1Chronicles 17:1 ¦ Now it came to pass, as David sat in his house, that David said to Nathan the prophet, Lo, I dwell in an house of cedars, but the ark of the covenant of the LORD remaineth under curtains.
1Chronicles 17:2 Then Nathan said unto David, Do all that is in thine heart; for God is with thee.
At some time after the events of the last chapter, David sat talking with the prophet Nathan. He expressed the thought that he was housed in beautiful house made of cedar while the ark of the covenant of the LORD that represented His presence among His people was housed in a tent behind curtains. He didnŐt have to say anything else. Nathan knew what he was thinking and told him to follow his heart because God supported him.
Even a prophet can be guilty of assuming to know GodŐs will based on human reasoning. The next section will reveal that God did not support DavidŐs desire to build Him a house. It obviously was not a bad thing that David wanted to do; it just wasnŐt GodŐs will for him to do it. Principle: Just because something is good, doesnŐt mean it is according to GodŐs will. We need to diligently seek His will in everything we do.
We will find out later in our studies that David was not allowed to build the LORD a house because he had killed so many as a soldier of war.
1 Chronicles 22:7–8 ŇAnd David said to Solomon, My son, as for me, it was in my mind to build an house unto the name of the LORD my God: But the word of the LORD came to me, saying, Thou hast shed blood abundantly, and hast made great wars: thou shalt not build an house unto my name, because thou hast shed much blood upon the earth in my sight.Ó
1Chronicles 17:3 And it came to pass the same night, that the word of God came to Nathan, saying,
1Chronicles 17:4 Go and tell David my servant, Thus saith the LORD, Thou shalt not build me an house to dwell in:
1Chronicles 17:5 For I have not dwelt in an house since the day that I brought up Israel unto this day; but have gone from tent to tent, and from one tabernacle to another.
1Chronicles 17:6 Wheresoever I have walked with all Israel, spake I a word to any of the judges of Israel, whom I commanded to feed my people, saying, Why have ye not built me an house of cedars?
That same night, the LORD spoke to Nathan. He told him to go back and tell David that he was not to build Him a house. He was to remind David that He had not dwelt in a house since the day that He had brought Israel out of Egypt to the present time. He had not uttered one word of complaint about being housed in a tent, nor had He questioned why they had not built Him a temple of cedar.
I liked this comment from Guzik: ŇDavid wanted to do more than God commanded. This is a wonderful place to be in our relationship with God. Most of us are so stuck in the thinking, How little can I do and still please the Lord? that we never really want to do more than God commands.Ó
1Chronicles 17:7 Now therefore thus shalt thou say unto my servant David, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I took thee from the sheepcote, even from following the sheep, that thou shouldest be ruler over my people Israel:
1Chronicles 17:8 And I have been with thee whithersoever thou hast walked, and have cut off all thine enemies from before thee, and have made thee a name like the name of the great men that are in the earth.
Although the LORDŐs message denied David the privilege of building Him a temple, it was a message of encouragement. The LORD reminded David that He took him away from shepherding his fatherŐs flocks to make him a shepherd of GodŐs people Israel. He reminded David that He had been with him at all times and delivered him from all his enemies. He had made the name of David respected as one of the great men on earth.
1Chronicles 17:9 Also I will ordain a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, and they shall dwell in their place, and shall be moved no more; neither shall the children of wickedness waste them any more, as at the beginning,
1Chronicles 17:10a And since the time that I commanded judges to be over my people Israel. Moreover I will subdue all thine enemies.
The LORD went on to declare that He had appointed a place (that they now possessed) for His people Israel and would plant them there so that they would no longer have to wander. The LORD would no longer allow their enemies to oppress them as they had in the beginning during the time of the judges. The LORD Himself would vanquish their enemies.
1Chronicles 17:10b Furthermore I tell thee that the LORD will build thee an house.
1Chronicles 17:11 And it shall come to pass, when thy days be expired that thou must go to be with thy fathers, that I will raise up thy seed after thee, which shall be of thy sons; and I will establish his kingdom.
1Chronicles 17:12 He shall build me an house, and I will stablish his throne for ever.
1Chronicles 17:13 I will be his father, and he shall be my son: and I will not take my mercy away from him, as I took it from him that was before thee:
1Chronicles 17:14 But I will settle him in mine house and in my kingdom for ever: and his throne shall be established for evermore.
Now an interesting twist that shows that the LORD was honored with the desire of DavidŐs heart. He declared that He would build David a house, a reference to his posterity. When David died, the LORD would raise up a son of his seed and establish his kingdom. This son would build him a house, and the LORD would establish his throne forever. He promised to be a Father to this son and not take His mercy away from him as He had Saul. The LORD would establish him on the throne of His kingdom forever.
