1 Chronicles 23

David, having given charge concerning the building of the temple, in this and the following chapters settles the method of the temple- service and puts into order the offices and officers of it. In the late irregular times, and during the wars in the beginning of his reign, we may suppose that, though the Levitical ordinances were kept up, yet it was not in the order, nor with the beauty and exactness, that were desirable. Now David, being a prophet, as well as a prince, by divine warrant and direction,

"set in order the things that were wanting."

In this chapter we are informed,

I. He declared Solomon to be his successor, #1Ch 23:1.
II. He numbered the Levites, and appointed them to their respective offices, #1Ch 23:2-5.
III. He took an account of the several families of the Levites, #1Ch 23:6-23.
IV. He made a new reckoning of them from twenty years old, and appointed them their work, #1Ch 23:24-32. And in this he prepared for the temple as truly as when he laid up gold and silver for it; for the place is of small account in comparison with the work. (MH)

V. 1, David was ready to die, so he made provision for the kingdom, trying to leave it in good and godly hands.

V. 2, he appointed Solomon as the next king in the presence of many witnesses, trying to prevent any usurpation of the throne. Thus, Adonihah's attempt to obtain the throne was open rebellion, as well as foolish.

Vv. 3ff, David again numbers the people, but not out of pride this time; rather, with good purpose, so he had no fear of God's anger.

Note: Our actions can be exactly the same, but one time they are sin, and the other, they are godly. Difference? Motives. God looks on the heart, and not only must our actions be according to His law-word, but so must be our motives if we expect His blessings.

V. 3, 30 and upward. Though they could work at 20, v. 24, they were not allowed into leadership until 30. How many men have I met who in their early 20s felt they were qualified to lead people, both in the secular and spiritual realm, simply because they have a text book education?

My experience has been that a man should not even be considered for leadership until he is at least 30.

V. 4, MH here implies that the 24,000 Levites were scattered throughout the land, acting as officers and judges—magistrates, giving understanding to the laws of God in order to resolve difficulties and settle controversies that arose among the people, with the aid of the 6,000. However, the verse to me reads as though the 6,000 were the ones scattered throughout the land, Deuteronomy 16:18, 17:9.

V. 5, 4,000 porters guarded the house of God. 4,000 men simply praised the Lord upon instruments David developed and made. If anything would appear to the natural eye a waste of money, having men stand around in an empty building and sing and play instruments would be. However, it was not a waste, for their music was for the ears of God, not for the ears of man.

Today? My inclination would be that though there should be money invested in producing godly music, the majority of the money should be spent in spreading the total gospel into all the world. God is no longer represented in a building as He was before Christ and the indwelling Spirit. He is now represented in the individual Christian.

Vv. 14ff., the children of Moses and Aaron. Though Moses was the greatest man in Israel's history, he had no ambition to gratify. He sough no honour for himself nor for his children, so his children here are only common Levites. Moses simply wanted to do what God told him to do. His self-denial rejected God's offer to make of him a great nation, and God blessed his following generations with a great number, leaving the civil government was left to Joshua, and the priesthood to Aaron. However, the following generations were just average Levites. On the other hand, Aaron, Moses' younger brother, because of his self-denial, willingly submitted to Moses' headship, and God exalted his family as the priests, to which the family of Moses willing subjected themselves in the land.

I often wondered what happened to Moses' two sons after he sent them back to his father-in-law for safety as they went through the wilderness. Here we see that they survived and prospered as godly men.

V. 27, again we are reminded of where David's heart was — it was for the care of God's people as they represented God's kingdom on earth.

Two points stand out about this chapter:

First, David's heart was in the in his love for God's kingdom work. He made every preparation he could both inlaying up vast sums of materials, silver and gold, to build a "house" worthy to represent the glories of the King of kings, did his best to establish a man on the throne who would properly represent the King and care for the people, and set up vast numbers of men to carry on the work of the temple that was not even built yet. His heart was in the Lord's work, and his works proved it.

Second, the children of Moses and Aaron continually remind us that God exalts the humble, and blesses those who will submit themselves to His will.