Highlights In Today's Reading:
What's this? God says "no" to David (17:1-15)? But what will God do for David (17:25)? Is it a literal house? The people of God have many enemies to overcome. But David was never defeated in his many years of wars. Learn how the Lord victoriously brings him through many battles (chap. 18 — 20) just as He will for anyone who faithfully lets God have first place in their lives.
When David compared the beauty of his own palace with the ancient Tabernacle tent where God dwelt, he felt ashamed. He believed that the true King's throne room ought to be the best. He wanted to build a Temple that would reflect his great esteem for God. So he said to Nathan: 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 (17:1-2).However, that same night . . .the Word of God came to Nathan, saying, Go and tell David My servant, Thus saith the Lord, Thou shalt not build Me an house to dwell in (17:3-4). But David provided much of the material for its construction. God honored David's desire far beyond his greatest expectations, saying: The Lord will build thee an house. . . . I will stablish his throne for ever (17:10-14).
Who can comprehend the grandeur of this promise? Think of its fulfillment in Jesus Christ, the King of kings, who will soon rule the earth. In deep humility, David . . . sat before the Lord (17:16) to consider the contrast between his desire to build God a small earthly Temple where His presence would dwell compared to what the Heavenly King purposed to build for David that would last for eternity.
The attitude of David was not one of great joy over how important he had suddenly become, but a sense of profound unworthiness: Who am I, O Lord God, and what is mine house? (17:16). To see God for who He really is and then to rightfully understand who we really are is truly humbling. Oh, Lord, there is none like Thee, neither is there any God beside Thee (17:20).
Most of us find it easy to praise the Lord for answers to prayer and the good things that come our way, but we need to express the same praise when circumstances are disappointing. God is honored and should be praised when we face disappointments, for then we acknowledge that He, in His infinite wisdom, loves and cares for us and is in control of all the circumstances in our lives.
Thought for Today:
The closer we draw to God and the more important His Word becomes to us the more we realize our own unworthiness and His holiness.
By David, the shepherd-king (I Chr. 17:7; compare Matt. 1:1-2; Rom. 1:3), symbolic of Christ as the Good Shepherd (John 10:11) and King of saints (all believers) (Rev. 15:3).
17:7 sheepcote =b> pasturelands; 18:4 houghed =b> crippled by cutting leg tendons; 19:4 hard by =b> close to; 19:6 odious =b> detestable, offensive.
Pray for Government Officials: Rep. George Miller (CA) and Sen. Ben Nelson (NE) • Country: Malta (388,000) about 60 miles south of Sicily • Major languages: Maltese and English • Religious freedom • 97% Christian; 1.7% non-Religious/other; 1% Muslim • Prayer Suggestion: Make everything you do a matter of prayer (I Thess. 5:17).
Optional Reading: 1 Corinthians 4
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 6:21