Key Verses: “It shall come to pass, when thy days be expired that thou must go to be with thy fathers, that I will raise up thy seed after thee, which shall be of thy sons; and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build me an house, and I will stablish his throne for ever.”
—I Chronicles 17:11,12
I Chronicles 17:1-15
AS THE NATION OF ISRAEL prospered under the Lord’s blessing and was established as a mighty nation under King David, he believed that the tent in which the ark of the covenant had been housed was inferior to its proper place in Jerusalem. Doubtless the lesson of Uzzah made David more careful respecting all things done in connection with the Tabernacle and its services, so he sought out the advice of his friend and counselor, the Prophet Nathan. David said to him, “Lo, I dwell in an house of cedars, but the ark of the covenant of the Lord remaineth under curtains.” (I Chron. 17:1) The implied suggestion that a “house” be built for the ark seemed proper and reverential to Nathan, so he endorsed it.—vs. 2
That same night, however, the word of the Lord came to Nathan and explained that God had never asked for a house to be built for his dwelling place since he brought Israel out of Egypt. He instructed Nathan to remind David how he had led him from being a young shepherd to the leader of Israel, and that he pledges to subdue all their enemies, that the nation may dwell in peace. Then God made this great promise to David: “Furthermore, I tell thee that the Lord will build thee an house.”—vss. 3-10
This was not a promise of a literal house, but was an assurance to David that his family would not be cut off from the throne. The “house” of David was indeed perpetuated through Solomon and continued Israel’s kingly line through the tribe of Judah for several centuries. This, however, would not fulfill the ultimate purpose of the Lord’s promise. Although not understood by David, the promise was meant to refer expressly to a future Messiah and his kingdom.
We note that the words of our Key Verse applied to David’s son, Solomon, in a literal sense, as he indeed built a temple, but the weight of the promise is fulfilled through Christ, the Messiah. Though David was not allowed to build a temple, it was his privilege to gather the materials needed for Solomon to accomplish that work.—I Chron. 28:9-21; 29:1-9
God is currently gathering those who will become symbolic stones of the greater temple of Christ, which is to bless all mankind in God’s kingdom. Of these, the Apostle Peter says that they come to Jesus, “as living stones to the immensely valuable living stone (which men rejected but God chose), to be built up into a spiritual House of God.” (I Pet. 2:4,5, J. B. Phillips New Testament) The preparation of these stones will continue until all shall be properly fitted into the spiritual temple.
The blessing of all the families of the earth through that spiritual temple and its great head and cornerstone, Christ Jesus, will begin when all the “living stones” have been prepared and raised from the dead to “glory and honour and immortality.” (Rom. 2:7) Let us be encouraged in the knowledge that all the trials which come to us represent our chiseling and polishing as stones, to be fitted for a place in the temple of God’s everlasting kingdom.