Bible Readings for November 26th
A new section begins with our reading today from 1 Chronicles 22, where we will start reading even more explicitly about the reforms David makes to Israel’s worship. Over the next few chapters, David will organize the Levites, the priests, the musicians, and the gatekeepers in the temple, but he begins by charging his son Solomon and the other leaders of Israel to set their minds to the task of building a temple in which Yahweh will dwell in their midst. From this chapter, we learn two important principles surrounding the theology of the temple that we have not previously seen.
First, we find out why David has been so involved in preparing for the building of the temple up to this point: he is worried about the youth and inexperience of his son Solomon, since the house in which Yahweh will dwell must be “exceedingly magnificent, of fame and glory throughout all lands” (1 Chron. 22:5). This is important, since it shifts the credit for the temple away from Solomon and places it on David. Of course, the important point isn’t to glorify David but rather that this directs Israel’s hope beyond the first son of David to the ultimate Son of David who would eventually become the dwelling place of God among his people.
Second, we learn the reason why Yahweh did not allow David to build the temple: he had shed too much blood (1 Chron. 22:8). Instead, Yahweh wanted to give the building of his temple to a man who had rest from his surrounding enemies (1 Chron. 22:9). More than that, David urges Israel’s other leaders to dedicate themselves to the task of building the temple because of the fact that Yahweh had given his people peace on every side from their enemies through the blood David had shed (1 Chron. 22:18). Just as Yahweh had dwelt generally with his people in the Promised Land when he gave them rest on every side from their enemies during their conquest of Canaan (Josh. 21:44, 23:1), so now the temple in Jerusalem becomes the specific place where he will dwell with them through the peace David has wrought.
And yet, we know already that this temple will be destroyed by the Babylonians. The theology of the Chronicles, then, isn’t pointing forward to a new temple that would be just like the old one. Rather, the Chronicles teach us that there would be a better temple than what Solomon built for us, built by Jesus Christ, who did not shed the blood of others but who gained rest from his enemies by rising from the dead after his own blood was shed. This new temple, then, would not be built with gold, silver, and bronze but with something far more precious: with the people whom Jesus Christ purchased with his own blood (1 Cor. 3:10–17).
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.