1 CHRONICLES 22:1 – 24:31 and ACTS 2:1–47
1 Chr 22
Though David would not have the privilege of building a house for the Lord he does begin to make preparation for it. He came to know the place where the house was to be built which reflects what Moses said in Deu 12:5.
Deu 12:5 But unto the place which the LORD your God shall choose out of all your tribes to put his name there, even unto his habitation shall ye seek, and thither thou shalt come:
David would not build the house due the excessive bloodshed that took place under his reign. Solomon, his tender son would have that honor. David was aware that the house that would be built for the Lord would be magnificent and surpass anything that had been previously seen (vs 5). He then calls Solomon and tells him that he is to go forward in this work and explains why he (David) was not able to do so (vs 7-8). He speaks of Solomon as being the one who would do it and that there would be rest that would characterize his reign. He then gives Solomon a charge to build the house and with it to gain understanding and wisdom so that the law and statutes of God would be kept (vs 12-13).
The charge that the Lord gave to Joshua (Josh 1:6) is repeated to Solomon by David which was to be strong and of a good courage (vs 13). The Lord likewise told Joshua to observe the law and to meditate upon it and not depart from it (Josh 1:7-8). David shares strongly along this line in further instruction to Solomon as seen in many of the Proverbs. David left Solomon a strong foundation from which to work from. It was not just the riches of the kingdom that were passed on but most importantly it was the experience and wisdom that David and Bathsheba were able to help instil within him. David understood the need to reference the laws and statutes that were given through Moses before the mantle of leadership was passed to Joshua. The leadership role will soon be placed in the hands of Solomon so David did all he could to make sure that his son was prepared.
David, in addition to the sum of the gold and silver was also able to provide workers, hewers and workers of stone and timber for the work of the house of the Lord (vs 14-16). Indeed, Solomon was given an excellent foundation from which to build upon. He wisely asked of the Lord for wisdom in his early stages which helped to further establish his kingdom (1 Kings 3:9, 2 Chr 1:10). Solomon has been given every advantage. He also will enter a reign that has rest from his enemies. David now tells him to go and build the house and to bring the Ark of the Lord into the new house that would be built. His final instruction in this chapter to Solomon was to “set his heart and soul to seek the Lord His God.” Sadly, this will not be the case in the long term.
1 Chr 23
The transition is about to take place where Solomon is being prepared to be installed as king. It was not an easy transition seeing that the throne would be contended for by Adonijah, one of the sons of David born in Hebron. This more than likely would have been avoided if David would not have taken to himself multiple wives as warned about from Deut 17:17. David, before he died gathered the princes and the Levites together who were aged 30 years and upwards. There is a total of about 38,000 Levites. They were broken down as follows:
24,000 set forward to administrate the work of the Lord
6000 as officers and judges
4000 worshippers who praised and played upon instruments.
David divided them into courses according to the sons of Levi who were Gershom, Kohath and Merari. In verses 7 through 23 we see the various sons mentioned that came forth from the three sons of Levi.
In verse 25 we see a picture of Rest. The nation of Israel had been sojourning for a long period of time. Even during the reign of the Judges we saw the threats of Israel having to move due to the battles that were waged against them. They were now at rest and it was meant for the Ark and temple to reside on a permanent basis which would require a change in the order of priestly administration. The Ark and the Tabernacle would no longer be in motion. A new arrangement was required. The Levites would no longer be carrying the Ark and the tabernacle on their shoulders seeing that they were now at Rest (vs 26).
In verse 32 we see a picture of what the priestly ministry represents in today’s church context. The priests had the responsibility to keep the charge of the tabernacle. They were not to make allowance for any unclean thing. They also had the charge of the holy place and were responsible for what they would allow and disallow. We see a better illustration of this in Eze 44 when the two classifications of priesthoods are contrasted. There is the one group that ministers according to what is in the hearts of the people. In other words they do not deal with the idols that yet lurk within their hearts (Eze 44:1-13). The reasons for this can be not to offend or rock the boat. There is the second group which are known as the sons of Zadok who minister according to that which is pleasing to God (Eze 44:15-31). Which of the two best represent us? These two types of priesthood will become more defined in the days ahead.
1 Chr 24
The focus is now upon the divisions of the sons of Aaron. He had 4 sons named Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar. We see that Nadab and Abihu died due to their offering of strange fire (Lev 10). The two remaining sons executed and served in the office of the priesthood. David distributed the respective offices between Zadok who is traced to Eleazar and Ahimelech who is traced to Ithamar. We then find that lots were divided for the oversight of the house of God. The names associated with Zadok and Ahimelech are covered from verse 7 through 18. This was the order that they were given in approaching the house of the Lord (vs 19). There is a further reckoning of the sons of Levi provided in verses 21-30. It is clear that the priesthood was a major function in the administration of the house of the Lord. Many of their roles have now changed due to the Ark and house of the Lord having some sort of permanence. Their role was still as vital as ever. The same is true today. This form of priestly administration will be picked up in greater detail when we get to some of the prophetic books.
