1 Chronicles 28:1-21 (Part 2) – In These Days, We Must Study, Not Just Read, God’s Word

Posted: June 15, 2020 in 13-1 Chronicles

1 Chronicles 28:1-21 (Part 2 of 4)

David’s Instructions to Solomon

How do we respond to today’s world as Christians? There are many troubling things going on that we must address and not sit quietly aside. However, we must react in ways that are consistent with the Word of God. There are two main issues developing that I see that we must address.

  1. The issue of racism is one we must address head-on and no longer sidestep the issue with platitudes and half-measures and certainly not inaction.
  2. The issue of censorship of anything that is against the prevailing winds of our politically correct culture and its intolerance in the name of tolerance.

We must not address any of these subjects from anything other than a Christ-like view and to do that we must be studiers of Scripture and not just readers of Scripture and not just a people who have Bibles that they never open.

First, the issue of racism is real and we have not solved it. Many of us who are white Americans think that we have solved the issue of racism back in the 70’s and 80’s. However, we are looking at that from a white person’s point of view. Many of us would simply like to think that we are all created equal and that we are all judged in that manner. However, racism may not exist in the legalized and institutional ways that it once was in America but it is still there though in more subtle forms. Police are not the issue though. They are the ones that have to deal with the results of the 450-year disadvantage that we have placed blacks in. Through slavery, Jim Crow, and the resulting poverty that these things enforced, we placed the black 450 years behind us in enjoying the economic advantages of our capitalist culture. They were left behind and forced to stay there by law and then simply by cultural norms. And, it is not always just in the South as events have proven over and over during the past 50-60 years. The backlash against the police of America is equivalent to picking at a sore on your skin but not treating the cause of the sore. The backlash is picking at the scab over the sore that is in the flesh that comes from the cancer of a half a millenia of racism. There is no doubt that racism still exists. It may not be the same institutional and legalized racism that was once a part of our culture but yet it is still there. It is economic. It is social. It is subtle. The prevailing thoughts of the white culture of “what more do they want” is prevalent, but, yet, we have never had to live one day in black skin.

Second, it has become known as the “cancel culture” here recently. In the name of tolerance and political correctness, anything that does not follow the prevailing ideals of the culture, you are censured. You are ostracized. You are made into persona non-grata. People are getting fired from jobs where they have performed well whose thoughts and ideas are counter to the prevailing cultural cause of the moment. And many times, it happens because something a person said or did a decade ago. We are rewriting history to eliminate anything that is antithetical to the prevailing cultural narrative. If you have the temerity to challenge the prevailing culture narrative by trying to have informed discussions as to the real root causes of current social unrest, you are branded a racist and submitted to the cancel culture’s punishment. If you try to go against the prevailing anti-cop narrative, you are backward and racist among other things. If we are to solve the race problem in our country, we must get beyond blaming the cops and look at the prevailing cultural issues that are latent effects of racism in all its forms all around the country not just the South. The real problem is an economic one in that we must address in the most fundamental ways to get beyond systemic poverty, lack of education, lack of adequate health care, lack of and lack of access to adequate nearby employment, which in turn causes lack of access to decent housing. We need to have real discussions about how to change these things including the debate about how government assistance programs tend to create a culture of dependency that reinforces all of the above. However, these debates cannot be entered into without encountering the cancel culture. Further, the cost of solving these fundamental problems is long-term and requires not just a decade by many decades to solve. In our culture today, on both sides of the political aisle, where quick fixes to meet the next election’s needs will prevent there ever being genuine discourse over the real and systemic social issues of our country.

So, how to we as Christians respond to the world in which we live now? A world that seems to have started spiraling out of control in just a few weeks. One thing is for certain is that we must do several things. First and foremost, we must quit just reading the Bible and begin really STUDYING it. We must begin to understand what God’s Word really means and not what we think it means and what we want it to mean. We must dive deep into His Word. We must not allow preconceptions about race to taint our witness. We must not, as well, let the cancel culture of the secular world in which we live dictate what we believe. We must know God’s Word better than we ever have in the comfort of the 20th and 21st century America.

That’s what I was thinking about this morning as I read 1 Chronicles 28:1-21. Here in this passage, David tells his son, Solomon, that he must know God’s Word and obey its commands so that he can be an effective king. God’s wisdom is what we need right now and not just our own judgment of how things out to be. This passage is, thus, instructive for us in today’s world. Let’s read it now:

Chapter 28

1 David summoned all the officials of Israel to assemble at Jerusalem: the officers over the tribes, the commanders of the divisions in the service of the king, the commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds, and the officials in charge of all the property and livestock belonging to the king and his sons, together with the palace officials, the warriors and all the brave fighting men.

2 King David rose to his feet and said: “Listen to me, my fellow Israelites, my people. I had it in my heart to build a house as a place of rest for the ark of the covenant of the Lord, for the footstool of our God, and I made plans to build it. 3 But God said to me, ‘You are not to build a house for my Name, because you are a warrior and have shed blood.’

