God’s Promise to David1 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.
1 Chronicles 17:1-15
Let us observe here, I. How desirous and solicitous good people should be to serve the interests of God’s kingdom in the world, to the utmost of their capacity. David could not be easy in a house of cedar while the ark was lodged within curtains, v. 1. The concerns of the public should always be near our hearts. What pleasure can we take in our own prosperity if we see not the good of Jerusalem? When David is advanced to wealth and power see what his cares and projects are. Not, "What shall I do for my children to get portions for them? What shall I do to fill my coffers and enlarge my dominions?’’ But, "What shall I do for God, to serve and honor him?’’ Those that are contriving where to bestow their fruits and their good would do well to enquire what condition the ark is in, and whether some may not be well bestowed upon it. II. How ready God’s prophets should be to encourage every good purpose. Nathan was no sooner aware of David’s good design than he bade him go and do all that was within his heart (v. 2), for he had no reason to doubt but that God was with him in it. Ministers should stir up the gifts and graces that are in others as well as in themselves. III. How little God affects external pomp and splendor in his service. His ark was content with a tabernacle (v. 5) and he never so much as mentioned the building of a house for it; no, not when he had fixed his people in great and goodly cities which they builded not, Deu. 6:10 . He commanded the judges to feed his people, but never bade them build him a house, v. 6. We may well be content awhile with mean accommodations; God’s ark was so. IV. How graciously God accepts his people’s good purposes, yea, though he himself prevents the performance of them. David must not build this house, v. 4. He must prepare for it, but not do it; as Moses must bring Israel within sight of Canaan, but must them leave it to Joshua to put them in possession of it. It is the prerogative of Christ to be both the author and finisher of his work. Yet David must not think that, because he was not permitted to build the temple, 1. His preferment was in vain; no, "I took thee from the sheep-cote, though not to be a builder of the temple, yet to be ruler over my people Israel; that is honor enough for thee; leave the other to one that shall come after thee,’’ v. 7. Why should one man think to engross all the business and to bring every good work to perfection? Let something be left for those that succeed. God had given him victories, and made him a name (v. 8), and, further, intended by him to establish his people Israel and secure them against their enemies, v. 9. That must be his work, who is a man of war and fit for it, and he must let the building of churches be left to one that was never cut out for a soldier. Nor, 2. Must he think that his good purpose was in vain, and that he should lose the reward of it; no, it being God’s act to prevent the execution of it, he shall be as fully recompensed as if he had done it; "The Lord will build thee a house, and annex the crown of Israel to it,’’ v. 10. If there be a willing mind, it shall not only be accepted, but thus rewarded. Nor, 3. Must he think that because he might not do this good work therefore it would never be done, and that it was in vain to think of it; no, I will raise up thy seed, and he shall build me a house, v. 11, v. 12. God’s temple shall be built in the time appointed, though we may not have the honor of helping to build it or the satisfaction of seeing it built. Nor, 4. Must he confine his thoughts to the temporal prosperity of his family, but must entertain himself with the prospect of the kingdom of the Messiah, who should descend from his loins, and whose throne should be established for evermore,
David’s Prayer16 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, LORD God, 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.”
1 Chronicles 17:16-27