Read the Bible | May 28th
1 Chronicles 21
David's Census Brings Pestilence
 Then Satan stood against Israel and incited David to number Israel.  So David said to Joab and the commanders of the army, “Go, number Israel, from Beersheba to Dan, and bring me a report, that I may know their number.”  But Joab said, “May the LORD add to his people a hundred times as many as they are! Are they not, my lord the king, all of them my lord's servants? Why then should my lord require this? Why should it be a cause of guilt for Israel?”  But the king's word prevailed against Joab. So Joab departed and went throughout all Israel and came back to Jerusalem.  And Joab gave the sum of the numbering of the people to David. In all Israel there were 1,100,000 men who drew the sword, and in Judah 470,000 who drew the sword.  But he did not include Levi and Benjamin in the numbering, for the king's command was abhorrent to Joab.
 But God was displeased with this thing, and he struck Israel.  And David said to God, “I have sinned greatly in that I have done this thing. But now, please take away the iniquity of your servant, for I have acted very foolishly.”  And the LORD spoke to Gad, David's seer, saying,  “Go and say to David, ‘Thus says the LORD, Three things I offer you; choose one of them, that I may do it to you.’”  So Gad came to David and said to him, “Thus says the LORD, ‘Choose what you will:  either three years of famine, or three months of devastation by your foes while the sword of your enemies overtakes you, or else three days of the sword of the LORD, pestilence on the land, with the angel of the LORD destroying throughout all the territory of Israel.’ Now decide what answer I shall return to him who sent me.”  Then David said to Gad, “I am in great distress. Let me fall into the hand of the LORD, for his mercy is very great, but do not let me fall into the hand of man.”
 So the LORD sent a pestilence on Israel, and 70,000 men of Israel fell.  And God sent the angel to Jerusalem to destroy it, but as he was about to destroy it, the LORD saw, and he relented from the calamity. And he said to the angel who was working destruction, “It is enough; now stay your hand.” And the angel of the LORD was standing by the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite.  And David lifted his eyes and saw the angel of the LORD standing between earth and heaven, and in his hand a drawn sword stretched out over Jerusalem. Then David and the elders, clothed in sackcloth, fell upon their faces.  And David said to God, “Was it not I who gave command to number the people? It is I who have sinned and done great evil. But these sheep, what have they done? Please let your hand, O LORD my God, be against me and against my father's house. But do not let the plague be on your people.”
David Builds an Altar
 Now the angel of the LORD had commanded Gad to say to David that David should go up and raise an altar to the LORD on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite.  So David went up at Gad's word, which he had spoken in the name of the LORD.  Now Ornan was threshing wheat. He turned and saw the angel, and his four sons who were with him hid themselves.  As David came to Ornan, Ornan looked and saw David and went out from the threshing floor and paid homage to David with his face to the ground.  And David said to Ornan, “Give me the site of the threshing floor that I may build on it an altar to the LORD—give it to me at its full price—that the plague may be averted from the people.”  Then Ornan said to David, “Take it, and let my lord the king do what seems good to him. See, I give the oxen for burnt offerings and the threshing sledges for the wood and the wheat for a grain offering; I give it all.”  But King David said to Ornan, “No, but I will buy them for the full price. I will not take for the LORD what is yours, nor offer burnt offerings that cost me nothing.”  So David paid Ornan 600 shekels of gold by weight for the site.  And David built there an altar to the LORD and presented burnt offerings and peace offerings and called on the LORD, and the LORD answered him with fire from heaven upon the altar of burnt offering.  Then the LORD commanded the angel, and he put his sword back into its sheath.
 At that time, when David saw that the LORD had answered him at the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite, he sacrificed there.  For the tabernacle of the LORD, which Moses had made in the wilderness, and the altar of burnt offering were at that time in the high place at Gibeon,  but David could not go before it to inquire of God, for he was afraid of the sword of the angel of the LORD.
1 Chronicles 22
 Then David said, “Here shall be the house of the LORD God and here the altar of burnt offering for Israel.”
David Prepares for Temple Building
 David commanded to gather together the resident aliens who were in the land of Israel, and he set stonecutters to prepare dressed stones for building the house of God.  David also provided great quantities of iron for nails for the doors of the gates and for clamps, as well as bronze in quantities beyond weighing,  and cedar timbers without number, for the Sidonians and Tyrians brought great quantities of cedar to David.  For David said, “Solomon my son is young and inexperienced, and the house that is to be built for the LORD must be exceedingly magnificent, of fame and glory throughout all lands. I will therefore make preparation for it.” So David provided materials in great quantity before his death.
Solomon Charged to Build the Temple
 Then he called for Solomon his son and charged him to build a house for the LORD, the God of Israel.  David said to Solomon, “My son, I had it in my heart to build a house to the name of the LORD my God.  But the word of the LORD came to me, saying, ‘You have shed much blood and have waged great wars. You shall not build a house to my name, because you have shed so much blood before me on the earth.  Behold, a son shall be born to you who shall be a man of rest. I will give him rest from all his surrounding enemies. For his name shall be Solomon, and I will give peace and quiet to Israel in his days.  He shall build a house for my name. He shall be my son, and I will be his father, and I will establish his royal throne in Israel forever.’