4 “Yet the Lord, the God of Israel, chose me from my whole family to be king over Israel forever. He chose Judah as leader, and from the tribe of Judah he chose my family, and from my father’s sons he was pleased to make me king over all Israel. 5 Of all my sons—and the Lord has given me many—he has chosen my son Solomon to sit on the throne of the kingdom of the Lord over Israel. 6 He said to me: ‘Solomon your son is the one who will build my house and my courts, for I have chosen him to be my son, and I will be his father. 7 I will establish his kingdom forever if he is unswerving in carrying out my commands and laws, as is being done at this time.’

8 “So now I charge you in the sight of all Israel and of the assembly of the Lord, and in the hearing of our God: Be careful to follow all the commands of the Lord your God, that you may possess this good land and pass it on as an inheritance to your descendants forever.

9 “And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every desire and every thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever. 10 Consider now, for the Lord has chosen you to build a house as the sanctuary. Be strong and do the work.”

11 Then David gave his son Solomon the plans for the portico of the temple, its buildings, its storerooms, its upper parts, its inner rooms and the place of atonement. 12 He gave him the plans of all that the Spirit had put in his mind for the courts of the temple of the Lord and all the surrounding rooms, for the treasuries of the temple of God and for the treasuries for the dedicated things. 13 He gave him instructions for the divisions of the priests and Levites, and for all the work of serving in the temple of the Lord, as well as for all the articles to be used in its service. 14 He designated the weight of gold for all the gold articles to be used in various kinds of service, and the weight of silver for all the silver articles to be used in various kinds of service: 15 the weight of gold for the gold lampstands and their lamps, with the weight for each lampstand and its lamps; and the weight of silver for each silver lampstand and its lamps, according to the use of each lampstand; 16 the weight of gold for each table for consecrated bread; the weight of silver for the silver tables; 17 the weight of pure gold for the forks, sprinkling bowls and pitchers; the weight of gold for each gold dish; the weight of silver for each silver dish; 18 and the weight of the refined gold for the altar of incense. He also gave him the plan for the chariot, that is, the cherubim of gold that spread their wings and overshadow the ark of the covenant of the Lord.

19 “All this,” David said, “I have in writing as a result of the Lord’s hand on me, and he enabled me to understand all the details of the plan.”

20 David also said to Solomon his son, “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the Lord is finished. 21 The divisions of the priests and Levites are ready for all the work on the temple of God, and every willing person skilled in any craft will help you in all the work. The officials and all the people will obey your every command.”

In this passage, we see that David told Solomon to be careful to obey every one of God’s commands to ensure Israel’s prosperity and the continuation of David’s descendants upon the throne. It was the king’s solemn duty to study and obey God’s laws. The teachings of Scripture are the keys to security, happiness, and justice, but we will never discover them unless we search God’s Word. If we ignore God’s will and neglect his teaching, anything we attempt to build, even if it has God’s name on it, will be headed for collapse. Get to know God’s commands through regular Bible study and find ways to apply them consistently.

For us today in this current climate in which we live in 2020, we must seek God’s wisdom more than ever in knowing how to respond to what’s going on in this world. In knowing God’s Word, really studying it and knowing it, will allow us to seek God pleasing decisions about what to do.

We must be willing to address the centuries old issues of racism in our culture and the sense of segregation that exists even in our own faith. We must seek to create opportunities to interact with our black brothers and sisters in the faith. We cannot say we are all brothers and sisters in the faith when we barely acknowledge each other’s existence unless there is some common Christian event that requires us to be together. We may not wish to worship together consistently on Sunday mornings because of differences in worship style preferences but we must begin to interact with one another more frequently. If we are not demonstrating true brotherhood amongst the races, how can we stand on the street corner and decry what is going on in the general culture. We must set the example. We must be the ones who can have the needed discussions about the social ills caused by centuries of racism. We must be the ones who can have these discussions between blacks and whites where easy cultural labels are not invoked that ends discourse. We need to be the ones to join arm and arm, black and white, to work to do what we can to demonstrate how we love one another. We need to truly love one another and interact with one another frequently so that world will know we are Christians by our love for one another.

As well, we must study the Bible and know it well enough to see when our values must diverge from that of the prevailing intolerance of the age of tolerance. We must know God’s Word well enough to be able to see change in people and not crucify them for what they used to be in their past. We must know God’s Word well enough to stand against the sense of censorship that this “cancel culture” is breeding in our culture, because there is coming a day when the church will be square in the cross-hairs of the cancel culture. We must be able to articulate to the culture the eternal truths of God in a way that is not hateful and off-putting. We must know God’s Word well enough to discern what is happening in the culture that’s consistent with Scripture and that which is not. We must be willing to speak out. But when we speak out, we must have first rightly understood God’s Word. Then, we must stand for what God stands for. We must do so even when it is against the cultural tide. We must be willing to step outside of our comfort zones of Sunday morning church and Wednesday night Bible study and be willing to get into the fray armed with a definitive understanding of God’s Word.

David gave Solomon good advice – to know and obey God’s Word. Solomon for much of his reign as king was known as the wisest man in the world. That ought to tell us something for the plethora of problems that we face in our culture today. We must know God’s Word. We must study it so that we will have wise answers for a world that so desperately needs God’s wisdom.

Amen and Amen.

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