Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Three Lessons About Good Intentions

In I Chronicles 17: 1-27, David wants to build a permanent home for the ark of the covenant (read Time article). Since the exodus out of Egypt, the ark has been the embodiment of God's presence with Israel.
God's ideas

Now David has it in his heart to build a temple for the ark. This is a good and noble desire and even Nathan the prophet green lighted his idea.  

Later that night God came to Nathan and essentially said, "Bad idea. Tell David he's not the one to build the temple." Consider these three lessons from David's experiences:

  1. Logic is not enough: There are times when what seems right to us could be wrong to God. Just because it makes sense, or it seems logical, or noble, does not mean it's God's will. Even when other people validate our ideas, as Nathan did to David (I Chronicles 17: 2), the question still remains, what is God's will in the matter? It's important to seek insight from others but don't forget to seek the Lord.
  2. God knows all things: God knows the end from the beginning. God is sovereign; God is in absolute control and therefore knows the future in a way finite humans will never understand. The Lord determined that David's son, Solomon would be the one to build the temple (I Chronicles 17: 11-12). David could never have known this because knowledge of the future belongs to the Lord Isaiah 55:8-9). 
  3. Submission to God's will: When David found out that this idea was good, but that he would not be the one to implement the building plans, he humbled himself and submitted to the will and word of God (I Chronicles 17: 16). In the end, David praised God: there is none like you, O Lord, and there is no God besides you.
As you contemplate your important decisions and plans, do think clearly and logically, share your ideas with other wise and respected friends, but in the end, be prepared to seek God and allow God's Spirit to surprise you and redirect your plans. In the end, God's ways are always better than our plans. 

Read through the Bible in 2011
Psalm 16: 1-11
Genesis 17: 1-27
I Chronicles 17: 1-27
Luke 10: 25-42