Bible Reading / Book By Book: 1 Kings to Psalms
Day 36 / 1 Chronicles 21 -22
Chapters 18-20 tell of some of David’s military victories. In chapter 21, we are told of what seems like a strange failure on David’s part. David conducts a census. God sees this as rebellion because David is depending on how many soldiers he has rather than on God. God’s punishment extends to all of Israel and is stopped by David sacrificing offerings on an altar. The location of that altar will eventually become the location of the Temple.
When we think of sin we think of the adultery David committed. We don’t always think of depending on things other than God. For David it was military might. For us it could be our investments, possessions, our nation’s military or the doctors we see. It’s good to make plans to take care of ourselves, but ultimately, our dependence is on God.
1 Chronicles 21 (NASB)
Census Brings Pestilence
Then Satan stood up against Israel and moved David to number Israel. 2 So David said to Joab and to the princes of the people, “Go, number Israel from Beersheba even to Dan, and bring me word that I may know their number.” 3 Joab said, “May the Lord add to His people a hundred times as many as they are! But, my lord the king, are they not all my lord’s servants? Why does my lord seek this thing? Why should he be a cause of guilt to Israel?” 4 Nevertheless, the king’s word prevailed against Joab. Therefore, Joab departed and went throughout all Israel, and came to Jerusalem. 5 Joab gave the number of the census of all the people to David. And all Israel were 1,100,000 men who drew the sword; and Judah was 470,000 men who drew the sword. 6 But he did not number Levi and Benjamin among them, for the king’s command was abhorrent to Joab.
7 God was displeased with this thing, so He struck Israel. 8 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 done very foolishly.”
9 The Lord spoke to Gad, David’s seer, saying, 10 “Go and speak to David, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord, “I offer you three things; choose for yourself one of them, which I will do to you.”’” 11 So Gad came to David and said to him, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Take for yourself 12 either three years of famine, or three months to be swept away before your foes, while the sword of your enemies overtakes you, or else three days of the sword of the Lord, even pestilence in the land, and the angel of the Lord destroying throughout all the territory of Israel.’ Now, therefore, consider what answer I shall return to Him who sent me.” 13 David said to Gad, “I am in great distress; please let me fall into the hand of the Lord, for His mercies are very great. But do not let me fall into the hand of man.”
14 So the Lord sent a pestilence on Israel; 70,000 men of Israel fell. 15 And God sent an angel to Jerusalem to destroy it; but as he was about to destroy it, the Lord saw and was sorry over the calamity, and said to the destroying angel, “It is enough; now relax your hand.” And the angel of the Lord was standing by the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite. 16 Then David lifted up his eyes and saw the angel of the Lord standing between earth and heaven, with his drawn sword in his hand stretched out over Jerusalem. Then David and the elders, covered with sackcloth, fell on their faces. 17 David said to God, “Is it not I who commanded to count the people? Indeed, I am the one who has sinned and done very wickedly, but these sheep, what have they done? O Lord my God, please let Your hand be against me and my father’s household, but not against Your people that they should be plagued.”
18 Then the angel of the Lord commanded Gad to say to David, that David should go up and build an altar to the Lord on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite.19 So David went up at the word of Gad, which he spoke in the name of the Lord.20 Now Ornan turned back and saw the angel, and his four sons who were with him hid themselves. And Ornan was threshing wheat. 21 As David came to Ornan, Ornan looked and saw David, and went out from the threshing floor and prostrated himself before David with his face to the ground. 22 Then David said to Ornan, “Give me the site of this threshing floor, that I may build on it an altar to the Lord; for the full price you shall give it to me, that the plague may be restrained from the people.” 23 Ornan said to David, “Take it for yourself; and let my lord the king do what is good in his sight. See, I will give the oxen for burnt offerings and the threshing sledges for wood and the wheat for the grain offering; I will give it all.”24 But King David said to Ornan, “No, but I will surely buy it for the full price; for I will not take what is yours for the Lord, or offer a burnt offering which costs me nothing.” 25 So David gave Ornan 600 shekels of gold by weight for the site.26 Then David built an altar to the Lord there and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. And he called to the Lord and He answered him with fire from heaven on the altar of burnt offering. 27 The Lord commanded the angel, and he put his sword back in its sheath.
28 At that time, when David saw that the Lord had answered him on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite, he offered sacrifice there. 29 For the tabernacle of the Lord, which Moses had made in the wilderness, and the altar of burnt offering were in the high place at Gibeon at that time. 30 But David could not go before it to inquire of God, for he was terrified by the sword of the angel of the Lord.
1 Chronicles 22 (NASB)
David Prepares for Temple Building
Then David said, “This is the house of the Lord God, and this is the altar of burnt offering for Israel.”
2 So David gave orders to gather the foreigners who were in the land of Israel, and he set stonecutters to hew out stones to build the house of God. 3 David prepared large quantities of iron to make the nails for the doors of the gates and for the clamps, and more bronze than could be weighed; 4 and timbers of cedar logs beyond number, for the Sidonians and Tyrians brought large quantities of cedar timber to David. 5 David said, “My son Solomon is young and inexperienced, and the house that is to be built for the Lord shall be exceedingly magnificent, famous and glorious throughout all lands. Therefore now I will make preparation for it.” So David made ample preparations before his death.
Solomon Charged with the Task
6 Then he called for his son Solomon, and charged him to build a house for the Lord God of Israel. 7 David said to Solomon, “My son, I had intended to build a house to the name of the Lord my God. 8 But the word of the Lord came to me, saying, ‘You have shed much blood and have waged great wars; you shall not build a house to My name, because you have shed so much blood on the earth before Me. 9 Behold, a son will be born to you, who shall be a man of rest; and I will give him rest from all his enemies on every side; for his name shall be Solomon, and I will give peace and quiet to Israel in his days. 10 He shall build a house for My name, and he shall be My son and I will be his father; and I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel forever.’ 11 Now, my son, the Lordbe with you that you may be successful, and build the house of the Lord your God just as He has spoken concerning you. 12 Only the Lord give you discretion and understanding, and give you charge over Israel, so that you may keep the law of the Lord your God. 13 Then you will prosper, if you are careful to observe the statutes and the ordinances which the Lord commanded Moses concerning Israel. Be strong and courageous, do not fear nor be dismayed. 14 Now behold, with great pains I have prepared for the house of the Lord 100,000 talents of gold and 1,000,000 talents of silver, and bronze and iron beyond weight, for they are in great quantity; also timber and stone I have prepared, and you may add to them.15 Moreover, there are many workmen with you, stonecutters and masons of stone and carpenters, and all men who are skillful in every kind of work. 16 Of the gold, the silver and the bronze and the iron there is no limit. Arise and work, and may the Lord be with you.”
17 David also commanded all the leaders of Israel to help his son Solomon, saying,18 “Is not the Lord your God with you? And has He not given you rest on every side? For He has given the inhabitants of the land into my hand, and the land is subdued before the Lord and before His people. 19 Now set your heart and your soul to seek the Lord your God; arise, therefore, and build the sanctuary of the Lord God, so that you may bring the ark of the covenant of the Lord and the holy vessels of God into the house that is to be built for the name of the Lord.”