David called together all the leaders of Israel - tribal administrators, heads of various governmental operations, military commanders and captains, stewards in charge of the property and livestock belonging to the king and his sons - everyone who held responsible positions in the kingdom.
King David stood tall and spoke: "Listen to me, my people: I fully intended to build a permanent structure for the Chest of the Covenant of God, God's footstool. But when I got ready to build it,
God said to me, 'You may not build a house to honor me - you've done too much fighting - killed too many people.'
God chose me out of my family to be king over Israel forever. First he chose Judah as the lead tribe, then he narrowed it down to my family, and finally he picked me from my father's sons, pleased to make me the king over all Israel.
And then from all my sons - and God gave me many! - he chose my son Solomon to sit on the throne of God's rule over Israel.
He went on to say, 'Your son Solomon will build my house and my courts: I have chosen him to be my royal adopted son; and I will be to him a father.
I will guarantee that his kingdom will last if he continues to be as strong-minded in doing what I command and carrying out my decisions as he is doing now.'
"And now, in this public place, all Israel looking on and God listening in, as God's people, obey and study every last one of the commandments of your God so that you can make the most of living in this good land and pass it on intact to your children, insuring a good future.
"And you, Solomon my son, get to know well your father's God; serve him with a whole heart and eager mind, for God examines every heart and sees through every motive. If you seek him, he'll make sure you find him, but if you abandon him, he'll leave you for good.
Look sharp now! God has chosen you to build his holy house. Be brave, determined! And do it!"
Then David presented his son Solomon with the plans for The Temple complex: porch, storerooms, meeting rooms, and the place for atoning sacrifice.
He turned over the plans for everything that God's Spirit had brought to his mind: the design of the courtyards, the arrangements of rooms, and the closets for storing all the holy things.
He gave him his plan for organizing the Levites and priests in their work of leading and ordering worship in the house of God, and for caring for the liturgical furnishings.
e provided exact specifications for how much gold and silver was needed for each article used in the serv- ices of worship:
the gold and silver Lampstands and lamps,
the gold tables for consecrated bread, the silver tables,
the gold forks, the bowls and the jars,
and the incense altar. And he gave him the plan for sculpting the cherubs with their wings outstretched over the Chest of the Covenant of God - the cherubim throne.
"Here are the blueprints for the whole project as God gave me to understand it," David said.
David continued to address Solomon: "Take charge! Take heart! Don't be anxious or get discouraged. God, my God, is with you in this; he won't walk off and leave you in the lurch. He's at your side until every last detail is completed for conducting the worship of God.
You have all the priests and Levites standing ready to pitch in, and skillful craftsmen and artisans of every kind ready to go to work. Both leaders and people are ready. Just say the word."
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)