Today we reach the quarter pole of Chronicles and the focus remains firmly on David’s accomplishments and character. Our chapters divide neatly over three distinct subjects: the Ark of the Covenant, the LORD’s promise to David, and David’s military and administrative success.
In chapter 16 the Ark’s long trek concludes with its arrival in Jerusalem, being placed in a tent that David had pitched for it. This is a cause for an outpouring of burnt offerings and peace offerings, offered by David. Then he appointed some of the Levites as ministers before the LORD, to invoke, to thank, and to praise the LORD, the God of Israel…Then on that day David first appointed that thanksgiving be sung, and appointed Asaph and his brothers to minister regularly before the Ark as each day required…
Later, chapter 18 continues the celebration of Israel’s king. His army achieves victory over the Philistines and Moabites, Zobah and Syria, establishing garrisons in Damascus and Edom. Not only did he reign over the united tribes of Israel, but he exercised his authority with justice and equity to all his people. Consider the author’s intention to extol David so strongly: what does it say about the author, his audience, the characters, and the LORD?
Between these is an account of David giving praise rather than receiving it. Our middle chapter picks up the thread of the Ark being placed in a tent that David had pitched for it, with David recognizing: “Behold, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of the covenant of the LORD is under a tent." After initially receiving the endorsement of the prophet Nathan to “Do all that is in your heart…” Nathan receives a word from the LORD that puts an end to temple-building. However, the promises that the LORD offers David: a name, a house, a throne, drive David to ask, “what more can David say to You for honoring your servant?”
Our verse for this week is Matthew 5:16: In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
1 Chronicles 16 through 18. Now let’s read it!
1 Chronicles 16 - 18
16:1 And they brought in the ark of God and set it inside the tent that David had pitched for it, and they offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before God. And when David had finished offering the burnt offerings and the peace offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the LORD and distributed to all Israel, both men and women, to each a loaf of bread, a portion of meat, and a cake of raisins.
Then he appointed some of the Levites as ministers before the ark of the LORD, to invoke, to thank, and to praise the LORD, the God of Israel. Asaph was the chief, and second to him were Zechariah, Jeiel, Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Mattithiah, Eliab, Benaiah, Obed-edom, and Jeiel, who were to play harps and lyres; Asaph was to sound the cymbals, and Benaiah and Jahaziel the priests were to blow trumpets regularly before the ark of the covenant of God. Then on that day David first appointed that thanksgiving be sung to the LORD by Asaph and his brothers.
Oh give thanks to the LORD; call upon his name;
make known his deeds among the peoples!
Sing to him, sing praises to him;
tell of all his wondrous works!
Glory in his holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice!
Seek the LORD and his strength;
seek his presence continually!
Remember the wondrous works that he has done,
his miracles and the judgments he uttered,
O offspring of Israel his servant,
children of Jacob, his chosen ones!
He is the LORD our God;
his judgments are in all the earth.
Remember his covenant forever,
the word that he commanded, for a thousand generations,
the covenant that he made with Abraham,
his sworn promise to Isaac,
which he confirmed to Jacob as a statute,
to Israel as an everlasting covenant,
saying, “To you I will give the land of Canaan,
as your portion for an inheritance.”
When you were few in number,
of little account, and sojourners in it,
wandering from nation to nation,
from one kingdom to another people,
he allowed no one to oppress them;
he rebuked kings on their account,
saying, “Touch not my anointed ones,
do my prophets no harm!”
Sing to the LORD, all the earth!
Tell of his salvation from day to day.
Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvelous works among all the peoples!
For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised,
and he is to be feared above all gods.
For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols,
but the LORD made the heavens.
Splendor and majesty are before him;
strength and joy are in his place.
Ascribe to the LORD, O families of the peoples,
ascribe to the LORD glory and strength!
Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name;
bring an offering and come before him!
Worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness;
tremble before him, all the earth;
yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved.
Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice,
and let them say among the nations, “The LORD reigns!”
Let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
let the field exult, and everything in it!
Then shall the trees of the forest sing for joy
before the LORD, for he comes to judge the earth.
Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
for his steadfast love endures forever!
“Save us, O God of our salvation,
and gather and deliver us from among the nations,
that we may give thanks to your holy name
and glory in your praise.
Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel,
from everlasting to everlasting!”
Then all the people said, “Amen!” and praised the LORD.
So David left Asaph and his brothers there before the ark of the covenant of the LORD to minister regularly before the ark as each day required, and also Obed-edom and his sixty-eight brothers, while Obed-edom, the son of Jeduthun, and Hosah were to be gatekeepers. And he left Zadok the priest and his brothers the priests before the tabernacle of the LORD in the high place that was at Gibeon to offer burnt offerings to the LORD on the altar of burnt offering regularly morning and evening, to do all that is written in the Law of the LORD that he commanded Israel. With them were Heman and Jeduthun and the rest of those chosen and expressly named to give thanks to the LORD, for his steadfast love endures forever. Heman and Jeduthun had trumpets and cymbals for the music and instruments for sacred song. The sons of Jeduthun were appointed to the gate.
