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thou shalt prosper, if thou takest heed to fulfil the statutes and judgments which the LORD charged Moses with concerning Israel ; be strong, and of good courage, fear not, neither be dismayed, for the Lord God, even my God, will be with thee, He will not fail thee, por forsake thee, until thou hast finished all the work for the service of the House of the Lord.” David also commanded all the princes of Israel to help Solomon in the holy work. He summoned the congregation, and showed them how great the work was, “ for the palace is not for man, but for the LORD God." He went on to tell them that, “Because I have set
" my affection to the House of my God, I have · of mine own proper good, of gold and silver,
which I have given to the House of my God, over and above all that I have prepared for the holy House.” This was a vast weight of gold of Ophir, and refined silver, wherewith to line the walls of the Temple. Then David asked, “ Who then is willing to consecrate his service this day unto the LORD ?”
All the chief men in Israel came forward gladly, and offered gold and silver, brass and iron, and all those who had any precious stones gave them to the treasure of the Lord's House.
It must have been a holy and a joyful sight, for we are told that “the people rejoiced, for that they offered willingly, because with perfect heart they offered willingly to the LORD; and David the king also rejoiced with great joy.”
Great indeed might well be his joy, in thus seeing the fulfilment of his vow, which we read in the 132nd Psalm, “LORD, remember David, and all his trouble; how he sware unto the LORD, and vowed a vow unto the Almighty God of Jacob: I will not come within the tabernacle of my house, nor climb up into my bed; I will not suffer mine eyes to sleep, nor my eyelids to slumber, neither the temples of mine head to take any rest, until I find out a place for the Temple of the LORD, an habitation for the Mighty God of Jacob.”
Now, indeed, David might sing in the joyful spirit of prophecy, “Arise, O LORD, into Thy resting-place, Thou and the Ark of Thy Strength. Let Thy priests be clothed with righteousness, and let Thy saints sing with joyfulness." : Then the venerable king made his solemn thanksgiving before all the people, saying, " Blessed be Thou, LORD GOD of Israel, our
FATHER, for ever and ever. Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is Thine. Thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and Thou art exalted as head above all. Both riches and honour come of Thee, and Thou reignest over all; and in Thine hand is power and might, and in Thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all. Now therefore, our God, we thank Thee, and praise Thy glorious Name. But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort ? for all things come of Thee, and of Thine own have we given Thee. For we are strangers before Thee, and sojourners, as were all our fathers : our days on the earth are as a shadow, and there is none abiding.
"O LORD our God, all this store that we have prepared, to build Thee a house for Thine holy Name, cometh of Thine hand, and is all Thine own.
I know also, my God, that Thou triest the heart, and hast pleasure in upright
As for me, in the uprightness of my heart I have willingly offered all these things; and now have I seen with joy Thy people, which are present here, to offer willingly unto
Thee. O LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, our fathers, keep this for ever in the imagination of the thoughts of the heart of Thy people, and prepare their heart unto Thee. And give unto Solomon my son a perfect heart to keep Thy commandments, Thy testimonies, and Thy statutes, and to do all these things, and to build the palace for which I have made provision.”
Then all the congregation joined King David in blessing the LORD, bowing down and worshipping before Him, offering most abundant sacrifices, and making a holy and glad feast before the LORD. David also told all the people that Solomon was to be their king; and they anointed him unto the LORD, as chief governor over the kingdom.
KING DAVID'S DEATH.
Now the king was very old and feeble, and it was clear that before long he would die. He had appointed Solomon to be king after him, by God's desire; but now that David was weak and helpless, another of his sons, Adonijah, a younger brother to Absalom, rebelled, and tried to make himself king. He persuaded Joab, who seems always to have been ready for strife, to join him ; and the priest Abiathar also joined Adonijah. But Zadok, the High Priest, and many more of the mighty men of Israel, were faithful to David. Then Adonijah made a great sacrifice and feast, and called all his brothers except Solomon, and as many of David's subjects as he could get together.
The prophet Nathan called Bathsheba, Solomon's mother, and telling her what to say, sent her into King David's chamber. There sat the king, bowed down with age, a Shunammite damsel called Abishag tending him; while he seemed past taking any part in public affairs. The time when he should flee away like the dove, and be at rest from all this world's cares, was very near, even as he himself said, “ Whom have I in heaven but Thee ? and there is none upon earth that I desire in comparison of Thee. My flesh and my heart faileth, but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.”
But when Bathsheba told her tale of Adonijah's rebellion, and Nathan coming in confirmed it, the same valiant spirit which had slain the lion and the bear, and overthrown