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FRAMEWORKS: 1 Chronicles

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FRAMEWORKS: 1 Chronicles 17: The Lord's Promises to David


[Introductory Notes: Perhaps after having brought the ark to Jerusalem, David realised that it didn't have a proper home – especially as he had just finished building his own palace. He shares his intentions with Nathan the prophet who initially goes along with his idea, until the Lord steps in and tells Nathan to tell David he's not to do it. The Lord explains that there is no need to build a house for Him, but He will build a house for David, one that will continue for ever – indications of the Messiah.]


PART ONE: v.1-6: David's good intentions stopped by the Lord

PART TWO: v.7-15: The Lord's blessing of David

PART THREE: v.16-27: David's Prayers


PART ONE: v.1-6: David's good intentions stopped by the Lord


v.1,2 David's intention to build the Temple


v.1   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.'

v.2  Nathan replied to David, ‘Whatever you have in mind, do it, for God is with you.'


[Notes: David shares his intention to build a temple; Nathan goes along with it.]


v.3-6 The Lord through Nathan stops him


v.3  But that night the word of God came to Nathan, saying:

v.‘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.

v.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.

v.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?'”


[Notes: The Lord, through Nathan, tells David there is no need to build a temple.]



PART TWO: v.7-15: The Lord's blessing of David


v.7-10a God's promise of blessing on David

v.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.

v.8  I have been with you wherever you have gone, and I have cut off all your enemies from before you. Now I will [i] make your name like the names of the greatest men on earth.

v.9  And I will [ii] 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 any more, as they did at the beginning

v.10  and have done ever since the time I appointed leaders over my people Israel. I will [iii] also subdue all your enemies.


[Notes: The Lord, continuing through Nathan, reminds David how He had called him and promises He will do three things specifically for David.]


v.10b-15 God's promise to build him a 'house'


‘“I declare to you that the Lord will build a house for you:

v.11  when your days are over and you go to be with your ancestors, I will [iv] raise up your offspring to succeed you, one of your own sons, and I will [v] establish his kingdom.

v.12  He is the one who will build a house for me, and I will [vi] establish his throne for ever.

v.13   I will [vii] be his father, and he will be my son. I will [viii] never take my love away from him, as I took it away from your predecessor.

v.14   I will [ix] set him over my house and my kingdom for ever; his throne will be established for ever.”'

v.15  Nathan reported to David all the words of this entire revelation.


[Notes: The Lord then continues with a further six promises that are to do with Him building a house for David, but it is clear from what He says that the ‘house' He refers to is a family descended from David, yet the sense appears to go beyond human descendants to one who will reign over an eternal kingdom, i.e. the Messiah.]



PART THREE: v.16-27: David's Prayers


v.16-20 David's prayer response: i) Acknowledges the Lord's Greatness


v.16  Then King David went in and sat before the Lord, and he said:

‘Who am I, Lord God, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far?

v.17  And as if this were not enough in your sight, my God, you have spoken about the future of the house of your servant. You, Lord God, have looked on me as though I were the most exalted of men.

v.18  ‘What more can David say to you for honouring your servant? For you know your servant,

v.19   Lord. For the sake of your servant and according to your will, you have done this great thing and made known all these great promises.

v.20  ‘There is no one like you, Lord, and there is no God but you, as we have heard with our own ears.


[Notes: David's response is one of thankfulness and praise of the Lord.]


v.21,22 David's prayer response: ii) Acknowledges the Lord's work in Israel


v.21  And who is like your people Israel – the one nation on earth whose God went out to redeem a people for himself, and to make a name for yourself, and to perform great and awesome wonders by driving out nations from before your people, whom you redeemed from Egypt?

v.22  You made your people Israel your very own for ever, and you, Lord , have become their God.


[Notes: His praise recognises and acknowledges the work that God has gone in creating Israel as a people.]


v.23-27 David's prayer response: iii) Acknowledges the Lord's Promise

v.23  ‘And now, Lord , let the promise you have made concerning your servant and his house be established for ever. Do as you promised,

v.24   so that it will be established and that your name will be great for ever. Then people will say, “The Lord Almighty, the God over Israel, is Israel's God!” And the house of your servant David will be established before you.

v.25  ‘You, my God, have revealed to your servant that you will build a house for him. So your servant has found courage to pray to you.

v.26  You, Lord, are God! You have promised these good things to your servant.

v.27  Now you have been pleased to bless the house of your servant, that it may continue for ever in your sight; for you, Lord, have blessed it, and it will be blessed for ever.'


[Notes: David acknowledges that he had heard the Lord referring to an eternal kingdom that would honour His name, although it is fairly certain he would not have understood how that would eventually work out.]



Continue to Ch.18