The Pattern, The Preparation, The Praise & the Prayer of the Temple

Today’s selected reading continues in and concludes the Old Testament book of First Chronicles, which describes the days of the life and reign of David the son of Jesse and king of Israel. More specifically, today’s passage is found in chapters twenty-seven through twenty-nine of this Old Testament book. SERVING THE KING! THE WORSHIPPING WARRIORS! WORSHIPPING WARRIORS WHO MINISTER TO THE KING! WORSHIP GOD IN THE SANCTUARY, ENGAGE THE ENENY ON THE BATTLEFIELD, MINISTER TO THE KING IN THE PALACE! THE TREASURES OF THE KING! STEWARDING THE TREASURES OF THE KING! STEWARDING THE STOREHOUSES OF THE FIELDS AND CITIES! THE PARABLE OF THE TALENTS AND SERVANTS! MANAGING THE SUBSTANCE OF THE KING! MINISTRY TO THE KING! MINISTERED TO THE KING BY COURSE! THE STEWARDS OVER ALL THE SUBSTANCE AND POSSESSION OF THE KING! BUILDING THE HOUSE AND ITS COURTS! THE LORD SEARCHETH ALL HEARTS, AND UNDERSTANDETH ALL THE IMAGINATIONS OF THE THOUGHTS! THE PATTERN OF THE PORCH, AND OF THE HOUSES THEREOF, AND OF THE TREASURES, AND OF THE UPPER CHAMBERS! THE PORCH, THE HOUSES, THE CHAMBERS, THE PARLOURS, THE PLACE OF THE MERCY SEAT! THE PATTERN OF ALL THAT HE HAD BY THE SPIRIT, OF THE COURTS OF THE HOUSE OF THE LORD! OF THE TREASURES OF THE HOUSE OF GOD, AND OF THE TREASURES OF THE DEDICATED THINGS! THE COURSES OF THE PRIESTS AND THE LEVITES! FGOR ALL THE WORK OF THE SERVICE OF THE HOUSE OF THE LORD! FOR ALL THE VESSELS OF SERVICE IN THE HOUSE OF THE LORD! HAVE GAVE OF GOLD BY WEIGHT FOR THINGS OF GOLD, FOR ALL INSTRUMENTS OF ALL MANNER SERVICE! SILVER ALSO FOR ALL INSTRUMENTS OF SILVER BY WEIGHT, FOR ALL INSTRUMENTS OF EVERY KING OF SERVICE! ALL THIS, SAID DAVID, THE LORD MADE ME UNDERSTAND IN WRITING BY HIS HAND UPON ME! EVEN ALL THE WORKS OF THIS PATTERN! THE WORK IS GREAT! THE PALACE IS NOT FOR MAN, BUT FOR THE LORD GOD! I HAVE PREPARED WITH ALL MY MIGHT FOR THE HOUSE OF MY GOD! BECAUSE I HAVE SET MY AFFECTION TO THE HOUSE OF MY GOD! I HAVE OF MINE OWN PROPER GOOD, OF GOLD AND SILVER, WHICH I HAVE GIVEN TO THE HOUSE OF MY GOD! WHO THEN IS WILLING TO CONSECRATE HIS SERVICE THIS DAY UNTO THE LORD? OFFERED WILLINGLY! GAVE FOR THE SERVICE OF THE HOUSE OF GOD! GAVE THEM TO THE TREASURES OF THE HOUSE OF THE LORD! THEN THE PEOPLE REJOICED, FOR THAT THEY OFFERED WILLINGLY! WITH PERFECT HEART THEY OFFERED WILLINGLY TO THE LORD! DAVID BLESSED THE LORD BEFORE ALL THE CONGREGATION! DAVID BLESSED THE LORD BEFORE ALL THE CONGREGATION! ALL THINGS COME OF THEE, AND OF THINE OWN HAVE WE GIVEN THEE! DAVID SAID TO ALL THE CONGREGATION, NOW BLESS THE LORD YOUR GOD! ALL THE CONGREGATION BLESSED THE LORD GOD OF THEIR FATHERS, AND BOWED DOWN THEIR HEADS, AND WORSHIPPED THE LORD, AND THE KING! THEY SACRIFICED SACRIFVICES UNTO THE LORD, AND OFFERED BURNT OFFERINGS UNTO THE LORD! THE LORD MAGNIFIED SOLOMON EXCEEDINGLY IN THE SIGHT OF ALL ISRAEL, AND BESTOWED UPON HIM SUCH ROYAL MAJESTY AS HAD NOT BEEN ON ANY KING BEFORE HIM IN ISRAEL!

When you come to this particular portion of Scripture you will find the final record of the life of David written and recorded in both the books of First and Second Samuel, as well as the within the book of First Chronicles. Perhaps one of the greatest realities I can’t help but be absolutely gripped and captivated by when reading the words in these final chapters of the book of First Chronicles is David’s steadfast commitment and devotion—not only to the house and sanctuary of the living God, but also the ministry and service of the house. Moreover, within these final chapters you will find David preparing the next generation for a new king that would sit upon the throne in Jerusalem, as well as a huge assignment and undertaking that would take place in that next generation. It is truly astonishing to think about and consider the absolutely incredible fact that in David’s final moments of his life he was completely and utterly devoted to preparing that next generation for a complete and utter transformation that would take place among them in their midst. If and as you read the words which are written and recorded within the final chapters of the book of First Chronicles you will find that there were essentially two complete and drastic transformations that would take place in the midst of the nation and kingdom of Israel—namely, the emergence of a new king who would sit upon the throne of David in the midst of Jerusalem, as well as the construction of the Temple and sanctuary of the living God. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this, for if you want to truly understand the highlight of the life of David, you must recognize and understand that it centers upon his devotion to the worship of the LORD his God, and beholding His beauty and worshipping in the beauty of His holiness. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of the fact that while it is true that David was indeed a warrior who excelled and succeeded on the battlefield, he was also a worshipper at heart. In fact, I would dare say that more than David being a warrior by nature, he was primarily a worshipper by nature. It would be very easy to get caught up in the tremendous fact that David was a warrior, and yet completely forget the fact that David was a worshipper by both heart and nature. Even David himself spoke before the entire congregation of Israel and declared that it was in his heart to build a house and sanctuary for the Ark of the Covenant of the living God, and yet the LORD would not allow him to do so because he was a man of much bloodshed and much war. It was true that the different wars and battles David fought secured the peace which the nation and kingdom of Israel would enjoy, and how that peace would continue during and into the days of the reign of Solomon’s reign, however, we must recognize that while David was a warrior by nature, he was a worshipper by heart.

