“Now David assembled at Jerusalem all the leaders of Israel: the officers of the tribes and the captains of the divisions who served the king, the captains over thousands and captains over hundreds, and the stewards over all the substance and possessions of the king and of his sons, with the officials, the valiant men, and all the mighty men of valor. Then King David rose to his feet and said, "Hear me, my brethren and my people: I had it in my heart to build a house of rest for the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and for the footstool of our God, and had made preparations to build it” (1 Chronicles 28:1-2).
As David’s kingdom comes to a close, he makes preparations to turn the reigns of his kingdom over to his son Solomon. He gathers the leaders of Israel together (1 Chronicles 23:1-2). The writer of Chronicles then goes into great detail writing the divisions of the Levites, the divisions of those skilled men who would prophesy during worship, the divisions of the gatekeepers, the listing those who served as treasurers, the listing of those who served as officials, the divisions of those who served as captains in the army, the officials who served as leaders over the various tribes of Israel, and the leaders of who served King David’s himself in various ways (1 Chronicles 23:1-27:34).
Why would the chronicler spend so much time and detail describing all of these people? Each one had an important service which they performed for the kingdom. Each one had served David well. But now David was going away. David’s son Solomon was going to be taking over as king. As the opening verses above indicate, David had called all these officials together because he wants to unite them to continue to follow his son Solomon so that nothing would hinder the great purpose of building the temple of God (1 Chronicles 28:1).
As David stands before this great audience of people, he reminds them of what God said to him: “Now He said to me, ‘It is your son Solomon who shall build My house and My courts; for I have chosen him to be My son, and I will be his Father’” (1 Chronicles 28:6). He then charges Solomon before all these people saying, “Consider now, for the Lord has chosen you to build a house for the sanctuary; be strong, and do it" (1 Chronicles 28:10).
As I consider these verses, I appreciate the great, godly leader David was. David was well aware of how easily it is during periods of leadership transition for people to become divided and lose their focus from accomplishing the task at hand. Even though he was not going to be allowed to build the temple himself, David wanted to do all he could to see that God’s purposes for His people were accomplished. He made great effort to unite God’s people to accomplish a great task as they were about to undergo a period of great transition as David passed the reigns of his kingdom to Solomon.
Today, the church is given the great task of taking the gospel message to the whole world (Mark 16:15-16) and of encouraging one other to continue in the faith (Ephesians 4:11-16). Yet, it is easy for divisions to occur within a church which hinder us from accomplishing these great tasks (1 Corinthians 1:10). May God give us more godly leaders who understand the importance of uniting God’s people to stay focused on accomplishing God’s purposes! I will strive to dwell with my brethren in a spirit of unity, flee from those things which create divisions among God’s people, and be about doing God’s work for me!
“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” (Psalm 133:1)