Chapter twenty-eight is a somewhat different story from the palace intrigue presented in the book of Kings. The story is not contradictory, but simply supplementary. It appears in Kings that no one really knows who is to be king after David’s death. Yet Nathan knows, as does Bathsheba. To those who know the story, the questioning of Kings is really a story of rebellion. The Chronicler presents a seamless story without the black mark of rebellion in David’s house. David’s speeches here are important.
For the first time, the temple is called a place of God’s rest. The “rest” is so important that David cannot build the temple, for he is not a man of rest. Solomon has that designation (1 Chronicles 22:9).
Second, the choice of Solomon as king is not of David’s choosing, but God’s. Solomon is not the natural choice for king. David has many sons. A good number of them are older than Solomon. Besides, Solomon was conceived in adultery. Yet, he is the Lord’s choice and not just to be king over Israel, but to be king over the “kingdom of the Lord” (vs. 5) – a phrase occurring only twice in the Bible, both times in Chronicles.
Solomon’s success, and Israel’s, would be inseparably keyed to seeking the Lord and His will – and obeying what they found.
The New Testament speaks of a “rest” for the people of God, a rest that Israel never was able to enter (Hebrews 3-4). The rest was tied to the temple of God and obedience to God. It still is, and is why Christians should not fail to get the message: The temple – the Church, God’s family – is the place of God’s rest. Those who would enter that rest must enter the place of rest, and to do so, they must seek the Lord and be obedient to his will. Anything else will leave them coming up short.