1 Chronicles 17:1-2, 25
“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. Then Nathan said unto David, Do all that is in thine heart; for God is with thee. . . . 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”
King David had thought of a project he was sure would delight the heart of God, and one that would be the crowning achievement of his reign: to build for Jehovah the most glorious temple ever erected by man.
The immediate encouragement Prophet Nathan gave him must have considerably strengthened his resolve. The one called “a man after God’s own heart” was sure that he had been given a green light to undertake this magnificent project.
So he must have really been stunned when the prophet returned a little while later with the shattering news . . . God had nixed his plan!
However, the Lord’s message was not altogether negative, for it came wrapped in grace. Along with the disappointing notice, Nathan also delivered a promise. This promise set the king to thinking, and soon the sting of disappointment vanished.
God was exchanging David’s plan for one incredibly better. Instead of him building a dwelling place for God, the Lord was going to prepare one for him!
This divinely constructed house would not be of marble or timber. David already lived comfortably in a mansion. No, what God intended to build was considerably grander than any mere physical structure could be. In fact, it had three amazing elements. It consisted of a line of royal sons, a glorious name that would never die (David is still a household word today), and an eternal place with God in heaven.
Notice especially the last phrase. Does it not ring a New Testament bell? Remember the words spoken to a group of bewildered disciples? “In my Father’s house are many mansions . . . I go to prepare a place for you.” (John 14:2)
Apparently, the meaning suddenly dawned on David! God was not speaking in merely earthly terms of time and space. He was talking on an eternal level, of matters that transcended this tiny globe and speck of history. That is why David responded as he did–in astonishment, praise, and worship!
Are we not like the former shepherd boy–poor, weak, sinful, and essentially worthless to an infinitely mighty and holy God? Is it not utterly impossible for any project within reach of our resources to WOW the LORD?
But our God is the same as David’s!
His character in the Old Testament was one of mercy and grace, and this promise to David was just one of many examples. In the New Testament this teaching is intensified and directed to us personally through the life and words of His Son Jesus.
Somehow it is true. No matter what I am able to do for Him in this life, the breathtaking truth is that He is actually building a place especially for me!
As it dawned on David, it should dawn on us too.
Dear Father, my greatest efforts for You are mere sand castles compared to the inheritance You are preparing for me. My only sensible response is to simply offer to You the sacrifice of humble praise and joyful worship. It is very little, yet it is the deepest and most meaningful gift I can give. Amen.