David would come to understand this prophecy in reference to his son Solomon. I believe, however, that the primary reference is to Jesus. The LORD did raise up Solomon to the throne and allow him to build Him a house. The LORD did not take His mercy away from Solomon even though he sadly made many wicked choices and ended much worse than he started. Obviously, Solomon was not established on the throne of David forever.
We learn from the prophet Ezekiel that Jesus, the Messiah, the son of David, is going to build a temple when He comes to reign as King of kings on the throne of David in Jerusalem for 1000 years; that throne will never be usurped.
Zechariah 6:12–13 ŇAnd speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is The BRANCH; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD: Even he shall build the temple of the LORD; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.Ó
Jeremiah 23:5–6 ŇBehold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.Ó
1Chronicles 17:15 According to all these words, and according to all this vision, so did Nathan speak unto David.
Thus ended the word of the LORD to David as told by Nathan the prophet.
1Chronicles 17:16 ¦ And David the king came and sat before the LORD, and said, Who am I, O LORD God, and what is mine house, that thou hast brought me hitherto?
1Chronicles 17:17 And yet this was a small thing in thine eyes, O God; for thou hast also spoken of thy servantŐs house for a great while to come, and hast regarded me according to the estate of a man of high degree, O LORD God.
1Chronicles 17:18 What can David speak more to thee for the honour of thy servant? for thou knowest thy servant.
1Chronicles 17:19 O LORD, for thy servantŐs sake, and according to thine own heart, hast thou done all this greatness, in making known all these great things.
In the last part of this chapter we are told DavidŐs response to the LORDŐs message. He first went to sit before the LORD (before the ark I assume) and talk to Him. He declared his wonder that the LORD God would choose to bless him so greatly. Not only had the LORD made David king over Israel, He had promised to establish his throne for a long time to come. He acknowledged that God was treating him like a very great man. David declared that he didnŐt know what to say; he knew that the LORD knew him intimately and was very aware of his weaknesses. David recognized that the LORDŐs blessing upon him was according to His will and that He had made it known to David for his encouragement. As Guzik so aptly notes, ŇGodŐs giving reflects the greatness of the Giver, not the receiver.Ó
1Chronicles 17:20 O LORD, there is none like thee, neither is there any God beside thee, according to all that we have heard with our ears.
1Chronicles 17:21 And what one nation in the earth is like thy people Israel, whom God went to redeem to be his own people, to make thee a name of greatness and terribleness, by driving out nations from before thy people, whom thou hast redeemed out of Egypt?
1Chronicles 17:22 For thy people Israel didst thou make thine own people for ever; and thou, LORD, becamest their God.
David breaks out in praise to the LORD, declaring that He is the only God. There was no other ŇgodÓ on earth that had acted on behalf of a nation in the way that the LORD had for His people Israel. He had delivered them from Egypt to be His own and declare His greatness before the nations. He had given them a homeland by driving out the wicked nations that lived in the place He had chosen to give them. Israel was the nation that God had chosen as His own, and He became their God.
1Chronicles 17:23 Therefore now, LORD, let the thing that thou hast spoken concerning thy servant and concerning his house be established for ever, and do as thou hast said.
1Chronicles 17:24 Let it even be established, that thy name may be magnified for ever, saying, The LORD of hosts is the God of Israel, even a God to Israel: and let the house of David thy servant be established before thee.
1Chronicles 17:25 For thou, O my God, hast told thy servant that thou wilt build him an house: therefore thy servant hath found in his heart to pray before thee.
1Chronicles 17:26 And now, LORD, thou art God, and hast promised this goodness unto thy servant:
1Chronicles 17:27 Now therefore let it please thee to bless the house of thy servant, that it may be before thee for ever: for thou blessest, O LORD, and it shall be blessed for ever.
DavidŐs talk with the LORD ends by expressing his desire that the prophecy concerning his house be fulfilled. He wants the fulfillment of that prophecy to testify to the greatness of The LORD of hosts, the God of Israel. He again acknowledges that his prayer and praise was an attempt to say, ŇThank you.Ó Since the LORD had made a promise, David confidently called for the fulfillment of that promise. He also acknowledges that only as an act of the LORD could his house be blessed forever.
David knew that God is pleased when we receive His promises in faith. The writer of Hebrews affirms this truth.
Hebrews 11:6 ŇBut without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.Ó
We can confidently thank the LORD for the coming fulfillment of His promises as we eagerly await that fulfillment.