BiND: Day 30
We’re a third of the way through! Which seems like a perfect time for a little review, which makes today’s reading in Chronicles sort of nice. There are a few things that seem to fall by the wayside as the kingdom goes on, and this is our opportunity to remember them. Things like the ark of the covenant—remember that? I don’t think we’ve heard about that since the end of Solomon’s reign. It seems that it was tucked away in the Temple and forgotten by all the subsequent kings, but here we are being reminded of how important a symbol of God’s presence it was to the ancient Israelites. How about kings actually praying, talking to God? That didn’t seem to happen much post-Solomon either, and here we are today reading again David’s prayer of gratitude for being chosen by God, anointed (mashiah, messiah, remember?) as shepherd for the people. Shepherd was a term often used to refer to kings, and today we even read about David referring to the people as sheep—sheep he has charge of.
We also get a reminder that the name Solomon (Schlomo in Hebrew) is related to the word shalom—peace, wholeness, rest. Back in Deuteronomy we read that when God finally gave the Israelites rest (or peace) on every side, they should worship together in one place. Well, according to the Chronicler David created that peace on every side (with God’s help, of course), then assembled all the supplies, so that Solomon (the peaceful one, the one with no blood on his hands…yet) could create this central place for the community to worship.
Notice what we didn’t get a reminder of…almost any sin. The worst thing David does is conduct a census. No Bathsheba scandal here! You can bet the people this was written for, and the people writing it, knew all about it, of course—but talking it over again doesn’t serve the purpose of this text, which is to remind people of the good ol’ days and call them back to the under-reconstruction Temple for covenant observance and some good old fashioned manual labor.
We also get a little taste of David’s songwriting skills—he is credited with a large majority of the psalms, a few of which get wrapped up in David’s welcome-the-ark-to-Jerusalem speech. David clearly loved music, at least in the eyes of the Chronicler, for he is also here named as the one who divided up the labor of the Levites (keepers of the temple and of ritual observance) into various jobs, including musicians. 10% of the Levites were appointed as musicians! Wow. I bet the music God (and the Levites) heard there was pretty excellent, don’t you think?