Bible Readings for December 1st
We looked yesterday at ways these final chapters in 1 Chronicles portray David as a new Moses, and here in 1 Chronicles 29:6–9, we find yet one more story along those lines in the freewill offering of the Israelites to contribute materials for the building of the temple. The word for “freewill offering” in 1 Chronicles 29:6 first appears in the Bible in Exodus—once in Exodus 25:2 to invite a freewill offering for the construction of the tabernacle and then in Exodus 35:21 and 29 to describe the freewill offering that the people do contribute for the building of the tabernacle. Just as Moses had collected the freewill offering to build the first dwelling place of Yahweh in the tabernacle, so now David also collects a freewill offering for the temple.
But nevertheless, 1 Chronicles ends on a somewhat puzzling note: why doesn’t David usher in the ultimate, final, consummated kingdom of God here? As we have noted a couple of times, the story we have in 1 Chronicles omits David’s sin with Bathsheba, as well as his failure to deal with the rebellion of Joab and Absalom (among others) in his midst, so why then does David pass away from the scene here? The first book of Chronicles leaves this question entirely unanswered.
In fact, the Chronicler writes this description of David deliberately in order to establish a pattern that David’s greater Son would follow. In the same way that David did not consummate God’s kingdom on earth here at the end of 1 Chronicles, so also Jesus ascended to his Father in heaven after his resurrection without bringing his people straight into their eternal rest with him. As we read the final story of David in 1 Chronicles 29, we are meant to feel the same way as did the apostles of Jesus before his ascension, when they asked, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6). Is it now, Lord Jesus? Are you coming to put away permanently the curse of sin and death and to bring your people into their eternal home so that we can be with you forever now?
The joyous—yet incomplete—story of David’s departure is written to stoke the flames of our desire for Jesus. Do you long for your Savior to return? Do you pray, “Come, Lord Jesus!” (Rev. 22:20)? Are you purifying yourself as he is pure while you await his appearance (1 John 3:3)? Are you gathering oil and trimming your wicks (Matt. 25:1–13) and wisely investing the talents he has entrusted to you (Matt. 25:14–30)? The day is coming when he will return, and on that day, let none of us fail to have made ourselves ready to embrace our bridegroom. Today, trust in him as you await his appearing.
Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.