22:1 Then David said, “The house of the Lord God [see Ps. 30] is to be here [at the site of Araunah’s threshing floor], and also the altar of burnt offering for Israel.”
Note: The “house of the Lord God” stood at the sight of Araunah’s threshing floor for the next thousand years, except for the period of its destruction by Nebuchadnezzar.
22:2 So David gave orders to assemble [forced labor] the aliens [foreigners] living [personally free] in Israel [without political rights and vulnerable to exploitation], and from among them he appointed stonecutters to prepare dressed stone for building the house of God.
22:3 He provided a large amount of iron to make nails for the doors of the gateways and for the fittings, and more bronze than could be weighed.
22:4 He also provided more cedar logs [see 1 Kings 5:13-14 concerning the amount of labor it took to handle the logs] than could be counted, for the Sidonians [from Sidon] and Tyrians [from Tyre] had brought large numbers of them to David.
Note: Phoenician cities of Sidon and Tyre located on the coastal plain between the mountains of Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea.
22:5 David said, “My son Solomon [fourth son born to David by Bathsheba] is young [Josephus suggested he was 14] and inexperienced, and the house to be built for the Lord should be of great magnificence and fame and splendor in the sight of all the nations. Therefore I will make preparations for it.” So David made extensive preparations before his death.
David skillfully led and united Israel into a powerful nation that enjoyed both security and prosperity. The first seventeen years of his reign are characterized by military and political successes. One of the high points of David’s reign was returning the ark of the covenant to Jerusalem (2 Sam. 6). The ark was the symbolic embodiment of God’s power and presence. The ark had been kept at a place north of Jerusalem called Kiriath Jearim (1 Chron. 13:5) for more than sixty years. David went to Kiriath Jearim and transported the ark the short distance to Jerusalem and set it inside a tent (1 Chron. 16:1).
Once the ark was safely in its place within the city walls, David returned to the comfort of his palace. As David enjoyed a well-deserved rest, he noticed the splendor of his surroundings and had one of those “What’s wrong with this picture?” moments. David said to Nathan, “Here I am, living in a palace of cedar, while the ark of the covenant of the Lord is under a tent (1 Chron. 17:1).” David then shared with Nathan that he wanted to build a beautiful temple for the ark — a place suitable for God to dwell.
Nathan initially responded by telling the king to proceed with his plans to build a temple (1 Chron. 17:2). However, the following day Nathan told David that he would not be the person to build the temple (1 Chron. 17:3-4). Instead, one of David’s “offspring” (Solomon) would build the temple (1 Chron. 17:11-12).
David accepted Nathan’s message with humility and thanksgiving (1 Chron. 17:16-27). Rather than growing despondent, David willingly and sacrificially invested in what he would not personally see through to completion. When Solomon was a young man, David made extensive preparations for building the temple (v. 5). He personally purchased a parcel of land from Araunah the Jebusite (see 1 Chron. 21:20-30) and instructed his young son to build the temple at that site (22:1). He also organized workers (22:2) and gathered materials for the project (22:3-4). David did his best to strengthen the hand of the one who would fulfill his dream (22:14-16).
Perhaps you have dreamed of how God might use you to advance His kingdom or have made plans to serve God through a worthy and noble endeavor. And perhaps, like David, you have discovered that you will not be able to see your dream become a reality. If you are hindered from doing for God what you planned, do not despair. Instead, follow David’s example. Identify some way you can serve God and do your best at that. One answer to the question, How can I show my devotion to the Lord? is that I can do my best.
Note: David gathered materials, organized workers, and developed plans for a project he conceived but would not personally accomplish.
22:6 Then he called for his son Solomon and charged him [see 1 Kings 8:17-18] to build a house for the Lord, the God of Israel.
22:7 David said to Solomon: “My son, I had it in my heart [25 years earlier: see 2 Sam. 7] to build a house for the Name of the Lord my God.
David charged or entrusted his young son Solomon with the responsibility of building a house or temple for the Lord (v. 6). David explained the significant role Solomon would play in accomplishing this task. Years before Solomon’s birth, David had wanted to build a house for the Lord (v. 7). His heart was in the right place (see 1 Kings 8:17-18), but God said no to David’s dream.
