We return to narrative for these final two chapters of 1 Chronicles, with an aged David assembling all the officials of Israel. The author makes note of several details. Notice that David rose to his feet to address them; that David had in [his] heart to build a house of rest for the Ark of the Covenant, but that the LORD had thwarted him; and that David believes his son Solomon should be the one to build the LORD’s house.
This last item feels like a core argument in David’s speech. This isn’t the first time we’ve heard David assert Solomon as his heir, as though the issue needed to be publicly affirmed. Even more striking is David’s assertion of the promise that God made to him. Listen to this language: “Yet the LORD God of Israel chose me from all my father’s house to be king over Israel forever. For He chose Judah as leader, and in the house of Judah my father’s house. Furthermore, he relates the LORD’s promise that “I have chosen [Solomon] to be My son, and I will be his Father. I will establish his kingdom forever if he continues in keeping my commandments and my rules, as he is today.”
This is a powerful public statement, and only Nathan, so far as we know, can confirm that it is true. Given that David was only Israel’s second king, what would it have been like to hear the words, “He chose Judah as leader…” and “…establish his kingdom forever…?” Remember that representatives from all of Israel’s tribes are listening and considering their futures in David’s words, and as no response is recorded, we can only guess at it. But this issue might be revisited later…
Finally, at the conclusion of David’s reign the Chronicler cites his sources: “Samuel the Seer,” “Nathan the Prophet,” and “Gad the Seer” are all referenced as providing accounts of all his rule and his might and of the circumstances that came upon him and upon Israel and upon all the kingdoms of the countries. We can imagine that “Samuel the Seer” probably refers to the book of Samuel, and affirms our suspicions that the author was weaving Samuel’s material into an augmented narrative. By noting these, the author brilliantly invites us to know the whole story, while granting integrity to the threads he has chosen.
Our verse for this week is Psalm 119:11: I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.
1 Chronicles 28 and 29. Now let’s read it!
I have stored up your word in my heart,
that I might not sin against you.