 “Now, my son, the LORD be with you, so that you may succeed in building the house of the LORD your God, as he has spoken concerning you.  Only, may the LORD grant you discretion and understanding, that when he gives you charge over Israel you may keep the law of the LORD your God.  Then you will prosper if you are careful to observe the statutes and the rules that the LORD commanded Moses for Israel. Be strong and courageous. Fear not; do not be dismayed.  With great pains I have provided for the house of the LORD 100,000 talents of gold, a million talents of silver, and bronze and iron beyond weighing, for there is so much of it; timber and stone, too, I have provided. To these you must add.  You have an abundance of workmen: stonecutters, masons, carpenters, and all kinds of craftsmen without number, skilled in working  gold, silver, bronze, and iron. Arise and work! The LORD be with you!”
 David also commanded all the leaders of Israel to help Solomon his son, saying,  “Is not the LORD your God with you? And has he not given you peace on every side? For he has delivered the inhabitants of the land into my hand, and the land is subdued before the LORD and his people.  Now set your mind and heart to seek the LORD your God. Arise and build the sanctuary of the LORD God, so that the ark of the covenant of the LORD and the holy vessels of God may be brought into a house built for the name of the LORD.”
1 Chronicles 23
David Organizes the Levites
 When David was old and full of days, he made Solomon his son king over Israel.
 David assembled all the leaders of Israel and the priests and the Levites.  The Levites, thirty years old and upward, were numbered, and the total was 38,000 men.  “Twenty-four thousand of these,” David said, “shall have charge of the work in the house of the LORD, 6,000 shall be officers and judges,  4,000 gatekeepers, and 4,000 shall offer praises to the LORD with the instruments that I have made for praise.”  And David organized them in divisions corresponding to the sons of Levi: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari.
 The sons of Gershon were Ladan and Shimei.  The sons of Ladan: Jehiel the chief, and Zetham, and Joel, three.  The sons of Shimei: Shelomoth, Haziel, and Haran, three. These were the heads of the fathers' houses of Ladan.  And the sons of Shimei: Jahath, Zina, and Jeush and Beriah. These four were the sons of Shimei.  Jahath was the chief, and Zizah the second; but Jeush and Beriah did not have many sons, therefore they became counted as a single father's house.
 The sons of Kohath: Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel, four.  The sons of Amram: Aaron and Moses. Aaron was set apart to dedicate the most holy things, that he and his sons forever should make offerings before the LORD and minister to him and pronounce blessings in his name forever.  But the sons of Moses the man of God were named among the tribe of Levi.  The sons of Moses: Gershom and Eliezer.  The sons of Gershom: Shebuel the chief.  The sons of Eliezer: Rehabiah the chief. Eliezer had no other sons, but the sons of Rehabiah were very many.  The sons of Izhar: Shelomith the chief.  The sons of Hebron: Jeriah the chief, Amariah the second, Jahaziel the third, and Jekameam the fourth.  The sons of Uzziel: Micah the chief and Isshiah the second.
 The sons of Merari: Mahli and Mushi. The sons of Mahli: Eleazar and Kish.  Eleazar died having no sons, but only daughters; their kinsmen, the sons of Kish, married them.  The sons of Mushi: Mahli, Eder, and Jeremoth, three.
 These were the sons of Levi by their fathers' houses, the heads of fathers' houses as they were listed according to the number of the names of the individuals from twenty years old and upward who were to do the work for the service of the house of the LORD.  For David said, “The LORD, the God of Israel, has given rest to his people, and he dwells in Jerusalem forever.  And so the Levites no longer need to carry the tabernacle or any of the things for its service.”  For by the last words of David the sons of Levi were numbered from twenty years old and upward.  For their duty was to assist the sons of Aaron for the service of the house of the LORD, having the care of the courts and the chambers, the cleansing of all that is holy, and any work for the service of the house of God.  Their duty was also to assist with the showbread, the flour for the grain offering, the wafers of unleavened bread, the baked offering, the offering mixed with oil, and all measures of quantity or size.  And they were to stand every morning, thanking and praising the LORD, and likewise at evening,  and whenever burnt offerings were offered to the LORD on Sabbaths, new moons, and feast days, according to the number required of them, regularly before the LORD.  Thus they were to keep charge of the tent of meeting and the sanctuary, and to attend the sons of Aaron, their brothers, for the service of the house of the LORD.
 When she had said this, she went and called her sister Mary, saying in private, “The Teacher is here and is calling for you.”  And when she heard it, she rose quickly and went to him.  Now Jesus had not yet come into the village, but was still in the place where Martha had met him.  When the Jews who were with her in the house, consoling her, saw Mary rise quickly and go out, they followed her, supposing that she was going to the tomb to weep there.  Now when Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet, saying to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”  When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled.  And he said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.”  Jesus wept.  So the Jews said, “See how he loved him!”  But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man also have kept this man from dying?”
Jesus Raises Lazarus
 Then Jesus, deeply moved again, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it.  Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, by this time there will be an odor, for he has been dead four days.”  Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?”  So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me.  I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me.”  When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.”  The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”