The Census and the Temple

1 Chronicles 21 – The Census
1 Chronicles 22 – Preparations For The Temple
1 Chronicles 23–26 – Organization Of The Temple Service

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One Reply to “The Census and the Temple”

  1. 1 Chronicles 23–26 – Organization Of The Temple Service

    David demands a census to be taken…i.e., he’s taxing the people of Israel, people that belong to God, not David. Here’s an excellent commentary on the subject:

    As to why God was angry at David, in those times, a man only had the right to count or number what belonged to him. Israel did not belong to David; Israel belonged to God. In Exodus 30:12 God told Moses, “When you take a census of the Israelites to count them, each one must pay the LORD a ransom for his life at the time he is counted. Then no plague will come on them when you number them.” It was up to God to command a census, and if David counted he should only do it at God’s command, receiving a ransom to “atone” for the counting. This is why God was angry again with Israel and is also why David was “conscience-stricken” after he counted Israel. David knew it was wrong and begged God to take away the guilt of his sin (2 Samuel 24:10).

    David confesses his sin to God and is given three horrible options. Ultimately he chooses the plague and 70,000 are killed. David was heartbroken and asks God to punish him instead of these who “are but sheep” (1 Chronicles 21:17). David’s cry is heard and ultimately he buys the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite in Jerusalem. Here, he’s told to build an altar and offer sacrifices to God. “The house of the Lord God is to be here, and also the altar of burnt offering for Israel” (22:1).

    David makes preparations for Solomon to build the temple and speaks to Solomon about the plans, “Now, my son, the Lord be with you, and may you have success and build the house of the Lord your God, as he said you would” (22:11). David includes a great blessing at this time as well.

    Chapters 23-26 provide details about how the temple would be served, who would do what, etc. It’s interesting to note that David identifies the musicians by name in Chapter 25.  Apparently, musicians have a favored place in David’s heart.  Makes sense! The gatekeepers are also listed by name, servants whose jobs were important to the effectiveness of the temple, yet blue-collar workers by any definition.  These are honored in Chapter 26. Even the accountants are mentioned!

    So God honors those who serve in many ways. It’s reassuring to note that they are listed here, even if we don’t know anything about them or their families, the mere mention of their name is significant. Lord bless the work of my hands today, work I commit to your church. Let me be satisfied with being a mere footnote in the annuls of your history, if mentioned at all. Not for my fame, but for your glory.

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