1 Chronicles 17
by Pastor David Groendyk
This chapter is essentially a repeat of 2 Samuel 7, in which God makes his covenant with David, and David responds with a prayer of gratitude. This is easily the high point of David’s reign as king. There are many different promises included in this covenant in verses 1–15, including making a great name for David (v. 8), a place for Israel to dwell in permanently (v. 9), and God’s presence to protect them (v. 9), but the crux of the covenant is the promise of a permanent king who would rule the people forever (vv. 11–12). Notice how these promises directly parallel the promises that God made to Abraham when God called him in Genesis 12:1–3. God promised Abraham his presence to protect, a place for his family to live, a program to bless the nations, and an offspring after him. God is consistent in his plan to bless his people, and he is consistent with his method of blessing his people. The fulfillment of all these covenant promises finally comes to us through Jesus Christ.
Paul helpfully draws this out in the first verses of Romans 1: “…the gospel of God [was] promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures, concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations…” Everything in Scripture climaxes with Christ. He is the king who reigns on the throne forever, who wins for us God’s permanent presence in the form of his Spirit dwelling in us, and who secures our inheritance in the Promised Land of heaven. If God was faithful to keep his promises to Abraham and David after so many years of waiting, how much more can we trust that God will fulfill his promise to us of Christ returning again someday?
David’s prayer of response in verses 16–27 is also noteworthy. The note that sounds the loudest is the note of humility. He’s overwhelmed by God’s mercies and grace to him, and his response is to say, “Who am I…that you have brought me thus far?” (v. 16). David is deeply humbled, yet also filled with excitement and joy when he recognizes what God has done for him. Whenever we see God show us grace and mercy, as well, it ought to bring about a deep sense of awe and wonder. We ought to respond like David, knowing that there is no fathomable reason for God to deal with us so kindly. It’s purely out of God’s will and God’s initiative that we enjoy his blessing. This reality also fills David with courage to petition God to be faithful to his promises (vv. 23–25). The best way to pray is to search the Scriptures for God’s promises, and request those of God. Why? Because he has already said he’ll answer that prayer! Be courageous in asking God to fulfill his promises, and be reassured that he will be faithful for the sake of Christ’s victory on the cross and for the sake of his own great name.