As for the general charge that David gave his son to seek God and serve him, the book of the law was, in that, his only rule, and there needed no other; but, in building the temple, David was now to give him three things:—1. A model of the building, because it was to be such a building as neither he nor his architects ever saw. Moses had a pattern of the tabernacle shown him in the mount (Heb. 8:5), so had David of the temple, by the immediate hand of God upon him, 1 Chron. 28:19. It was given him in writing, probably by the ministry of an angel, or as clearly and exactly represented to his mind as if it had been in writing. But it is said (1 Chron. 28:12), He had this pattern by the Spirit. The contrivance either of David’s devotion or of Solomon’s wisdom must not be trusted to in an affair of this nature. The temple must be a sacred thing and a type of Christ; there must be in it not only convenience and decency, but significancy: it was a kind of sacrament, and therefore it must not be left to man’s art or invention to contrive it, but must be framed by divine institution. Christ the true temple, the church the gospel temple, and heaven the everlasting temple, are all framed according to the divine councils, and the plan laid in the divine wisdom, ordained before the world for God’s glory and ours. This pattern David gave to Solomon, that he might know what to provide and might go by a certain rule. When Christ left with his disciples a charge to build his gospel church he gave them an exact model of it, ordering them to observe that, and that only, which he commanded. The particular models are here mentioned, of the porch, which was higher than the rest, like a steeple,—then the houses, both the holy place and the most holy, with the rooms adjoining, which were for treasuries, chambers, and parlours,—especially the place of the mercy-seat (1 Chron. 28:11),—of the courts likewise, and the chambers about them, in which the dedicated things were laid up. Bishop Patrick supposes that, among other things, the tabernacle which Moses reared and all the utensils of it, which there was now no further occasion for, were laid up here, signifying that in the fulness of time all the Mosaic economy, all the rites and ceremonies of that dispensation, should be respectfully laid aside, and something better come in their room. He gave him a table of the courses of the priests, patterns of the vessels of service (1 Chron. 28:13), and a pattern of the chariot of the cherubim, 1 Chron. 28:18. Besides the two cherubim over the mercy-seat, there were two much larger, whose wings reached from wall to wall (1 Kgs. 6:23-28), and of these David here gave Solomon the pattern, called a chariot; for the angels are the chariots of God, Ps. 68:17. 2. Materials for the most costly of the utensils of the temple. That they might not be made any less than the patterns, he weighed out the exact quantity for each vessel both of gold and silver, 1 Chron. 28:14. In the tabernacle there was but one golden candlestick; in the temple there were ten (1 Kgs. 7:49), besides silver ones, which, it is supposed, were hand-candlesticks, 1 Chron. 28:15. In the tabernacle there was but one table; but in the temple, besides that on which the show-bread was set, there were ten others for other uses (2 Chron. 4:8), besides silver tables; for, this house being much larger than that, it would look bare if it had not furniture proportionable. The gold for the altar of incense is particularly said to be refined gold (1 Chron. 28:18), purer than any of the rest; for that was typical of the intercession of Christ, than which nothing is more pure and perfect. 3. Directions which way to look for help in this great undertaking. “Fear not opposition; fear not the charge, care, and trouble; fear not miscarrying in it, as in the case of Uzza; fear not the reproach of the foolish builder, that began to build and was not able to finish. Be not dismayed. (1.) God will help thee, and thou must look up to him in the first place (1 Chron. 28:20): The Lord God, even my God, whom I have chosen and served, who has all along been present with me and prospered me, and to whom, from my own experience of his power and goodness, I recommend thee, he will be with thee, to direct, strengthen, and prosper thee; he will not fail thee nor forsake thee.” Note, We may be sure that God, who owned our fathers and carried them through the services of their day, will, in like manner, if we be faithful to him, go along with us in our day, and will never leave us, while he has any work to do in us or by us. The same that was Joshua’s encouragement (Josh. 1:5), and Solomon’s, is given to all believers, Heb. 13:5. He will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. God never leaves any unless they first leave him. (2.) “Good men will help thee, 1 Chron. 28:21. The priests and Levites will advise thee, and thou mayest consult them. Thou hast good workmen, who are both willing and skilful;” and these are two very good properties in a workman, especially in those that work at the temple. And, lastly, “The princes and the people will be so far from opposing or retarding the work that they will be wholly at thy command, every one in his place ready to further it.” Then good work is likely to go on when all parties concerned are hearty in it, and none secretly clog it, but all drive on heartily in it.
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