This week: 1 and 2 Chronicles
1 Chronicles 17
When David was settled in his palace, he summoned Nathan the prophet. “Look,” David said, “I am living in a beautiful cedar palace, but the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant is out there under a tent!”
Nathan replied to David, “Do whatever you have in mind, for God is with you.”
But that same night God said to Nathan,
“Go and tell my servant David, ‘This is what the Lord has declared: You are not the one to build a house for me to live in.
I have never lived in a house, from the day I brought the Israelites out of Egypt until this very day. My home has always been a tent, moving from one place to another in a Tabernacle.
Yet no matter where I have gone with the Israelites, I have never once complained to Israel’s leaders, the shepherds of my people. I have never asked them, “Why haven’t you built me a beautiful cedar house?”’
“Now go and say to my servant David, ‘This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies has declared: I took you from tending sheep in the pasture and selected you to be the leader of my people Israel.
I have been with you wherever you have gone
, and I have destroyed all your enemies before your eyes. Now I will make your name as famous as anyone who has ever lived on the earth!
And I will provide a homeland for my people Israel, planting them in a secure place where they will never be disturbed. Evil nations won’t oppress them as they’ve done in the past,
starting from the time I appointed judges to rule my people Israel. And I will defeat all your enemies.
“‘Furthermore, I declare that the Lord will build a house for you—a dynasty of kings!
For when you die and join your ancestors, I will raise up one of your descendants, one of your sons, and I will make his kingdom strong.
He is the one who will build a house—a temple—for me. And I will secure his throne forever.
I will be his father, and he will be my son. I will never take my favor from him as I took it from the one who ruled before you.
I will confirm him as king over my house and my kingdom for all time, and his throne will be secure forever.’”
So Nathan went back to David and told him everything the Lord had said in this vision.
1 Chronicles 17
Then King David went in and sat before the Lord and prayed,
“Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far?
And now, O God, in addition to everything else, you speak of giving your servant a lasting dynasty! You speak as though I were someone very great, O Lord God!
“What more can I say to you about the way you have honored me? You know what your servant is really like.
For the sake of your servant, O Lord, and according to your will, you have done all these great things and have made them known.
O Lord, there is no one like you. We have never even heard of another God like you!
What other nation on earth is like your people Israel? What other nation, O God, have you redeemed from slavery to be your own people? You made a great name for yourself when you redeemed your people from Egypt. You performed awesome miracles and drove out the nations that stood in their way.
You chose Israel to be your very own people forever, and you, O Lord, became their God.
1 Chronicles 17
“And now, O Lord, I am your servant; do as you have promised concerning me and my family. May it be a promise that will last forever.
And may your name be established and honored forever so that everyone will say, ‘The Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, is Israel’s God!’ And may the house of your servant David continue before you forever.
“O my God, I have been bold enough to pray to you because you have revealed to your servant that you will build a house for him—a dynasty of kings!
For you are God, O Lord. And you have promised these good things to your servant.
And now, it has pleased you to bless the house of your servant, so that it will continue forever before you.
For when you grant a blessing, O Lord, it is an eternal blessing!”
2 Chronicles 8
It took Solomon twenty years to build the Lord’s Temple and his own royal palace.
At the end of that time,
Solomon turned his attention to rebuilding the towns that King Hiram had given him, and he settled Israelites in them.
Solomon also fought against the town of Hamath-zobah and conquered it.
He rebuilt Tadmor in the wilderness and built towns in the region of Hamath as supply centers.
He fortified the towns of Upper Beth-horon and Lower Beth-horon, rebuilding their walls and installing barred gates.
He also rebuilt Baalath and other supply centers and constructed towns where his chariots and horses could be stationed. He built everything he desired in Jerusalem and Lebanon and throughout his entire realm.
There were still some people living in the land who were not Israelites, including the Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites.
These were descendants of the nations whom the people of Israel had not destroyed. So Solomon conscripted them for his labor force, and they serve as forced laborers to this day.
But Solomon did not conscript any of the Israelites for his labor force. Instead, he assigned them to serve as fighting men, officers in his army, commanders of his chariots, and charioteers.
King Solomon appointed 250 of them to supervise the people.
Solomon moved his wife, Pharaoh’s daughter, from the City of David to the new palace he had built for her. He said, “My wife must not live in King David’s palace, for the Ark of the Lord has been there, and it is holy ground.”
2 Chronicles 8
Then Solomon presented burnt offerings to the Lord on the altar he had built for him in front of the entry room of the Temple.
He offered the sacrifices for the Sabbaths, the new moon festivals, and the three annual festivals—the Passover celebration, the Festival of Harvest, and the Festival of Shelters—as Moses had commanded.
In assigning the priests to their duties, Solomon followed the regulations of his father, David. He also assigned the Levites to lead the people in praise and to assist the priests in their daily duties. And he assigned the gatekeepers to their gates by their divisions, following the commands of David, the man of God.
Solomon did not deviate in any way from David’s commands concerning the priests and Levites and the treasuries.
So Solomon made sure that all the work related to building the Temple of the Lord was carried out, from the day its foundation was laid to the day of its completion.
Later Solomon went to Ezion-geber and Elath, ports along the shore of the Red Sea in the land of Edom.
Hiram sent him ships commanded by his own officers and manned by experienced crews of sailors. These ships sailed to Ophir with Solomon’s men and brought back to Solomon almost seventeen tons of gold.