Then David gave his son Solomon the plans for the portico of the temple, its buildings, its storerooms, its upper parts, its inner rooms and the place of atonement. He gave him the plans of all that the Spirit had put in his mind for the courts of the temple of the Lord and all the surrounding rooms, for the treasuries of the temple of God and for the treasuries for the dedicated things. He gave him instructions for the divisions of the priests and Levites, and for all the work of serving in the temple of the Lord, as well as for all the articles to be used in its service. He designated the weight of gold for all the gold articles to be used in various kinds of service, and the weight of silver for all the silver articles to be used in various kinds of service: the weight of gold for the gold lampstands and their lamps, with the weight for each lampstand and its lamps; and the weight of silver for each silver lampstand and its lamps, according to the use of each lampstand; the weight of gold for each table for consecrated bread; the weight of silver for the silver tables; the weight of pure gold for the forks, sprinkling bowls and pitchers; the weight of gold for each gold dish; the weight of silver for each silver dish; and the weight of the refined gold for the altar of incense. He also gave him the plan for the chariot, that is, the cherubim of gold that spread their wings and overshadow the ark of the covenant of the Lord. – 1 Chronicles 28: 11-18
In this passage David is providing a detailed plan for his son Solomon to construct the Temple after he is gone because God has already told him that he will not be allowed to build the temple himself. This description matches the actual construction of the temple described in 1 Kings 7:38-45. The 1 Kings verse was described in a previous post entitled “Sprinkling Bowls“.
I find it interesting that so many leaders end up being denied something by God toward the end of their lives. Moses was not allowed to enter the Promised Land before he crossed over, and David is not allowed to build the temple before he dies. So what is up with that and, more importantly, how can we avoid the same fate? I will not pretend to understand the mind of God in this matter, but perhaps by examining what David and Moses had in common we can gain some understanding.
Moses and David were both confused a bit about who they were. Moses because of his history in Egypt and his sense of being a “man without a people“; and David because he was defined by his early indiscretions and his role as a military leader but in his heart he wanted to be “a man after God’s own heart”. I suspect that the identity confusion of Moses and David left them unable to pursue God with all their heart.
So what is the take home lesson from this? It is important to know who we are so that we can pursue God with all our heart.
My family and I are big fans of the movie Joe Versus the Volcano. It is a bit quirky, but some of our favorite quotes come from that movie. At one point in the movie the main character, Joe Banks, is sitting in a limousine with the driver named Marshall:
Marshall: They just pay me to drive the limo, sir. I’m not here to tell you who you are.
Joe Banks: I didn’t ask you to tell me who I am.
Marshall: You were hinting around about clothes. That happens to be a very important topic to me, sir. Clothes, Mr…
Joe Banks: Banks.
Marshall: Banks. Clothes make the man. I believe that. You say to me you want to go shopping, you want to buy clothes, but you don’t know what kind. You leave that hanging in the air, like I’m going to fill in the blank, that to me is like asking me who you are, and I don’t know who you are, I don’t want to know. It’s taken me my whole life to find out who I am, and I’m tired now, you hear what I’m saying?
Prayer: God help us to know who we are and so that we can seek you with all our hearts.