WARRIOR BY NATURE, WORSHIPPER BY HEART! I have previously written concerning the living God seeking a man after His own heart, and I wrote how that statement not only suggested His seeking a man whose heart was like His own, but also one who passionately pursued Him with all their heart. It’s important for us to think about and consider the absolutely incredible and tremendous reality that when we consider David as being a man after God’s own heart—not only does this suggest and reveal the fact that he was a man who passionately pursued the heart of the living God, but also that the living God was seeking and searching for a lineage of men who would be after His heart—those men who would pursue His heart through worship and prayer before Him in His presence. If there is one thing the final days of David’s life reveals it’s just how much worship truly meant to him, and what he indeed wanted to be known for. As surely as David engaged in much warfare and in much conflict before and in the presence of the living God, he would ultimately be known for his being a man after God’s own heart, a man whose worship and expressions of worship would be found within the book of the Psalms, and how he prepared his son and that next generation for a renewed and transformed worship of the living God. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this absolutely astonishing reality, for when we think about David’s final days and moments as king over the nation of Israel—and not only as king over the nation of Israel, but also simply the final moments of his life as a man—we must understand that his primary focus and the primary concern and pursuit of his heart was preparing that next generation for the sanctuary of the living God which would be built among them in their midst. Within the final several chapters of the book of First Chronicles we come face to face with and encounter the absolutely tremendous reality that David was a worshipper by heart who himself led others in worship when he sought to bring the Ark of the Covenant from Kireath-jearim unto the city of Jerusalem. Of course we know and understand that the first celebration and worship service was disrupted, interrupted and broken forth in the midst of because of Uzza who dared stretch forth his hand to steady the ark because the oxen who drove the ark stumbled. We know from Scripture that after the LORD broke out against Uzza, David was not only displeased with the LORD, but he was also afraid of God and did not know if or how he could bring the Ark of the Covenant unto himself in Jerusalem. The Ark of the Covenant would remain in the house of Obed-Edom for three months, and there would come a point in time when David would hear how the LORD had blessed Obed-edom and all that he had on account of the Ark of the Covenant, and I am convinced that it was that desire and that passion for the blessing, the presence, the glory, and the majesty of the LORD to be present with him and among the people of Israel in the city of Jerusalem.

We know from Scripture that one of David’s greatest acts of worship was bringing the Ark of the Covenant from the house of Obed-edom and unto the place he had pitched for it in the midst of the city of Jerusalem. We know that as the Ark of the Covenant made its way from the house of Obed-Edom unto the place David prepared for it in the city of Jerusalem, David would lead a joyful celebration and procession of worship, as priests, Levites and others joined in together in a beautiful and harmonious worship before the true and living God. What’s more, is that for every six paces David and those who moved with the Ark took on their journey to the city of Jerusalem they would give a great shout and would sacrifice. David, the Levites and the priests would shout and sacrifice every six paces from the time both they and the Ark of the Covenant left the house of Obed-Edom until it reached the place which David had prepared for it in the midst of the city of Jerusalem. Even when the Ark of the Covenant would enter into the city of Jerusalem David would still be dancing, and singing, and praising the LORD his God with all his might and with all his strength, for on this day the living God mightily helped the priests and the Levites who brought the Ark of the Covenant into the city of Jerusalem. If we understand David to be a worshipper of the living God we must look at it beyond the standpoint of the various psalms which he wrote in the book of the Psalms, but must understand that one of the greatest expressions of worship within his heart and life was bringing the Ark of the Covenant from its place in Kiriath-jearim where it had been for what was undoubtedly more than a half a century. For more than fifty years the Ark of the Covenant would be in the place of Kiriath-Jearim, and while it would be in the midst of the inheritance, heritage and possession of the people of God, it would not be in its ultimate resting place. It was within the heart of David—not only to inquire of the Ark of the Covenant, but also it give it a proper resting place in the midst of the city of Jerusalem. It would be this desire to provide the Ark of the Covenant with a permanent and abiding place of rest that would captivate and grip the heart of David to seek to build a sanctuary and house for its place in the midst of the nation and kingdom of Israel. In fact, if you read the narrative found in the books of Second Samuel and First Chronicles you will find that David realized that he dwelt in a house that was made of cedar while the ark dwelt behind and in a place of curtains. David purposed and determined within his heart to build a house and sanctuary for the Ark of the Covenant of the living God, and were it not for the word of the LORD coming unto Nathan declaring unto David that he would not build the sanctuary, he would have undoubtedly have built it. Moreover, when the word of the LORD came unto Nathan, the LORD would declare that it would be his son that would build the house and sanctuary of the living God in his generation.