Sometimes God says no to our plans and we wrestle to understand why. Sometimes we simply fail to accept that our good ideas may not necessarily be God’s ideas. Like David, we must learn to trust God even when we do not understand the reason why He has said no to our plans.
22:8 But this word of the Lord came to me [by the prophet Nathan before Solomon’s birth: see 1 Chron. 17:4]: ‘You have shed much blood [see also 1 Chron. 28:3] and have fought many wars. You are not to build a house for my Name [since purpose of God to eliminate war one day, appropriate for a man of peace to build His Temple], because you have shed much blood on the earth in my sight.
God’s refusal to allow David to build the temple was not a rejection of David. The king had the right idea in wanting to build a house for the Lord, but he was not the right person for the job. Nathan told David the Lord would not permit him to build the temple because he was a warrior. David had shed much blood and fought many wars (v. 8). David’s purpose in life had been to defend and unite his kingdom. Because of David’s successful military campaigns, Israel’s borders were secure. David’s victories provided a window of peaceful opportunity for his descendant to build the temple.
Note: David’s heart was in the right place but he was not the one God would allow to build the Temple (2 Chron. 6:8) because he was guilty of excessive violence as in the case of the Moabites (see 2 Sam. 8:2).
22:9 But you will have a son who will be a man of peace [engaged in only one known battle (2 Chron. 8:3)] and rest, and I will give him rest from all his enemies on every side. His name will be Solomon, and I will grant Israel peace and quiet during his reign [Solomon divinely favored to follow David: see 2 Sam. 12:24-25].
David told Solomon that God wanted a man of peace and rest to build His house (v. 9). Solomon was that man (v. 10; see also 1 Chron. 17:12-14). Interestingly, the name Solomon sounds like and may be derived from the Hebrew word “shalom,” which means peace. God assured David He would grant Israel peace and quiet during Solomon’s reign (v. 9). Solomon would therefore have the freedom to direct all of his attention and resources to the important task of building the temple.
David humbly accepted the fact that God would use another to fulfill his dream. He willingly followed God’s plan rather than trying to impose his own. We too need to know that when God interrupts our plans to do something for Him, He may be designing a different way for His plans to be accomplished. And, like David, we should be willing to follow God’s plans rather than our own. In addition to doing my best, a second answer to the question, How can I show my devotion to the Lord? is that I must be willing to follow God’s plan.
Note: The name Solomon derived from “shalom” which means peace. Solomon’s name was actually Jedidiah, which means “beloved of the Lord” (see 2 Sam. 12:24-25).
22:10 He [Solomon] is the one [chosen by God] who will build a house for my Name. He will be my son, and I will be his father [fulfilled in Jesus Christ]. And I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel forever [Davidic covenant].’
Note: See Nathan’s prophecy in 1 Chronicles 17:12-14.
22:11 “Now, my son, the Lord be with you [should be prayer of every parent], and may you have success [by doing what God has called you to do] and build the house of the Lord your God, as he said you would.
David understood the power of words. As the leader of his nation he could speak a word and send an army into battle. A word from his lips could send a servant on an errand or condemn a person to death. His position entitled him to the final word on any matter.
When the time came to charge Solomon with the responsibility of building a house for God, David skillfully employed words to deliver a blessing to his young son. Parents should never underestimate the power of their words to build up or tear down their children. Like David, parents today should look for opportunities to speak words of blessing to their children.
David’s words of blessing revealed the deepest desires of his heart for his young son. He expressed the hope that Solomon would know and experience the presence of the Lord in his life (v. 11). We should hope and express the same desire for our children. David also expressed the hope that his son would have success (v. 11).
Note: David encouraged the person God had chosen to fulfill his dream.
22:12 May the Lord give you [1 Kings 3:9-12] discretion [good judgment] and understanding when he [God] puts you in command over Israel, so that you may keep the law of the Lord your God.
