Lessons from 1 Chronicles 21-29
21:1-22:1 - ‘Satan stood up against Israel…’ (21:1). ‘Satan’ is ‘the devil’ (Revelation 12:7). He is a powerful enemy. We must not underestimate him. In the service of the Lord, we face strong opposition. It is is not merely human – ‘our struggle is not against flesh and blood’. It is much more powerful – ‘the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms’ (Ephesians 6:12). Satan is very powerful. When he wins a victory over you, confess your sin to God and seek His forgiveness, believing that ‘His mercy is very great’ (8,13). Be careful not to overestimate Satan. Christ is more powerful (Colossians 2: 13-15; Hebrews 2:14-15; 1 John 3:8). Christ has won the victory. In Him, we have the victory – ‘they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb’ (Revelation 12:10-11). Keep reminding Satan of Christ’s victory. Don’t let him forget it!
22:2-23:32 - We need visionaries. We need managers. We need workers. David was a visionary. He had the original idea of building the Temple. Solomon was a manager. Under his leadership, the vision became a reality. David was important – but he was only involved in the ‘preparation’ for the building of the Temple (22:5). Solomon was important – ‘He shall build a House for My Name’ (22:9-10) – but he couldn’t do everything. The people were important. They were the workers. Without the workers, the work remains undone. Each of us must play our part. We must ‘do the work for the service of the House of the Lord’ (23:24). In this work, there is something we must never forget – ‘thanking and praising the Lord’ (23:30). David, Solomon, the people – they were all important. More important is the Lord. We need Him.
24:1-25:31 - The work of God was to be done ‘as the Lord God of Israel had commanded’ (24:19). The Lord is our Commander-in-Chief. No-one else can take His place. Never imagine you’re ‘the king of the castle’. We’re only sinners who’ve been saved by the grace of God. We’re ‘the dirty wee rascals’ -’all our righteous acts are like filthy rags’ (Isaiah 64:6). That’s what we are in ourselves – nothing more than ‘dirty wee rascals’. The Lord has done something wonderful for us. He has given us new clothes – ‘the clothes of salvation’ (Isaiah 61:10). Let’s never ‘get too big for our boots’. There’s only one ‘King of the Castle’. Let us ‘exalt Him’ – ‘You, O Lord are exalted for ever’ (25:5; Psalm 92:8). ‘The Lord reigns…’. Let’s be content to be ‘Castle Kids’ – ‘children of the living God’ (Psalm 93:1; Romans 9:26).
26:1-27:34 - We are called to serve God. At the heart of our service, there is this – ‘ministering in the House of the Lord’ (26:12). Part of our worship involves the dedication of ‘gifts for the maintenance of the House of the Lord’ (26:27). There is more to serving God than worshipping Him in His House. There is more to serving God than supporting the work which takes place within His House. We are to serve Him in the world. When our service of worship ends, our service in the world begins. We must offer our whole life to God – not only the ‘religious’ part. For God’s people, there were responsibilities outside of the House of the Lord – ‘the service of the king’ and ‘the affairs of the king’. We are to serve God in our everyday life. This is part of our obedience to God. Be faithful in ‘all the work of the Lord’, ‘in everything pertaining to God’ (26:30,32).
28:1-29:5 - Some servants of the Lord complete their ministry without seeing their vision becoming a reality. This is what happened to David. He had the initial idea – ‘I had my heart set on building the Temple…’. He had begun thinking about how the Temple could be built – ‘I made preparations for building’. It was not to be – ‘God said to me, “You may not build a House for My Name”’. This was not, however, God’s last Word to David. There was also a Word of hope – ‘It is Solomon your son who shall build My House’ (28:2-3,6). Solomon was ‘young and inexperienced’. He was taking on a huge task. He needed God’s Word of encouragement – ‘…the Lord God is with you…’. He needed the support of the people – ‘all the people will be wholly at your command’. Let us ‘dedicate ourselves to the Lord today’ (28:20-29:1,5).
29:6-30 - The Temple of the Lord did not come easily. It had to be built. This involved God’s people in much sacrificial giving. This was a great challenge. The Lord’s people rose to the challenge. They gave to the Lord – joyfully, generously and wholeheartedly (9). This giving was an expression of their worship. They were saying to the Lord, ‘Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty’ (10). Worshipping the Lord like this transforms our giving. It is no longer a legalistic burden – “Why do I have to give so much?”. It becomes our joyful privilege. Our giving becomes thanksgiving. We thank the Lord for all that He has done for us. Let us give ‘with great gladness’ – ‘Our God, we thank You… Everything comes from You. We give only what has come from Your hands’ (22, 13-14).