1 Chronicles 28:1-7 NLTse (1) David summoned all the officials of Israel to Jerusalem–the leaders of the tribes, the commanders of the army divisions, the other generals and captains, the overseers of the royal property and livestock, the palace officials, the mighty men, and all the other brave warriors in the kingdom. (2) David rose to his feet and said: “My brothers and my people! It was my desire to build a temple where the Ark of the LORD’s Covenant, God’s footstool, could rest permanently. I made the necessary preparations for building it, (3) but God said to me, ‘You must not build a temple to honor my name, for you are a warrior and have shed much blood.’ (4) “Yet the LORD, the God of Israel, has chosen me from among all my father’s family to be king over Israel forever. For he has chosen the tribe of Judah to rule, and from among the families of Judah he chose my father’s family. And from among my father’s sons the LORD was pleased to make me king over all Israel. (5) And from among my sons–for the LORD has given me many–he chose Solomon to succeed me on the throne of Israel and to rule over the LORD’s kingdom. (6) He said to me, ‘Your son Solomon will build my Temple and its courtyards, for I have chosen him as my son, and I will be his father. (7) And if he continues to obey my commands and regulations as he does now, I will make his kingdom last forever.’
This chapter seems to be a repeat of 1 Chronicles chapter 22, where David called Solomon to tell him, he would be the next king, and build the temple. In this chapter, David called together all his officials to make a public announcement. David felt certain of his decision, and as with Solomon, David shared the message the way he interpreted it. When we covered 1 Chronicles chapter 22, we compared what Nathan told David to what David told Solomon. You can go back to compare what David told the officers to the original message.
The fact of the matter is, when God repeats something, that means we missed information we should have seen. Which means we need to connect with God to find out what we missed. That’s God’s way of keeping us humble. As with the entire subject of the Tabernacle, and temple, it is a step by step learning process. I lost count of how many lessons covered in this series of books pointed to the fact, we can’t take one story, learn a few details, then think we have all the answers. In other words, know the entire spiritual message and lesson.
Here we are looking at what we missed the first few times we studied this subject, and what do we find? David told the community, Solomon was going to be the next king. We have two examples showing us, David seems to brag at times. God won those battles for David, and the statement David made about having many sons leads us to think, David was in control of everything. Do you really think God told David to marry all those women? Look at the impression that had on Solomon.
It looks like we have a guy thing going on here. It doesn’t matter if a man has ever been in a battle or a fight, some men just can’t help but try to impress people about the heroic deeds they’ve done. It may not be a battle, some sporting event, for something at work. Men like to sit around and talk about the deeds they’ve accomplished.
To get a better picture of what’s going on, we’ll have to bring in a few extra details from other books in the Bible. We will of course stick to scripture for all our information. This is a learning process to see what the Bible can and will teach us.
The first place to begin a complete investigation is of course the previous chapter. 1 Chronicles chapter 27 tells us who the army commanders were, and how they were assigned commands. We also have to look at this story as it was recorded in 1 Kings chapter 1.
One of David’s sons tried recruiting sponsors in an effort to take the throne. Adonijah recruited a number of key people in the kingdom. He was in a very good position to take the crown, and thought he deserved it. The people inside the palace knew what that meant. If they weren’t for Adonijah, chances were, they’ve future was not very bright. So Nathan and Bathsheba cooked up a plan to save their lives by getting David to name Solomon the next king.
The two stories lack something important. Where is the recorded evidence God choose Solomon to take over for David? When we look at what Samuel went through to anoint Saul and David, we’d expect to see something, anything showing how God instructed, or talked to someone. But we don’t see a whole lot of evidence. The evidence we have didn’t place God at the center of the decision.
1 Kings chapter 1 tells us how old David was, and problems he was having. David wanted to leave this world on a high note. He wanted people to remember and respect him. In the process, He forgot to mention the real role God played in the victories he experienced.
We have a study rule telling us to examine our own lives based on the spiritual lessons we learn in scripture. Now we have an opportunity to review David’s life and see what happened.
When David was a child defending his father’s sheep, he gave all the credit to God when he killed a lion or bear. When David killed Goliath, he gave all the credit to God. Something happened between that time and his old age that changed David. Something made David forgot about God to some degree.
Maybe the story gave us a clue. Who was Solomon’s mother? Remember the story abut Bathsheba, and how David had her husband killed? Uriah was among the elite group of fighting men David grew up with, trusted, and depended on. When I was in High School, we had an unwritten code of ethics. No one ever went out with a friend’s girl friend. Not even a friend of a friend. If you knew the girl was going out with someone, she was off limits. It was more of a code of honor everyone respected. If they didn’t, they lost respect from everyone. There were no exceptions.
