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28 At the end of his life, David assembled in Jerusalem all the officials of Israel to instruct them in how to run both the state and the religion after his death. These officials included the leaders of the tribes, the commanders of the divisions that served the king, the commanders of thousands, commanders of hundreds, the managers of all the royal property and livestock, the officials, the warriors, and all the valiant men.

David (rising to his feet): Listen to me, my brothers and my people. As you know, I had intended to build a permanent home for the covenant chest of the Eternal and for the footstool of our God just as He prepared my kingdom and my palace for me. So I had prepared to build it, collecting fine materials from all over the region. But God did not want me to build His temple. He told me, “You have shed much blood and waged great wars, My wars. But because of your conquests and the amount of blood you spilled on My behalf, you will not build a house honoring My reputation. The blood on your hands makes you ritually impure.

The Eternal One, God of Israel, decided the tribe of Judah would lead His nation. Then He chose and was pleased with me, from among all of my brothers in my father’s house, to be the king over Israel and establish an eternal monarchy. From among all my sons (for the Eternal has blessed me with many sons), He has chosen my son Solomon to sit on the throne of the kingdom of the Eternal One over Israel.

Like David, Solomon is a younger son, who traditionally should not inherit the birthright of his father. But God sees more in David and Solomon than just birth order.

He said to me, “Your son Solomon, though younger, is the one who will execute your plans to build My house and My courts; for I shall be his Father and he will be My son. I shall settle him and his descendants as My representatives in My temple and in My kingdom forever if he follows your lead and resolutely performs My commandments and My ordinances.”

God has a tendency to choose younger sons to lead His people. This is remarkable! Everyone else in the ancient world is led by the oldest sons; it’s tradition. But God chose Isaac over Ishmael, Jacob over Esau, David over his six older brothers, and now Solomon over his many older brothers.

This tendency to choose the unexpected demonstrates that Israel is God’s nation, not the nation of any monarch. God is not bound by human traditions, no matter how old those traditions may be. As the Jews face seemingly impossible situations, their ancestors’ lives remind them that God can and will do anything to accomplish His goals. He often supports those with a hopeless cause. Why else would He rescue His people, the Jews, from the great Persian Empire and choose them to rebuild His nation?

David: To you, my officials, follow the laws of the Eternal One your God as a witness to your neighbors (all Israel who are the assembly of the Eternal) and in the sight of our God so that you will retain this land and be able to pass it to your descendants forever.

To you, my son Solomon, maintain a relationship with the God of your father and serve Him with a complete heart in all your thoughts and actions. The Eternal searches all hearts for their desires and understands the intentions of every thought. If you search for Him as He searches you, then He will let you find Him. But if you abandon Him, then He will reject you forever. 10 Realize that the Eternal has chosen you to build a temple as a sanctuary. You must be resolute and do it!

11 After instructing Solomon, David gave him blueprints of the temple porch, its buildings, its storehouses, its upper rooms, its inner rooms, and the holy of holies for the covenant chest. 12 And David also gave Solomon the plans he had in mind for the courts of the temple of the Eternal, all the surrounding rooms, the storehouses of the temple of God, and the storehouses of the dedicated gifts. 13 David also provided lists of the divisions of the priests and Levites and the work of the service they would perform in the temple of the Eternal. David also described how the priests and Levites would treat all the utensils of service in the house of the Eternal: 14 the ideal weight of gold for all the golden utensils for every kind of service, the ideal weight of silver for all the silver utensils for every kind of service, 15 the ideal weight of gold for each of the golden lampstands and their golden lamps, the ideal weight of silver for each of the silver lampstands and their silver lamps, 16 the ideal weight of gold for each of the tables of unleavened bread, and the silver for the silver tables, 17 the ideal weight of pure gold for the forks, the basins, and the pitchers, the ideal weight of gold for each of the golden bowls, the ideal weight for each of the silver bowls, 18 the ideal weight of refined gold for the altar of incense, for the model of the chariot, and for the winged guardian whose wings covered the covenant chest of the Eternal.

David (to the assembly): 19 All of these instructions and details were written for me by the Eternal, who was guiding me.

(to Solomon) 20 Be strong, courageous, and effective. Do not fear or be dismayed. I know that the Eternal God, who is my God, is with you. He will not abandon you or forsake you until you have finished all the work for the temple of the Eternal. 21 You will be helped in finishing this service by the divisions of the priests and the Levites and by every willing man of any skill. The officials and all the people will be at your disposal for the completion of the temple.

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