Welcome Back to the Bible Blog!
Wow! It’s like we’re re-reading history (we are, in a way). In 1Chronicles 20:1 we read the same phrase as written in 2Samuel 11:1, “The time when kings go out to battle…” Isn’t this the story of Bathsheba? It is! However, the author leaves out all of the details of the story. Hmm… Then only one chapter later (21) we read about David’s numbering Israel. Wasn’t this near the end of David’s life? It was! Funny how history gets compressed, isn’t it? Remember, Chronicles was written from a theological perspective, not an historical one, so the author (probably Ezra) was not so concerned with retelling every historical detail.
When reading this week you might have thought, “David, last week you quoted from chapter 17 and told us the promise of a king to reign on David’s throne forever was about Jesus (1Chron 17:11-14).” It is!
“Then why do we see in 1Chron 22:9-10 this statement by David about his son Solomon?…”
‘Behold, a son shall be born to you… his name shall be Solomon… He shall be my son, and I will be his father, and I will establish his royal throne in Israel forever.’ (ESV)
“This clearly describes Solomon as being the child of promise, doesn’t it?”
It does and you’ll see this stated again in 1Chron 28:5-7, but pay close attention to the second half of verse 7 here. God says, “I will establish his kingdom forever if he continues strong in keeping my commandments and my rules, as he is today.’” We already know that Solomon doesn’t continue in keeping God’s commandments. So this prophecy, is about Solomon (in the immediate sense), but also about Jesus (in its ultimate fulfillment). God promised David to establish his throne forever and He does so through His Son. In coming weeks we’ll see this same kind of prophecy application in the immediate sense as well as in the future sense, in Christ.
Another very promising passage is just a couple verses away in chapter 28…
“And you, Solomon my son, know the God of your father and serve him with a whole heart and with a willing mind, for the LORD searches all hearts and understands every plan and thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will cast you off forever. Be careful now, for the LORD has chosen you to build a house for the sanctuary; be strong and do it.”
This is not only a warning to Solomon that if he forsakes God He will cast him off forever, but an encouragement to Solomon (and us) that God has, is and always will be, about the heart! He loves to be found by us and encourages us to seek Him. He is not some rigid and angry Judge just waiting to punish us for any little thing we do wrong. He loves us and wants us to seek him with all our hearts.
Again about the heart, in 2Chronicles 6:7-9 God commends David for wanting to honor Him by building Him a temple to reside in. Listen to how Solomon describes it…
‘Now it was in the heart of David my father to build a house for the name of the LORD, the God of Israel. But the LORD said to David my father, ‘Whereas it was in your heart to build a house for my name, you did well that it was in your heart. Nevertheless, it is not you who shall build the house, but your son who shall be born to you shall build the house for my name.’ ’
Later in the same chapter (vv. 30-31) where Solomon is asking God to forgive His people when they sin, but then turn back to Him in repentance, he asks Him…
‘…then hear from heaven your dwelling place and forgive and render to each whose heart you know, according to all his ways, for you, you only, know the hearts of the children of mankind, that they may fear you and walk in your ways all the days that they live in the land that you gave to our fathers.’
His heart is not only for His children Israel, but for the Gentiles, too. The idea of Gentiles or foreigners (non-Jews, that is) to have a part in the Kingdom of Heaven is not a New Testament thing. It has been God’s desire all along. Remember that He promised Abraham that all the nations would be blessed through him (Genesis 12:3). Israel is only part of Abraham’s line. Listen to what Solomon says next starting in verse 32…
“Likewise, when a foreigner, who is not of your people Israel, comes from a far country for the sake of your great name and your mighty hand and your outstretched arm, when he comes and prays toward this house, hear from heaven your dwelling place and do according to all for which the foreigner calls to you, in order that all the peoples of the earth may know your name and fear you, as do your people Israel, and that they may know that this house that I have built is called by your name.”
God’s heart has always been for all the nations. Not everyone will answer His call, but when we seek Him we will find Him. He wants to be found by us. He knows that we’re not perfect (even His nation Israel wasn’t). Solomon (the wisest man to ever live) could foresee rebellion in the people of Israel, because as he said, “for there is no one who does not sin” (2Chron 6:36).
I, for one, am so glad that God knows the heart. I’m so glad that He is slow to anger, but abounding in steadfast love. I’m so glad that His message is consistent throughout Scripture and that He knew that only the sacrifice of His perfect Son could ever redeem a sinner like me. Praise God that His Promises endure, David’s throne is established forever, for the One to come in the line of David is seated at the right hand of the Father. Jesus Christ our Lord!
What are your thoughts on this week’s reading? Let’s hear from you in the comments section, below…
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