2020 Lent devotion #23 – Too much blood
[David said,] “But this word of the Lord came to me: ‘You have shed much blood and have fought many wars. You are not to build a house for my Name, because you have shed much blood on the earth in my sight.’” (1 Chronicles 22:8)
I wonder how David felt as he spoke these words to his son, Solomon? He had worked so hard to unify the kingdom of Israel, defeat their enemies and be a man after God’s own heart. His psalms still inspire our hymns and praise songs to this day. Yet, he never worshiped in a temple. He never even got to see the temple. And God wouldn’t let him build the temple. Too much blood. He was a shepherd, a warrior and a king. But he would not be a builder. At least not the builder of God’s temple.
Before he was king, throngs of people would sing, ““Saul has struck down his thousands, and David his ten thousands.” That’s what David was known for. He was a hero. But that is a lot of blood. Tens of thousands of enemies killed. And that was before he ascended to the throne. For better or worse, that is his legacy.
It’s not like David had a choice. There were many battles he had to fight. Victories and defeats. It was a violent, bloody period of history. The enemy was ruthless. You either kill them or they kill you. Peaceful moments were few and far between.
A thousand years later, the son of David, Jesus, would be hailed as king. He would not take a single life. In fact, he would heal and restore many lives. The only blood shed would be his own, on the cross. And he would build a temple. The temple he would build would be made of believers, built on the foundation of the prophets and apostles, and he would be the cornerstone.
Building projects often involve blood. I should know. Most of my projects mean cuts and blisters on my hands. Nothing as bloody as the wounds in Jesus’ hands and feet, though. Because he bled and died for me, I’ve been bought with a price and I not only belong to him, but my body is a temple of the Holy Spirit. God dwells in me and in his people, the church!
Thank you, Lord, for coming to dwell in me and my brothers and sisters in Christ. Amen.