One measure of success is doing what God has called us to do. God had chosen Solomon to build the temple. David therefore wished Solomon success in doing what God had chosen him to do. David further expressed his desire that the Lord would give his young and inexperienced son discretion and understanding, two of the qualities indispensable to a successful leader (v. 12).
Note: Discretion and understanding are qualities indispensable to a leader intent on keeping the law of the Lord.
22:13 Then you will have success if [condition] you are careful to observe [obey] the decrees and laws [success measured by obedience] that the Lord gave Moses for Israel. Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged.
Many people today erroneously define success in terms of wealth, fame, or power. Some people have ordered their lives around the worldly adage, “The one with the most toys when he dies wins!” We must be careful not to order or measure our lives against that kind of worldly and relative definition of success. David’s blessing helped Solomon understand the real secret of success — seeking God’s heart and obeying His Word.
Like David, we must help our children develop a proper understanding of success. In addition to doing my best and following God’s plan, a third answer to the question, How can I show my devotion to the Lord? is that I must understand the real secret of success.
22:14 “I have taken great pains [affliction: perhaps because David accumulated his wealth in the midst of wars and personal troubles] to provide for the temple of the Lord a hundred thousand talents of gold, a million talents of silver, quantities of bronze and iron too great to be weighed [phrase indicates the Chronicler used hyperbole to make his point], and wood and stone. And you may add to them.
Note: David invested billions of dollars by today’s standards.
22:15 You have many workmen: stonecutters, masons and carpenters, as well as men skilled in every kind of work
22:16 in gold and silver, bronze and iron — craftsmen beyond number. Now begin the work, and the Lord be with you.”
22:17 Then David ordered all the leaders of Israel to help his son Solomon.
After speaking to Solomon, David ordered all the leaders of Israel to help his son in his building operations (v. 17). David knew that cooperation was essential to the success of the task. Solomon would need the assistance of those with special gifts and talents in order to build the temple.
Note: David made provision for others to help his son in building the temple.
22:18 He said to them, “Is not the Lord your God with you? And has he not granted you rest on every side? For he has handed the inhabitants of the land over to me, and the land is subject to the Lord and to His people.
David reminded the leaders of Israel that God had provided a perfect window of opportunity for building the temple. David’s military victories helped secure rest on every side for the people of Israel (v. 18). Solomon’s generation had the special and unique opportunity to do a great work for God.
Our generation also has the unique opportunity to do a great work for God. In recent years, changes in governments have provided windows of opportunity for Christians to labor for the kingdom in parts of the world once closed to them. In some cases those opportunities are only available for a brief period of time. Like Solomon and his generation, we too must make the most of every opportunity we have to advance God’s kingdom.
22:19 Now devote your heart and soul to seeking the Lord your God. Begin to build the sanctuary of the Lord God, so that you may bring the ark of the covenant of the Lord and the sacred articles belonging to God into the temple that will be built for the Name of the Lord.”
David instructed Israel’s leaders to devote their hearts to seeking the Lord and to helping Solomon build the temple (v. 19). The word devote means to give or to apply something to a specific purpose. Every individual involved in assisting Solomon was to live a life characterized by personal devotion to the Lord. David wanted his son to be surrounded by people whose hearts were fixed on seeking the Lord.
As a parent, I too want my children to be surrounded by positive influences (see 1 Cor. 15:33). Like Solomon and Israel’s leaders we must devote ourselves to seeking the Lord in everything we do. In addition to doing my best, following God’s plan, and understanding the real secret of success, a fourth answer to the question, How can I show my devotion to the Lord? is that I must keep seeking the Lord.
Note: The word “devote” translates the Hebrew word “nathan” which means “to give, place, add, send forth … fasten something in place … apply something to a specific purpose.”
Note: Before You Build for God
• Consult the Architect: Ask God to help you understand how you can best serve Him.
• Study His Plans: Seek and obey His will above any personal agenda. Build according to His plans.
• Recruit Your Crew: Solicit help from those whose lives are characterized by devotion to the Lord in all they do.
• Roll Up Your Sleeves: Depend on the power of the Holy Spirit as you labor.
• Look Beyond the Present: Be willing to invest and to labor even if you will not have the opportunity to see things through to completion.