A Good Idea Gone Bad

1 Chronicles 17

David had an idea that seemed like a good one. “The ark of the covenant lives in a tent and I live in a palace. Maybe, I  should build a house for the Lord.” It was a good idea. There was good intentions and affection for the Lord involved. But text shows that it was not a good idea. The Lord actually stops that idea short and reminds David that no one can build a house for the creator of the universe. The suggestion is actually kind of insulting to God. The Lord responds to David that he will flip the plan around. The Lord will build a house for David that will endure for all time. We know now that this is a prophecy of the future house of Jesus Christ, the descendant of David, who would establish an eternal kingdom.

Here are some questions that this story brought up for me:

  • How am I, like David, attempting to build a house for the Lord through my accomplishments, my dreams, my family or my ministry?
  • Can I give examples of where the Lord is building a house for me through his accomplishments?

Honestly, most of the time I’m not even in David’s head-space. I’m more like King Saul who was  in the business of building a house for himself.


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  1. #1 by MTW Europe Member Care on January 11, 2014 - 5:10 am

    Great points! We’re too often thinking that we’re building God’s Kingdom (after all, that seems to be our job), when in fact we’re more concerned about our reputation and how we compare with other kingdom builders. David at least had God’s glory and his “place” compared to David’s in mind. After the resurrection Jesus asked Peter, “Do you love me?” Peter could honestly say, “Lord, you know all things, you know that I love you.” What a faltering love it was, but the overriding certainty was not Peter’s love for Jesus, but Jesus’ love for Peter. Peter couldn’t earn Jesus’ love, but only respond in his own weak way, which is what David was trying to do.

    • #2 by Kirk Ward on January 11, 2014 - 8:49 am

      The Lord was so merciful and patient with David and Peter. I’m glad that I can trust the same patience for my own bad ideas.

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