God wants his people to remember the passion and the planning that went into his permanent earth-home. So the Chronicler retells the story.
Even though King David isn’t allowed to build the temple, he gets everything ready so his son can. He creates detailed blueprints, collects copious building materials and plans for the reorganization of the Levites—their responsibilities will be different once God’s glory-home is stationary. David appoints some Levites to oversee the daily sacrifices, some to sing and praise, some to guard the temple, some to watch over its finances.
When David’s life is coming to a close, he gathers all of Israel’s leaders together. He challenges both his son Solomon and the people to follow God and obey his commands. “God has chosen you, of all people and all generations, to build his earthly home!” he proclaims. David presents Solomon with the temple plans—for the lampstands, the furnishings, the utensils, every last detail God has given him. Then he charges the people to contribute to build God’s temple. The precious metals and jewels pour in—God’s people give willingly and abundantly.
The next day they ceremonially crown Solomon and celebrate. It’s exciting to participate in God’s work.
The King’s Heart
As David handed the temple plans to his son he said, “‘All this,’ David said, ‘I have in writing as a result of the Lord’s hand on me, and he enabled me to understand all the details of the plan” (1 Chronicles 28:19).
It had been a project between friends. Years of dreaming, envisioning, imagining, explaining and planning. Countless conversations as God had shown David his temple design and helped him understand the symbolism.
Even though David didn’t physically construct the temple—it didn’t exist in his lifetime—in the Psalms he wrote of it as if it already existed. Between the numerous conversations with God and visions from him about it, it probably seemed like it did. David even wrote this prayer: “One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple” (Psalm 27:4).
God answered the prayer of his friend. David never actually saw the finished temple. Instead, David went from the visions in his head of God’s earth-home directly to the real place—God’s home in heaven. David did gaze on God’s beauty forever.
David received the plans for God’s temple from God in a way similar to how Moses received the plans for God’s tabernacle (see Exodus 25:40). God wanted his people to become familiar with his home, so he communicated the plans himself.