And David assembled all the princes of Israel, the princes of the tribes, and the captains of the companies that ministered to the king by course, and the captains over the thousands, and captains over the hundreds, and the stewards over all the substance and possession of the king, and of his sons, with the officers, and with the mighty men, and with all the valiant men, unto Jerusalem.
1 Chronicles 28:9
In these words we have beautifully exemplified to us the anxiety of a truly religious parent for his children's everlasting good. Consider:
I. That without sincerity and seriousness our religion can be of no value in the sight of the omniscient God, of Him who is described by Himself as "searching all hearts and understanding all the imaginations of the thoughts."
II. Real seriousness is altogether of a practical nature. It does not depend on the state of a person's feelings, but on his general course of life and behaviour. It is so much more easy to keep up religious feelings, or what are called so, than really religious practices that the outside show of seriousness is much more often to be met with than the reality. The heavenly advice to us is now, as it has always been, "My son, know thou the God of thy fathers."
III. It is not enough that young persons should be taught merely to "know the God of their fathers;" they must be warned also of the necessity which is laid upon them, as on all Christians, to "serve Him with a perfect heart, and with a willing mind." To "serve God with a perfect heart" is the sum and substance of all practical religion. It means that we should love Him more than any or all of the things of this world; that we should be ever seeking what will please Him, and avoiding what will grieve Him; that we should live as in His constant presence, and be thoroughly resigned and satisfied with what He orders for us. By the expression "serving God with a willing mind" seems to be meant that religion should be not only the business, but also the delight, of our lives.
IV. "If thou forsake Him, He will cast thee off for ever." To forsake God is to leave, to forget Him, to neglect Him, to prefer other things before Him. In proportion as we are tempted to forsake God and His righteous will, we must of course provoke Him to forsake us and leave us to ourselves, or, in the words of the text, "to cast us off for ever."
Plain Sermons by Contributors to "Tracts for the Times" vol. x., p. 285.
Reference: 1 Chronicles 28:9.—Preacher's Monthly, vol. iv., p. 315, and vol. vi., p. 25; G. Brooks, Outlines of Sermons, p. 127.
1 Chronicles 28:10I. Look, first, at the words "Be strong"—that is, for service. None can tell how strong for service they may ultimately become. All the strong men and all the great men become so by degrees. We find in the context four secrets of strength for service. (1) If you are to be strong in service, there must be a clear conviction that you are called of God to the work. (2) Along with a conviction of our call to the work, there must be an intimate knowledge of God. (3) A third element of strength is sincerity of purpose and willinghood. (4) Lastly, we must remember the Divine presence and fidelity. When we are strong in this remembrance, we can triumph and say, "If all men should leave us, yet we are strong, for Thou, Lord, wilt not fail nor forsake us."
II. Notice, next, the command "Do it." Having strengthened thy heart by the remembrance of these things, do it, not only intend to. We are to do whatever God has called us to do. That which is the work of one is not the work of another. Let our ears be open to hear what the Lord says, and then let us be strong and do it.
A. G. Brown, Penny Pulpit, No. 1061.
Reference: 1 Chronicles 28:20.—Parker, vol. i., p. 44.
Then David the king stood up upon his feet, and said, Hear me, my brethren, and my people: As for me, I had in mine heart to build an house of rest for the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and for the footstool of our God, and had made ready for the building:
But God said unto me, Thou shalt not build an house for my name, because thou hast been a man of war, and hast shed blood.
Howbeit the LORD God of Israel chose me before all the house of my father to be king over Israel for ever: for he hath chosen Judah to be the ruler; and of the house of Judah, the house of my father; and among the sons of my father he liked me to make me king over all Israel:
And of all my sons, (for the LORD hath given me many sons,) he hath chosen Solomon my son to sit upon the throne of the kingdom of the LORD over Israel.
And he said unto me, Solomon thy son, he shall build my house and my courts: for I have chosen him to be my son, and I will be his father.
Moreover I will establish his kingdom for ever, if he be constant to do my commandments and my judgments, as at this day.
Now therefore in the sight of all Israel the congregation of the LORD, and in the audience of our God, keep and seek for all the commandments of the LORD your God: that ye may possess this good land, and leave it for an inheritance for your children after you for ever.
And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever.
Take heed now; for the LORD hath chosen thee to build an house for the sanctuary: be strong, and do it.
Then David gave to Solomon his son the pattern of the porch, and of the houses thereof, and of the treasuries thereof, and of the upper chambers thereof, and of the inner parlours thereof, and of the place of the mercy seat,
And the pattern of all that he had by the spirit, of the courts of the house of the LORD, and of all the chambers round about, of the treasuries of the house of God, and of the treasuries of the dedicated things:
Also for the courses of the priests and the Levites, and for all the work of the service of the house of the LORD, and for all the vessels of service in the house of the LORD.
He gave of gold by weight for things of gold, for all instruments of all manner of service; silver also for all instruments of silver by weight, for all instruments of every kind of service:
Even the weight for the candlesticks of gold, and for their lamps of gold, by weight for every candlestick, and for the lamps thereof: and for the candlesticks of silver by weight, both for the candlestick, and also for the lamps thereof, according to the use of every candlestick.
And by weight he gave gold for the tables of shewbread, for every table; and likewise silver for the tables of silver:
Also pure gold for the fleshhooks, and the bowls, and the cups: and for the golden basons he gave gold by weight for every bason; and likewise silver by weight for every bason of silver:
And for the altar of incense refined gold by weight; and gold for the pattern of the chariot of the cherubims, that spread out their wings, and covered the ark of the covenant of the LORD.
All this, said David, the LORD made me understand in writing by his hand upon me, even all the works of this pattern.
And David said to Solomon his son, Be strong and of good courage, and do it: fear not, nor be dismayed: for the LORD God, even my God, will be with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee, until thou hast finished all the work for the service of the house of the LORD.
And, behold, the courses of the priests and the Levites, even they shall be with thee for all the service of the house of God: and there shall be with thee for all manner of workmanship every willing skilful man, for any manner of service: also the princes and all the people will be wholly at thy commandment.