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This chapter is but a continuation of the former. David had not finished all he had to say, and here therefore we have the sequel of his address. He then makes his offering towards the building, and calls upon the people to follow his example. He closes in prayer and thanksgiving. Solomon commenceth his reign, and David dies. With these relations the first book of the Chronicles closeth.
1 Chronicles 29:1
There is a great degree of piety, as well as humbleness of soul, in this intimation of the youth and inexperience of his son. No doubt, in it the father was looking up to God, that he would support his gracious choice, and confirm it by his approbation.
The motive of David's liberality is beautifully set forth in this account. It was not to bribe God with his own gifts. It was not to give of the possessions of the body for the sin of the soul. But it was because he had set his affection on the house of his God. God in covenant was a precious God to David, and therefore he loved the place where his honor dwelt. Reader! look to it upon all occasions, that the service is the service of the heart. Let the gift be ever so costly, yet unless it be given from the heart it is of no esteem in the sight of God.
It is delightful to see what a noble disposition the princes manifested in following the example of the king. But Reader do not overlook the most important point of all in this account, namely, how gracious it is in the Lord to accept the gifts of his creatures as their gifts, when in reality all is the Lord's before. The earth is the Lord's and the fulness thereof. And dost thou, blessed Jesus, really and truly look upon the cup of cold water when given to one of thy distressed ones in the name of a disciple, when it is thou thyself that furnisheth both the means and the disposition to bestow it. Oh! glorious Redeemer! how wonderful in grace and goodness are all thy ways!
The rejoicing of prince and people affords a lively representation of the happiness of the soul when all things are going well between God and us. If I am at peace with God in Christ, all things else must be at peace with me. For when a man's ways please the Lord, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him. Proverbs 16:7 .
Now we come to the most interesting part of all this beautiful scene. David knew his end to be near. David convened his people, his princes, his son. David addressed them all affectionately: but the chief point of all is yet to be done. He now looks up to the Lord. Here, Reader! is the first, and best, and chief end of all. In Jesus the soul finds all its blessedness center. But let us hear what David saith.
Nothing can be more sweet, more interesting, more expressive. He first begins in blessing. Who so worthy to be praised as the Lord, as he is in himself? What so suitable for man to offer as praise for the blessings he bestows, as he manifests himself to his creatures? And Reader, do observe how David dwells upon the distinguishing excellencies of Jehovah! both greatness and power, and glory, and victory, and majesty, are his. Not only his as the author, but peculiarly his as the very properties and attributes of his nature. To give, therefore, anything to such a being, is but to give him of his own, for all are his already. In contributing therefore to the building of this house for the Lord, we in fact do nothing but what the Lord gives the power and ability to do. And Reader! do mark this thought as strikingly worthy of the highest attention; the more any man doth for the Lord, the more highly is that man the Lord's debtor, in that what he doth is from the Lord's giving ability to do it; and not only giving the ability, but giving grace and disposition to do it. So that the most laborious servant of Jesus is the greatest debtor; and he that is enabled to do most is the most indebted for being singled out and qualified for the service. Blessed Jesus! oh! for grace to be employed more frequently and earnestly by thee, that I might thereby become the more insolvent and thy prisoner. There is a great beauty in the close of this prayer, in beseeching the Lord to keep alive in the minds of the people the Lord's goodness, and to bless his son Solomon with a heart suited to the Lord's mercies.
How beautifully the solemn service closed, All were called upon to bless the Lord in bowing heads, and suitable acknowledgments of the reverence becoming God's presence. And their enjoyment at their tables, no doubt was all sanctified with reverence and praise.
Here begins the reign of Solomon, of which the following book of the Chronicles treats largely. The Lord's approbation of him is strikingly expressed. Perhaps what is here said of the Lord's magnifying him above, any king that had been before him, means in wisdom, peace, and riches. For herein he was an eminent type of Jesus.