What is truly astounding and remarkable concerning Solomon building the house and sanctuary unto the LORD and as a resting place for the Ark of the Covenant, it would be David his father who would receive the pattern for the house, for its porches, for its chambers, for its treasuries, for the court of the sanctuary, and the like. It would be David who would receive the pattern of the sanctuary and house of the LORD according to the hand of the LORD upon him, and it would be the hand of the LORD upon him that would inspire him to draft and design the house of the living God. In all reality, we must recognize and understand that the pattern and design for the house and sanctuary belonged to the living and eternal God, and that it wasn’t even David himself who could take credit for the pattern and design. That which David would pass on to his son Solomon would be that which he had received from the LORD, for it was the living and eternal God who would pass down the pattern and design for the Ark of the Covenant just as He had to Moses during the time Moses was before Him in His presence at Sinai in the midst of the wilderness. Just as Moses the servant of the LORD would receive the pattern and design of the Tabernacle that was to be built in the midst of the people of God, so also would David the man after God’s own heart would receive the pattern and design of the sanctuary and house of the living God. If you read in the twenty-eighth chapter of this Old Testament book you will find that David gave to Solomon his son the pattern of the porch, and of the houses, and of the treasures, and of the upper chambers, and of the inner parlors, and of the place of the mercy seat. What’s more, is that you will also read how the pattern of all that he had by the spirit, of the courts of the house of the LORD, and of all the chambers round about, of the treasures of the house of God, and of the treasuries of the dedicated things: also for the courses of the priests and the Levites, and for all the work of the service of the house of the LORD, and for all the vessels of service in the house of the LORD. THE PATTERN, THE PROCESS AND THE PREPARATION! Consider if you will the words which are written and recorded within the twenty-eighth chapter of the Old Testament book of First Chronicles beginning to read with and from the eleventh verse of the chapter:

“Then David gave to Solomon his son the pattern of the porch, and of the houses thereof, and of the treasuries thereof, and of the upper chambers thereof, and of the inner parlours thereof, and of the place of the mercy seat, and the pattern of all that he had by the spirit, of the courts of the house of the LORD, and of all the chambers round about, of the treasuries of the house of God, and of the treasuries of the dedicated things: also for the courses of the priests and the Levites, and for all the work of the service of the house of the LORD, and for all the vessels of service in the house of the LORD. HE gave of gold by weight for things of gold, for all instruments of all manner of service; silver also for all instruments of silver by weight, for all instruments of every kind of service: even the weight for the candlesticks of gold, and for their lamps of gold, by weight for every candlestick, and for the lamps thereof: and for the candlesticks of silver by weight, both for the candlestick, and also for the lamps thereof, according to the use of every candlestick. And by weight he gave gold for the tables of shewbread, for every table; and likewise silver for the tables of silver: also pure gold for the flesh hooks, and the bowls, and the cups: and for the bolden basons he gave gold by weight for every bason; and likewise silver by weight for every bason of silver: and for the altar of incense refined gold by weight; and gold for the pattern of the chariot of the cherubims, that spread out their wings, and covered the ark of the covenant of the LORD. All this said David, the LORD made me understand in writing by his hand upon me, even all the works of this pattern” (1 Chronicles 28:11-19).

The more I read and consider the final chapters which are found in this Old Testament book of First Chronicles, the more I can’t help but think about and consider the absolutely tremendous fact that when we speak about the sanctuary and house of the LORD—not only was there the pattern of the house, but there was also the process of the house and the preparation of the house. If and as you read the words which are written and recorded within these chapters you will most certainly encounter the reality that the LORD caused David to understand in writing by His hand upon him the pattern of the sanctuary, and the pattern of the house that was to be built. It’s quite interesting to think about and consider the fact that although David would not be the one to build the sanctuary and house of the LORD in his generation, the living and eternal God would give him the pattern of the sanctuary and of the house that was to be built. How absolutely remarkable and astounding it is to think about and consider the fact that David would not be the one to build the sanctuary that was to be the final resting place for the Ark of the Covenant, but he would most certainly and definitely see the sanctuary and house that was to be built. There is not a doubt in my mind that although David would not and did not build the sanctuary of the house of the living God, he would absolutely see the house and sanctuary itself—perhaps within his spirit, perhaps within his mind, and perhaps even according to a vision the living God would give him. David was very specific that it was the LORD who caused and made him to understand in writing by his hand upon him all the works of the pattern of the sanctuary, and I can’t help but get the strong sense that the living God allowed David to see the sanctuary that would be built in the midst of the city of Jerusalem. Much like Moses would see the Promised Land from one of the mountains in the midst of the plains of Moab and yet would not enter in, so also would David see the sanctuary and the house of the LORD within his spirit—perhaps even according to vision—although he would not see the physical and tangible building that would stand in the midst of the city of Jerusalem. I firmly and completely believe that the living God not only gave David the pattern for the sanctuary and for the house, but also allowed him to see by vision and by revelation the sanctuary in order that he might bestow and pass along that pattern to the next generation.

If there is one thing we must understand concerning Solomon the son of David and his building the sanctuary and house of the living God, it’s that when the tame came to build the sanctuary and house of the living God—Solomon would not build the sanctuary and house according to his own imagination and according to his own inspiration. I am convinced that one of the greatest things David could have passed on to his son Solomon before he died and went the way of all the earth was the pattern and the design of the sanctuary of the living and eternal God. Pause for a moment and consider what that exchange would have been like as David who was not only king of Israel, but also Solomon’s father would pass down and give to him the pattern and design of the sanctuary and house of the living God that was to be built as the permanent resting place for the Ark of the Covenant. There is something inside me that feels that one of—if not the greatest thing David passed on to his son Solomon in those final days and moments of his life was the pattern and design of the sanctuary and house of the living God, for it would be that sanctuary and house that would be the place where the living God would place His name, and where His glory and presence would dwell and abide in the midst of His people. Through this house—not only would the LORD place His name, but this house would be a declaration that the LORD had given both His people, as well as the Ark of the Covenant a permanent and abiding place of rest in the earth. There in the city of Jerusalem, and there at the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite the sanctuary and house of the living God would find its resting place in the midst of the land and in the midst of the people of God. Consider if you will the words which are written and found within the twenty-first chapter of the Old Testament book of First Chronicles concerning the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite, and the sacred and holy act of worship, sacrifice and offering that needed to take place there in that place. What’s more, is that you must consider the fact that not only would that place be a place where David would offer a sacrifice before and unto the living God, but it would be in that place the people of God, the priests and the Levites would sacrifice upon the altar which would be in the sanctuary and house of the LORD. Beginning to read with and from the eighteenth verse of this chapter you ill find the following words:

