Oh, Chronicles. I know some of us avoid the Old Testament because we think it isn’t relevant or it’s just too hard to get through or boring blah blah blah but I think that’s one, a cop out, and two, wrong—we can learn a lot about the character of our Father in the OT. (And btw, how would you feel if your entire life history was used as living example of how to—and not to—live for God? Yeah, I cringe at the idea so the least we can do is learn from those who have been so “blessed” to be chronicled.)
Anyway, I was perusing Chronicles (you know, because that’s just how I roll) and was really moved by God’s heart in 1 Chronicles 17. David goes to the prophet Nathan and says, “I’m living in this awesome palace and God is living in a tent. I should totally build God a house!” The Ark of the Covenant was how God dwelled with His people at this time and the Ark had been traveling with the people (as He commanded), moving from one place to another.
Nathan says, “Mkay, sounds good to me, God’s with you, make it happen.”
God, however, went to Nathan and said, “Not so fast…”
This chapter is NOT God handing Nathan and David their collective arses, it IS, however, a sweet insight into our Father’s love. David’s heart was completely in the right place—and God always looks at the heart. He didn’t chastise David for his desire (or the fact that he didn’t go to Him first and ask). In fact, God shows David who He is—HIS heart for His people.
There are great “remember who I am” moments:
- Who God is to His people (vs. 5-6)
- Who God is (vs. 7). This one, btw, also shows that where He lives doesn’t change His nature.
- Who God is to David (vs. 7-10)
God also followed protocol: David went to Nathan (God’s spokesperson, who also didn’t ask God if this house-building thing was a go) so God went to Nathan and told him “tell David this…”
God then blows everyone’s mind and tells David that His intent is to build David a house, a “dynasty of kings” that will last forever (a reference to Jesus).
David’s response is so good and right:
Then King David went in and sat before the LORD and prayed, “Who am I, O LORD God, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far? And now, O God, in addition to everything else, you speak of giving your servant a lasting dynasty! You speak as though I were someone very great, O LORD God!”
David wanted to do something good for God and God turned it around and did something great for David instead.
These chronicles are important because in a few chapters, David is going to seriously peeve God off and get some necessary discipline. However, because of these moments, these God stories, David knows who his God is and trusts that even in discipline, who He is doesn’t change!
I encourage you to go in and sit before the Lord and pray today. He has so much to tell you about who He is! And when you know the heart of your Father, it makes everything else come into a right perspective.