The LORD has appointed David the place of the temple and the altar (1Chr 21:15,18,2615And God sent an angel to Jerusalem to destroy it; but as he was about to destroy [it], the LORD saw and was sorry over the calamity, and said to the destroying angel, “It is enough; now relax your hand.” And the angel of the LORD was standing by the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite.18Then the angel of the LORD commanded Gad to say to David, that David should go up and build an altar to the LORD on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite.26Then David built an altar to the LORD there and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. And he called to the LORD and He answered him with fire from heaven on the altar of burnt offering.). David joins the choice of the LORD. Although no stone has yet been laid for the house, David says: “This is the house of the LORD God” (verse 11Then David said, “This is the house of the LORD God, and this is the altar of burnt offering for Israel.”). He sees in the spirit the house before him.
The word “this” refers to the threshing floor David just bought. The foundation for the house of God is a threshing floor. The church is also built on a ‘threshing floor’. The wheat is beaten on the threshing floor to separate the chaff from the grain. It is a picture of the judgment with which the Lord Jesus was beaten, resulting in the origin of His church. The altar built in that place speaks of the Person of Christ and of the work He has accomplished as a sacrifice.
After the location of the temple has been determined, David will make preparations for the building of the temple and the service therein. Its description covers the rest of 1 Chronicles. After the turning away of the judgment on Jerusalem on the basis of the sacrifice, which the judgment has carried in place, the place where the sacrifice is brought is the basis of the temple and the temple service.
David establishes a temple service based on the sacrifice – the sacrifice is also a type of the Lord Jesus. Also today we have a temple service. For the church is “a temple” (1Cor 3:1616Do you not know that you are a temple of God and [that] the Spirit of God dwells in you?; 2Cor 6:1616Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, “I will dwell in them and walk among them; And I will be their God, and they shall be My people.). It is a spiritual temple. That spiritual temple includes a spiritual priestly service (1Pet 2:55you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.; Rev 1:66and He has made us [to be] a kingdom, priests to His God and Father—to Him [be] the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.) with spiritual sacrifices (Heb 13:1515Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.; 1Pet 2:55you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.).
This spiritual priestly service with its spiritual sacrifices takes place especially when the church comes together to worship, that is to praise God for the gift of His Son. Based on the sacrifice, the sacrificial place becomes the center of a beautiful worship service that is established around the altar. These chapters indicate the great principles for the present service in what is now God’s temple.
The foreigners are called “to build the house of God” (verse 22So David gave orders to gather the foreigners who were in the land of Israel, and he set stonecutters to hew out stones to build the house of God.). They have to hew out stones. Today every believer is originally a foreigner, but is now allowed to contribute to the building of God’s house. We read about aliens who bring “large quantities of cedar timber” to David (verse 44and timbers of cedar logs beyond number, for the Sidonians and Tyrians brought large quantities of cedar timber to David.). Stone and wood are the basic elements for the house. Stones are a picture of believers, called “living stones” (1Pet 2:55you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.). Wood is a picture of man as one who belongs to the earth. Later all this will be covered with gold. Thus the believing man becomes one who shows God’s glory.
It is then told that David prepares “large quantities of iron to make the nails for the doors of the gates and for the clamps” (verse 33David prepared large quantities of iron to make the nails for the doors of the gates and for the clamps, and more bronze than could be weighed;). These materials are bought from the stock of David’s spoils of war. They are also mentioned in 1 Chronicles 28-29. Here we see that the first thing mentioned of the house has to do with the doors of the gates. It is therefore in the foreground that it is important to ensure that what is and what is not allowed to enter. This is vital for the service in the house.
Together with the doors of the gates, “the clamps” are called. Apart from the supervision of who may and may not enter the temple, the mutual correlation of the believers is also important. If the believers are well connected by living together for the Lord Jesus and listening to God’s Word, the enemy will not have a chance to do his pernicious work among them. For example, false teachings about the Lord Jesus or God’s Word, which always sow divisions, will not have a chance to penetrate.
David contrasts the youthfulness and inexperience of Solomon with the house to be built for the LORD (verse 55David said, “My son Solomon is young and inexperienced, and the house that is to be built for the LORD shall be exceedingly magnificent, famous and glorious throughout all lands. [Therefore] now I will make preparation for it.” So David made ample preparations before his death.). David wants the house to be made “exceedingly magnificent”. The reason for this is that it will be “famous and glorious throughout all lands”. In what David says, the contrast is expressed between man’s incompetence and inexperience and the enormous work of building the glorious house of God. From ourselves we can do nothing. “Unless the LORD builds the house, They labor in vain who build it” (Psa 127:11A Song of Ascents, of Solomon.
Unless the LORD builds the house,
They labor in vain who build it;
Unless the LORD guards the city,
The watchman keeps awake in vain.
). But if the Lord cooperates, it succeeds (cf. Mk 16:2020And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them, and confirmed the word by the signs that followed.>; Phil 4:1313I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.).
Despite so much that has disappeared from the splendor of the house through our unfaithfulness, it is still possible to “adorn” God’s house, or to make it “glorious”. The remnant that has returned from Babylon to Israel does the same (Ezra 7:2727Blessed be the LORD, the God of our fathers, who has put [such a thing] as this in the king’s heart, to adorn the house of the LORD which is in Jerusalem,). We can “adorn” the house by a dedicated walk, by having meetings in which the Lord Jesus is glorified, by our testimony in this world, very generally by our complete submission to the Lord (cf. Tit 2:9-109[Urge] bondslaves to be subject to their own masters in everything, to be well-pleasing, not argumentative,10not pilfering, but showing all good faith so that they will adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in every respect.). Then they build with good materials, with “gold, silver, precious stones” (1Cor 3:12a12Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw,) and there is no room for the flesh. All services that do not envisage the building of the church (Eph 4:11-1611And He gave some [as] apostles, and some [as] prophets, and some [as] evangelists, and some [as] pastors and teachers,12for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ;13until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.14As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming;15but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all [aspects] into Him who is the head, [even] Christ,16from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.) are not adornments for God’s house, but combustible material (1Cor 3:12b-1712Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw,13each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is [to be] revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work.14If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward.15If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.16Do you not know that you are a temple of God and [that] the Spirit of God dwells in you?17If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are.).
David decides to prepare a supply with which Solomon can start building the house of God. He does this with an eye on the one hand to the youthfulness and inexperience of his son Solomon and on the other hand to the grandeur and splendor of that house. He does not do it sparingly, but he makes “ample preparations”. Everything is arranged by David for a house that has not yet been built. Thus everything is arranged through Christ before the church as His house in glory is revealed.
The last part of David’s life is filled with stockpiling for his son Solomon to build the temple. What a wonderful goal for an old man. What a wonderful example for all old believers. Old believers may seek the interests of God’s house to the very end with all efforts and serve by young believers to support in the building of God’s house.