“Then the angel of the LORD commanded Gad to say to David, that David should go up, and set up an altar unto the LORD in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite. And David went up at the saying of Gad, which he spake in the name of the LORD. And Ornan turned back, and saw the angel; and his four sons with him hid themselves. Now Ordan was threshing wheat. And as David came to Ornan, Ornan looked and saw David, and went out of the threshingfloor, and bowed himself to David with his face to the ground. Then David said to Ornan, Grant me the place of this threshingfloor, that I may build an altar therein unto the LORD: thou shalt grant it me for the full price: that the plague may be stayed from the people. And Ornan said unto David, Take it to thee, and let my lord the king do that which is good in his eyes: lo, I give thee the oxen also for burnt offerings, and the threshing instruments for wood, and thee what for the meat offering; I give it all. And king David said to Ornan, Nay; but I will verily but it for the full price: for I will not take that which is thine for the LORD, nor offer burnt offerings without cost. So David gave to Ornan for the place six hundred shekels of gold by weight. And David built there an altar unto the LORD, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings, and called upon the LORD; and he answered him from heaven by fire upon the altar of burnt offering. And the LORD commanded the angle; and he put up his sword again into the sheath thereof. At that time when David saw that the LORD had answered him in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite, then he sacrificed there. For the tabernacle of the LORD which Moses made in the wilderness, and the altar of the burnt offering, were at that season in the high place at Gibeon. But David could not go before it to inquire of God: for he was afraid because of the sword of the angel of the LORD. Then David said, This is the house of the LORD God, and this is the altar of the burnt offering for Israel. And David commanded to gather together the strangers that were in the land of Israel; and he set masons to hew wrought stones to build the house of God. And David prepared iron in abundance for the nails for the doors of the gates, and for the joinings; and brass in abundance without weight; also cedar trees in abundance: for the Zionians and they of Tyre brought much cedar wood to David. And David said, Solomon my son is young and tender, and the house that is to be builder for the LORD must be exceeding magnifical, of fame and of glory throughout all countries: I will therefore now make preparation for it. So David prepared abundantly before his death” (1 Chronicles 21:18-22:5).

Before I continue in the awesome narrative that is written and found within these chapters, I feel it necessary to point to the fact that when you read about the fire of God coming down from heaven upon the altar of burnt offering which was in the court of the sanctuary and house of the living God—that was not the first time the fire of God came down from heaven in that place. If you read of David’s encounter at the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite you will find that the LORD answered and responded to him by fire coming down from heaven upon the altar which he had built before and unto the LORD. What’s more, is that the fire which came down from heaven upon the altar and sacrifice which David prepared and offered before the living God would be that which would consecrate that place and consecrate that ground as the house of the living God. It’s worth noting that after David saw the fire come down from heaven upon the altar and sacrifice, and after David saw that the LORD had answered him, he emphatically declared that the place where he had built the altar was the house of the LORD God, and that that place was the altar of the burnt offering for Israel. What makes this even more incredible and astounding is when you think about and consider the fact that when Solomon dedicated and consecrated the sanctuary of the living God after it had been built, he specifically prayed that the eyes and ears of the LORD would be attentive to the prayers of His people. How truly remarkable it is that even before Solomon prayed those words his own father David would experience firsthand the LORD hearing from heaven—and not only hearing from heaven, but also hearing from heaven in that place. It would be there in that place the living God would hear from heaven, would answer by fire from heaven, and would stop the plague that had swept through the midst of the land after David had foolishly numbered the people within the nation and land of Israel. It’s truly remarkable that it would be there in that place the living God would not only hear from heaven, but would also cause the angel of the LORD which had caused countless thousands of individuals to die as a result of David’s sin to put his sword back in his sheath. This is absolutely incredible and necessary to think about and consider—particularly and especially when you think about the prayer which Solomon the son of David prayed at the dedication of the sanctuary and house of the LORd, when you think about the LORD’s response to Solomon, and even the LORD’s response to David. It should be noted that the LORD heard David’s prayer, and was pleased with His sacrifice, and not only answered him with fire from heaven, but also by commanding the angel which had his sword drawn in the midst of the land to put his sword back in his sheath. Even before the altar of burnt offering would be set up and established in that place, even before Solomon would offer sacrifices and burnt offerings upon that altar, and even before Solomon would pray before and unto the LORD, and even before the LORD responded to Solomon’s prayer, David himself would experience firsthand the LORD hearing from heaven in that place, the LORD answering from heaven in that place, and the LORD stopping a plague which was sent in the midst of the land. Consider if thou will the words which Solomon prayed before and unto the LORD in that place where David his father had offered a burnt offering and sacrifice unto the LORD, the LORD’s response to Solomon’s prayer that night, and even the direct implications it has for the time in which we are living right now:

“And it came to pass, when the priests were come out of the holy placer: (for all the priests that were present were sanctified, and did not then wait by course: also the Levites which were the singers, all of them of Asaph, of Heman, of Jeduthun, with their sons and their brethren, belying arrayed in white linen, having cymbals and psalteries and harps, stood at the east end of the altar, and with them an hundred and twenty priests sounding with trumpets) It came even to pass, as the trumpeters and singing era were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the LORD; and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of musick, and praised the LORD, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: that then the house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the LORD; so that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud: for the glory of the LORD had failed the house” (2 Chronicles 5:11-14).

