First Chronicles celebrates King David’s courage, strength, and ability to bring God’s people together as a nation. He was a great warrior. But perhaps a stronger emphasis in this book is upon David as great worshiper.
First, the warrior. David’s “mighty men” (chapters 11 and 12 especially) provide examples of individual courage and skill, as well as unity. The kind of men David attracted, and what he inspired them to do, is remarkable. He brought greatness out of such a varied mix of men! In Psalm 110, David wrote that his Promised Descendant (“my Lord”) would also bring about great change in his people, calling forth strength, unity, willingness, and holiness from them: “Your people will offer themselves freely on the day of your power, in holy garments; from the womb of the morning, the dew of your youth will be yours.” (Psalm 110:3)
Our Lord is the true King of might, and every eye will see him take back this world and rule it with righteousness. Do we realize his greatness as the coming King and Judge of the earth?
Secondly, the worshiper. David loved to worship the Lord in the place that God appointed. The tabernacle site on Mount Zion would become the place that Solomon would later build the temple. A major focus in 1 Chronicles is David’s zeal for worship.
He loved “God’s house.” For David, God’s house was the place where thanks and praise were to be continually given to the Lord with songs and shouts. (He organized the rotations of singers who would stand on the mount to praise God in songs.)
It was the place where justice was upheld, where sacrifice was made, where forgiveness was given, where true peace with God and lasting security could be found, where David could seek the Lord and gaze upon God’s glory and beauty (Psalm 26:8; 27:4), and a place of feasting and abundance in the presence of the Lord, experiencing his goodness and mercy (Psalm 23:5-6).
No wonder David said, “I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the LORD!’” (Psalm 122:1)
This too foreshadows the Lord Jesus! In Psalm 69:9 David wrote, “For zeal for your house has consumed me, and the reproaches of those who reproach you have fallen on me.” This points us to his Greater Son, who as a child said to his parents, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” (Luke 2:49)
And later as a man, he grieved over the commercialization of the temple worship in Jerusalem, and said, “‘Take these things away; do not make my Father’s house a house of trade.’ His disciples remembered that it was written, ‘Zeal for your house will consume me.’” (John 2:16-17) On the eve of his arrest he told his disciples that he was going to prepare a place for them in his Father’s house (John 14:2-3).
The Lord desires — and by his redemption will accomplish — the gathering of his people into his eternal house to see his glory, to enjoy his worship, and to be with him forever: “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.” (Revelation 21:3)
That’s worth singing and shouting about!