By now, you probably know the drill. If you are new, this series, as you may have deciphered, is an outline of the entire Bible, book by good ol’ book. If you want to truly know your King, you can follow this link to read all of the current portions to date!
Previously in 1 Chronicles… After we see Israel fall to the Assyrian empire and Judah to the Babylonian empire, we come to the book of 1 Chronicles. The first 8 chapters of the book describe the genealogies of the children of Israel with particular focus on establishing the 12 tribes, the lineage of David through Seth, Noah, and Judah, and the lineage of Saul. This is a reminder to the exiled Israelites of their past, and it sets the stage to describe the events that unfolded during the lives of King Saul and King David. The reminder begins with the death of Saul and his sons in battle and the exaltation of David as King by the people of Israel! Last week we were reminded of much of David’s life including his mighty men, his victory over the Philistines, and his attempt to return the ark to Jerusalem. However, we also see a glimpse of the Lord’s incomprehensible holiness as Uzzah was struck down for trying to steady the ark when the oxen holding it stumbled. Frightened by the death of Uzzah, David left the ark outside of Jerusalem in the house of Obed-edom for a period of 3 months. As the saga of David continues, we finally see the ark brought to Jerusalem and placed in a tent. Although David had intentions of building a house for the Lord (Temple), the Lord promised that his son would do it instead. David continued to reign over the Israelites mightily, and the Lord continued to use him to strike down his enemies all around.
BEFORE READING MORE – It would be ideal if you read the chapters to be discussed prior to looking through the outline! This week we are covering 1 Chronicles 21 – 24.
1 CHRONICLES – After reading the history of Israel and Judah from Genesis through 1st and 2nd Kings, we come to 1 Chronicles. At the end of 2 Kings, we are left with the 10 tribes of Israel under the captivity of Assyria, and the tribes of Judah (Judah, Benjamin, and the Levites) under Babylonian captivity. The Book of 1 Chronicles rehashes the genealogies established from Genesis to 2 Kings. It seems as though the book is written as a refresher or reminder of the history of the captive nation with a particular focus on the lineage of David within the nation of Judah. In 1 Chronicles we learn of the line of David and the descendants of all 12 tribes traced all the way back to Adam, but there is particular emphasis on David, no doubt because the Lord had established his kingdom forever! After the genealogies, the history lesson begins with death of Saul and the anointing of David as King over Israel. The reminder continues in great detail throughout this chapter till the point of David’s death and Solomon’s anointing as King in his place.
- 1 Chronicles 21 | (2 Samuel 24) David is incited to sin by numbering the people – the Lord punishes Israel, but shows mercy as David shows repentance: This chapter correlates to 2 Samuel 24, and it hearkens back to Exodus 30. At the beginning of this chapter, we see that Satan worked to move David in this instance of sin. David was moved to number the people of Israel, which to date was something that only the Lord demanded. In Exodus 30, we read that there was an offering to be gathered when doing this, and the whole process seemed to be much more intentional than simply taking a census of the people. It seems as though David, by the working of the enemy, did this from a place of pride as if the nation was his! This was clearly a sin, and the Lord had to deal with it justly. However, the following verses play out a wonderful story of David’s conviction, the Lord’s justice and judgement, His mercy, and David’s repentance.
And David said to God, “I have sinned greatly in that I have done this thing. But now, please take away the iniquity of your servant, for I have acted very foolishly.” | 1 Chronicles 21:8
David was immediately convicted of his sin, and we see sincere repentance from him! However, the Lord is still just, and a sacrifice was required. But in His first sign of mercy, the Lord allows David to choose the punishment, and David chooses a plague over being attacked by enemies. The Lord sent an angel to bring forth a great calamity that killed 70,000 men! But the Lord stopped the angel at the “appointed time.” It seems that it was only after the Lord had stopped the angel that David built an altar for the Lord at the threshing floor of Araunah (shout out to Boaz and Ruth). The angel stopped at the threshing floor of Ornan (Araunah), and David went to Araunah, built an altar on the threshing floor, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings, and then, we see “the plague was averted from Israel”. It seems as though the mercy of the Lord is in his foreknowledge and his appointed time like Abraham who was asked to offer Isaac! Also in this story of repentance and mercy, David has a notable interaction with Araunah, who offered to give David oxen for an offering.
Then Ornan said to David, “Take it, and let my lord the king do what seems good to him. See, I give the oxen for burnt offerings and the threshing sledges for the wood and the wheat for a grain offering; I give it all.” But King David said to Ornan, “No, but I will buy them for the full price. I will not take for the Lord what is yours, nor offer burnt offerings that cost me nothing.” | 1 Chronicles 21:23-24
What have you offered to the Lord? What price did you pay? If you didn’t pay any price, who paid it for you? After David builds an alter and offers to the Lord, it says that the Lord commanded the angel “and he put his sword back into its sheath” (Scary stuff!).
- 1 Chronicles 22 | David begins preparation for the Temple – David tells Solomon the word of the Lord regarding the Temple: Since David was not to construct the temple for the Lord, he thought to make preparations for it and direct Solomon on his inherited purpose as future King.
David said to Solomon, “My son, I had it in my heart to build a house to the name of the Lord my God. But the word of the Lord came to me, saying, ‘You have shed so much blood before me on the earth. Behold, a son shall be born to you who shall be a man of rest. I will give him rest from all his surrounding enemies. For his name shall be Solomon, and I will give peace and quiet to Israel in his days. He shall build a house for my name. He shall be my son, and I will be his father, and I will establish his royal throne in Israel forever.” | 1 Chronicles 22:7-10
And so David made extravagant preparations and told Solomon exactly what he needed to do making it clear that he needed to be careful to observe the statutes and the rules that the Lord commanded Moses in order to be prosperous. The preparations described in this chapter are beyond imagination – doing some quick research it looks like David was setting aside billions and billions and billions of dollars of gold and silver and labor, etc.!
- 1 Chronicles 23-24 | Solomon is made king – David listed the Levites who were to assist Aaron – the Aaronic priesthood was also established to tend to the house of the Lord in particular: At the start of chapter 23, we are reminded that Solomon was made king prior to David’s death, and since the Lord promised rest during his reign, David began organizing the Levites and the sons of Aaron to tend to the temple as priests. The Levites were numbered and set aside to serve the sons of Aaron:
For by the last words of David the sons of Levi were numbered from twenty years old and upward. For their duty was to assist the sons of Aaron for the service of the house of the Lord, having the care of the courts and the chambers, the cleansing of all that is holy, and any work for the service of the house of God. | 1 Chronicles 23:27-28
The chapter goes on to describe their duties in further detail as a support to the priests of Aaron. In chapter 24 we see the sons of Aaron numbered and established as the priests directly in charge of the house of the Lord:
These had as their appointed duty in their service to come into the house of the Lord according to the procedure established for them by Aaron their father, as the Lord God of Israel had commanded him. | 1 Chronicles 24:19