“Then said Solomon, The LORD hath said that he would dwell in the thick darkness. But I have built an house of habitation for thee, and a place for thy dwelling for ever. And the king turned his face, and blessed the whole congregation of Israel: and all the congregation of Israel stood. And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of Israel, who hath with His hands fulfilled that which he spake with his mouth to my father David, saying, Since the day that I brought forth my people out of the land of Egypt I chose no city among all the tribes of Israel to build an house in, that my name might be there; neither chose I any man to be a ruler over my people Israel: But I have chosen Jerusalem, that my name might be there; and have chosen David to be over my people Israel. Now it was in the heart of David my father to build an house for the name of the LORD God of Israel. But the LORD said to David my father, Forasmuch as it was in thine heart to build an house for my name, thou didst well in that it was in thine heart: notwithstanding thou shalt not build the house; but thy son which shall come forth out of thy loins, he shall build the house for my name. The LORD therefore hath performed his word that he hath spoken: for I am risen up in the room of David my father, and am set on the throne of Israel, as the LORD promised, and have built the house for the name of the LORD God of Israel. And in it I have put the ark, wherein is the covenant of the LORD, that he made with the children of Israel. And he stood before the altar of the LORD in the presence of all the congregation of Israel and spread forth his hands: For Solomon had made a brasen scaoffold, of five cubits long, and five cut is broad, and three cubits high, and had set it in the midst of the court: and upon it he stood, and kneeled down upon his knees before all the congregation of Israel, and spread forth his hands toward heaven, and said, O LORD God of Israel, there is no God like thee in the heaven, nor in the earth; which keepest covenant, and shewest mercy unto thy servant, that walk before thee with all their hearts: thou which hast kept with thy servant David my father that which thou hast promised him; and speakest with thy mouth, and hast fulfilled it with thine hand, as it is this day. Now therefore, O LORD God of Israel, keep with thy servant David my father that which thou hast promised him, saying, There shall not fail thee a man in my sight to sit upon the throne of Israel; yet so that thy children take heed to their way to talk in my law, as thou hast walked before me. Now then, O LORD God of Israel, let thy word be verified, which thou hast spoken unto thy servant David. But will God in very deed dwell with men on the eartH? Behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house which I have built! Have respect therefore to the prayer of thy servant, and to his supplication, O LORD my God, to hearken unto the cry and the prayer which thy servant prayeth before thee: that thine eyes may be open upon this house day and night, upon the place whereof thou hast said that thou wouldest put thy name there; to hearken unto the prayer which thy servant prayeth toward this place. Hearken therefore unto the supplications of thy servant, and of thy people Israel,w hich they shall make toward this place: hear thou from thy dwelling place, even from heaven; and when thou hearest; forgive. If a man sin against his neighbour, and an oath be laid upon him to make him swear, and the oath come before thine altar in this house; then hear thou from heaven, and do, and judge thy servants, be requiting the wicked, by recompensing his way upon his own head; and by justifying the righteous, but giving him according to his righteousness. And if thy people Israel be put to the worse before the enemy, because they have sinned against thee; and shall return and confess thy name, and pray and make supplication before thee in this house; then hear thou from the heavens, and forgive the sin of thy people Israel, and bring them again unto the land which thou gavest to them and to their fathers. When the heaven is shut up, and there is no rain, because they have sinned against thee; yet if they pray toward this place, and confess thy name, and turn from their sin, when thou dost afflict them; then hear thou from heaven,and forgive the sin of thy servants, and of thy people Israel, and when thou hast taught them the good way, wherein they should walk; and send rain upon thy land, which thou hast given unto thy people for an inheritance. If there be dearth in the land, if there be pestilence, if there be blasting, or mildew, locusts, of caterpillars; if their enemies besiege them in the cites of their land; whatsoever sore or whatsoever sickness there be: then what prayer or what supplication soever shall be made of any man, or of all thy people Israel, when every one shall know his own sore and his own grief, and shall spread forth his hands in this house: then hear thou from heaven thy dwelling place, and forgive, and render unto every man according unto all his ways, whose heart thou knowest; (for thou only knowest the hearts of the children of men) that they may fear thee, to walk in thy ways, so long as they live in the land which thou gavest unto our fathers. Moreover concerning the stranger, which is not of thy people Israel, but is come from a far country for thy great name’s sake, and thy mighty hand, and thy stretched out arm; if they come and pray in this house; then hear thou from the heavens, even from thy dwelling place, and do according to all that the stranger calleth to thee for; that all people of the earth may know thy name, and fear thee, as doth thy people Israel, and may know that this house which I have build is called by thy name. IF thy people go out to war against their enemies by the way that thou shalt send them, and thy pray unto thee toward this city which thou hast chosen, and the house which I have built for thy name; then hear thou from the heavens their prayer and their supplication, and maintain their cause. If thy sin against thee, (For there is no man which sinneth not,) and thou be angry with them, and deliver them over before their enemies, and they carry them away captives unto a land far off or near; yet if they bethink themselves in the land whither they are carried away captive, and turn and pray unto thee in the land of their captivity, saying, We have sinned, we have done amiss, and have dealt wickedly; If they return to thee with all their heart and with all their soul in the land of their captivity, whither they have carried them captives, and pray toward their land, which thou gavest unto their fathers, and toward the city which thou hast chosen, and toward the house which I have built for thy name: then hear thou from the heavens, even from thy dwelling place, their prayer and their supplications, and maintain their cause, and forgive thy people which have sinned against thee. Now, my God, let, I beseech thee, thine eyes be open, and let thine ears be attent unto the prayer that is made in this place. Now therefore arise, O LORD God, into thy resting place, thou, and the ark of thy strength: let thy priests, O LORD God, be clothed with salvation, and let thy saints rejoice in goodness. O LORD God, turn not away the face of thine anointed: remember the mercies of David thy servant” (2 Chronicles 6:1-42).

