September 29, 2015.
Daily Reading: I Chronicles 20-24.
Background: I Chronicles 15-19.
Concepts and Connections.
David’s Conquests: After the story of the Ammonites given in the previous chapter, here we are given more records of some of David’s conquests when he became king. Notes on the second half of this chapter dealing with the defeat of the Philistines can be found in the notes on II Samuel 21:18-22. The beginning of this chapter, however, is perhaps most interesting, as it corresponds to II Samuel 11:1, but gives a very different perspective of the story. In Samuel, we get the story of David’s time at home and his sin with Bathsheba. Here, we are given the story of a conquering king. This is an example showing the different purposes for which each book was written, one series focusing on Israel’s sin and why they went into exile (Samuel-Kings), whereas the other focuses on God still being with His people and in control (Chronicles). Here we are given the story of a conquering king, one that had the favor of the Lord.
David’s census: For notes on the content of this section, see II Samuel 24. It is important to note here the subtle differences in these two text that shed a profound light on why each was written. As we saw from the last chapter, Samuel-Kings was written for a different purpose than Chronicles, to show why the people of Israel went into exile. The message of Chronicles, however, is that God is still in control, even after the exile, and He is on the throne. We see this difference in who incited David to sin in this chapter. II Samuel 24 highlights Israel’s sin against God in David’s census, whereas the Chronicler highlights the spiritual struggle that is going on behind what we see, but noting that God reigns supreme though Satan tries to destroy. Later in the story, II Samuel 24 simply says that Gad came to say something to David and then mentioning it was at the command of the Lord, whereas here, it is specifically mentioned that an angel of the Lord sent to Gad at the onset, highlighting the role that God played in the story from the beginning. These differences, though subtle, should not be overlooked, as they give us a better understanding of the scriptures as a whole.
Preparing to build the house of the Lord: As we learned in II Samuel 7 and I Chronicles 17, David had it in his heart to build a house for the Lord, but it was not his to build, for he was a man of war. Instead, the Lord would have Solomon, David’s son, build Him a house, for in the days of Solomon, the Lord would give rest on every side so that there would be peace in the land and Solomon would not be a man of bloodshed. David’s intentions were good, however, and he still sought to do what he could to help the efforts. Here we see King David amassing a great amount of treasure and supplies in order to start Solomon off on a good foot when he indeed began building the house of the Lord. He made great preparation before his death, and then he charged his son to build the house of the Lord, and charged the leaders of the people of Israel to help Solomon in any way they could, that the house for the Lord God would be built. There is a great lesson in preparation and equipping the next generation for the service of the Lord that can be found in this chapter, as our legacy should not be designed for our own glory, but rather for the glory of God. David charges them to set their hearts and minds to seek the Lord their God, for He was in control. He had given them rest on every side and had subdued the land before Him and His people. It was time for them to build a house that would glorify God, their Maker and Deliverer.
David organizes the Levites: Even in this chapter, it seems that David is still preparing for the house of the Lord that was to be built (see previous chapter), as here he organizes the Levites for the service of the Lord in the house that was yet to be built. The Levites are numbered and organized according to their clans, Gershon, Kohath, and Merari, just as they had been commissioned in Numbers 3-4. He portioned out some to have charge of the work in the house of the Lord, some to be officers and judges, some gatekeepers, and still others to offer praises to the Lord with the instruments made for praise. He makes the remark that the Lord had given rest to His people, for the Levites no longer needed to carry the ark of the Lord to the tabernacle for its service, as there would now be a permanent dwelling for the ark of the Lord. Once the house of the Lord was built, this was were the Levites were to serve, assisting the sons of Aaron, which we will see in the next chapter.
David organizes the priests: As the Levites were organized by David in the previous chapter for the service of the house of the Lord, here David organizes the sons of Aaron, who were to be the priests, according to the appointed duties in their service (see Numbers 3-4). They were divided by lot and the scribe Shemaiah, the son of Nethanel, a Levite, recorded them in the presence of the king and the priest. They were to come into the house of the Lord and serve according to the procedure established for them by Aaron their father given to him by God. Then a further genealogy of the rest of the sons of Levi is recorded at the end of this chapter.
Tomorrow’s Reading: Psalm 105-107.
The Lord strengthen you.