1 Chronicles
Introduction 1 The Desire of David 2-6 David Is Not Allowed to Build a House for God 7-15 What God Is for David 16-27 The Prayer of Thanksgiving of David
Introduction

In this chapter God speaks to David (verses 1-151And it came about, when David dwelt in his house, that David said to Nathan the prophet, “Behold, I am dwelling in a house of cedar, but the ark of the covenant of the LORD is under curtains.”2Then Nathan said to David, “Do all that is in your heart, for God is with you.”3It came about the same night that the word of God came to Nathan, saying,4“Go and tell David My servant, ‘Thus says the LORD, “You shall not build a house for Me to dwell in;5for I have not dwelt in a house since the day that I brought up Israel to this day, but I have gone from tent to tent and from [one] dwelling place [to another].6In all places where I have walked with all Israel, have I spoken a word with any of the judges of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd My people, saying, ‘Why have you not built for Me a house of cedar?’”‘7Now, therefore, thus shall you say to My servant David, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts, “I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, to be leader over My people Israel.8I have been with you wherever you have gone, and have cut off all your enemies from before you; and I will make you a name like the name of the great ones who are in the earth.9I will appoint a place for My people Israel, and will plant them, so that they may dwell in their own place and not be moved again; and the wicked will not waste them anymore as formerly,10even from the day that I commanded judges [to be] over My people Israel. And I will subdue all your enemies. Moreover, I tell you that the LORD will build a house for you.11When your days are fulfilled that you must go [to be] with your fathers, that I will set up [one of] your descendants after you, who will be of your sons; and I will establish his kingdom.12He shall build for Me a house, and I will establish his throne forever.13I will be his father and he shall be My son; and I will not take My lovingkindness away from him, as I took it from him who was before you.14But I will settle him in My house and in My kingdom forever, and his throne shall be established forever.”‘“15According to all these words and according to all this vision, so Nathan spoke to David.) and David speaks to God (verses 16-2716Then David the king went in and sat before the LORD and said, “Who am I, O LORD God, and what is my house that You have brought me this far?17This was a small thing in Your eyes, O God; but You have spoken of Your servant’s house for a great while to come, and have regarded me according to the standard of a man of high degree, O LORD God.18What more can David still [say] to You concerning the honor [bestowed] on Your servant? For You know Your servant.19O LORD, for Your servant’s sake, and according to Your own heart, You have wrought all this greatness, to make known all these great things.20O LORD, there is none like You, nor is there any God besides You, according to all that we have heard with our ears.21And what one nation in the earth is like Your people Israel, whom God went to redeem for Himself [as] a people, to make You a name by great and terrible things, in driving out nations from before Your people, whom You redeemed out of Egypt?22For Your people Israel You made Your own people forever, and You, O LORD, became their God.23“Now, O LORD, let the word that You have spoken concerning Your servant and concerning his house be established forever, and do as You have spoken.24Let Your name be established and magnified forever, saying, ‘The LORD of hosts is the God of Israel, [even] a God to Israel; and the house of David Your servant is established before You.’25For You, O my God, have revealed to Your servant that You will build for him a house; therefore Your servant has found [courage] to pray before You.26Now, O LORD, You are God, and have promised this good thing to Your servant.27And now it has pleased You to bless the house of Your servant, that it may continue forever before You; for You, O LORD, have blessed, and it is blessed forever.”). God now speaks to us through His Word and we may speak to Him in prayer in response.

This chapter is the heart of 1 Chronicles and deals with the continuing importance of the person and the work of David in connection with “the ark of the covenant of the LORD” (verse 11And it came about, when David dwelt in his house, that David said to Nathan the prophet, “Behold, I am dwelling in a house of cedar, but the ark of the covenant of the LORD is under curtains.”), the full name of the ark.

