2 Chronicles 2:1-18 (Part 1) – One Generation’s David to the Next Generation’s Solomon

Posted: July 4, 2020 in 14-2 Chronicles

2 Chronicles 2:1-18 (Part 1 of 5)

Preparations for Building the Temple

Opening Illustration/Comments

In our church, we are having an ongoing debate through our actions and decisions about the chicken or the egg and which comes first. There are those in our church who believe we must get more people in the seats of the church before we make drastic changes to who we are and how we do it. There are those in our church who believe that we must make drastic changes to who we are and how we do it before we can get more people in the seats. To put it in even more blunt terms, there are those who say that we must get more people in the seats before we make changes because they don’t want to make changes and there are those who want to take a gamble (and it’s a huge one) and change things in hopes that more people will come. It is the fundamental test of the ages of any church, not just the one I currently serve. At some point, there must be a generational passing of the baton from one generation to the other. The churches who do this well will survive and thrive and those that don’t will grieve and die.

As David made preparations for seeing that Solomon would be successful, so too must we make these decisions in churches so that it will survive and thrive. There are things that must be done now to ensure the survival of an aging church. Now that we live in a post-Christian culture, this generational passing is probably the most critical one in my church and in your church in the history of the American church to this point.

First, there has a be a culture change in the church from spiritual apathy to spiritual hunger. That starts with the pastor. He must beat the drum for a good while about how our walk with Jesus Christ should be the most important thing in our lives, not just a nice little add-on thing to our lives, not just some habit that we do perfunctorily each week, not just something that we do on Sundays and maybe Wednesday. There must be a culture change where we see church and our spiritual growth in Jesus Christ as that most important thing in our lives. For far too long, pastors have babysat their congregations and not challenged them to make Jesus Christ the most central thing in their lives. It was just assumed that that’s where Christ was in their lives. No longer is that true and the pastor must awaken the fire in the bellies of all the church members of how our faith is central to our lives in all the other days of the week and not just on Sunday. Pastors must change the culture from one of apathy to one of urgency of what it means to be a church and that church really matters to our daily lives and Christians and that our church should matter in the daily life of our community. Preaching must speak plainly and speak the truth. Preaching must challenge. The tone for spiritual awakening must begin in the pulpit.

Second, the pastors must begin to develop some type of leadership development of the next younger generation of adults in the church, a leadership greenhouse of sorts where they are challenged to care about their walk with Jesus and the fellowship of believers to which they belong. Maybe, start a small group of selected next younger generation folks in the church who seem to have potential. The pastor must invest in them in a small group type setting so that individual attention can be given to their giftings in the Lord. Such a small group must be a time of challenging, of nurturing, of getting them to have a passion for the things of the Lord as they are expressed in the local body called the church. By investing in them, you are making preparations just as David was for Solomon.

Third, simply put and bluntly, you have to get the oldest generation who hold the keys to the kingdom at the church to trust the next younger generation of potential leaders. Without that, they will leave the church for places where they feel accepted, trusted, and encouraged to be leaders. The current generation of leaders, the aging leaders of the church, must be willing to gamble and let the next younger generation fall flat on their face at times. They must be willing to mentor the next younger generation at the church. Not just pick people from their own generation to wear multiple hats because you can trust them to get things done and done right. The current generation of leadership can’t continue with the attitude that you can’t trust them to step up. If we keep leadership within the current generation, there will be no next younger generation when the current generation starts dying off. We have to nominate next younger generations as leaders and step in beside them and mentor them in their leadership. Somebody handed the reins to the current generation and there’s never been a more critical hand-off than the one that needs to happen. If the next younger generation doesn’t feel trusted to lead, what next younger generation people you still have left are eventually going to leave.

Fourth, the next younger generation of leadership must be willing to step up to lead. That begins with making church more important than baseball, more important than the beach and vacations, more important than any of the other ways that they seek pleasure in their lives. They must have passion for the Lord and passion for seeing the community come to Christ. And, most of all, they must demand that the older generation that holds the power in the local church to share it with them. They must be willing to fight their way to the table and demonstrate that they can be trusted with leadership. That development of what next younger generation leaders is critical. They have got to be set on fire and set free to transform the world through their church and through the message of the gospel. They have got to be the ones who make our churches impactful to their community. They have got to be the ones who have the fire in the belly to carry the church past where we are today.

