“But the word of the Lord came to me, saying, Thou hast shed blood abundantly . . . thou shalt not build an house unto my name . . . Behold, a son shall be born to thee, who shall be a man of rest . . .He shall build an house for my name” I Chronicles 22:8-10 When we come to I Chronicles 22, we have a condensed account of David’s attempt to build “an house for the LORD” (vs.6). Within the chapter we are made aware of David’s reasoning for building, his rejection for building, and his replacement for building. What would appear to be the wishes of the servant failed to merit the approval of the Sovereign! It is in cases like this that we acknowledge the principle of Sovereignty, but we are alarmed at the practice of Sovereignty. What appears to merit the applause of man; “And Nathan said to the king, Go, do all that is in thine heart” (II Samuel 7:3), fails to meet the approval of the Master; “thou shalt not build an house unto my name” (II Chronicles 22:8). How could the LORD possibly say no to such a noble cause?
(I) The Motivation for Rejection – “thou shalt not build an house unto my name”
The first thing that needs to be noted is the fact that God answers to no man and owes none of us an explanation as to why He does what He does! While that is true, God has given some insight into the reasoning of the LORD and why it was best for His house to be built by someone other than David. God said, “thou shalt not build an house unto my name, because thou hast shed much blood upon the earth in my sight” (vs.8). David had been instrumental in bringing about the death of many individuals as well as starting numerous wars. After his defeat of the Philistine, Goliath of Gath, the women of Israel began to chant; “Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands” (I Samuel 18:7). Even though the nation of Israel was in a state of rest at this time, its king was not perceived as a man of peace, but a man of war! There was nothing wrong with David’s will, but there was something wrong with David’s witness. While God could see David’s heart, the world was confined to looking at David’s habits! If the house of the LORD is to reflect the mercies of God and resonate with the message of God, the character of the builder must match the character of the building!
(II) The Mercy in Rejection – “a son shall be born to thee . . . He shall build an house”
While it is true that the LORD said no to the man, He did say yes to the mission! God in mercy would permit the desire of David’s heart to come to pass. While God could not bless David’s habits, He would respond to the desires of his heart; “Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass” Psalm 37:4-5). The “But” in verse 8, is followed by a “Behold” in verse 9. The word “Behold” is the expression of surprise meaning lo or see! David said, “Look what I want to do for you” and it was as if God said, “No, look what I am going to do for you!” It is possible to become so focused on personal rejection that we miss the blessing of providential rewards. God’s rejection of your good may be necessary so that you can be rewarded by His greatness.
(III) The Momentum of Rejection – “I will therefore now make preparation for it”
The tree of rejection produces the fruit of buffeting and the flower of blessing. You can choose to savor the fruit of bitterness or smell the fragrance of the blossoms; your choice will determine your momentum in the Christian life. The fruit will cause you to become stagnant and critical; the fragrant blossoms will propel and draw you upward. For David, the rejection did not generate defiance, but rather dedication! If you will take the time to read II Samuel 7:18-29, you will discover the momentum of praise; “Wherefore thou art great, O Lord God: for there is none like thee, neither is there any God beside thee, according to all that we have heard with our ears” (vs.22). You will discover the momentum of prayer; “therefore hath thy servant found in his heart to pray this prayer unto thee” (vs.27). In I Chronicles 22:14, you will discover the momentum of preparation; “Now, behold, in my trouble I have prepared for the house of the Lord.”If the ultimate goal is God’s glory, it is insignificant as to who builds the house of the LORD so long as it is built! If the goals and objectives of life revolve around self any form of rejection will find you dining on the fruit of bitterness. If your ultimate objective is that Christ be given the preeminence, you will delight yourself with the fragrant blossoms of providence knowing that your good is being overshadowed by His greatness!