“Now when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the LORD filled the house. And the priests could not enter into the house of the LORD, because the glory of the LORD had filled the LORD’s house. And when all the children of Israel saw how the fire came down, and the glory of the LORD upon the house, they bowed themselves with their faces to the ground upon the pavement, and worshipped, and praised the LORD, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever. Then the king and all the people offered sacrifices before the LORD. And king Solomon offered a sacrifice of twenty and two thousand oxen, and an hundred and twenty thousand sheep: so the king and all the people dedicated the house of God. And the priests waited on their offices: the Levites also with instruments of musick of the LORD, which David the king had made to praise the LORD, because his mercy endureth for ever, when David praised by their ministry; and the priests sounded trumpets before them, and all Israel stood. Moreover Solomon hallowed the middle of the court that was before the house of the LORD: for there he offered burnt offerings, and the meat offerings, and the fat. Also at the same time Solomon kept the feast seven days, and all Israel with him, a very great congregation, from the entering in of Hamath unto the river of Egypt. And in the eighth day they made a solemn assembly: for they kept the dedication of the altar seven days, and the feast seven days. And on the three and twentieth day of the seventh month he sent the people away into their tents, glad and merry in heart for the goodness that the LORD had shewed unto David, and to Solomon, and Israel his people. Thus Solomon finished the house of the LORD, and the king’s house: and all that came into Solomon’s heart to make in the house of the LORD, and in his own house, he prosperously effected. And the LORD appeared to Solomon by night, and said unto him, I have heard thy prayer, and have chosen this place to myself for n house of sacrifice. If I shut up heaven that there be nor rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people; if my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attent unto the prayer that is made in this place. For now have I chosen and sanctified this house, that my name may be there for ever: and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually. And as for thee, if thou wilt walk before me, as David thy father walked, and do according to all that I have commanded thee, and shalt observe my statutes and my judgments; then will I stablish the throne of thy kingdom as I have covenanted with David thy father, saying, There shall not fail thee a man to be ruler in Israel. But if ye turn away, and forsake my statutes and my commandments, which I have set before you, and shall go and serve other gods, and worship them; then will I pluck them up by the roots out of my land which I have given them; and this house, which I have sanctified for my name, will I cast out of my sight, and will make it to be a proverb and a byword among all nations. And this house, which is high, shall be an astonishing ent to every one that passeth by it; so that he shall say, Why hath the LORD done thus unto this land, and unto this house? And it shall be answered, Because they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, which brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, and laid hold on other gods, and worshipped them, and served them: therefore hath he brought all this evil upon them” (2 Chronicles 7:1-22).

As you read the words which are written and recorded within these passages you will find that after Solomon, the priests and the Levites had offered sacrifices and offerings before and unto the living God of Israel, and as the priests and the Levites ministered before the LORD with instruments and all manner of music, and after Solomon had finished praying a prayer of dedication and consecration for the house and sanctuary of the living God, there came down fire from heaven in the sight of all the people upon the altar of burnt offering and consumed the sacrifices and offerings which were upon the altar thereof. Moreover, you will find and discover that even before the fire of the living God came down from heaven the glory of the living God was manifested in the midst of the sanctuary as the cloud of His glory completely filled the house—so much so to the point where the priests could not stand to minister before the LORD in the midst of the house because of the cloud and presence of the living God. What’s so incredibly interesting and unique about the fire of God which came down from heaven in the midst and in the sight of all the people of Israel on the day the Temple and sanctuary was dedicated and consecrated unto and before the LORD God of Israel, for that was not the first time the fire came down from heaven in that place. As has already been mentioned, and as you have already seen and witnessed, the fire of the living God came down from heaven in that place during the days of David when he offered sacrifices and burnt offerings at the threshing flood of Ornan the Jebusite. After David had finished offering.a sacrifice and burnt offering before the LORD—not only did the LORD respond by sending fire down from heaven, but so also did the LORD answer from heaven by commanding the angel which He had sent to destroy the people of Jerusalem with a plague to put his sword back in his sheath. It’s worth noting that not only did the LORD answer and respond to David by sending fire down from heaven upon the sacrifice and offering which David had offered, but the LORD also answered David in response to his offering and in the midst of the plague by commanding the anger to put his sword back in his sheath, and to no longer inflict the people with the plague that would destroy them. It would be in that place where not only would the LORD respond by sending fire down from heaven, and not only would the LORD hear David’s prayer, but it would also be in that place David would recognize that the house of the LORD was in that place, and that the altar of burnt offering should be in that place. It’s absolutely imperative and necessary that we recognize and understand this, for when David offered this sacrifice and burnt offering in the sight of the living God, it would be during a time of plague in the midst of the land.

Before I turn and direct my attention back to the passage which is before us in the book of First Chronicles, I can’t help but consider the words which Solomon heard and received from the LORD, for when the LORD appeared to him by night He would declare unto him that if He shut up the heaven that there be no rain, or if He commanded the locusts to devour the land, or if he sent pestilence among his people—if His people which are called by His name, would humble themselves, and pray, and seek his face, and turn from their wicked ways; then would He hear from heaven, and would forgive their sin, and would heal their land. It’s worth noting and making mention of this particular reality, for it would be in that very place where David the father of Solomon and king of Israel would offer sacrifice and burnt offering before the LORD during a time of plague which had gripped and consumed the land. It would be in that very same place where David the father of Solomon would carry out the very same act which Solomon the son of David had spoken. What’s more, is that it would be in that place in the midst of a plague that the LORD would respond from heaven by sending fire down upon the altar and upon the offering, and would hear from heaven, as He would command the angel which had his sword still drawn over the city of Israel to put his sword back in his sheath. Please don’t miss and lose sight of this, for there is absolutely no denying that we are living in days of plague right now. There is absolutely no doubt that we are living during days of a tremendous plague that has gripped the nations of the earth. There is most certainly a plague that has crippled the nations of the earth, that has humbled world governments, and that has not only infected millions, but has killed hundreds of thousands. There are those who would rise up during this time and cry out before and unto the living God that He would hear from heaven and heal the land, and yet the truth of the matter is that if our prayers are simply that the living God might heal our land—either to remove this plague from us, or so that we can somehow return to our lives as normal, and continue doing as we had done previously—and if our chief and primary concern isn’t to turn from our wicked ways and to cry out for forgiveness of sin in the midst thereof, then we have sorely missed it. It’s worth noting that when the LORD appeared to Solomon by night, He didn’t declare unto Solomon that He would hear from heaven and heal the land, nor that He would hear from heaven, heal the land, and forgive sins. I think more often than not we allow ourselves to get caught up in the healing of the land that we forget about the forgiveness of sin. I fear that during this time there are countless men and women—perhaps even those within the church, whether they be leader, pastor, minister, elder, congregant, and the like—who are praying for the living God to heal to the land, and all the while are completely and utterly forgetting the fact that the LORD never promised to heal the land first, but rather, the LORD promised to forgive sins first, and then heal the land.

