1 Chronicles 28
The Old Testament is full of glory and tragedy. Often the hero of an OT story turns out to be one more flawed person. This always serves to highlight the truth that God is the true hero of the Bible. Today’s passage shows us the glory and tragedy of the OT in the story of David and his son, Solomon.
Near the end of David’s life, God made it clear that Solomon would build a permanent worship place in Israel. No longer would God be worshiped in the portable tent that had accompanied his people in their desert wanderings. God had established the kingdom through David who made Jerusalem its capital.
“And of all my sons (for the Lord has given me many sons) he has chosen Solomon my son to sit on the throne of the kingdom of the Lord over Israel. He said to me, ‘It is Solomon your son who shall build my house and my courts, for I have chosen him to be my son, and I will be his father.’”
1 Chronicles 28:5-6
“And you, Solomon my son, know the God of your father and serve him with a whole heart and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches all hearts and understands every plan and thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will cast you off forever. Be careful now, for the Lord has chosen you to build a house for the sanctuary; be strong and do it.”
1 Chronicles 28:9-10
Solomon did wonderful things. He did build the temple, but his heart was not fully true to the Lord. The Bible says that after he built the temple his heart was turned away to idol worship through his many pagan wives and concubines.
Then David said to Solomon his son, “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.”
1 Chronicles 28:20
Did God’s promise fail? Did he forsake his promise in light of Solomon’s unfaithfulness?
No. God remained faithful to his promise even though Solomon was not. It was a long time coming, but God always reserved a faithful remnant of people in his kingdom who looked forward to a True King, one who would sit on the throne forever.
Jesus came as the greater son of David and the greater son of Solomon to sit on the throne.
Jesus was glad to come and do the work of building the kingdom of God when the plan in the fullness of time had been laid out before him. Jesus shared true intimacy with the Father because he is God. He came among us as one who serves with a whole heart, a heart greater than Solomon’s. He endured the cross scorning its shame – the shame of bearing our sin – because of the joy set before him.
That joy was a new temple built not of brick and stone, but built of people – people transformed by the love of God found in Jesus. This temple is built of lives transformed and brought to life by the Spirit of God, the one who has replaced our stone hearts with hearts of flesh. Jesus, through his death and resurrection, has built and continues to build a temple greater than that of Solomon.
We know that Jesus is now on the throne in heaven. During this time of advent we now wait for his second coming to bring that rule and reign to earth in a comprehensive way. The throne of heaven and earth will have one ruler, the king in David’s line, and that ruler is Christ.
With eager expectation we wait.