1 Chronicles 17-19
(God Defers the Temple Project)
April 30th

Produced by The Listening for God Ministry
Copyright 2016

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Please refer to one or more Bible versions of your choice to read this section. We recommend that you read at least two versions for added understanding. For your convenience, we have provided six links below, each of which takes you directly to today's chapters in a specific version:

Key Verse

ďĎI 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.

- 1 Chronicles 17:10-12 (NIV)

Summary of Chapters

Chapters 17-19 address two topics:

1) Next steps for providing a house for God
2) Expanding the territory of Israel

In both cases, David submits his will to the LORD.

In a sincere attitude of humility recorded in chapter 17, David realizes that his house is nicer than Godís and desires to build a proper temple. The LORD gives a message to David through the prophet Nathan, explaining that Davidís son will be given the job of building the temple and his throne will rein forever. The common language translation in The Message is worthy of a closer look to hear God's Master Plan in a relatively brief statement:

    But that night, the word of God came to Nathan, saying, "Go and tell my servant David, This is God's word on the matter: You will not build me a 'house' to live in. Why, I haven't lived in a 'house' from the time I brought up the children of Israel from Egypt till now; I've gone from one tent and makeshift shelter to another. In all my travels with all Israel, did I ever say to any of the leaders I commanded to shepherd Israel, 'Why haven't you built me a house of cedar?'

    "So here is what you are to tell my servant David: The God-of-the-Angel-Armies has this word for you: I took you from the pasture, tagging after sheep, and made you prince over my people Israel. I was with you everywhere you went and mowed your enemies down before you; and now I'm about to make you famous, ranked with the great names on earth. I'm going to set aside a place for my people Israel and plant them there so they'll have their own home and not be knocked around anymore; nor will evil nations afflict them as they always have, even during the days I set judges over my people Israel. And finally, I'm going to conquer all your enemies.

    "And now I'm telling you this: God himself will build you a house! When your life is complete and you're buried with your ancestors, then I'll raise up your child to succeed you, a child from your own body, and I'll firmly establish his rule. He will build a house to honor me, and I will guarantee his kingdom's rule forever. I'll be a father to him, and he'll be a son to me. I will never remove my gracious love from him as I did from the one who preceded you. I will set him over my house and my kingdom forever; his throne will always be there, rock solid."

    - 1 Chronicles 17:3-14 (MSG)

David accepts this decision and praises God for all that he has done for Israel.

Chapters 18 and 19 describe the military victories for David and Israel that enabled the nation to expand its boundaries as far north as the Euphrates River, which is now part of Iraq. The hand of the LORD was in these victories, causing the opposing forces to run away in fear and assuring victory for David in each case, as recorded here and in earlier chapters of 2 Samuel. The realization by other nations of the invulnerability of Israel when blessed by the hand of God is captured in the pithy closing line of chapter 19: "And when the servants of Hadarezer saw that they were put to the worse before Israel, they made peace with David, and became his servants: neither would the Syrians help the children of Ammon any more (19:19 - KJV)."

Reflection and Application

Sometimes the LORD speaks to one of us humans directly, as he did with Nathan, Samuel, and others. Sometimes he speaks to one of us through other people, as he did through Nathan to deliver a message to David. Why he chooses one method for some situations and other methods for other times is not always clear, but this much is clear: He spoke to people in the days of David and he continues to speak to us today. We may receive his communication through someone else, through a direct channel, through the words of the Bible, or by other ways. The important aspect for us to remember is to be open and willing to hear from him and to reflect on his word through study, as you are doing now, and through prayer.

Imagine being in Davidís sandals for a moment. You are the king of a nation, a mighty warrior, an anointed royal personage blessed by God. You have a project you want to initiate to honor God, but one of your advisors says God doesnít want you to do this. How do you react? Davidís paranoid predecessor, Saul, probably would have reacted in jealously and either attempted to build the temple or kill his rivals or make some other rash move.

Letís give props to David for not giving in to jealously, inferiority, anger, frustration, or a thousand other emotions that the Devil tries to stir up. Imagine what the Devil might have been whispering in Davidís other ear when Nathan was giving David this ultimatum. Yay for David Ė he could discern the truth of the message from God and obeyed. He put aside his own desires and said ďWho am I that I have already been given so many blessings? Who am I that I would question the authority of the LORD?Ē David trusted Nathan as an authoritative representative of the LORD. He would rely on Nathan on many occasions and was faithful to his advice.

So, when one of your trusted advisors tells you not to do a project you want to do, how will you respond? First, we have to be able to discern which advisor is to be trusted. In our era of trained communication it becomes harder and harder to determine who bears the truth and who bears lies that are covered in subtleties and complexities. Our palaces of commerce overshadow our houses of worship and threaten to drown out the messages of God. This was a challenge for the people of Davidís era and is a serious challenge for many of us. However, the challenge will be less formidable if we continue to immerse ourselves in the Bible. The Bible is our plumb line for determining good from evil and right from wrong. The Bible is the erstwhile record of wisdom and peacefulness that helps us to think calmly and clearly in order to make good decisions.

God wanted a peacemaker to build the temple, so he deferred the project for a few seconds (from his perspective). Up until this time, David understood that God was the ultimate king and he was humble in his presence; he accepted that his son would have the honor of building the temple. We also have to humbly accept our assignment and trust Godís wisdom for our lives.

The promise of eternal rein by Davidís descendants was fulfilled in the person of Jesus Christ, who arrived a few minutes later (hundreds of years for us, mere moments for the Creator).

"Whom Shall I Fear (God of Angel Armies)," performed by Chris Tomlin

Questions and Prayers for Further Reflection

    Related Questions
    1. What important projects have you had to defer and allow someone else to finish?
    2. How do we discern truth from fiction in our complex and noisy world?
    3. What is the advice that you are getting from God today regarding things you want to or donít want to do?
    Recommended Prayer
    Father in heaven, we acknowledge that you are the God-of-theAngel-Armies. We confess that despite all we know about you that we don't always follow your advice. Thank you for sending your prophets, servants, and your only Son because you love us so much. Help us to break away from our busy world and listen to you.

    Suggested Prayer Concerns
    Political Advisors - may they allow their decisions to be influenced by what is good and right above all else

    Looking Ahead

    Bible 365 agenda for tomorrow: A Day of Rest

    Comments and Questions
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