This chapter is about three houses:
1. the house which David built (verse 11And it came about, when David dwelt in his house, that David said to Nathan the prophet, “Behold, I am dwelling in a house of cedar, but the ark of the covenant of the LORD is under curtains.”),
2. the house to be built for God (verses 4,11,124“Go and tell David My servant, ‘Thus says the LORD, “You shall not build a house for Me to dwell in;11When your days are fulfilled that you must go [to be] with your fathers, that I will set up [one of] your descendants after you, who will be of your sons; and I will establish his kingdom.12He shall build for Me a house, and I will establish his throne forever.) and
3. the spiritual house of David, the lineage that runs to Christ (verses 16,23,2716Then David the king went in and sat before the LORD and said, “Who am I, O LORD God, and what is my house that You have brought me this far?23“Now, O LORD, let the word that You have spoken concerning Your servant and concerning his house be established forever, and do as You have spoken.27And now it has pleased You to bless the house of Your servant, that it may continue forever before You; for You, O LORD, have blessed, and it is blessed forever.”).


The Desire of David

1And it came about, when David dwelt in his house, that David said to Nathan the prophet, “Behold, I am dwelling in a house of cedar, but the ark of the covenant of the LORD is under curtains.”

David’s life is reaching a new stage here. Earlier he went to his own house to bless it (1Chr 16:4343Then all the people departed each to his house, and David returned to bless his household.). Now he gets spiritual exercises about God’s house. Exercises about God’s house take place in the own house, the own living environment. If there are no such exercises at home, they are not there in God’s house.

But he who only has an eye and time for his own house, has no time to care for God’s house (Hag 1:44“Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses while this house [lies] desolate?”). Whosoever is content to remain in the door of his own tent shall not go out to the tent of God (Exo 33:7-107Now Moses used to take the tent and pitch it outside the camp, a good distance from the camp, and he called it the tent of meeting. And everyone who sought the LORD would go out to the tent of meeting which was outside the camp.8And it came about, whenever Moses went out to the tent, that all the people would arise and stand, each at the entrance of his tent, and gaze after Moses until he entered the tent.9Whenever Moses entered the tent, the pillar of cloud would descend and stand at the entrance of the tent; and the LORD would speak with Moses.10When all the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance of the tent, all the people would arise and worship, each at the entrance of his tent.). Those who cannot run their own house cannot take care of the church of God either (1Tim 3:55(but if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?),). The one cannot be seen apart from the other.

When David sits at rest in his house, he realizes the incongruity that exists between his own dwelling place and that of the ark. Also for us the question may be: can we have satisfaction in our own prosperity, our own, often luxurious, living environment, while we have no eye for the city as a picture of the church in its daily revelation, where God dwells?


David Is Not Allowed to Build a House for God

2Then Nathan said to David, “Do all that is in your heart, for God is with you.” 3It came about the same night that the word of God came to Nathan, saying, 4“Go and tell David My servant, ‘Thus says the LORD, “You shall not build a house for Me to dwell in; 5for I have not dwelt in a house since the day that I brought up Israel to this day, but I have gone from tent to tent and from [one] dwelling place [to another]. 6In all places where I have walked with all Israel, have I spoken a word with any of the judges of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd My people, saying, ‘Why have you not built for Me a house of cedar?’”‘

From what David says in verse 11And it came about, when David dwelt in his house, that David said to Nathan the prophet, “Behold, I am dwelling in a house of cedar, but the ark of the covenant of the LORD is under curtains.”, Nathan understands what he means. Nathan doesn’t say in so many words that David can build the temple, just like David himself didn’t say. This intention of David as such is not wrong. Therefore the prophet encourages him. Stimulating each other to do something for the Lord is good. However, a first, humanly understandable reaction of Nathan said was not the word of the LORD. In the night that follows, Nathan is told what the LORD thinks of David’s intention.

For reasons to be given later, David is not allowed to build the temple (1Chr 22:88But the word of the LORD came to me, saying, ‘You have shed much blood and have waged great wars; you shall not build a house to My name, because you have shed [so] much blood on the earth before Me.; 28:33But God said to me, ‘You shall not build a house for My name because you are a man of war and have shed blood.’). Other things have to happen first. David is not allowed to build a house for the LORD, but the LORD will build a house for David. He gives to David, who must first become a receiver. We can’t give the Lord what He needs, but that doesn’t mean we can’t give him anything. The Lord likes to receive from us what we want to give Him.

