Monday, September 19, 2016

When God Says No

(by Pastor Joe)
The Word for today: 1 Chronicles 28
mark this: 1 Chronicle 28:3 --
But God said to me, `You are not to build a house for my Name, because you are a warrior and have shed blood.'
(For further study, read the parallel passage in 2 Samuel 7)
What a minute?
I thought this was a no-brainer.
Here's David's resume so far:
- Anointed by Samuel (1)
- Defeated Goliath (2)
- Refuses to kill Saul (3)
- Becomes King of Judah (4)
- Ends civil war & becomes King of all Israel (5)
- Conquers Jerusalem (6)
- Establishes peace in Israel (7)
Okay- so the logical next step in this sequence is for David to build a resting place for the Ark, a place more permanent for the worship of the LORD.
David finally has the political stability, the financial resources, the right location, the popular support, and most importantly, the heart to do this.
Even the prophet Nathan agrees- saying "Whatever you have in mind, go ahead and do it, for the LORD is with you." (8)
But wait just a minute- this is NOT what God has in mind, and He makes that clear to David through Nathan. Even though David demonstrates sound reasoning, great motives, and amazing commitment- even though this idea seems to be perfect, God gives it a red light.
The explanation is there, but its brief. There is no room for interpretation, just a flat out no.
Has that ever happened to you?
You had a brilliant idea for your life, your family, your ministry, or your church.
You had all your ducks lined up.
You were 100% committed.
It seemed so perfect that it had to work.
But then, for little or no apparent reason, God simply closes the door.
That is a hard pill to swallow. In fact, very often it can lead to more disappointment with God than even suffering or tragedy would. I think that anyone who has walked with God for any length of time has experienced that sense of disillusionment- the question then becomes, what am I going to do about it?
David certainly knew God's favor, but he also had more than his share of suffering, delay, and disappointment. I am sure that David was a bit stung by God's words here. But look at his attitude. There is no bitterness, no threats to cut off funding, no "If that's the way you want it, you can take this temple and shove it...." Instead, we see David do everything he can to make sure his son Solomon succeeds in the building of the Temple. He commissions, provides resources, opens up his personal treasury, contributes the blue-prints and challenges & encourages Solomon to "be strong & courageous." (9)
My oh my, do we have a lot to learn from David. Do I have a lot to learn as well. The choice is- do I seek to become a petty dictator of my own little corner of the world, or do I listen instead to God and trust Him enough to tell me "No" even when I don't understand?
(1) 1 Sam 16:13
(2) 1 Sa. 17:49
(3) 1 Sa. 24:10
(4) 2 Sa. 2:4
(5) 2 Sa. 5:3
(6) 2 Sa 5:7
(7) 2 Sa 7:1
(8) 2 Sa. 7:3
(9) 1 Chr. 28:20

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