1 Chronicles 16:43-7:15 – Sometimes, God’s Assignment Is to Set the Next Guy Up for Success!

Posted: April 30, 2020 in 99-Uncategorized

1 Chronicles 16:43-7:15

The Lord’s Covenant Promise to David

At first when I read through this passage, 1 Chronicles 16:43-7:15, I said to myself that there had to be a deeper reason why David did not get to build the Temple for the Lord. All we have in this specific passage is the command not to build. We have to move over to 1 Chronicles 22:7-8 to find out why God did not allow David to build the Temple. There, it says that it is because David was a man of war and that God wanted the Temple to be built by a man of peace. I can see that.

By the time that Solomon was able to start and complete the building of the Temple, Israel was finally in an extended period of peace. Israel was at the height of its regional power under the Davidic/Solomonic reign, particularly in the time of Solomon. Therefore, there would be no distractions to what was the greatest building project of the Israelite nation up to that point. The building of the Temple consumed the focus of the brightest engineers, artisans, project managers, and other elite minds as well as the labor of many, many Israelites and foreign indentured servants. Thus, any war efforts would have drawn away from the project. It would have been one of those trying to do two things at once and, as a result, doing them both poorly. Thus, God wanted to wait for there to be a time when there was a long period of peace for Israel. Thus, in God’s omniscience, He knew that there would be such a time in the reign of Solomon – and thus, Solomon would be a man of peace whereas his father was a man of war.

It also got me to thinking about David’s role in the building of the Temple was important though and maybe more so, though the Temple is often affectionately referred to as Solomon’s Temple. In David’s time, God would not allow Him to build the temple, but God did give David the design through revelation and inspiration. David did two important things without which Solomon would not have been able to pull off such a magnificent construction feat in his own life (given the technology of the day). David, with God’s direction, came up with the design. He then evaluated the design and determined every material needed and the quantities thereof. He determined the lengths, widths, sizes, and such of everything related to the Temple’s construction. He then went about procuring those materials in their various shapes, sizes and forms. He then warehoused these goods in an organized fashion and in such a way that the first materials needed would be nearest the Temple site and so on. He was the very definition of “laying the groundwork” for Solomon’s construction of the Temple.

Isn’t that what we have to do sometimes in life and sometimes particularly as a pastor while serving a church for a period of time. In our situations in life, whether it’s your job in the secular world, or mine in the pastoral world, we may have to be the ones that do David’s job as noted here. Let’s read the passage of 1 Chronicles 16:43-17:15, with that idea in mind:

16:43 Then all the people departed to their homes, and David went home to bless his household.

17:1 Now when David settled in his house, David said to the prophet Nathan, “I am living in a house of cedar, but the ark of the covenant of the Lord is under a tent.” 2 Nathan said to David, “Do all that you have in mind, for God is with you.”

3 But that same night the word of the Lord came to Nathan, saying: 4 Go and tell my servant David: Thus says the Lord: You shall not build me a house to live in. 5 For I have not lived in a house since the day I brought out Israel to this very day, but I have lived in a tent and a tabernacle.[a] 6 Wherever I have moved about among all Israel, did I ever speak a word with any of the judges of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd my people, saying, Why have you not built me a house of cedar? 7 Now therefore thus you shall say to my servant David: Thus says the Lord of hosts: I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, to be ruler over my people Israel; 8 and I have been with you wherever you went, and have cut off all your enemies before you; and I will make for you a name, like the name of the great ones of the earth. 9 I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, so that they may live in their own place, and be disturbed no more; and evildoers shall wear them down no more, as they did formerly, 10 from the time that I appointed judges over my people Israel; and I will subdue all your enemies.

Moreover I declare to you that the Lord will build you a house. 11 When your days are fulfilled to go to be with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring after you, one of your own sons, and I will establish his kingdom. 12 He shall build a house for me, and I will establish his throne forever. 13 I will be a father to him, and he shall be a son to me. I will not take my steadfast love from him, as I took it from him who was before you, 14 but I will confirm him in my house and in my kingdom forever, and his throne shall be established forever. 15 In accordance with all these words and all this vision, Nathan spoke to David.

In this passage, we see that David felt disturbed that the Ark, the symbol of God’s presence, sat in a tent while he lived in a beautiful palace. David’s desire was right but his timing was wrong. God told David not to build His Temple and David was willing to abide by God’s timing. God says here that He did not really need a temple but He was pleased at David’s desire to honor Him in this way. The thing to grasp here is that with the pressure off of getting the Temple built during his lifetime, David could focus on gathering the finest of the finest materials. And, later, David’s son, Solomon, did not have to worry over procurement, all he had to focus on was the building of the temple. Although Solomon gets the credit for the building of the Temple, it would not have been as easy for Solomon to have built the bright, shiny Temple without the lifetime of David gathering the finest of materials.

Getting back now to the idea I presented before we read the passage. Here, we have seen that God does not immediately give David the reason why he was not being allowed to build the Temple. However, David and Solomon between them performed the entire building process. Design and Procurement was David and Construction Management was Solomon. Solomon received the accolades for the finished product. From historical information that we have available to us in the Bible and outside the Bible, Solomon’s Temple was quite the magnificent structure. It was unrivaled in all of the Middle East. However, David set Solomon up for success.

When you look at your job you have now, you may be laying the groundwork for some future successor to have great success in your position. For example, in my previous career and my last position as finance director for my company, I set the next guy up perfectly for success. When I arrived at that company a decade earlier, the finance group was in total disarray and no one within our two layers of parent companies (all the way up to overall corporate in Japan) did not trust the financial reports or anything financial be reported from our business unit. It took several years to get it all straightened out. It took several more to establish policies and procedures that were consistent and consistently applied such that every financial report of our company became the most trusted in the organization. It took several years too to get all the right personnel in the right positions – the right people in the right seats. By the time I left there to become a full-time pastor over two years ago now, the finance department of our business unit was the most trusted in the entire organization. We even went through an accounting system change and implementation while I was there. We got all the bugs worked out with that and the reporting systems were running smoothly when I left. The next guy who was to come in after me was coming into a well-oiled machine and thus could concentrate on higher issues rather than having to lay the groundwork from the simplest levels to the highest levels like I did. All they gotta do is build upon the foundations that I laid down. The same may well be true for you in your position at your secular job right now. Always leave your job better than you found it. Always set your successor up for greater success than you had. Be the David to Solomon for the next guy who comes in and takes your position at your company after you leave. Leaving it better than you found it and setting the next guy up for success is glorifying to God.

The same is true for me in my current ministry position. It may be my calling at this church to reset the culture from what it is now to an eye toward being a more impactful church in our sphere of influence. It may well be my job here to ready this church for future growth and success for the kingdom of God. All my experience in the secular world and my experiences in leadership and pastoral ministry in larger, modern worship style churches may all be necessary for me to be able to see the amazing potential of this church and so create the culture and lay the groundwork for the future and for the future success of the pastor who follows me here. Always leave the church you serve better than you found it. Always set your successor pastor up for greater success than you had. Be the David to Solomon for the next guy who serves this church. That may be God’s task and assignment for you at this church. Do it to the glory of God!

Amen and Amen.

  1. Elena Bowling says:

    So good. Love this and love you!


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