Furthermore David the king said unto all the congregation, Solomon my son, whom alone God hath chosen, is yet young and tender, and the work is great: for the palace is not for man, but for the LORD God.
1 Chronicles 29:1
There is a sense in which we might without irreverence almost invert these words, and yet gain rather than lose their true significance. "The palace is not for God," we might even say, as a literal resting-place. It is for man as the worshipper, as the servant, as the conscious and devout adorer, of Him Who created him after His own image; for man as a place for a worship which may reclaim, and purify, and uplift his fallen nature, which may bring him into communion with his Father and his God.
I. We also may echo the words which the chronicler places in the mouth of David, and say that the work he planned was great—great in itself, greater in results achieved, outliving its own ruin and the destruction of its successor. Yet, like all human works, it contained elements of imperfection, germs of decay. The very existence of the Temple was made the plea for establishing rival sanctuaries, dedicated to another worship than that of Jehovah.
II. The second and the newer Temple found no rival, stood supreme in the nation's heart. But a sevenfold darker spirit entered into the empty house of the Jewish Church. The material altar received their superstitious reverence. He who sanctified the altar was forgotten. In the name of, and as defenders of, that Temple, the Temple's guardians condemned to death One greater than the Temple—-One who taught His people to look forward to a worship that should be confined to no temple's walls, whose disciple breathed his Master's spirit when he saw in vision a city of Jerusalem of which he could say, "I saw no temple therein; for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it."
G. G. Bradley, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xx., p. 289.
References: 1 Chronicles 29:5.—Christian World Pulpit, vol. ix., p. 11, and vol. xx., p. 350; T. Kelly, Pulpit Trees, p. 306; F. E. Paget, Helps and Hindrances to the Christian Life, vol. ii., p. 254. 1 Chronicles 29:9-29.—Clergyman's Magazine, vol. iv., p. 349. 1 Chronicles 29:10-13.—C. Wordsworth, Occasional Sermons, 3rd series, p. 17.
1 Chronicles 29:11-12The conclusion of the Lord's Prayer is not to be considered altogether as an act of thanksgiving or an expression of God's praise and glory; it is rather intended to imply on our part the reasons for our assurance that God will grant our petitions. It is attributing to God the power to aid us, and our grounds for confidence that He will do so.
I. To be allowed to give praise and glory to God is indeed a great privilege and blessing, and most becoming in us when God answers our prayers, but a full persuasion of His power is most essentially necessary in us, in order that our prayers may be answered. It may be observed throughout the Gospels how much our Lord required this faith and assurance of His power before He wrought any miracle—of His power especially, more than even a sense of His mercy and goodness. Where there was no belief in His power He worked no miracles.
II. In these words it is not a kingdom, power, and glory which we ascribe unto God, but the kingdom, the power, and the glory. There is very much in this. The kingdom means the one and only kingdom, or such a kingdom as that there is no other of the kind, or to be compared with it. The kingdoms of this world are but weak and poor shadows of the true kingdom; they are but as reflections of the sun in impure pools of water compared to the real sun itself in strength and brightness.
III. Although we are ready in words to assent to this—that the kingdom is God's, and the power, and the glory—yet we are very slow to believe it as it must be received. We are inclined to think that it is something which is to be hereafter rather than that it is the case even now, that there is no kingdom and power but in the Cross of Christ, that sceptre of His kingdom by which He reigns in the hearts of His faithful subjects. To behold even now the glory of Christ in His humiliation and to be by beholding it conformed unto the same image—this is the best gift of the Spirit, for which we have always need to pray.
I. Williams, Plain Sermons on the Catechism, p. 122.
1 Chronicles 29:14I. The nature of the gift. It was a gift distinctly for the public good, a gift which brought back no profit to the giver save as he shared in the public good.
II. The source of David's and the people's joy. (1) Giving under the constraint of love is the most joyful exercise of the human powers. (2) The joy man takes in the accomplishment of a noble public object is the purest and loftiest of all human joys. (3) I suppose a vision passed before David's sight of what that work would be to man, and would do for man, through ages. (4) Concord in good works realises perhaps more than anything in our experience the angelic benediction "Peace on earth and goodwill to men."
