GOD KNOWS BEST
Lord, You know best.
Read 1 CHRONICLES 17:1–15
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.”
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.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Sometimes our good intentions to do something for God may not be what God intends for us.
Thankful for all that God has given him, David decides to build a temple for the Ark in place of the tent he has erected in Jerusalem. Through the prophet Nathan, God in effect tells the king, “Thanks, but no thanks!” David will not build the temple because he has shed much blood in God’s sight. However, this is no curt rebuff, for God ultimately shows his approval of the king by promising to build David a house (a dynasty)! Building the temple is simply not part of his plan for David’s life. Two lessons emerge from the passage.
First, we see how utterly generous God is. David seeks to honor God by doing something wonderful for him. God is certainly honored by David’s good intention, but he demonstrates the superabundance of his generosity by promising David something infinitely more wonderful than David could offer him. Hebrews 6:10 assures us that God “will not forget your work and the love you have shown him.” He owes us nothing, of course. At the same time, he delights to lavish blessings on us. We can be certain that we can never out-give the Lord!
Second, sometimes, like David, we have something in mind that we want to do for God. Perhaps we long for a certain spiritual gift we believe will help us to serve God better. Or maybe there’s a task we feel we can do that will bring him glory. Again, an emotional appeal for workers at a missionary rally might move me to volunteer. What if God says “no” to our good intentions? Are we prepared, like David, to accept God’s better plan and allow his will to supersede ours? The old Christian cliché is nonetheless true: “My disappointments are his appointments!”
Speak to God about your disappointments, whatever they may be. Tell him honestly how you feel about them and finish with “not my will, but yours be done.”
Lord, use me in the capacity that best serves Your interests as we work together to advance Your kingdom on earth.
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