DAVID’S PREPARATION FOR THE TEMPLE
Under the guidance of King Solomon, the construction of a magnificent temple, known as “the house of the LORD,” was completed in the city of Jerusalem in about B.C. 960. That temple was built according to the plans which God revealed to Solomon’s father, David (1 Chronicles 28:11,12,19; unless stated otherwise, all other verse references below are from 1 Chronicles). In fact, it was David who originally desired to build such a structure (17:1,2), however the Lord told him, “You shall not build Me a house to dwell in” (17:4), explaining that that task would be carried out by his son, Solomon (22:9,10).
After David received the message from God that he would not be the one to build His house, he went to work preparing materials that could later be used when Solomon carried out the actual construction. David prepared iron, bronze, cedar trees and other necessary items (22:3,4; 29:2).
David did more than just prepare – he prepared abundantly. “So David made abundant preparations before his death” (22:5). David himself said, “Now for the house of my God I have prepared with all my might” (29:2). Brethren, today does not the Lord’s work deserve our greatest effort? Should we not do it with all of our might, just as David did nearly 3000 years ago? In particular, leaders in the Lord’s church can learn a lot from David’s mindset and work ethic. He worked diligently for the Lord’s house, putting forth his best effort, doing so for the Lord’s glory, not his own.
It is obvious that in David’s heart, the house of the Lord was important. He told the people, “. . . the house to be built for the LORD must be exceedingly magnificent, famous and glorious throughout all countries” (22:5). The house of God, which is the church (1 Timothy 3:15), should be of maximum importance to every child of God. We should want all people on earth to know the church’s Head and church’s role in God’s saving plan (Ephesians 5:23).
David encouraged Solomon in his efforts to build the temple. David told him, “Now, my son, may the LORD be with you; and may you prosper, and build the house of the LORD your God, as He has said to you” (22:11,19). Okay, so David will not get to lead the temple’s actual construction, but he can encourage the one who will do the building!
David arranged for others to support Solomon in the temple’s construction. “David also commanded all the leaders of Israel to help Solomon his son, saying . . . Therefore arise and build the sanctuary of the LORD God . . .” (22:17,19). David cared, really cared, about the temple, and he encouraged others to have the same mindset. We, too, can be a positive leavening influence by “talking up” the Lord’s work to one another.
Yes, David’s approach to the temple influenced others in a positive way. When the people saw David’s zeal and diligent preparation, they, too, rejoiced and “offered willingly to the LORD” (29:9). Zeal and the effort which it produces are contagious!
David’s preparation of materials for the temple made the work of others easier. David’s work was David’s work, but it had the trickle-down effect of benefitting others. The tasks which you and I undertake in the Lord’s Cause often are made easier by the contributions that other saints make. The effort of one member of the Lord’s body helps the other members (1 Corinthians 12:12-27).
David’s efforts indirectly influenced the nation of Israel for many generations to come. What David did in preparing materials for the temple was a blessing for Solomon, and it was a blessing to those who assisted Solomon. But, David’s work also was a blessing to the Israelite people for hundreds of years to come as year after year and day after day they came before the God of heaven at the temple! In the same way, you and I are blessed immensely by the efforts that our brothers and sisters made in the past. Such also reminds us that our choices can influence other people for generations to come.
David desired to build a temple for Jehovah, but he was not permitted to do so. Surely David had to have been greatly disappointed. David did not get his way, but to his credit, he did not respond in some childish, immature fashion. When David received the revelation that he would not be building the temple, he chose not to do any of the following:
– He did not fight against the will of Jehovah. When God told him, “. . . you shall not build a house . . .,” David accepted His will (22:7,8; Luke 22:42).
– He did not murmur against the One Who told him, “No.”
– He did not threaten to “quit” the Lord’s service.
– He did not begin to pout and seek sympathy from others, trying to portray himself as a pitiful, unappreciated victim. He kept working for Jehovah.
– He did not go on a campaign to prevent the temple’s construction; he did not try to “torpedo” the efforts of others to build the temple. In fact, he gave his full support to the building of the temple, though he would not be the one to lead the building process.
– When one door was closed to him, he chose to serve in another way. When we have our heart set on serving in some way in the Kingdom, but it does not work out that way, let us search for other ways to serve! God can still use humble people who are willing to serve. Open doors of service are waiting!
David made his share of costly mistakes. His preparation for the building of the temple, however, was commendable. Let us learn from his efforts.
— Roger D. Campbell