1 Chronicles 17

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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.”

Nathan replied to David, “Whatever you have in mind, do it, for God is with you.”

But that night the word of God came to Nathan, saying:

“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. 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.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?”’“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. 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. 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.

David’s Prayer

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.”

Go Deeper

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.


  1. 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? 
  2. How does this compare to David’s situation?
  3. Share this story with your Life Group. Pray to see situations through the lens of eternity.

Pray This


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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3 thoughts on “1 Chronicles 17”

  1. Ella Snodgrass

    What speaks most to me is David’s beautiful response to being told “no” by the prophet Nathan. David could have thrown a hissy-fit, argued and become filled with pride. After all he was the king and his intentions were good, but his timing was wrong. Contrary to what his flesh may have wanted, David responded with deep humility, “Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far?” This is one of the many attributes that made David a great king & leader. He submitted to the one true God accepting his decisions, promises and commands giving the glory to God who deserved it in the first place. The challenge for us is to follow David’s example and acknowledge that
    “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
    Isaiah 55:8-9

  2. David listened and obeyed. At this season of life David wanted to give back to God but God had other plans that David might not or could not have understood at this moment. BUT GOD had details that would be necessary in the future after David that we know because we have the Book, but David did not, but was being obedient at this moment. He prayed and gave God the praise! WOOHOO!! David claimed the promise that God made and was thanking God in advance for what was to come. This is what we need to do. Find a promise in the Word of God that pertains to your life situation. Pray that promise as if it is already done and stand on God’s faithfulness to complete it. Mine is Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go [teaching him to seek God’s wisdom and will for his abilities and talents], Even when he is old he will not depart from (Amplified).

    God I believe that my son is Yours. I gave him the foundation of You and Your word to the best of my ability in those years and I stand on this promise of him not turning or departing from You. I know he has freedom of will and the world is wooing him. I also know You are greater and Your love is deeper. I believe he will turn to You again. Laminations 3:22-23 22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; 23 they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness
    I pray that Your love never cease to envelope him and that You show him mercy. I pray my son can feel that love and those mercies, and realize that faithfulness. Thank You that I can show him Your love, (Gal 5:22-23) joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Help me, lead me, guide me, give me strength to know that not my will but thine and to be still and LOVE!!! in Jesus name amen.

  3. Diane Frances Rogers

    I’m reminded that obedience and discipline come from my love for God and that in following Him keeps me on the straight and narrow path. He knows all things best for me and too many times I have let my flesh fulfil my desires which led to harm, hurt and brokenness. Oh, what joy it is to serve an all-loving, all-knowing God. All glory to Him.

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