III. The reason of the praise. (1) It is God's inspiration. (2) Praise and bless the Lord, who inspires this spirit, for it commands an abounding blessing.
J. Baldwin Brown, The Sunday Afternoon, p. 362.
1 Chronicles 29:14These words plainly express a truth which rises high above the occasion to which they immediately refer. All the blessings of this life, they tell us, are God's gifts; and here is a motive for generous gifts, namely, that, give God what we may, it is already His own. "All things come of Thee."
I. This is true, first of all, of that which was in David's mind—of material possessions, of property. Property is both originally, and as long as we hold it, the gift of God.
II. So it is with the powers of the mind. God gives them, and we hold them, so long as He pleases, and no longer. There are days when we feel that the higher and more original powers of the mind are just as little within our control as the weather, and the sense of this may well suggest from whom indeed we hold them, and how precariously.
III. "All things come of Thee." Need it be said that this especially applies to those powers by which our souls are raised to a higher level than unassisted nature knows of, and are enabled to hold communion with the Being who made us? Grace, which proceeds, as the word implies, from God's bounty, is itself much more than mere favour, such as results in no form of active assistance. Grace is an operative, impelling, controlling force; it is a Divine presence in the regenerate man.
IV. "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights." This great truth should express itself in the spirit of sacrifice, resting on the conviction that whatever we give to God is already His. And the spirit of sacrifice is engaged constantly in twofold activity: it is either consenting with humble resignation, if not with glad acquiescence, to that which God exacts, or it is making some effort of its own to acknowledge the debt of which it is never unconscious.
H. P. Liddon, Penny Pulpit, No. 1101.
Reference: 1 Chronicles 29:14.—Clergyman's Magazine, vol. ix., p. 91.
1 Chronicles 29:15The shadow is a fit emblem of human life. From the hour it falls on the dial it moves round the little circle until the sun sinks, when in a moment it is gone. A few hours past, and its work is done. The shadow thrown by the brightest sunshine must vanish when the night comes. Thus it is with life.
I. God does not speak to us through nature without a purpose. We are not to ponder in our hearts on the analogy between human life and nature in its various phases for the pleasure of indulging in sentimental feelings. When Moses mused on the shortness of life, his prayer was, "So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom." Life is short, so we must seek for wisdom to make the most of it. No more is required than that every man should do his best with the hours entrusted to his care.
II. The thought of life's shortness should lead us to value time more highly. Our short life on earth should be a life of work, for we shall have all eternity to rest in. Learn to value time, first, because you have the work your "hand finds" to accomplish, and, secondly, because you have to "work out your own salvation." The great lesson which the frailty and shortness of life should teach us is the importance of preparing for the eternity beyond.
W. S. Randall, "Literary Churchman" Sermons, 1883, p. 174.
References: 1 Chronicles 29:15.—J. Keble, Sermons for the Christian Year: Christmas and Epiphany, p. 202; W. M. Taylor, Old Testament Outlines, p. 88.
1 Chronicles 29:18I. David knew the transcendent importance to a human society of having always before them—in good times and in bad, in darkness and in light, in trouble and in joy—some memorial, imperishable and beautiful, of their fathers and of their God. This he held the Temple would be. But he was far too wise a man to think that the noblest monument was power of itself. He does not pray that the Temple may keep God in people's hearts, but knowing well the uses of the Temple, he prays that God will keep it and the building of it in their hearts, and he proceeds, "and prepare their heart unto Thee."
II. The Temple can do nothing by itself. But God can make His people with the Temple to be far greater and nobler than ever they could be without it, and that is why God uses temples and all such things for lifting man from the dust to the heavens. It is not God's way to effect anything for souls or for societies by external means, not even of a Divine nature. It is not God's way to put down some glorious work, powerful in operation, upon the ground for men to gather round it, and be affected by it, and go away and be different men. The men must bring something there too. They must communicate something to each other. In all things, great and small, living men must live with and for men, in the assurance that life is the aim of God, not merely order.
Archbishop Benson, Boy Life: Sundays in Wellington College, p. 148.
