1 Chronicles 17:1-5; 2 Chronicles 6:1-9
Everyone writes two books, one with their dreams and ambitions, the other with their actual performance. To compare the two is to face disappointment.
Sometimes God says “No” to a dream, vision, ambition or plan. With David, there was an earnest longing and a fixed purpose. He had built the Temple every night in his dreams; it was to be a fitting climax to his life and a monument to his service to God. “It was in my heart” But God said, “No.”
We forget the good things, remember the bad. We forget the compliments, remember the criticisms. We forget the many times God says, “Yes”, but always remember the one time He says “No”. Sometimes this leads to cynicism, bitterness an resentment. It will cloud our outlook on life and we can misinterpret God’s actions.
WHAT TO REMEMBER WHEN YOU CAN’T FORGET:
I. A GOOD IDEA IS NOT ALWAYS A GODLY IDEA.
You can find nothing wrong with David’s idea; it was a great vision and plan.
1. It was needed. God dwelt in a tent.
2. It would unite Israel and Judah, the kingdom.
3. The motive was to honor God.
4. God wanted a permanent temple. (I Chron. 28:12, 19.)
5. Nathan the prophet agreed with and confirmed it.
But God said NO. How many of our prayers are like this? GOD HIMSELF SETS OUR TASKS, CHOOSES WHAT WE SHALL DO.
Later, God explains why David couldn’t build the temple. “Your hands are bloody.” God uses some for BATTLE, others for BUILDING.
Illustration: Some great churches are built on the battles that others before them have fought. Of course, the builder gets all the credit and glory.
DAVID’S FAILURE DOESN’T MEAN GOD’S FAILURE; The temple will be built.
(There were three temples: The first was destroyed in 587 BC by Nebuchadnezzar. The second was Zerubbabel’s from 527-168 BC. The third was Herod’s from 19 AD to 70 AD. Today a Moslem Mosque occupies the spot. So much for your everlasting monuments!)
II. GOD JUDGES US NOT BY THE ACHIEVEMENT OF OUR HANDS BUT BY THE AMBITION OF OUR HEART.
II Chron. 6:8,9 “Thou didst well that it was in thine heart.”
1. To want to do it is the same as doing it, both with sin and righteousness. Jesus said, “Whoever hates is a murderer, whoever lusts is an adulterer.”
2. God is the only master who pays his servants for inclination as well as action. He accepts the intent and the accomplishment.
III. GOD SAYS “NO”, NOT TO DEPRIVE ITS OF A BLESSING, BUT TO DRIVE US TO A GREATER BLESSING.
If all we see is the disappointment, we will miss the blessing.
When God withholds one blessing it is only in order to give us a greater blessing. If he takes something from us with his left hand, He has something better to give us in his right hand.
GOD NEVER LEAVES US EMPTY HANDED OR EMPTY HEARTED.
David wanted the Temple as a monument to His love and devotion to God. It was the best thing David could think of. But God had something better in mind. IT IS CALLED THE PSALMS. The temple was destroyed and today a pagan religion sits on the location, but not a jot or tithe from the Psalms has passed away or been lost.
1. The Blessing of Remembrance. I Chron. 17:7,8
God reminds David of where he was when God found him. He was FOLLOWING SHEEP. That means “watch your step”. God reminds David of all He has done for him. This denial doesn’t mean David is being abandoned.
Illustration of taking our children to Six Flags for a 12 hour day, riding everything, buying everything but forgetting to purchase a little balloon that had been promised as we entered the park because they would lose it. On the way home, one of the children started crying and when prompted to tell what the problem was, cried, “I didn’t get a balloon” rather than thanking us for all the fun things we did do. WE CONCENTRATE ON WHAT GOD HAS NOT DONE RATHER THAN ALL THE WONDERFUL THINGS HE HAS DONE.
2. The Blessing of Reassurance. I Chron 1 7: 10
God’s promise is “I will build THEE a house.”
(1) God wants to do something for David, not have David do something for Him.
(2) His son will build the temple. What greater joy for a father than to see his son succeed.
DAVID’S RESPONSE: Not sour or bitter–but PRAISE and THANKSGIVING. He took an offering for the building of the temple.
©Ron Dunn, LifeStyle Ministries, 2004