Today’s reading: 1 Chronicles 17
Our text for today in 1 Chronicles 17 opens with King David sitting on the throne. David had conquered the city of Jerusalem (with God’s help), and was setting it up as a home for God’s people. After moving into a newly constructed palace, David turned his mind toward building a permanent house (temple) for God. Even though God hadn’t asked for a temple, why did this seem like something David should do? Let’s go back to Shelly’s post from 2 Samuel 6 yesterday. At this point in history, God’s dwelling place was still the Ark of the Covenant. Yesterday Shelly told us about the tumultuous journey David endured as he led his army in bringing back the Ark from the Philistines. Even though it was back with God’s people, keep in mind that the Ark, the holy presence of God, was still dwelling in a tent (2 Samuel 6:17). David knew God deserved better than a tent. His motive for wanting to build the temple was God-honoring.
However, through the prophet Nathan God let David know he did not approve of his construction plan. While God certainly intended to have a temple built, he was clear that David was NOT going to be the one to build it. (See 1 Chronicles 28:3 for why.) Instead, his son Solomon would be appointed King when David died and would be in charge of building God’s temple.
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. He is the one who will build a house for me, and I will establish his throne forever. 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. I will set him over my house and my kingdom forever; his throne will be established forever (1 Chronicles 17:11-14).
Many years earlier God called David, a lowly shepherd boy, to be King of Israel. He made him a great warrior and delivered David and his army to countless victories over his enemies. Until now, David had been the man, God’s chosen one for everything. When God thwarted his plan for the temple, do you think it stung a little bit? Do you think it caused David to doubt his leadership abilities or his favor with God? Was he confronted with his own mortality in a way he had never been before? Do you think he was envious that a “forever” King would be established after he died? How would you have responded in that situation?
The second half of 1 Chronicles 17 (verses 16 – 27) outlines David’s response. It had no shred of envy or self-doubt. David humbly praised God, thanked him for the years of blessings he bestowed upon David and his family, and affirmed his commitment to what God said to do. As always, God followed through on his commitment – David’s son Solomon had the honor of building God’s temple. Twenty-seven generations later, Jesus, the long-awaited Messiah, was born into David’s lineage.
But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end” (Luke 1:30-33).
The kingdom of Jesus Christ is never ending. He lives in the hearts of those who call him Savior and Lord. Praise his name!