Nowhere do we read that the LORD, when He walked around with the people, gave the order to build a house for Him. On the contrary, He has always adapted Himself to His people. When the people of Israel were slaves, he became their Deliverer; when the people dwelt in tents, His dwelling place was also a tent; when the people had to fight, he revealed himself as the captain of the LORD’s host; when it will be established in peace, God will also establish in the house of His glory.

So it is with Christ in relation to us. We are born of a woman, He also; His earthly people Israel was under the law, that He also was during his life on earth; now that He gathers a heavenly people for Himself, He is in heaven for us; when He comes in glory, we come with Him in His glory; when He reigns, we reign with Him.


What God Is for David

7Now, therefore, thus shall you say to My servant David, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts, “I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, to be leader over My people Israel. 8I have been with you wherever you have gone, and have cut off all your enemies from before you; and I will make you a name like the name of the great ones who are in the earth. 9I will appoint a place for My people Israel, and will plant them, so that they may dwell in their own place and not be moved again; and the wicked will not waste them anymore as formerly, 10even from the day that I commanded judges [to be] over My people Israel. And I will subdue all your enemies. Moreover, I tell you that the LORD will build a house for you. 11When your days are fulfilled that you must go [to be] with your fathers, that I will set up [one of] your descendants after you, who will be of your sons; and I will establish his kingdom. 12He shall build for Me a house, and I will establish his throne forever. 13I will be his father and he shall be My son; and I will not take My lovingkindness away from him, as I took it from him who was before you. 14But I will settle him in My house and in My kingdom forever, and his throne shall be established forever.”‘“ 15According to all these words and according to all this vision, so Nathan spoke to David.

David’s sacred desire to build a house for the glory of God is the opportunity for God to tell of what He has done to David (verses 7-87Now, therefore, thus shall you say to My servant David, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts, “I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, to be leader over My people Israel.8I have been with you wherever you have gone, and have cut off all your enemies from before you; and I will make you a name like the name of the great ones who are in the earth.) and what He will do to him (verses 9-149I will appoint a place for My people Israel, and will plant them, so that they may dwell in their own place and not be moved again; and the wicked will not waste them anymore as formerly,10even from the day that I commanded judges [to be] over My people Israel. And I will subdue all your enemies. Moreover, I tell you that the LORD will build a house for you.11When your days are fulfilled that you must go [to be] with your fathers, that I will set up [one of] your descendants after you, who will be of your sons; and I will establish his kingdom.12He shall build for Me a house, and I will establish his throne forever.13I will be his father and he shall be My son; and I will not take My lovingkindness away from him, as I took it from him who was before you.14But I will settle him in My house and in My kingdom forever, and his throne shall be established forever.”‘“). Verse 99I will appoint a place for My people Israel, and will plant them, so that they may dwell in their own place and not be moved again; and the wicked will not waste them anymore as formerly, will be fully realized in the kingdom of peace. In this verse and the following verses we see a reference to the Messiah. Verse 1010even from the day that I commanded judges [to be] over My people Israel. And I will subdue all your enemies. Moreover, I tell you that the LORD will build a house for you. is elaborated in 1 Chronicles 18-20, as a premonition of the judgments that precede the kingdom of peace.

God does not mention a particular son, but He speaks in a general sense of one “of your sons” (verse 1111When your days are fulfilled that you must go [to be] with your fathers, that I will set up [one of] your descendants after you, who will be of your sons; and I will establish his kingdom.). That fits in this Bible book. One “of your sons” refers to the Messiah and not Solomon as the physical son. It is about the Lord Jesus, the Son of God (Psa 2:77“I will surely tell of the decree of the LORD:
He said to Me, ‘You are My Son,
Today I have begotten You.
; Heb 1:55For to which of the angels did He ever say, “You are My Son, Today I have begotten You”? And again, “I will be a Father to Him And He shall be a Son to Me”?; 5:55So also Christ did not glorify Himself so as to become a high priest, but He who said to Him, “You are My Son, Today I have begotten You”;; Acts 13:3333that God has fulfilled this [promise] to our children in that He raised up Jesus, as it is also written in the second Psalm, ‘YOU ARE MY SON; TODAY I HAVE BEGOTTEN YOU.’), for Whom God will be a Father and Who will be His Son (verse 1313I will be his father and he shall be My son; and I will not take My lovingkindness away from him, as I took it from him who was before you.; 1Chr 22:1010He shall build a house for My name, and he shall be My son and I will be his father; and I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel forever.’; 28:66He said to me, ‘Your son Solomon is the one who shall build My house and My courts; for I have chosen him to be a son to Me, and I will be a father to him.).

