Bible Readings for November 23rd

1 Chronicles 18 | James 5 | Jonah 2 | Luke 7

In many ways, Yahweh’s covenant with David that we read about yesterday in 1 Chronicles 17 is the heart of the theology of the books of Chronicles, but not only because Yahweh swears in this covenant to establish David’s kingdom forever. Additionally, it is David’s desire to build Yahweh a house of cedar—that is, a temple (1 Chron. 17:1–2)—that leads Yahweh to swear a covenantal oath to him in the first place. David’s preparations for the building of the temple will consume much of the remainder of this book.

Even though David does not himself build the temple, the Chronicler gives us extensive information about the temple’s construction that we have not previously read. After only a few stories of David’s great military victories, nearly half of the narrative of David’s life in 1 Chronicles focuses on David’s preparation for the temple’s construction and his reordering of Israel’s worship in 1 Chronicles 22–29. Specifically, we learn in the Chronicles that although Solomon will be the one to build the temple, it is David who makes virtually all the preparations.

And even in our reading from today in 1 Chronicles 18, the stories of David’s warfare aren’t provided for their own sake—instead, these stories serve as records of how David acquires the raw materials for building the temple through his victories in battle. So, David procures from the cities of Tibhath and Cun bronze with which Solomon would eventually make “the bronze sea and the pillars and the vessels of bronze” (1 Chron. 18:8). Then, David dedicates to Yahweh (i.e., to the eventual construction of the temple of Yahweh) articles of gold, silver, and bronze that he gains from Hadadezer, king of Zobah-Hamath, as well as from Edom, Moab, the Ammonites, the Philistines, and Amalek (1 Chron. 18:10–11).

In the New Testament, Paul explains that the church is the temple of the great Son of David, Jesus Christ, where each believer is fitted together into a great structure, joined together with Christ Jesus as the cornerstone, so that the Spirit of God dwells within us corporately (Eph. 2:19–22). But, Paul also describes us as the captives whom Jesus Christ is bringing back from war in his triumphal procession, spreading the fragrance and knowledge of him wherever he leads us (2 Cor. 2:14–16). In other words, we are the precious materials that Jesus Christ has looted from the nations in his great victory over sin, death, and the devil, and he is using us to build up his temple so that he may dwell within us by his Spirit.

“Thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in the triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere” (2 Cor. 2:14)!

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.

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