Today the world to a large degree seems to have lost that honor. It may be difficult for many people to grasp onto that concept of respect and honor. That shows us how David’s life takes on two totally different meanings in this world, when we allow the world to interpret scripture. Some people look at David and his many wives as a mistake. Some may go as far as saying it was a curse, or one of David’s down falls. Other people look at David’s history with his wives as a type of blessing. After all, David referred to his many sons as a blessing. Of course he included the multiple wives, and prostitutes he added to his collection in that blessing. Were they really a blessing from God? Is that the way God wanted David to represent Him, and lead His kingdom? And of course there are a lot of people who don’t know what to think. They never took time to study the subject, look at it, ponder it for a moment, and ask God what lessons David’s life can teach us.
It wasn’t by accident the author told us how David took credit for all those military victories, and gave credit to God for all those wives and sons. Is that what happened? Did Israel win all those wars and battles because of David’s superior military intelligence and strength? And did God reward those skills by giving David a house full of wives, prostitutes, and sons?
It seems a section of society today grasps onto the concept that multiple sex partners is a type of reward or blessing. I doubt if anyone these days actually gives credit to God for having multiple partners. Like David, they take all the credit for their conquests.
This looks like the beginning of another tradition parts of this world seemed to take hold of, manipulate a little bit, then claim they have a new and improved product. But a product of what? To be blunt, that is a product of mankind walking away from God in favor of what they claim is a far better idea, and improved way of life. To calm their consciences, some people go as far as reciting a few choice examples from the Bible to justify their beliefs and actions.
David broke the unwritten code of ethics when he looked out from his balcony watching Bathsheba take a moonlight bath. David broke that code of honor when he sent for her, and spent the night with her. To David and Bathsheba it seemed like an innocent connection, until Bathsheba wound up pregnant. Then David and Bathsheba thought up a plan. If Uriah her husband returned from the war and had sex with his wife, no one would ever know David was the father.
David did a poor job of looking back on his life to review personal experiences, and ask God where he went wrong. His plan to trick his friend Uriah failed. David never asked God why it failed. He took his plan to the next level. David had Uriah killed.
David was a warrior. He killed countless people. But when he killed a trusted friend to steal his wife, David lost his honor, and was in danger of loosing all respect.
David did loose that first son from Bathsheba. But David didn’t ask God why. When asked about it, David provided his dim view on the subject.
When David saw them whispering, he realized what had happened. “Is the child dead?” he asked. “Yes,” they replied, “he is dead.” Then David got up from the ground, washed himself, put on lotions, and changed his clothes. He went to the Tabernacle and worshiped the LORD. After that, he returned to the palace and was served food and ate. His advisers were amazed. “We don’t understand you,” they told him. “While the child was still living, you wept and refused to eat. But now that the child is dead, you have stopped your mourning and are eating again.” David replied, “I fasted and wept while the child was alive, for I said, ‘Perhaps the LORD will be gracious to me and let the child live.’ But why should I fast when he is dead? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him one day, but he cannot return to me.” (2 Samuel 12:19-23 NLTse).
Once again David made himself the center of the discussion, scene, and attention. If he couldn’t bring the baby back to life, why worry about it? That seemed simple enough. David blamed God for killing the baby, and that seemed good enough at the time. But that was a situation David should have looked back on and prayed about. David should have clung onto God until he received an answer. You can bet, if David asked God what he did wrong, God would have hit David between the eyes with a list of what he did wrong, in the order it happened. David would have seen his mistakes, and had the chance to repent.
God took the baby because David gave up all rights to that child the second he conceived the plan to make it appear Uriah was the father. God took the life of that child to give David time to realize just how many mistakes he made, and making another mistake will never correct the first, second, or endless stream of mistakes designed to make amends for that first error in judgment.
When David gave credit to God for all his sons, something must have pierced his heart as God reminded him about that son he quickly gave up without a second thought. To a degree, David lost his honor. David wanted nothing more than to regain the honor he had when women sang about Saul killing thousands, and David killing ten thousands. David wanted to return to those innocent days. And he could have, if he spent the proper time reviewing his life at the feet of the real KING.
It grieves me when I see people trying to justify what David did. Or explain it in simple human terms mixed up with a worldly understanding of honor and justice. People like that repeat the same mistake David made. They don’t give the subject enough thought, or take it in prayer to God’s throne. David lost his honor, and a son. What are people today loosing?