The Son will build a house for the LORD. The reign and kingship of the Son shall be “without end” (verse 12b12He shall build for Me a house, and I will establish his throne forever.; verse 1414But I will settle him in My house and in My kingdom forever, and his throne shall be established forever.”‘“; Lk 1:32-3332He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David;33and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.”; Dan 2:4444In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed, and [that] kingdom will not be left for another people; it will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, but it will itself endure forever.). It is also clearly said that the kingdom of the Son is the kingdom of the LORD (“My kingdom”).

As a faithful envoy, who keeps nothing from the whole counsel of God, Nathan transmits all the words of the LORD to David (verse 1515According to all these words and according to all this vision, so Nathan spoke to David.). He is as faithful in this as Paul is later, who says to the elders of Ephesus: “For I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole purpose of God” (Acts 20:2727For I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole purpose of God.).


The Prayer of Thanksgiving of David

16Then David the king went in and sat before the LORD and said, “Who am I, O LORD God, and what is my house that You have brought me this far? 17This was a small thing in Your eyes, O God; but You have spoken of Your servant’s house for a great while to come, and have regarded me according to the standard of a man of high degree, O LORD God. 18What more can David still [say] to You concerning the honor [bestowed] on Your servant? For You know Your servant. 19O LORD, for Your servant’s sake, and according to Your own heart, You have wrought all this greatness, to make known all these great things. 20O LORD, there is none like You, nor is there any God besides You, according to all that we have heard with our ears. 21And what one nation in the earth is like Your people Israel, whom God went to redeem for Himself [as] a people, to make You a name by great and terrible things, in driving out nations from before Your people, whom You redeemed out of Egypt? 22For Your people Israel You made Your own people forever, and You, O LORD, became their God. 23“Now, O LORD, let the word that You have spoken concerning Your servant and concerning his house be established forever, and do as You have spoken. 24Let Your name be established and magnified forever, saying, ‘The LORD of hosts is the God of Israel, [even] a God to Israel; and the house of David Your servant is established before You.’ 25For You, O my God, have revealed to Your servant that You will build for him a house; therefore Your servant has found [courage] to pray before You. 26Now, O LORD, You are God, and have promised this good thing to Your servant. 27And now it has pleased You to bless the house of Your servant, that it may continue forever before You; for You, O LORD, have blessed, and it is blessed forever.”

We read, as a rarity, that someone sits before the LORD (verse 1616Then David the king went in and sat before the LORD and said, “Who am I, O LORD God, and what is my house that You have brought me this far?). The more common postures are that someone throws himself before the LORD, kneels or stands up respectfully. Here with David we see that he confidentially “sat”, which means that he sits down with the LORD. It is a good example of a confidential relationship with the LORD, in which he take into account the greatest respect at the same time. He wants to speak to the LORD about what he has heard of Him and what has been promised by Him.

When David speaks, he is no longer talking about his wish that is not fulfilled. He is not sad or depressed now that the LORD does not allow him to do what he likes to do. Instead of discouragement there is great gratitude with him. He flows over with joy for what the LORD promised him concerning his descendancy, what he will give him, him and his house. We see later that he does what is in his power to collect what is necessary for the temple that not he, but his son Solomon may build.

This is an example for us. With the means that the Lord has given us, we can cooperate in a work that we would have liked to have done ourselves, but for which the Lord has appointed someone else. We come to this when we see how much we ourselves have been gifted by the Lord. This is the first thing we find with David.

In the presence of the LORD, David’s first remark about himself is “who am I?” and about his house is “what is my house?” He is deeply impressed by the grace that has been bestowed upon him and his home. That leads him to speak about his own smallness. This is the appropriate sense of received grace that should also characterize us in our dealings with the Lord.

