Read 1 Chronicles 17
God’s Promise to David
17 After David was settled in his palace, he said to Nathan the prophet, “Here I am, living in a house of cedar, while the ark of the covenant of the Lord is under a tent.”
2 Nathan replied to David, “Whatever you have in mind, do it, for God is with you.”
3 But that night the word of God came to Nathan, saying:
4 “Go and tell my servant David, ‘This is what the Lord says: You are not the one to build me a house to dwell in. 5 I have not dwelt in a house from the day I brought Israel up out of Egypt to this day. I have moved from one tent site to another, from one dwelling place to another.6 Wherever I have moved with all the Israelites, did I ever say to any of their leaders whom I commanded to shepherd my people, “Why have you not built me a house of cedar?”’7 “Now then, tell my servant David, ‘This is what the Lord Almighty says: I took you from the pasture, from tending the flock, and appointed you ruler over my people Israel. 8 I have been with you wherever you have gone, and I have cut off all your enemies from before you. Now I will make your name like the names of the greatest men on earth. 9 And I will provide a place for my people Israel and will plant them so that they can have a home of their own and no longer be disturbed. Wicked people will not oppress them anymore, as they did at the beginning 10 and have done ever since the time I appointed leaders over my people Israel. I will also subdue all your enemies.“‘I declare to you that the Lord will build a house for you: 11 When your days are over and you go to be with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, one of your own sons, and I will establish his kingdom. 12 He is the one who will build a house for me, and I will establish his throne forever. 13 I will be his father, and he will be my son. I will never take my love away from him, as I took it away from your predecessor. 14 I will set him over my house and my kingdom forever; his throne will be established forever.’”
15 Nathan reported to David all the words of this entire revelation.
16 Then King David went in and sat before the Lord, and he said:
“Who am I, Lord God, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far? 17 And as if this were not enough in your sight, my God, you have spoken about the future of the house of your servant. You, LordGod, have looked on me as though I were the most exalted of men.18 “What more can David say to you for honoring your servant? For you know your servant, 19 Lord. For the sake of your servant and according to your will, you have done this great thing and made known all these great promises.20 “There is no one like you, Lord, and there is no God but you, as we have heard with our own ears. 21 And who is like your people Israel—the one nation on earth whose God went out to redeem a people for himself, and to make a name for yourself, and to perform great and awesome wonders by driving out nations from before your people, whom you redeemed from Egypt? 22 You made your people Israel your very own forever, and you, Lord, have become their God.23 “And now, Lord, let the promise you have made concerning your servant and his house be established forever. Do as you promised, 24 so that it will be established and that your name will be great forever. Then people will say, ‘The Lord Almighty, the God over Israel, is Israel’s God!’ And the house of your servant David will be established before you.25 “You, my God, have revealed to your servant that you will build a house for him. So your servant has found courage to pray to you. 26 You, Lord, are God! You have promised these good things to your servant.27 Now you have been pleased to bless the house of your servant, that it may continue forever in your sight; for you, Lord, have blessed it, and it will be blessed forever.”
In this chapter, the Chronicler indicates a pivotal point in transforming David’s view from the physical world around him to the spiritual world God would bring after him.
Chapter 17 opens with David living in his palace while the ark of the covenant, the earthly presence of God, was housed in a tent. David recognizes this dichotomy and Nathan, his spiritual advisor, encourages him to fix it. David and Nathan can envision a beautiful building for God, but “The Lord does not look at the things people look at” (1 Samuel 16:7). God looks at things from an eternal, multi-dimensional, omnipotent view, while we see things from a limited perspective based on our personal knowledge and experiences. It’s no surprise we often come to different conclusions than God.
God’s plans were bigger than David’s plan to construct a building. In verse 14, God declares, “I will set [the offspring of David] over my house and my kingdom forever; his throne will be established forever.” God doesn’t mean an earthly throne that will rust and break, but a spiritual throne that will truly oversee our connection with God forever through Jesus Christ who came hundreds of years after David. Jesus was the walking, talking, healing connection with God on earth. He built the way for us to connect with God and serve His kingdom forever.
David praises God for what He’s done and what He’s going to do in verses 18-27 because He gave David hope for more than he could imagine. God promised to provide a never-ending connection between God and His people, just as Jesus’s declaration that He is that never-ending connection gives us hope today.
- Recall a time when you wanted to do something, but your parents or manager had other plans that turned out to be better overall. Or maybe a time when your child wanted to do something, but you knew there was a better way. Why did you and the others see things differently? What action was taken? How did the situation end?
- How does this compare to David’s situation?
- Share this story with your Life Group. Pray to see situations through the lens of eternity.
You designed me for my good and your glory. You have led me to and through experiences that bring me closer to you. As King David proclaimed, “Who am I, Lord God, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far?” (2 Samuel 7). You can see before, beyond, and after me, God. Help me trust in your sight, rest in your vision and hope in you. You are God and I am not.
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