Posted: 25 Nov 2010 11:00 PM PST
THE TRANSITION BETWEEN THE account of David's numbering of the people (1 Chron. 21) and the account of David's formidable preparations for the construction of the temple that his son Solomon would build (1 Chron. 22) is one verse, the first verse of chapter 22, with no parallel in 2 Samuel: "Then David said, 'The house of the LORD God is to be here, and also the altar of burnt offering for Israel'" (1 Chron. 22:1).
So the place where the temple was built is the place where David built an altar to the Lord, calling on him with sacrificial offerings (1 Chron. 21:25–27), and where the angel of death sheathed his sword.
So David laid in formidable supplies of building materials and prepared the people to help his son Solomon build the promised temple. "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" (1 Chron. 22:19).
There are some lessons to be learned from this siting of the temple.
(1) The place chosen for the temple is the place where a sacrifice was offered and the wrath of God against sin was averted. Of course, the very design of tabernacle and temple was meant to remind people that sin had to be atoned for, that one could not simply saunter into the presence of the holy God, that the sacrifices God himself had prescribed had to be offered by the designated high priest once a year, first for his own sins and then for the sins of the people. But the siting of the temple on this location reinforces the point. Worship and religion are not primarily about offering to God something called praise, something God prefers not to be without. Worship and religion are first of all about God-centeredness—and because we are rebels, that means that worship and religion are in the first instance about being reconciled to this God, our Creator and Redeemer, from whom we have willfully become alienated. The heart of the temple is not its choirs, its incense, its ceremonies. The heart of the temple is about averting the wrath of God, by the means he himself has provided.
(2) The siting of the temple is also a mingling of priestly and kingly lines of authority. Originally, the priests and Levites alone were responsible for the tabernacle; the pillar of cloud determined when it would move. But here the king establishes the site—anticipating the offices of king and priest in one man: Jesus Christ.
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