The combination of taking credit for wars, conquests, and victories, combined with giving credit to God for all those sons David had should be enough evidence to see what was happening in David’s life, and how he felt something missing in his personal relationship with God. David tried to fill that void with more women, gold, silver, and other treasures, building projects, and a long lost of other worldly things. Finally David reached a point in his life an thought, the only way out of that grief was to establish a son to carry on, and not make the same mistakes he made. There is one more shred of evidence showing David’s relationship with God was not where it should have been. David used a rather strange word to describe the temple he wanted to build. Look at that word, footstool.
Many people think of a footstool as a small stool at the end of a chair where you can rest your feet. I’ve heard dozens of people attempt to define David’s footstool. I wonder if they ever took time to look up the Hebrew word David actually used. Footstool is actually made up of two Hebrew words.
H1916 הֲדֹם hădôm had-ome’
From an unused root meaning to stamp upon; a foot stool: – [foot-] stool.
H7272 רֶגֶל regel reh’-gel
From H7270; a foot (as used in walking); by implication a step; by euphemism the pudenda: – X be able to endure, X according as, X after, X coming, X follow, ([broken-]) foot ([-ed, -stool]), X great toe, X haunt, X journey, leg, + piss, + possession, time.
H7270 רָגַל râgal raw-gal’
A primitive root; to walk along; but only in specific applications, to reconnoitre, to be a tale bearer (that is, slander); also (as denominative from H7272) to lead about: – backbite, search, slander, (e-) spy (out), teach to go, view.
David told those people his impression of God at that time. God never left David alone, or relieved him of his responsibility on the subject. David had a conscience that wouldn’t rest. David thought he could make everything right by making Solomon king. David thought that would be enough to make up for the loss of the first child that died. In human terms, Solomon was a way the dead child could live out some sort of existence here in this world. That seems rather strange. But not as strange as sending a man out with orders in his own hand to have him killed. David thought if Uriah died in battle as a hero, that would have fixed everything. It was a matter of honor. Something David knew he was loosing.
In one word David explained his view of God. Someone who constantly stomped on him. God didn’t forgot the mistakes David made, and wasn’t about to let David forget. That phrase, stamp upon summed up what David felt since that night he invited Bathsheba to the palace.
The second Hebrew word meaning, “to be able to endure,” also reflected how David felt about God. It wasn’t easy, but David was able to endure that sin. God didn’t go too far to punish David. David knew how far God could go. David experienced that power again and again. David knew God could send a lion, bear, or a little boy to clean up matters. But God decided to try and reach David in a more civilized and loving manner. David eventually learned more from God’s approach then any of those wars, victories, plagues, and disappointments he faced. Being loved, receiving love, and not knowing how to return that love can be one of the most important and grueling experiences in this world. Sad to say, that experience may go unnoticed. The fact David described God as someone who will stamp on you, but only to a degree you can endure shows us, David was aware of the fact, God was trying hard to reach him.
The Hebrew word David used for footstool told an important part of the sequence God uses to reach all of us. David used a specific Hebrew word that included telling stories. That was something David was passionate about. When we read David’s Psalms, we can see things didn’t always go well with David. He needed help like every single one of us needs from God. David was humble enough to admit it, and wrote about it. Whenever we have a weakness in one area, God has ways of making other aspects of our personalities stronger. God doesn’t expect us to be perfect, or remember every sin, but God does require our attention, time, and a measure of dedication. Through dedication comes honor. David regained a measure of that honor by admitting a number of mistakes. But never seemed to have regained all the honor he lost.
But that’s the way we should all feel when it comes to God. When we reach a point, and we never can reach any point near perfection, because that would place us in a position where we can cause more harm than good, we should always feel there is a long way to go before we even think of comparing ourselves to God, or Jesus. We may have a moment or two in life, but wait for the next mistake to rear its ugly head. Then we find ourselves right back where we started, and very often, a few steps further back. There is no doubt, God had to work hard at keeping David humble. David showed us how God works with our mistakes to mold us into what He needs to accomplish in our generation. When we die, most of what we’ve been able to achieve is lost and forgotten.
There is a downside to lessons our conscience is trying to teach us, or shall we say, God’s Spirit is trying to teach us. Being human, we often try to correct those mistakes. That usually results in digging a deeper hole God needs to pull us out of. We’ve seen how efficient Davis was at digging holes. We convince ourselves, God needs help to straighten out our lives. There is a part we need to play. A willingness, and determination to change is one of them. But our efforts normally result in taking a right, or left turn when God wants us to go straight. We easily get off track, then wonder where we went wrong. David showed us how that works. Even a king makes mistakes, and too often relies on himself.