He also shows his faith and trust. David acknowledges in his prayer of thanks what the LORD said earlier that it is about the future, about the coming of “a man of high degree”, that is the great Son of David (verse 1717This was a small thing in Your eyes, O God; but You have spoken of Your servant’s house for a great while to come, and have regarded me according to the standard of a man of high degree, O LORD God.; verse 1313I will be his father and he shall be My son; and I will not take My lovingkindness away from him, as I took it from him who was before you.). In Him, that is in Christ, a row of people in the ascending line will culminate in the distant future. David is already king and his descendancy is already chosen, but that doesn’t make him proud, for everything is the consequence of God’s blessing. He is of humble descent and has been led to great heights by God. David’s feeling is the feeling that Mary is singing about when she is told she will become the mother of the Messiah (Lk 1:46-4946And Mary said:
“My soul exalts the Lord,
47And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.
48“For He has had regard for the humble state of His bondslave;
For behold, from this time on all generations will count me blessed.
49“For the Mighty One has done great things for me;
And holy is His name.
).

David speaks to the LORD about “David” (verse 1818What more can David still [say] to You concerning the honor [bestowed] on Your servant? For You know Your servant.) and not about “king David”, for earthly glory is forgotten in the presence of the LORD. David is not speechless, but he also cannot add anything to the benefits that are being done to him. He knows that he is the object of the love and grace of the LORD. That he is, not for who he is in himself, but because it is in the heart of the LORD Himself (verse 1919O LORD, for Your servant’s sake, and according to Your own heart, You have wrought all this greatness, to make known all these great things.) to bless His servant David. He also wanted to make that known to him. These are indeed “great things”.

The Lord loves to hear from us as well, in which we value His blessings. We may say prayers expressing our needs, but it is also beautiful to tell Him our appreciation of His blessings and promises.

Then follows a confession of the uniqueness of God (verse 2020O LORD, there is none like You, nor is there any God besides You, according to all that we have heard with our ears.). That He is a unique God, He has proved in the redemption of His people (verse 2121And what one nation in the earth is like Your people Israel, whom God went to redeem for Himself [as] a people, to make You a name by great and terrible things, in driving out nations from before Your people, whom You redeemed out of Egypt?). Directly linked to the uniqueness of God is the uniqueness of God’s people (verse 2222For Your people Israel You made Your own people forever, and You, O LORD, became their God.). God and His people belong together. The people owe their uniqueness to Who God is as the unique God. God has chosen that people as His property. He has done that to make Himself through them a Name on earth. His people are His honor because He has given them His honor.

God wants we pray to Him for what He has promised (verse 2323“Now, O LORD, let the word that You have spoken concerning Your servant and concerning his house be established forever, and do as You have spoken.). In Luke 1 the continuation of this prayer comes as a first fulfilment: “The Lord God will give Him [i.e. the Lord Jesus] the throne of His father David” (Lk 1:3232He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David;).

The content of David’s prayer is of high order. He addresses the LORD in expectation of his hearing: “Let the word … be established forever, and do” (verse 2323“Now, O LORD, let the word that You have spoken concerning Your servant and concerning his house be established forever, and do as You have spoken.); “let Your name be established and magnified … and the house of David Your servant is established” (verse 2424Let Your name be established and magnified forever, saying, ‘The LORD of hosts is the God of Israel, [even] a God to Israel; and the house of David Your servant is established before You.’). The promises for the future are the ground for his prayer (verse 2525For You, O my God, have revealed to Your servant that You will build for him a house; therefore Your servant has found [courage] to pray before You.). God loves that His unquestionable promises are accepted by His without any restraint. If His promises are accepted as certain by a faithful heart, this will be reflected in the gratitude that is brought to Him.

Because the LORD is God and He has spoken this good (verse 2626Now, O LORD, You are God, and have promised this good thing to Your servant.), David trusts that his prayer will be heard. He expresses the certainty of the hearing. He says that the LORD has blessed his house, and that it will therefore be blessed forever (verse 2727And now it has pleased You to bless the house of Your servant, that it may continue forever before You; for You, O LORD, have blessed, and it is blessed forever.”). There is no better basis for our prayers than the promises God has given in His Word. That gives the certainty of the hearing. The time of the hearing is the matter of God.


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