Then all the people departed each to his house, and David went home to bless his household.
17:1 Now when David lived in his house, David said to Nathan the prophet, “Behold, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of the covenant of the LORD is under a tent.” And Nathan said to David, “Do all that is in your heart, for God is with you.”
But that same night the word of the LORD came to Nathan, “Go and tell my servant David, ‘Thus says the LORD: It is not you who will build me a house to dwell in. For I have not lived in a house since the day I brought up Israel to this day, but I have gone from tent to tent and from dwelling to dwelling. In all places where I have moved with all Israel, did I speak a word with any of the judges of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd my people, saying, “Why have you not built me a house of cedar?”’ Now, therefore, thus shall you say to my servant David, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts, I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, to be prince over my people Israel, and I have been with you wherever you have gone and have cut off all your enemies from before you. And I will make for you a name, like the name of the great ones of the earth. And I will appoint a place for my people Israel and will plant them, that they may dwell in their own place and be disturbed no more. And violent men shall waste them no more, as formerly, from the time that I appointed judges over my people Israel. And I will subdue all your enemies. Moreover, I declare to you that the LORD will build you a house. When your days are fulfilled to walk with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, one of your own sons, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for me, and I will establish his throne forever. I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son. I will not take my steadfast love from him, as I took it from him who was before you, but I will confirm him in my house and in my kingdom forever, and his throne shall be established forever.’” In accordance with all these words, and in accordance with all this vision, Nathan spoke to David.
Then King David went in and sat before the LORD and said, “Who am I, O LORD God, and what is my house, that you have brought me thus far? And this was a small thing in your eyes, O God. You have also spoken of your servant's house for a great while to come, and have shown me future generations, O LORD God! And what more can David say to you for honoring your servant? For you know your servant. For your servant's sake, O LORD, and according to your own heart, you have done all this greatness, in making known all these great things. There is none like you, O LORD, and there is no God besides you, according to all that we have heard with our ears. And who is like your people Israel, the one nation on earth whom God went to redeem to be his people, making for yourself a name for great and awesome things, in driving out nations before your people whom you redeemed from Egypt? And you made your people Israel to be your people forever, and you, O LORD, became their God. And now, O LORD, let the word that you have spoken concerning your servant and concerning his house be established forever, and do as you have spoken, and your name will be established and magnified forever, saying, ‘The LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, is Israel's God,’ and the house of your servant David will be established before you. For you, my God, have revealed to your servant that you will build a house for him. Therefore your servant has found courage to pray before you. And now, O LORD, you are God, and you have promised this good thing to your servant. Now you have been pleased to bless the house of your servant, that it may continue forever before you, for it is you, O LORD, who have blessed, and it is blessed forever.”
18:1 After this David defeated the Philistines and subdued them, and he took Gath and its villages out of the hand of the Philistines.
And he defeated Moab, and the Moabites became servants to David and brought tribute.
David also defeated Hadadezer king of Zobah-Hamath, as he went to set up his monument at the river Euphrates. And David took from him 1,000 chariots, 7,000 horsemen, and 20,000 foot soldiers. And David hamstrung all the chariot horses, but left enough for 100 chariots. And when the Syrians of Damascus came to help Hadadezer king of Zobah, David struck down 22,000 men of the Syrians. Then David put garrisons in Syria of Damascus, and the Syrians became servants to David and brought tribute. And the LORD gave victory to David wherever he went. And David took the shields of gold that were carried by the servants of Hadadezer and brought them to Jerusalem. And from Tibhath and from Cun, cities of Hadadezer, David took a large amount of bronze. With it Solomon made the bronze sea and the pillars and the vessels of bronze.
When Tou king of Hamath heard that David had defeated the whole army of Hadadezer, king of Zobah, he sent his son Hadoram to King David, to ask about his health and to bless him because he had fought against Hadadezer and defeated him; for Hadadezer had often been at war with Tou. And he sent all sorts of articles of gold, of silver, and of bronze. These also King David dedicated to the LORD, together with the silver and gold that he had carried off from all the nations, from Edom, Moab, the Ammonites, the Philistines, and Amalek.
And Abishai, the son of Zeruiah, killed 18,000 Edomites in the Valley of Salt. Then he put garrisons in Edom, and all the Edomites became David's servants. And the LORD gave victory to David wherever he went.
So David reigned over all Israel, and he administered justice and equity to all his people. And Joab the son of Zeruiah was over the army; and Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud was recorder; and Zadok the son of Ahitub and Ahimelech the son of Abiathar were priests; and Shavsha was secretary; and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over the Cherethites and the Pelethites; and David's sons were the chief officials in the service of the king.