1 Chronicles 29:26-30 – It’s How You Finish That Matters!

Posted: June 29, 2020 in 13-1 Chronicles

1 Chronicles 29:26-30

Summary of David’s Reign

Opening Illustration/Comments

Today we conclude our eight (8) month journey through the book of 1 Chronicles. Three hundred twenty plus pages of personal musings on these scriptures later, we reach the end of 1 Chronicles. Tomorrow, we will begin 2 Chronicles. For today, let us reflect on the fact that David ended his life on a high note. It is because of David’s willingness to cleanse himself of his mistakes of the past, repent and return unto God that David is known as a man after God’s own heart. He is viewed as Israel’s greatest king. He is viewed as a great biblical hero.

Although Solomon’s kingdom was a step above David’s kingdom, Solomon is not remembered as fondly by the Jewish people or by readers of the Bible because he did not finish well. David did! Solomon allowed his love of women to bring in pagan worship rituals into the kingdom through is marriages to pagan women. Solomon started well. He expanded upon the territories conquered by his father. He started and finished the Temple. He executed a plan of governmental organization that allowed the nation to flourish to its greatest height during his reign. However, his failure to rid his life of pagan religions and his failure to seek God sowed the seeds of destruction of the great Israelite kingdom that began almost as soon as he died. Solomon started well but did not finish well.

That’s the difference in the fondness we have for David and the somewhat ambivalent feelings most of us Bible readers have for Solomon. It was Paul who wrote in 2 Timothy 4:6-8

6 As for me, my life has already been poured out as an offering to God. The time of my death is near. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. 8 And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing.

And in Matthew 25:23, we read:

“The master said, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’

I think that is the hope that the author of 1 Chronicles is trying to give us. There is hope for all of us even when we have dishonored God and we have paid the consequences for it. The key is repentance and then renewal. While the Jews were in exile in Babylon, they clung, through the books of 1 and 2 Chronicles, to the hope of finishing well. Then, and we, have our example in David right here. The final words about David was that he “enjoyed long life, wealth, and honor.” That’s finishing well, don’t you think? Considering what we know about David, he had repented of his sins and all the disastrous family and royal consequences that it had and finished off his days as humble and as in love with the Lord as he was a young lad standing on the battlefield across the way from Goliath. He finished well.

It is that idea of finishing well that I want you to consider as we read 1 Chronicles 29:23-25 this morning:

Scripture Passage

26 So David son of Jesse reigned over all Israel. 27 He reigned over Israel for forty years, seven of them in Hebron and thirty-three in Jerusalem. 28 He died at a ripe old age, having enjoyed long life, wealth, and honor. Then his son Solomon ruled in his place.

29 All the events of King David’s reign, from beginning to end, are written in The Record of Samuel the Seer, The Record of Nathan the Prophet, and The Record of Gad the Seer. 30 These accounts include the mighty deeds of his reign and everything that happened to him and to Israel and to all the surrounding kingdoms.

Passage Analysis

In this conclusion to the book of 1 Chronicles, we reflect on the fact that it vividly illustrates the importance of maintaining a relationship with God. The genealogies in Chapters 1-9 emphasizes the importance of a spiritual heritage. The second part of the book details the life of David. Few men or women in the Bible were as close to God as David was. His daily contact with God increased his capacity to worship and strengthened his desire to build God’s Temple. David’s life shows us the importance of staying close to God – through studying and obeying His Word and communicating with Him daily through prayer. In David’s life, we also see how quickly our lives can deteriorate when we fail to stay well grounded in the Lord. That David ends his life in a positive way is reflective of David’s ability to recognize his sins, repent of those sins, and renew his pursuit of the Lord.

Life Application

Let the takeaway today be as it was for the exilic Jews in Babylon – one of hope, one of return to favor in the Lord. No matter what we have done in our lives, God will forgive us for our sins through the perfection of Jesus Christ and our own decision to repent from our sins that have been convicted in our hearts by the Holy Spirit. We may have really screwed up the majority of our lives. We may have ignored the presence or even the existence of God for most of our lives. We may have blatantly shaken our fist at the Lord in bold arrogance. However, when we accept Christ as our Savior, He is quick to forgive and wipe our past away. He, then, uses the Holy Spirit to convict us of every sin in our lives as He sanctifies us. When we repent and turn away from those things that the Holy Spirit identifies as unholy in our lives, we become closed to the Father and more like Jesus Christ.

Even if you have screwed it all up in the past, we can be forgiven when we repent and turn away from those sins. Even if we were the chief of sinners as Paul says, in 1 Timothy 1:15-16

15 This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them all. 16 But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life.

when we accept Christ as our Savior and Lord, God can use even the worst of sinners. If he can do with Paul and David, He can do it with you. It’s not how you start. It’s how you finish that matters!

Amen and Amen.

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