We live in one of the most blessed and prosperous nations in the world. We have every kind of entertainment, all kinds of “toys,” and yet, instead of finding satisfaction, we often find ourselves asking, “Is this all there is?”
1 Chronicles 17 & 18
1 Chronicles 17 & 18:
His hand holds the future
The chronicler continues to recount the story of David’s reign. In today’s reading he emphasizes God’s promise to David that his son would sit on the throne after him. It has a near application in Solomon and a messianic application, as well.
Notice David’s response to all of this in chapter 17:
16 Then King David went in and sat before the LORD; and he said. “Who am I, O LORD God? And what is my house, that You have brought me this far? 17 And yet this was a small thing in Your sight, O God; and You have also spoken of Your servant’s house for a great while to come, and have regarded me according to the rank of a man of high degree, O LORD God. 18 What more can David say to You for the honor of Your servant? For You know Your servant. 19 O LORD, for Your servant’s sake, and according to Your own heart, You have done all this greatness, in making known all these great things.
David understood that none of this was because of something great in him but because of the heart of God for His people. I don’t know if David fully understood all that the prophecy meant in its future application, but he was humbled by what he did understand.
Looking back, we understand that God desired to send a Savior, His Son Jesus Christ, as a sacrifice for all who would believe. He sovereignly chose David and his lineage and He would continue to sovereignly protect the messianic line and bring it to pass. God doesn’t just predict the future. The future is completely in His hands.
Finding satisfaction & contentment in Him
In this portion of the psalm, the psalmist talks of the people’s dissatisfaction with God’s provision. It’s easy to point our fingers and shake our heads when we read passages like this, but how like us they were!
Proverbs 27.20 says, “Hell and Destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied.”
We are living in one of the most blessed and prosperous nations in the world. Even those of us living relatively modest lives are abundantly blessed compared to many other nations, and yet, it is so easy to look around and want more, to look around a say “why does God seem to be blessing her so much more.” Or “if only I had such & such” life would be so much better.
We have every kind of entertainment, all kinds of “toys,” and yet, we are easily bored. “Is this all there is?” has been the theme of numerous books, movies and songs.
Psalm 90.14 in the American Standard Version says:
“Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.”
We need to pray regularly that our hearts will be satisfied in God, the only true source of satisfaction, and not look to the world for it!
Taking criticism to heart
Criticism can be harsh and hurtful. Even when it’s well-intended, it can be hard to take. Yet, how we react when criticized says a lot about our trust in God and our ability to grow and learn.
Verse 25b, “Rebuke one who has understanding, and he will discern knowledge.”
This verse reminds us that a wise person takes criticism to heart and gets wiser still. A fool, on the other hand, refuses to learn from it.
Even when criticism is mean-spirited or undeserved, we should receive it humbly, take it to the Lord, and ask Him if there is even a nugget of truth in it. And if God allows criticism to come our way, we can trust Him to use it for good in our lives.
An example of Romans 8.28
In this and the previous chapter we’ve been introduced to Saul, soon to become Paul, the great Apostle. In verse one we read that he consented to Stephen’s death. He was not just an innocent bystander.
He not only consented to the stoning of Stephen, but verse 3 says:
“As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering every house, and dragging off men and women, committing them to prison.”
He was so bad that after his conversion many had to be convinced that it was genuine before they would trust him.
Thank God for his mercy, in the first century with Saul, and subsequently with each of us!
But even while the church was under this intense persecution, we can see the truth of Romans 8.28 in action.
Verse 4, “Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word.”
Satan tried to destroy the church by using the misguided zeal of men like Saul, but it only served to spread the Gospel further. God truly “causes all things to work together for good to those who love Him …” (Rom. 8.28).
What about you? Questions to ponder or journal:
How do you respond to criticism? Do you take it to heart? Do you ask the Lord to show you if there is even a nugget of truth in it? Even unfair criticism can be taken to the Lord in prayer and can help us remain humble and grow in self-control and trust in Him.
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