Scripture Reading: 1 Chronicles 17:6-12

6 In all places where I have moved with all Israel, did I speak a word with any of the judges of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd my people, saying, "Why have you not built me a house of cedar?"'

7 Now, therefore, thus shall you say to my servant David, 'Thus says the LORD of hosts, I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, to be prince over my people Israel,

8 and I have been with you wherever you have gone and have cut off all your enemies from before you. And I will make for you a name, like the name of the great ones of the earth.

9 And I will appoint a place for my people Israel and will plant them, that they may dwell in their own place and be disturbed no more. And violent men shall waste them no more, as formerly,

10 from the time that I appointed judges over my people Israel. And I will subdue all your enemies. Moreover, I declare to you that the LORD will build you a house.

11 When your days are fulfilled to walk with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, one of your own sons, and I will establish his kingdom.

12 He shall build a house for me, and I will establish his throne forever.

 

Sermon: "The LORD Will..."

 

"Trying to be a hero, winding up with zero...". Ever feel this way?  You tried to do something great and it just didn't work out.  All you got was a thank you for your effort, if that.  You may have even wanted to do something great for God and yet your effort was rebuffed.  That is what happens to David. What happens when God's will and our will don't match?

 

For David, we wants to build the house of God.  Yet, God rejects his offer - God doesn't need a house.  But before going further, notice how David came to know this - God reveals it.  In itself, it is a good idea.  Nathan originally encourages David to go for it.  Many times, our plans our intentions are not necessarily wrong, in terms of sin, but God has other plans.  Here, he doesn't need the help of David to be exalted.  So how does David respond?  We don't see it here, but one thing is that in the end, he praises God.  He not only accepts but embraces the will of God. 

 

How does that happen?  He trusts God.  Why?  God has a track record of faithfulness.  God has demonstrated great faithfulness.  We place our hopes on those who come through, whether it be a clutch player, provider of service, or dependable worker.  God has a whole history of great faithfulness.  The Bible is a history of God's faithfulness, and this passage gives us a summary of those whom God has helped. 

 

1.    God has helped: Whom does God help?  "God helps those who help themselves."  Name the book, chapter, and verse.  Answer: nowhere!

But we see that God has helped himself.  He has had a place to dwell, the tabernacle.  This sounds funny but it is significant.  God is self-sufficient.  He can totally exist on his own and be content.  There is that philosophical question - if no one worshipped God, would he still be God.  The answer is yes.  Yet, he chooses to share that joy with his creation.

 

God has helped his people, the Israelites.  God has been faithful to the Israelites.  He made a nation out of them.

 

God has helped his person, David.  He reminds David of where he came from.  He raised up David.  He made a king out of this shepherd boy.

 

We must remind ourselves of God's faithfulness.  Then we get over discouragement.  Then we remain trusting in God.

 

God helps the helpless.  Does that take away from human responsibility?  Absolutely not!  If we are not working, God will not help us.  Working is a step of faith.  If we are not trusting him, he cannot bless us.

 

2.    God will help.  He will help Himself, he will build his house, the temple.  He will help His people, the Kingdom of Israel.  He will also help His person, Solomon. 

 

It's not always for us to succeed.  But what we could do is to be a part of the success of someone else.  In many ways, I believe this is a form of humility and a mark of greatness in the eyes of God.  It is something I believe the first generation understands but we struggle with when we are consumed with our glory.  Hear a tribute by a prominent minister by the name of Crawford Loritts to his dad on a radio broadcast one day, thanking him for his faithfulness as a father: 

 

Thank you for choosing not to get paid triple time on Christmases and other days when we needed the money living in that small Newark apartment, because you wanted to spend time with your kids. Thank you for not buying new cars until after we were grown because you wanted to have money for vacations. . . . Thank you for teaching me and telling me that Im a man and for standing with me during hard times. Everything I am today is because of you, Dad. You never made a big splash and you never blew your own trumpet, but you quietly did the deed.” 

 

On the basis of what he has done, God can be trusted to do what he promises.

 

3.    God fulfills his help.  He does that for himself.  His true kingdom will be established; he will be glorified.  He fulfills his help for his people, the church, the New Israel.  God's plan goes far beyond the geographic and ethnic nation of Israel.  It expands to every tongue, tribe, and nation. 

He fulfills his help for his person, Jesus Christ.  He is the Son of David who will establish his throne forever.  He is King of King and Lord of Lords.  He is the one through whom his plans are fulfilled.

 

God's will is far greater than David's.  It is greater than anything we can conceive.  Our challenge is to expand our hearts and minds to God's.

 

We can be too busy building our own little kingdoms.  And when those kingdoms are wrecked, we can be angry like a little kid whose sand castle gets kicked over or washed away.    Rather, in such moments, let me challenge you to ask God, "What is it that you want to tell me?"

 

The best we can do is align ourselves to the will of God.  May we constantly make it our prayer, "Your kingdom come, your will be done."  And in our work and relationships, consider how we can be a part of fulfilling that end.