Advent 2019 – Day 23

O Come, O Come Emmanuel Verse/Antiphon 7

O Come, Desire of Nations bind in one the hearts of all mankind,

Bid Thou our sad divisions cease, and be Thyself our Prince of Peace.

Fair warning – Today is really scripture heavy.

Then King David rose to his feet and said, “Listen to me, my brethren and my people; I had intended to build a permanent home for the ark of the covenant of the LORD and for the footstool of our God.  So I had made preparations to build it.  But God said to me, ‘You shall not build a house for My name because you are a man of war and have shed blood.’

1 Chronicles 28:2-3

Then King David said to the entire assembly, “My son Solomon, whom alone God has chosen, is still young and inexperienced and the work is great; for the temple is not for man, but for the LORD God.  Now with all my ability I have provided for the house of my God the gold for the things of gold, and the silver for the things of silver, and the bronze for the things of bronze, the iron for the things of iron, and wood for the things of wood, onyx stones and inlaid stones, stones of antimony and stones of various colors, and all kinds of precious stones and alabaster in abundance. Moreover, in my delight in the house of my God, the treasure I have of gold and silver, I give to the house of my God, over and above all that I have already provided for the holy temple, namely, 3,000 talents of gold, of the gold of Ophir, and 7,000 talents of refined silver, to overlay the walls of the buildings; of gold for the things of gold and of silver for the things of silver, that is, for all the work done by the craftsmen.  Who then is willing to consecrate himself this day to the LORD?”

Then the rulers of the father’s households, and the princes of the tribes of Israel, and the commanders of thousands and of hundreds, with the overseers over the king’s work, offered willingly; and for the service for the house of God they gave 5,000 talents and 10,000 darics of gold, and 10,000 talents of silver, and 18,000 talents of brass, and 1000,000 talents of iron.  Whoever possessed precious stones gave them to the treasury of the house of the LORD, in care of Jehiel the Gershonite.  Then the people rejoiced because they had offered so willingly, for they made their offering to the LORD with a whole heart and King David also rejoiced greatly.

1 Chronicles 29:1-9

At the end of David’s reign, he set about gathering the stores and materials needed to build the house of God, a house that would “be great, for greater is our God than all the gods.” (2 Chronicles 2:5).  David gave sacrificially to the cause, and called upon the people – all who were willing – to join him.  Their response was great.  From all over Israel, the people joined in a common purpose, wealth and treasures poured in, and the people were united for the sake of the Glory of God.  And David rejoiced in their generosity and in their unity.

As we know, this first temple didn’t last forever, as David had hoped.  Neither did the unity of the people, as they would soon be split into two kingdoms and face centuries of conflict and oppression. 

450 years after David’s reign, Zerubbabel leads over 42,000 Jews out from captivity in Babylon, returning to Jerusalem with intentions to rebuild the destroyed temple.  These are God’s words for him:

For thus saith the LORD of hosts; Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land; and I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the LORD of hosts.  The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the LORD of hosts.  The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the LORD of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the LORD of hosts.

Haggai 2:6-9

While Zerubbabel, Nehemiah, and others, work to build the second temple, God speaks of the temple He is building.  Where before the treasures of the nations were given to fill the temple of Jerusalem with splendor and glory, God states that the desire/treasure of all nations will fill His house with glory, a greater glory than anything that has come before.

I wish I had the pages to expand on this, but friends, can you see?  We, the body, are the temple that God has and is building.  Christ, the greatest Desire and Treasure of all nations has come to fill us – all for the sake of the Glory of God – a glory greater than any that has come before. 

This final verse/antiphon is a prayer for peace, a peace that is found in our unity for a common purpose: God’s glory above ourselves.

So David blessed the LORD in the sight of all the assembly; and David said, “Blessed are You, O LORD God of Israel our father, forever and ever.  Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and glory and the victory and the majesty, indeed everything that is in the heavens and the earth; Yours is the dominion, O LORD, and You exalt Yourself as head over all.  Both riches and honor come from You, and You rule over all and in your hand is power and might; and it lies in Your hand to make great and to strengthen everyone.  Now therefore, our God, we thank You, and praise Your glorious name. 

1 Chronicles 29:10-13

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