1 Chronicles 17; James 4; Jonah 1; Luke 6
As we are beginning to see Christmas decorations popping up it was rather exciting to read 1 Chronicles this morning. When I set aside my preconceived notions about what a text is about I often will see something that I have overlooked in the past-and it still happens after all these years. Here in verses 10-14 God has some pretty amazing things to say to David through the prophet Nathan. David wants to build a house for the Lord, for why should the ark of the covenant dwell in a tent when David dwells in a house of cedar. (1 Chronicles 17:1-2) God's response is so interesting to me. "It is not you (David) who will build me a house to dwell in. (and here is where I immediately think-Solomon will build it.) but God goes on...Moreover, I (God) declare to you that the LORD will build you a house. (v. 10b) Wait, David already has a house. But God is talking about something more here-He is talking about the coming of Christ through David's lineage. Let's read the rest of this passage, "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. He shall build a house for Me, and I will establish his throne forever. I will be to him a father, and he shall be to Me a son. I will not take my steadfast love from him, as I took it from him who was before you (Saul), but I will confirm him in my house and in my kingdom forever, and his throne shall be established forever." Immediately what came to mind was Psalm 127:1, "Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain." God is about to build a house unlike any other. In some sense I get the idea that this passage is stating who foolish we are to think we could build God's house. Yes, Solomon goes on to build a wonderful temple-but the temple that is embodied in Christ-now that is something truly glorious.
Moving on to Luke, Jesus asks a question which I think we all need to consider. "Why do you call me 'Lord, Lord,' and not do what I tell you?" That is one of those "ouch" kind of questions and it comes on the heel of some previous verses which tell me to love my enemies, do good to those who hate me, bless those who curse me, pray for those who abuse me (see Luke 6: 27-28) and again to love my enemies, do good, lend expecting nothing in return-for it is the sons of the Most High who do these things, for He is kind to the ungrateful and the evil so we need to be merciful, even as our Heavenly Father is merciful. (see Luke 6: 35-36) There are plenty of other things that fill this chapter as well, but those are the verses that struck at my heart and bring me back to the question Jesus asked-so why do you not do what I tell you? Unless the LORD builds the house-unless I yield to His authority as my King, as my Lord, as the builder of my house, I shall indeed labor in vain. So why do I not do what He tells me? I cannot just walk away from that question today.
Grace, Peace, and Mercy,