It is no small beauty in my apprehension of the history of David, by way of marking the greatness of the man, that the humbleness of his beginning is again noticed at the close of his life, that he was the son of Jesse. The sum total of every man's life is in this instance like David's, that he lived so long, and died so distinguished. But Reader! mark what the Holy Ghost saith on this point. Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord! O! precious Jesus! be this my portion, and then all the appendages of death in earthly greatness, or all the wants of life in earthly poverty, will be nothing. To live will be Christ, and to die will be gain. Revelation 14:13 ; Philippians 1:21 .
READER! let us take one view more of the dying patriarch David as we read his history in this close of it, and gather from it those interesting lessons it so highly affords. What a life was it taken altogether, though so abundantly distinguished with divine favor. Might he not, like another patriarch of yet more ancient days, have taken up his language and said, Few and evil have the days of the years of my life been. If we pursue the thread of his history from the sheepcote to the throne, and look at him in every point of view, and in every character, whether public or private, we trace a life of perpetual anxiety, trouble and sorrow. And had not an abundance of suited grace and strength been given him, the persecutors of Saul in his early days, and the heart-breaking sorrows induced by the conduct of his ungodly children in the after stages of his life, would have drank up his spirits. But Reader! amidst all these what a beautiful, what an interesting, and what an highly finished character, in the devotional part of David's life, doth the Holy Ghost set forth to the church. And while the faithful record that is made of the patriarch's shameful fall, and the foul offences he committed, is brought forward without the least reserve, to show what man, even the best of men, is in himself; how illustrious an instance, in his recovering by almighty grace, is afforded to show what the same man is, when under the powerful work of salvation by God. Let the best of saints feel deeply humbled as they read the awful transgressions of David. Let the worst of sinners feel their souls lifted up with every encouraging hope as they behold his transgressions put away from the covenant redemption in Jesus. Oh! thou source, and fountain, and author, and finisher of all our joys, all our blessings, all our hopes, temporal, spiritual, and eternal: How shall we even hear of thy name, thou blessed, blessed Jesus, but with rapture! surely the everlasting fragrancy of it will be as ointment poured forth.
One thought more let both Writer and Reader indulge in, before they close this book of God. Let us pause over its sacred contents, and as we trace a Chronicle of so many generations, and of so many events, all brought within so little a compass, let us solemnly consider the trifling nature of all things here below, and the total insignificancy of man upon earth. Here is the record indeed of many generations. But where are the generations themselves; to say nothing of the thousands of the great ones of the earth which kept the world in awe while living, whose very memorial is perished with them! Reader! let it be our wisdom, from the contemplation of such men and things, to turn to a brighter subject, which is neither liable to decay, nor to be forgotten. In Jesus we behold one who compriseth in himself, in his own person, and in the fulness of his office-work, as the Redeemer of his people, all that the most unbounded desires can need to constitute happiness in time, and to all eternity. It is thine, blessed Jesus, to live forever amidst the dying circumstances of all things around; for thou art both the life and the light of all things; and as the Father hath life in himself, so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself, because thou art the Son of Man; because thou art the life of all thy people; and because thou livest, in thee they live also. Precious consideration under all our changes, in life and in death. Here, then, blessed Lord, let both Writer and Reader rest. The love, the praise, the service, the adoration of every creature, angels and men, are thine. To thee the whole of thy redeemed bow; nay, all power is thine in heaven and in earth. We hail thy name amidst the Chronicles of worlds, and the rise and fall of nations and of empires. Thou art worthy alone to possess universal dominion. To thee peculiarly it belongs as the infinitely wise, holy, glorious, eternal Son of God. And in thy glorious office-work as the Redeemer and Mediator of thy church, all the ransomed of thy blood adore thee, the Lord Jehovah, our righteousness forevermore. To thee, thou blessed Jesus, in union with the Father and the Holy Ghost, as the one eternal God, and the joint-author of creation, redemption, sanctification, and glory, may both Writer and Reader, with the whole church above and below, bring their offerings of love and praise forevermore. Amen.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on 1 Chronicles 29". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 21 / Ordinary 26