Bible Readings for November 30th
As we come to the end of David’s life in 1 Chronicles, there is one question we have not yet addressed: Was David right to take such an active role in reshaping the worship in Israel in the way that he did? We need to avoid bringing in the baggage of our own culture’s assumptions, since we often glorify the ability to bring new ideas as the quintessential leadership quality. In the Bible, however, it is the innovations in worship—for example, high places, new altars, and new places for worship away from Jerusalem—that receive the strongest condemnation of all the sins the later kings of Israel and Judah commit. Should we worry that David might be disobeying Yahweh here? As we discussed in our meditation for 2 Kings 9, one of the ways the biblical authors make their points is through the repetition of stories, and here in 1 Chronicles 28, we see two clear repetitions that portray David as a new Moses rather than a usurping innovator who rejects Moses.
First, we read in 1 Chronicles 28:19 that David’s plans for the temple have come directly from Yahweh: “All this he made clear to me in writing from the hand of the LORD, all the work to be done according to the plan.” David has received direct revelation to plan how to build everything in the temple, from its various houses, treasuries, rooms, and vestibules to all the division of work within the temple, as well as all the furniture it would house (1 Chron. 28:11–18). This passage covers virtually the same elements as the plans for building the tabernacle that Moses received from Yahweh in Exodus 25–31.
Second, David charges Solomon with nearly a direct quotation from the words Moses spoke when commissioning Joshua as Israel’s next leader in Deuteronomy 31:7–8: “Be strong and courageous, for you shall go with this people into the land that the LORD has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall put them in possession of it. It is the LORD who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” Here in 1 Chronicles 28:20, David now says this: “Be strong and courageous and do it. Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed, for the LORD God, even my God, is with you. He will not leave you or forsake you, until all the work for the service of the house of the LORD is finished.”
David is not rejecting Moses—rather, he is a new Moses. Even here, however, the focus is not so much on David himself as it is on the ultimate Son of David whom Yahweh would raise up for the salvation of his people. We will continue looking at the conclusion of David’s life tomorrow.
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.