May 17

Read 1 Chronicles 17 -- 20

In Today's Reading:

David forbidden to build the Temple; Covenant of God with David; his prayer; David extends his kingdom administered justice to all his people; David defeats the Ammonites and Syrians (Arameans); Rabbah captured; war with the Philistines.

Verses for Today:

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? . . . O Lord, there is none like Thee, neither is there any god beside Thee. . . . For Thou, O my God, hast told Thy servant that Thou wilt build him an house (1 Chronicles 17:16).

David wanted to build a Temple for God that would reflect his esteem for Him. But, the Word of God came to Nathan . . . tell David My servant, Thus saith the Lord, Thou shalt not build Me an house to dwell in (1 Chronicles 17:1-4).

God greatly honored David's sincere desire, saying: The Lord will build [you a] house. . . . it shall come to pass . . . I will raise up [your] seed (son) after [you] . . . and I will establish . . . his throne for ever (17:10-12). Without a doubt, David could not fully comprehend the magnitude of this promise that we recognize as having been fulfilled in Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God, the King of kings, and Lord of Lords, who shall soon return to rule the world.

David's response was one of deepest gratitude and a sense of profound unworthiness: Who am I, O Lord God, and what is [my] house? To see God for who He really is, and that He is beyond compare, is truly humbling. O Lord, there is none like [You], neither is there any God beside [You] (17:16-20). The natural man usually responds to any advancement or recognition with thoughts of self-esteem and a sense of superiority for receiving "What I deserve." The Lord of Glory delights in blessing those who humbly ask: "Who am I to deserve anything from God?"

Although he was not allowed the honor of building the Temple, David recognized that the Lord had bestowed upon him a higher honor, that his house be established for ever (17:23). Like David, we too have the opportunity to testify to the greatness of our glorious Lord as we praise Him in a spirit of true humility and a willingness to serve Him. Most of us find it easy to praise the Lord for answered prayer and the "good things" that come our way. Yet, God is honored when we praise Him even when circumstances are disappointing. In doing so, we acknowledge that God, in His infinite wisdom, loves and cares for us and controls all the circumstances in our lives.

Like David, we too need to stand in awe before God and ask: "Who am I?" to receive His wonderful promise of eternal life. In reverential awe, we say with the Psalmist David: What is man, that Thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that Thou visitest him? For Thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour (Psalms 8:4-5).

Christ Portrayed:

By David, the great shepherd-king (1 Chronicles 17:7; compare Matthew 1:1-2; Romans 1:3), symbolic of Christ as the Good Shepherd (John 10:11) and the King of Kings (Revelation 19:16).

Word Studies:

17:7 sheepcote = firm covering for sheep; 18:4 houghed = crippled by cutting leg tendons; 19:4 hard by = near the middle; 19:6 odious = detestable.

Prayer Needs:

Government Officials: Sen. Chuck Hagel (NE) and Rep. George Miller (CA) · Pray for one another · Country: Equatorial Guinea (466,000) in western Africa · Major language: Spanish · Freedom for churches at this time · 71% Roman Catholic; 19% ancestral spirit worship and medicine men; 6% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Humble yourself and reverence the Word of God; He will look upon you with affection (Isaiah 66:2).

Optional Reading: 1 Corinthians 4

Memory Verse for the Week: Colossians 3:16