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From Eternity Past

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    David Unselfishly Gathers Money and Material for the Temple

    From the opening of David's reign, one of his most cherished plans had been that of erecting a temple to the Lord. He had provided an abundance of the costly material—gold, silver, onyx stones, and stones of divers colors, marble, and precious woods. And now other hands must build the house for the ark, the symbol of God's presence.EP 545.4

    Seeing that his end was near, the king summoned representative men from all parts of the kingdom to receive this legacy in trust. Because of his physical weakness, it had not been expected that he would attend to this transfer in person; but the inspiration of God came upon him, and with fervor and power he was able, for the last time, to address his people. He told them of his own desire to build the temple, and of the Lord's command that the work should be committed to Solomon his son. “Now therefore,” David said, “in the sight of all Israel the congregation of the Lord, and in the audience of our God, keep and seek for all the commandments of the Lord your God: that ye may possess this good land, and leave it for an inheritance for your children after you forever.”EP 545.5

    David's whole soul was moved with solicitude that the leaders of Israel should be true to God and that Solomon should obey God's law, shunning the sins that had weakened his father's authority, embittered his life, and dishonored God. Turning to his son, already acknowledged as his successor, David said: “Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve Him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the Lord searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts... . Take heed now; for the Lord hath chosen thee to build a house for the sanctuary.”EP 546.1

    David gave Solomon minute directions for building the temple. Solomon was still young and shrank from the weighty responsibilities in the erection of the temple and the government of God's people. David said, “Be strong and of good courage, and do it: fear not, nor be dismayed, for the Lord God, even my God, will be with thee; He will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.”EP 546.2

    Again David appealed to the congregation: “Solomon my son, whom alone God hath chosen, is yet young and tender, and the work is great: for the palace is not for man, but for the Lord God.” He said, “I have prepared with all my might for the house of my God,” and he went on to enumerate the materials he had gathered. “Who then,” he asked of the assembled multitude that had brought their liberal gifts, “who then is willing to consecrate his service this day unto the Lord?”EP 546.3

    There was a ready response from the assembly. “Then 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.”EP 546.4

    “Wherefore David blessed the Lord before all the congregation: and David said, Blessed be Thou, Lord God of Israel our father, forever and ever... . 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... . 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 the which I have made provision.”EP 547.1

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