I Chronicles 18-23
We are in the Nation Stream reading from the World English Bible.
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Commentary by Dr. Drake Travis
Lord, we laud what all was done through David. Thank you for loving us just as much and eternally. Keep us mindful that we are kings and priests because the Holy Spirits has made us victors in the Kingdom of God.
18 – is a pack of highlight “shorts” that quickly describe David’s successes. He was victor in his wars and put neighboring countries in place as his servants. He defeated and subdued the Philistines, Moabites, Syrians, Edomites, Ammonites, Amalekites, and all other neighbors. The world took quick notice that it was not safe to be an enemy of Israel. Neither was it safe to assist an enemy of Israel. If you could see Israel as a clock, Jerusalem is at the center and all the numbers around the clock are neighboring countries and peoples who now submit to David and bring tribute in the form of staggering amounts of wealth. David is head of the most powerful kingdom on earth in 1000 B.C. and the following decades and it remained united as the powerful kingdom for two generations.
19 – David sends his condolences to Ammon in the form of an entourage that brings a friendly message. But the Ammonites read it wrong and end up slapping King David in the face by humiliating all the messengers. Ammon suspecting revenge coming for his mindless reaction to David’s kindness, they panicked and hired 32,000 chariots and soldiers from Mesopotamia to join them [Ammon]. Joab led Israel against this eclectic army and through military brilliance they put them to flight. The Syrians of that group gathered others who united and struck against Israel again. This time David got in on it and they killed 40K Syrians. From there they decided that defending Ammon was not worth it anymore. Ammon then came to David, hat in hand, and served King David.
20 – Joab went through Ammon and stirred up things. I guess he was still mad at them although they had pledged allegiance and were paying David at this time. Well Joab gathered some wealth from Ammon including a 66 lb. golden crown encrusted with impressive gems. Plus the Ammonites were put to more forced labor. Meanwhile the Philistines attacked Israel again. This is the stuff of legend as Israelites fought and defeated giants and six fingered men. Pretty catchy reading isn’t it?! David simply cannot lose a battle – –
in 21 – Notice that it is Satan that impressed upon David to take a census. It’s easy enough to figure that it’s wrong when Satan drops the suggestion. But the problem from a spiritual/emotional/sociological standpoint is that God wants David to be unwaveringly looking to God for confidence. God does not need David to be selfconfident. Those who are self-confident in time think they don’t even need Jesus; they’re so good… really? Well it was sin to be calculating human might v.s. praying for God’s continued presence. The options for punishment are laid out and David chooses to fall under God’s judgment of pestilence. 70,000 die because David didn’t check with God nor listen to Joab. David’s prayer in 21:17 is a monstrous lesson for those in leadership. Why dothe innocent suffer from the foolishness of their leaders? It still happens today as arrogant callous leaders consider only their personal greed v.s. leading and serving the population they are called to be representing. David’s fervor to quickly build an altar to sacrifice to God and ensure the end of the plague is David in overdrive scrambling to cover for his guilt that saw so many suffer for his selfishness. He pays Ornan 13+lbs. of gold to purchase a place to make the altar – to do right by God best as he is able.
22 – After this David is fully resolved to gather material so that the Temple can be built. He knows he personally will not be putting this together. It won’t even be commenced upon let alone finished in his lifetime. Nonetheless, he goes about the preparations and the supplying for it as an admirable expression of his love for God.
Iron, and brass, and cedar trees were gathered in abundance! 6,720 lbs. of gold was gathered to decorate the Temple along with silver that tallied over 33,600 tons of silver. In a visual for today, if this silver was brought in on 18-wheeler semi-trucks, the trucks would stretch for 17+ miles bumper to bumper. This Temple was that important to David. He urged all involved to honor and follow the direction of his son Solomon after he himself was gone from the scene. This Temple was going to be a marvelous structure that would impress even other nations.
23 – David, now late in life, appoints Solomon as the next king of Israel. David gathers the 38,000 priests of Israel as it is time to reassign them – since the Tabernacle, that has been mobile for 400 years, will soon become an edifice in the form of a Temple. The rigors of traversing and packing and tear down and set up were soon over and different tasks need to be organized and assigned. Did you get these numbers?! 24K oversee Temple constructions, 6K are officers and judges, 4K are doorkeepers, and 4,000 are to sing/make music/worship. Can you imagine a choir and orchestra totaling 4,000? Good heavens what a blessing to have them in operation during the construction of the Temple. And remember the Temple was to be built in silence. The hammering and sawing drilling and sanding was done elsewhere. The transport was quiet, the assembly was quiet. Only the worship could be heard (during construction!). Folks this couldn’t be done today. Our schedules and economy won’t have it. We can learn from the prominence that David put upon The House of God.