Sunday, September 9. 1 Chronicles 17 – 20

    Israel achieved the status of “empire” under David for the first time.  Though Solomon’s empire might have been more grand, David’s was the greatest.  His enemies fell in rapid succession and his power was felt, according to chapter 18, as far east as the Euphrates and north into Syria.  No one in Israel’s history comes close to exercising the kind of power David does.  To Abraham God promised: “To your descendants I give this land, from the Wadi of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates” (Genesis 15:18) and under David, that comes true.  Though Solomon continues to exercise such broad power, he does not do so with David’s success (1 Kings 4:21,24) and the prophets will look forward to a day when the Kingdom of God stretches to such breadth (Zechariah 9:10).

    David provides an organization for Israel’s government for the first time and notably here, there are two High Priests.  Perhaps one for the north of Israel and one (Zadok) for the south).

    All of this happens during David’s reign, but not by David’s power.  The Chronicler is adamant that such success comes from the blessing of God, and that it was a gift of God to David (note the repetition in verses 6 and 13).  Everything is from God, and it is all a gift.  David, in appreciation for God’s grace, devotes, it would appear, the entirety of the gain from his conquests to the Lord.

    When we place the perspective of our lives under the grace of God, how can we respond any differently?