During these days and during this time there is of course a great need for healing, and there is a great need for the LORD to heal the land, and yet I fear that if this is our chief concern, and if this is our chief objective for which we cry out before the LORD in prayer, then we have sorely and are completely missing the point. When David offered the sacrifice and burnt offering before the LORD, he did it during a time of national plague which had consumed the land, and yet we must recognize that it wasn’t merely to bring an end to the plague that he offered the sacrifice and burnt offering, but also to make an atonement for the transgression and sin which he had committed before the LORD by numbering the house of Israel. David would indeed offer sacrifices and burnt offerings before the LORD, and yet as much as it was an offering before the LORD in the midst of national plague, it was also an offering and atonement for that which he had committed before and in the sight of the living God. It’s important for us to make note of and recognize this reality, for while it is true that the living God might very well need to, and might very well heal our land—that is not His primary focus and primary objective. If you read the four gospel narratives which describe the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ you will notice a strong and powerful connection between Jesus’ healing whatever malady, whatever infirmity, whatever ailment, whatever sickness was within and upon a person’s body, and yet directly linked and connected to their healing was a command to go and sin no more. There is even one occasion when a man was let down through the roof of the house where Jesus was, and the first words He spoke unto this man was simply, “Son, thy sins are forgiven.” It’s worth noting that before Jesus even declared unto him that his faith had made him whole, He first declared unto him that his sins were forgiven him. Please don’t miss and please don’t lose sight of this reality, for there is a strong and intrinsic link between healing and forgiveness, and yet with that being said—if we proceed to cry out only for the healing of the land and the staying of this plague during the days and times in which we are living, and we fail to cry out to the LORD in repentance, and turn from our wicked ways, and ask for forgiveness before the throne of the living God, then we have sorely missed the point. I would dare say the living God is not as much concerned with healing our land as much as He is with forgiving our sins, for what good is national healing from and in the midst of the plague if sin still remains, if no forgiveness has been found, and if men and women still haven’t turned from their wicked ways? During this time, I am absolutely and completely convinced that we must not allow ourselves to get caught up in the healing of the land alone, while at the same time neglecting and forgetting the fact that the LORD never promised to heal the land first and forgive sin second—rather, He promised to forgive sin first, and heal the land second.

As I circle back to the words which are written and recorded in the final chapters of the Old Testament book of First Chronicles I can’t help but consider the tremendous reality that within these chapters—not only do we find David providing unto Solomon the pattern for the sanctuary and Temple of the living God, David also made preparations for the sanctuary that was to be built in the midst of the city of Jerusalem. It would be David himself who would realize and recognize the place where the house of the LORD abode, and that place where the altar of the living God should abide in the midst of His people. Much like Jacob who experienced and encountered the vision of the ladder coming down from heaven and angels ascending and descending upon the ladder and realized that surely in that place was the house of the living God, so also would David discover and encounter that this place whereupon he offered sacrifices and bunt offerings before the throne of the living God was not only the house, but was also the place of the burnt offering and the place of the altar of God. What’s more, is that this place would be marked centuries earlier during the days of Abraham the patriarch of the Hebrew people when he was instructed by the LORD to take Isaac his only son whom he loved and offer him as a sacrifice in the place which the living God would show him. It would be there in the mountain of Moriah where Abraham would bind his only son Isaac and place him upon the altar, and were it not for angel of the LORD calling out to Abraham from the heavens commanding him to not lay a finger upon his son, Abraham would have gone through with plunging the knife through the heart of his son in obedience to the word and command of the living God. Upon the command and instruction of the living God not to touch or lay a hand on the young lad, Abraham would turn and look back and see a ram that was caught in the thicket. It would this ram Abraham would offer instead and in place of his son Isaac upon the altar which he had prepared before the throne of the living God. This is quite significant, for it would be in this place where the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite would be which David would build another altar to the LORD, and where David would offer burnt offerings and sacrifices before and unto the LORD. It would be there in that place where David not only witnessed and beheld fire coming down from heaven upon the altar and sacrifice, but also the living God hearing from heaven and hearing his prayer on behalf of the nation and kingdom of Israel. It would be in that moment and in that place David would realize and come to understand that it would be in that place where the altar of burnt offering would be, and it would be in that place where the house of the living God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. It would be Abraham himself who would offer the first sacrifice there upon the altar he built in that place, and it would be David himself who would offer the next sacrifice and burnt offering that was in that place. What’s more, is that it would be David who would recognize and understand that that place would be the house of God, and the place of the altar of burnt offering and sacrifice.

THE PATTERN OF THE SANCTUARY! THE PLACE OF THE SANCTUARY! THE PREPARATION OF THE SANCTUARY! THE PRAISE OF THE SANCTUARY! I sit here this morning and I can’t help but think about the absolutely remarkable reality that before David died and set his son Solomon as king upon his throne and over the nation and kingdom of Israel—not only did he give him the pattern and design of the sanctuary, but undoubtedly he would have given him the place of the sanctuary as well. There is not a doubt in my mind that before David died he provided his son Solomon with the exact location where the house and sanctuary of the living God would rest, where the Ark of the Covenant of the living God would rest, and where the altar of burnt offering and sacrifice would be placed. I can’t help but consider the tremendous reality that David who was this worshipper at heart would before he died and went the way of all the earth and the way of his fathers would provide for his son Solomon the exact place the sanctuary would be built, for it was in the place where God answered from heaven the sanctuary of the LORD would be found. Pause for a moment and consider the fact that even before the sanctuary would be built, and even before Solomon would pray the prayer asking the living God for His eyes and ears to be attentive unto the cries and prayers of His people, the LORD would answer from heaven in that place, and the LORD would send fire down from heaven upon the sacrifice and offering which David had made in that place. It is absolutely astounding to think about the fact that it was in the place of the consuming fire of God and in the place where the living God would hear from heaven that the sanctuary and Temple of the living God would be found, and it would be in the place of answered prayer that a house would be built. Is it any wonder why when Jesus entered into the rebuilt Temple several centuries later He would emphatically declare that His Father’s house should be a house of prayer, but they had made it a den of thieves. It would be Jesus Himself who would further declare that this sanctuary and this Temple would not only be a house of prayer, but it was also built in the place of prayer, and in the place of sacrifice and offering. It would be in this place where Jesus Himself would acknowledge the prayers of the people of God which they would make in that place—in that place where centuries earlier David would offer a burnt offering and sacrifice before and unto the LORD his God at the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite. How absolutely incredible it is to think about the beautiful reality that it would be in that place where David would offer a sacrifice before and unto the LORD—essentially and effectively offering up prayer before the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob—that a sanctuary and Temple would be built where the people of God would themselves offer prayers before and unto the living God.