Fifth, all of us, the local church as a whole must learn what’s working in reaching a post-Christian world and what’s not. We must realize that that the egg must come first before we can expect the chickens to come. We must change the way that we package the message of the gospel into ways that are understood by communities that typically have the many second and third generations of families that have not darkened the door of a church EVER. To expect this new world in which we live to understand worship styles from 50-100 years ago is making traditions more important than reaching people for Christ. To use a football analogy, what makes a great football coach is one who maintains the culture of the program over time but who adapts his coaching style and his offensive and defensive schemes to match the times. A great coach expects excellence in his program but how he packages the excellence can change over time to meet the talent that he has and to meet what’s going on in the world of football. We must think similarly in the church. Our message of the saving grace of Jesus Christ will not and should never change or be monkeyed with in any way. However, we can begin to use new methods that meets the current ways of communicating with people who are several generations outside of having ever gone to church.

These are the preparations that we have to make as local churches to hand off the church to the next younger generation of leadership. If we don’t do it well, we will wither and die – my church, your church, any church.

Scripture Passage

2 [a]Solomon decided to build a Temple to honor the name of the Lord, and also a royal palace for himself. 2 [b]He enlisted a force of 70,000 laborers, 80,000 men to quarry stone in the hill country, and 3,600 foremen.

3 Solomon also sent this message to King Hiram[c] at Tyre:

“Send me cedar logs as you did for my father, David, when he was building his palace. 4 I am about to build a Temple to honor the name of the Lord my God. It will be a place set apart to burn fragrant incense before him, to display the special sacrificial bread, and to sacrifice burnt offerings each morning and evening, on the Sabbaths, at new moon celebrations, and at the other appointed festivals of the Lord our God. He has commanded Israel to do these things forever.

5 “This must be a magnificent Temple because our God is greater than all other gods. 6 But who can really build him a worthy home? Not even the highest heavens can contain him! So who am I to consider building a Temple for him, except as a place to burn sacrifices to him?

7 “So send me a master craftsman who can work with gold, silver, bronze, and iron, as well as with purple, scarlet, and blue cloth. He must be a skilled engraver who can work with the craftsmen of Judah and Jerusalem who were selected by my father, David.

8 “Also send me cedar, cypress, and red sandalwood[d] logs from Lebanon, for I know that your men are without equal at cutting timber in Lebanon. I will send my men to help them. 9 An immense amount of timber will be needed, for the Temple I am going to build will be very large and magnificent. 10 In payment for your woodcutters, I will send 100,000 bushels of crushed wheat, 100,000 bushels of barley,[e] 110,000 gallons of wine, and 110,000 gallons of olive oil.[f]”

11 King Hiram sent this letter of reply to Solomon:

“It is because the Lord loves his people that he has made you their king! 12 Praise the Lord, the God of Israel, who made the heavens and the earth! He has given King David a wise son, gifted with skill and understanding, who will build a Temple for the Lord and a royal palace for himself.

13 “I am sending you a master craftsman named Huram-abi, who is extremely talented. 14 His mother is from the tribe of Dan in Israel, and his father is from Tyre. He is skillful at making things from gold, silver, bronze, and iron, and he also works with stone and wood. He can work with purple, blue, and scarlet cloth and fine linen. He is also an engraver and can follow any design given to him. He will work with your craftsmen and those appointed by my lord David, your father.

15 “Send along the wheat, barley, olive oil, and wine that my lord has mentioned. 16 We will cut whatever timber you need from the Lebanon mountains and will float the logs in rafts down the coast of the Mediterranean Sea[g] to Joppa. From there you can transport the logs up to Jerusalem.”

17 Solomon took a census of all foreigners in the land of Israel, like the census his father had taken, and he counted 153,600. 18 He assigned 70,000 of them as common laborers, 80,000 as quarry workers in the hill country, and 3,600 as foremen.

Passage Analysis

In this passage, we can remember from past scripture readings that David had wanted to build a Temple for God. God denied his request because, as He told David, he had been a warrior and He wanted the Temple to be built by a man of peace. God, though, did allow David to make extensive plans and preparations. David bought the land, gathered most of the construction materials, and received the construction plans from God. It was Solomon’s responsibility to make the plans a reality. His job was made easier by his father’s extensive preparations. God’s work can be moved forward more seamlessly when the older generation paves the way for the younger.

Life Application

I think that David provides us another example of how he was a great leader. He set up the handoff of leadership to the next younger generation of leadership so well. He planned for Solomon’s leadership. He never thought that this little kid running around the palace could never be trusted with the reins of leadership. He taught his son. He groomed his son. He prepared for his upcoming day when he would be king. Are you doing that at your church? Are you challenging each generation to be ready? Are challenging the current generation to prepare for the next generation? Are you challenging the entire body of the church to have passion and truly care about the things of God? Are you challenging the entire body to be passionate about the gospel? Are you challenging the entire body to think more than just about themselves and their own generation? Are you challenging the entire body to think about giving you glory by doing whatever’s necessary to spread the gospel message inside and outside our churches? How we answer these questions will determine the survival of our local churches.

Amen and Amen.

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