It is interesting that this summary is being written on the actual weekend of Pentecost. Is it coincidence? The first thing we see is that the brethren were gathered together in one accord in one place. Many have speculated that it was the same upper room that was used for the last supper. This was the place where there was some striving still in evidence amongst the disciples (Luke 22:24). The burden upon the Lord must have been heavy seeing that there was a lack of unity during this period and having the knowledge that the Holy Spirit would be soon given. He moves when there is harmony and cohesion amongst the saints. This outpouring to come was no ordinary move of God. We need to stress on these points due to the greater glory and outpouring that has been spoken for the last days. If unity was required then it certainly will be needed now. We also saw a unity amongst the priests with the trumpets in 2 Chr 5:12-13 at the dedication of Solomon’s temple.
Suddenly, without warning, there came a sound from heaven that filled the room. What a moment that must have been! There were also tongues of fire that sat upon each of those that were gathered there. They were filled with the Holy Ghost and began to speak in other tongues. This was a totally new and unusual experience. This had immediate impact due to people from other nations who soon gathered at Jerusalem to hear strange men speaking their language. This is the exact opposite occurrence from what happened at Babel back in Genesis. What happened at Babel and why does there need to be a comparison between these two events?
First we know that Babel was founded by a man by the name of Nimrod. He is described as one who was a hunter of men; meaning he had influence and charisma amongst men (Gen 10:9). He was able to gather men to follow him. He wanted to build a tower to the heavens which speaks of his pride and god like ambitions. He inspired multitudes to follow him in this undertaking. His power and ability to unite man towards his purpose was so strong that even God said that there is nothing that shall be restrained from them. Remember, God will not violate or go against the will of man. We see this later with his encounter with Jacob where he could not prevail against him (Gen 32:25-26). How then did God break Nimrod’s power? He had to do it through the confounding of languages. In a moment people began to speak in different languages which in the end broke their power and unity of purpose. Who was inspiring Nimrod to do this? It was Satan; in fact we see similar characteristics between the two of them. The 5 “I will’s” of Satan that are addressed in Isa 14:13-14 are very similar to what is seen in the following verse with Nimrod and those joined with him.
Gen 11:4. “And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the earth.”
How then did Satan have opportunity to so influence Nimrod? It can be traced to the sin of Ham when he exploited his father’s Noah’s nakedness (Gen 9:22). Nimrod is the grandson of Ham who sought to take advantage of Noah’s vulnerability. This sin opened a door for Satan to exploit and he does so in his fullness through Nimrod at Babel. It is Satan that is inspiring Nimrod in the account of Babel. God broke their power and unity by the birthing of different languages. This is important to note because it helps us to now understand what is transpiring in the upper room at Pentecost. The Holy Spirit is the initiator and power behind what is taking place.
How is the Holy Spirit looking to spread the growth of the early church? It is through the gift of tongues which allows for people from different backgrounds and nations to benefit from this experience. It is a reversal of what is seen at Babel. What does this mean for the last days? A lot when you consider the outpouring of the last days to supersede the glory seen at Solomon’s temple and Pentecost combined. It also means that the spiritual opposition will intensify as well. Babylon, both natural and spiritual will arise again (Rev 17-18). We also will see the rising up of antichrist (Nimrod is a very real type of what the antichrist will be like) as well as the false prophet; both being inspired by Satan himself (Rev 13). We need another Pentecost but are we truly prepared?
It was Peter who was able to bring perspective to what was taking place. The outpouring of the Spirit was affecting people in unusual ways; some supposing that many of the people were drunk. Peter was now endued with a boldness that was previously lacking; he references the prophecies spoken of by Joel (vs 17-21). The Spirit was now working within Peter; not only in the area of boldness but also in being able to draw Old Testament prophecies into context. Peter continues his account from the Old Testament scriptures by citing the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God. Whoa! Could this possibly be the same Peter? He speaks with authority about David saying I foresaw the Lord before my face (vs 25). The Holy Spirit is clearly inspiring Peter in this public declaration. Peter was always one to step into the unknown; he had a certain spontaneity about his nature. It seems that this quality is what is enabling the Spirit to speak with such authority through him. What an encouragement that should bring to us. Peter, who days earlier was timid and weak during the Lord’s trying hour, is now a different man. Could this same power work within us in a similar way? Absolutely, in fact, I think we should believe for such moments. It will require a waiting upon God and longing for His Spirit to move. We honour God and the Holy Spirit when He can have such expression released through our lives.
Peter then gets to the crux of the message. His rehearsal of Old Testament History brings him to the point of declaring “Repent, and be baptized”. His testimony and exhortation was so powerful that about 3000 souls were added to the kingdom. Really, is this the same Peter we saw just a few days back? There was also the Fear of the Lord that came upon the people. This is the power of Pentecost and we need to see it happen again. The Fear of the Lord is lacking and men everywhere need to repent. Let’s hold fast to the promise of an even greater outpouring for our day. We need another Pentecost!