When the king of Tyre sent supplies and servants to build a palace for David, David also “prepared a place for the ark of God and pitched a tent for it” (1 Chron 15:1). David was convicted when he saw that his palace eclipsed the place that housed the ark of the Lord’s covenant. David thus desired to build a temple for the Lord. David’s desires were noble, and the Lord affirmed His covenant with the king, but the Lord had a different plan. David’s success would not culminate in construction of the temple, but combat. David’s exploits against the Philistines and the surrounding nations provided resources that Solomon would use to build the temple.
Though the Chronicler did not record the construction of the temple until 2 Chronicles 3-5, the temple was his central focus throughout 1 Chronicles 17-29. The Chronicler described the temple as the central structure of Israelite life. His emphasis on the temple was for rhetorical purposes. The returned exiles, the Chronicler’s audience, should order their lives around the newly constructed temple (Ezra 3:10-13; Hag 2:1-9). It had been the place of God’s special dwelling in the days of Israel’s glory anticipated by David and realized in the early years of Solomon.
In 1 Chronicles 17, the author recounted God’s covenant with David. The Davidic covenant was God’s commitment to the king, as opposed to what David hoped to do for God. The Lord did not bless the king’s desire to build an edifice in the Lord’s honor, rather the Lord affirmed His commitment to build a dynasty for David. Nonetheless, in 1 Chronicles 18, the author noted that David would be involved in building the temple. The exploits of David’s military conquests were a means of funding the construction of the temple. David’s military success not only provided the material means for temple construction but also international alliances that fortified Solomon’s place on the throne.
David’s military success established an expectation that Israel’s Messiah would be victorious in battle. The Deliverer from David’s line would have to be a warrior. Through His death and resurrection, Jesus was superior over the Devil, the ultimate opponent of the people of God (Col 2:15; 1 Cor 15:26-27, 55-56; Heb 2:14-16). John’s vision of heaven in Revelation 4-5 provides a panorama of Scripture’s storyline. John himself was distraught that no one was able to approach God’s throne and take the scroll of God’s judgment. John heard one of the elders say to him, “Stop crying. Look! The Lion from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has been victorious so that He may open the scroll and its seven seals” (Rev 5:5).