When we consider the words which are found within this portion of Scripture we do in fact come face to face with the pattern of the sanctuary which the living God had provided unto David king of Israel for the sanctuary, but we also encounter and come face to face with the place of the sanctuary. It would be in the very place where David would offer a burnt offering and sacrifice before and unto the LORD his God that the sanctuary and Temple of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob would be built. It would be in that place where David would realize and recognize that the altar of the LORD would be present there, and where the house of the LORD God of Israel would be found. When David provided unto his son Solomon the pattern for the Temple and sanctuary of the living God—a pattern which the LORD caused him to understand and which he made known to him in writing by His hand upon him—David would also instruct his son Solomon where the house and where the sanctuary should be built, for it would be in that place of sacrifice and offering, and it would be there in that place of prayer and supplication that the sanctuary and temple of the living God would be built and would rest. Please don’t miss and lose sight of this truly remarkable and incredible reality, for perhaps one of—if not the greatest legacies David would and could have passed down to his son and to the generations that would come after him would be concerning the sanctuary of the living God. It would be David himself who would commission the Levites and priests to bring the Ark of the Covenant into the city of the Great King, and it would be David himself who would provide for his son the pattern and place of the sanctuary. David would understand the pattern of the sanctuary by the hand of the LORD upon him as He made him to know it in writing, and David would understand the place of the sanctuary through answered prayer and fire from heaven. Oh, how do you know and how do you understand the place of the sanctuary and the place of the house of the LORD? David understood the place of the sanctuary through and by fire from heaven, as well as through answered prayer as the LORD heard from heaven his prayer and his supplication. It’s absolutely necessary that we understand this reality, for the heart of David—which was the heart of a warrior—would be a heart that would not only inquire of the Ark of the Covenant and prepare it to placed in its rightful place of rest, but would also make all the preparations that would be necessary for the sanctuary and house of the living God. I can’t help but be absolutely gripped and captivated with and by the fact that David would make tremendous preparations for the house and sanctuary of the living God, for he recognized and understood—not only the importance and significance of it, but also the grandeur and splendor of the house which was to be a house of prayer for all nations. David knew how exceedingly beautiful this house was to be, and as a direct result of this, David would make all the preparations that would be necessary for the building of the house—namely, preparing vast quantities of cedar wood for construction, vast quantities of gold and silver, as well as vast quantities of brass for the nails that would be used for the sanctuary itself. It must be carefully understood concerning the great lengths and measures David would take to make preparation for the sanctuary of the living God, for what he provided for his son Solomon was more than simply the pattern and place of the sanctuary, but he would also make much of the necessary preparations for the sanctuary.

As we think about and consider the tremendous fact that David made preparations for the sanctuary and Temple of the living God, we must understand that this would not only include the material items that would be needed for the sanctuary— i.e. gold, silver, brass, cedar wood, etc—but it would also include making the preparations of the priests and Levites as well. You cannot read the words found in these chapters and not come face to face with the incredible reality that in order to prepare the sanctuary and Temple for its role, its purpose and its function in the midst of the nation and kingdom of Israel, the ministry of the priests and Levites would not to be prepared and would need to be renewed and restored among the people of God. You cannot read the words which are written and contained within these chapters and not encounter the praise of the sanctuary as evidenced by the priests and Levites, and also the prayer of the sanctuary as evidenced by the people of God who would bring their offerings, their sacrifices and their gifts before Him in His holy sanctuary. We cannot miss and lose sight of the absolutely tremendous reality that when we speak about the sanctuary of the living God that would be found in the midst of the sanctuary—not only must we recognize and understand the praise of the sanctuary as evidenced by the order and ministry of the priests and Levites, but so also we must understand the prayer of the sanctuary as would be evidenced—not only by Solomon himself as he dedicated the temple, but also by the people from all nations who would come unto this sacred place in the midst of the city of Jerusalem, and would offer their prayers, their supplications before the LORD their God. Jesus Himself would speak of the reality that this house was to be a house of prayer when He emphatically declared and exclaimed that His Father’s house was to be a house of prayer. When we read the words which are written and found within these chapters we must encounter the pattern of the sanctuary which was made known to David in writing by the hand of the LORD upon him, as well as the place of the sanctuary which would not only be in the place of the fire of God, but would also be in the place of answered prayer which David would experience firsthand. When we consider these final chapters which are found in the book of First Chronicles we must recognize that David who was this man after God’s own heart, and who was a worshipper by nature and by heart would not only pass along the pattern for the sanctuary of the house of the LORD, but would also make the necessary preparations for the sanctuary to be built in order that he might ensure that his son had everything that was needed to build that which was to be magnificent in the sight of the living God. I absolutely love that at the end of David’s life he did absolutely everything he could to leave the next generation with the pattern and place of the sanctuary of the living God, as well as the praise and prayer that was to be offered up in that place. We dare not miss and lose sight of this, for I am convinced that in this time and season we are currently living in, the living God is restoring and renewing the praise and prayer of the sanctuary in the midst of the earth, and He is calling men and women into a greater place of prayer and praise before Him. What’s more, is that the living God is in this place calling men and women into a greater place of prayer and supplication before the living God, and a great place of consecration before Him in His holy sanctuary and in His holy mountain. Oh that we would recognize and understand the tremendous work which David did during his final days and moments here on this earth to ensure that the next generation—and quite honestly, all future generations—might have a place before the throne of the living God whereby they might not only pray before and unto Him, but might also praise Him in His holy sanctuary.

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