I Chronicles 17:10b (ESV) “…I declare to you that the Lord will build you a house.”
David’s Plans Are Shot Down
David decides to build a house for the Lord after he brings the Ark of the Covenant back to Jerusalem. At first Nathan the prophet agrees with him, saying that the Lord is with David in all he does. That night, however, the Lord gives a message to Nathan saying that David is not the one to build the house.
The message reminds David that God is the one who makes the plans for his people, not David. He reminds David that it was the hand of the Lord that brought David to the place that he is now, and it will be God’s work to build the house. Of course, the house God is talking about is the line that brings forth Jesus and the eternal kingship that He has.
We can learn two things from this passage about our proper stance before the Lord, especially during a time when we’re walking in His blessing.
- Stay Humble
“The Lord gives and the Lord takes away” is from Job 1:21 and it is a good thing to keep in mind. It can be so tempting to think, in some small way, that we are the ones who achieved what we see around us. God is our source and our light and our provider. Never forget He is the reason for the blessings around us, not us. In this case, David is reminded that God is the one who drew him out as a humble shepherd and made him Kind over Israel. God reminds David that the battles that were won were because of God being with him and cutting off his enemies before Him. David wasn’t the super-star; God was (17:7-8).
- God is the Builder
The future to our eyes is such an unknown, so ambiguous and, if we’re being honest, very frightening. God is the author of not only our days on this earth but the days of all our children and our children’s children to the end of time. We think so small. God’s plan is massive and all-consuming and we are not the center of it. He made us for a purpose and He loves us very much. In fact, He loved each one of us so much that He sent His beloved son to die on the cross. His son dying on the cross is a part of his massive plan, and we are a part of His massive plan. It is so important that we remember that we have to play our part and try to play God’s part. He’s the boss, and that’s the best news we could ever hear (117:14).
After hearing this message from Nathan, David goes before the Lord to talk to Him about it. David doesn’t rant about how he had such a great architect lined up and all these brilliant ideas. Instead, he simply accepts what the Lord says and praises God for all the things He promised.
There are many points that can be pulled out from this passage, but two that are jumping out to me today are these:
- According to your own heart
In verse 19 David makes a statement that shows how well he understands the Lord. “For your servant’s sake, O Lord, and according to your own heart, you have done all this greatness, in making known all these great things.” The part that jumps out to me is that David knew that God’s revealing His plan to David and the plan itself was for two different reasons: David and God. God isn’t just a slave to the whims and whines of His children, due to give them whatever they want. God’s gifts to us are because of who God is: “according to your own heart.” God’s heart is so loving and giving and generous; he pours out on us according to His heart. Yes, it’s for us and it’s for our good. God knows how to give us good gifts (Matthew 7:11). Seeing the gifts He gives us as just a good gift limits our understanding of Him. He is giving according the joy and goodness in Him.
- Unquestioning Trust
When the Lord told David that He would build a house that lasted forever, David didn’t question or doubt the promise. He didn’t come back with demands to understand how a kingship could last forever, something that no other man-made kingship has ever done. Instead, he accepted it with grace and humility. He also didn’t give into false humility to say that he didn’t deserve it or that God shouldn’t be doing that for him. He simply and elegantly said a version of “Thanks, I appreciate it, and, by the way, You’re awesome.” David accepted both the blessing of the house and the instructions not to build the house.
In My Life
I pray that in my life I will be able to accept and trust the Lord as willingly as David. I also pray that I will be able to remember to have utter humility before the Lord, knowing that He is the true source of all that I am and all that I have. He is such a good and kind God; He is truly worthy of our praise and our trust!