References: 1 Chronicles 29:20.—S. Minton, Church Sermons, vol. i., p. 119. 1 Chronicles 29:21.—Preacher's Monthly, vol. vi., p. 40. 1 Chronicles 29:28.—J. Edmunds, Fifteen Sermons, p. 151. 1 Chronicles 29:29, 1 Chronicles 29:30.—Christian World Pulpit, yo\. win., p. 193. 32—E. H. Plumptre, Expositor, 2nd series, vol. ii., p. 437.
Now I have prepared with all my might for the house of my God the gold for things to be made of gold, and the silver for things of silver, and the brass for things of brass, the iron for things of iron, and wood for things of wood; onyx stones, and stones to be set, glistering stones, and of divers colours, and all manner of precious stones, and marble stones in abundance.
Moreover, because I have set my affection to the house of my God, I have of mine own proper good, of gold and silver, which I have given to the house of my God, over and above all that I have prepared for the holy house,
Even three thousand talents of gold, of the gold of Ophir, and seven thousand talents of refined silver, to overlay the walls of the houses withal:
The gold for things of gold, and the silver for things of silver, and for all manner of work to be made by the hands of artificers. And who then is willing to consecrate his service this day unto the LORD?
Then the chief of the fathers and princes of the tribes of Israel, and the captains of thousands and of hundreds, with the rulers of the king's work, offered willingly,
And gave for the service of the house of God of gold five thousand talents and ten thousand drams, and of silver ten thousand talents, and of brass eighteen thousand talents, and one hundred thousand talents of iron.
And they with whom precious stones were found gave them to the treasure of the house of the LORD, by the hand of Jehiel the Gershonite.
Then the people rejoiced, for that they offered willingly, because with perfect heart they offered willingly to the LORD: and David the king also rejoiced with great joy.
Wherefore David blessed the LORD before all the congregation: and David said, Blessed be thou, LORD God of Israel our father, for ever and ever.
Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all.
Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all.
Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name.
But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort? for all things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee.
For we are strangers before thee, and sojourners, as were all our fathers: our days on the earth are as a shadow, and there is none abiding.
O LORD our God, all this store that we have prepared to build thee an house for thine holy name cometh of thine hand, and is all thine own.
I know also, my God, that thou triest the heart, and hast pleasure in uprightness. As for me, in the uprightness of mine heart I have willingly offered all these things: and now have I seen with joy thy people, which are present here, to offer willingly unto thee.
O LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, our fathers, keep this for ever in the imagination of the thoughts of the heart of thy people, and prepare their heart unto thee:
And give unto Solomon my son a perfect heart, to keep thy commandments, thy testimonies, and thy statutes, and to do all these things, and to build the palace, for the which I have made provision.
And David said to all the congregation, Now bless the LORD your God. And all the congregation blessed the LORD God of their fathers, and bowed down their heads, and worshipped the LORD, and the king.
And they sacrificed sacrifices unto the LORD, and offered burnt offerings unto the LORD, on the morrow after that day, even a thousand bullocks, a thousand rams, and a thousand lambs, with their drink offerings, and sacrifices in abundance for all Israel:
And did eat and drink before the LORD on that day with great gladness. And they made Solomon the son of David king the second time, and anointed him unto the LORD to be the chief governor, and Zadok to be priest.
Then Solomon sat on the throne of the LORD as king instead of David his father, and prospered; and all Israel obeyed him.
And all the princes, and the mighty men, and all the sons likewise of king David, submitted themselves unto Solomon the king.
And the LORD magnified Solomon exceedingly in the sight of all Israel, and bestowed upon him such royal majesty as had not been on any king before him in Israel.
Thus David the son of Jesse reigned over all Israel.
And the time that he reigned over Israel was forty years; seven years reigned he in Hebron, and thirty and three years reigned he in Jerusalem.
And he died in a good old age, full of days, riches, and honour: and Solomon his son reigned in his stead.
Now the acts of David the king, first and last, behold, they are written in the book of Samuel the seer, and in the book of Nathan the prophet, and in the book of Gad the seer,
With all his reign and his might, and the times that went over him, and over Israel, and over all the kingdoms of the countries.