore the gracious hand which strengthened him for the war. But now arrived to the close of life, how interesting is it to see the old man ready to depart, and standing on the threshold of the eternal world, yet giving his last advice for the due glory of the God of his mercies. Reader! must it not be the best and sweetest of all deaths, as well as the most honourable, to be found in the exercise of faith, praying for the glory of God to be continued among his church and people here below, when the believer himself is going to be removed to the enjoyment of the church triumphant which is above? How would you wish to be found in the dying hour, but in the living experience of Jesus' faithfulness, and recommending him and his great salvation to all around you? It is true, indeed, few situations, like that of David, open so large a sphere for an interference in the public government of Jesus's church. The Lord calls, as in the instance of David and Solomon, whom he pleases to take interest in this important concern. And when princes are found, like David, heartily engaged in promoting God's glory, happy is that nation and people so unitedly employed in raising the spiritual temple of God's worship. But every individual who knows Jesus, and loves Jesus, cannot but take part in what concerns Jesus; and must, and will, serve and promote the growing interest of Jesus, with his prayers at least, when he hath nothing else to offer.
Dearest Lord! Do I behold David and his son, his court and people, all interested, all alive and animated in preparing, what after all was but a type of thy presence: and shall I, who know thee now in substance, as the Author and Finisher of salvation, shall I be cold and lifeless when thy glory is languishing all around, and all hands are faint, and hearts are dead, in thy service? Oh! come Lord Jesus with all thy quickening influence in the midst of thy churches; inflame the souls of princes, priests, and people; let everyone that nameth the name of Christ, have his heart warmed with the love of Christ, that the Lord may revive his work in the midst of the years; and bring on that fullness of the Redeemer's glory in the earth, which the Lord hath promised, when, from the rising of the sun, even to the going down of the same, his name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered to his name, and a pure offering. Amen, Lord Jesus. Amen.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on 1 Chronicles 28". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Second Week after Epiphany