For today’s reading we are at the very end of David’s reign; this passage includes the moment when he passes his kingship to Solomon. But not before he makes extensive preparations for the temple of the Lord to be built. David has identified the ‘where’, and now goes about identifying craftsmen who will be needed plus amassing the vast amounts of materials. David was very careful to be obedient to God’s instruction to him, that he wasn’t to be the one to build the temple. That job was to be his son’s great privilege.
For the writer of this book, it is clear that the planning and construction of the temple are of major importance. The temple is a symbol of continuity with the past, allowing the Israelites who were returning from exile to appreciate the importance of the rebuilt temple. There is a parallel with Moses, who did not live to see Israel enter the promised land. This privilege was granted to his successor, Joshua.
I have an image in my mind of the elderly King David, now at peace with the fact that he won’t be the builder of the temple but so excited at the magnificence of what will be. Pouring over the plans for the temple with his son Solomon, who is still young and inexperienced, yet able to glorify God in the planning and preparation, as any good father would.
I can remember helping my dad with odd jobs as a child. He was always careful to point out to me that it was no good rushing into a task, but it was vital to plan and most importantly prepare. Whether it was sanding wood with the correct grade of sandpaper before applying a new coat of gloss paint or measuring a distance twice to correctly quantify the materials needed.
It is important to note here that David’s wars were not wrong or ungodly, or that the blood he shed was unrighteous. It was that God wanted His house built from the context of peace, rest and victory. He wanted it to be built after and from the victory, not from the midst of struggle.
The passage ends with David passing his crown to Solomon and also counting the Levites and allotting roles to them during the construction process. Although David was not the builder of the temple it most certainly could not have happened, as it did, without the work and preparations he carried out.
For reflection: consider how you can best prepare for an upcoming task or situation. Ask God to guide you and your deliberations so that the outcome benefits you or another and glorifies Him.