Today I was reading about the time King David wanted to build a temple for the Lord. He was talking to the prophet Nathan about it saying that he had a house of cedar, but the ark was still in a tent. Nathan essentially told him, “Go for it, the Lord is with you.”
Unfortunately, the prophet forgot to check with the Lord before he gave David the go ahead on construction. That night, the Lord made sure Nathan knew His stance on the subject. Here’s what He said to him, which is written in 1 Chronicles 17:3-10a. (Scripture from Biblegateway.com)
3 That night the word of God came to Nathan, saying:
4 “Go and tell my servant David, ‘This is what the LORD says: You are not the one to build me a house to dwell in. 5 I have not dwelt in a house from the day I brought Israel up out of Egypt to this day. I have moved from one tent site to another, from one dwelling place to another. 6 Wherever I have moved with all the Israelites, did I ever say to any of their leaders [a] whom I commanded to shepherd my people, “Why have you not built me a house of cedar?” ‘
7 “Now then, tell my servant David, ‘This is what the LORD Almighty says: I took you from the pasture and from following the flock, to be ruler over my people Israel. 8 I have been with you wherever you have gone, and I have cut off all your enemies from before you. Now I will make your name like the names of the greatest men of the earth. 9 And I will provide a place for my people Israel and will plant them so that they can have a home of their own and no longer be disturbed. Wicked people will not oppress them anymore, as they did at the beginning 10 and have done ever since the time I appointed leaders over my people Israel. I will also subdue all your enemies.
What I noticed as I was reading the Lord’s answer were all the “I wills” and other “I” statements He said. Whenever there are a bunch of these, I find it really helpful to underline them and make a list of what the Lord is saying He will do. It’s a short and easy way to consolidate what the Lord is wanting us to learn about Him from the passage.
So, if you were to go through verses 7 and 8, you find Him telling David a few things He has done for him.
I took you…
I have been with you…
I have cut off…
I will make …
Then, after making this list, I go back and fill in the blanks. What did the Lord take him from? Where has He been with him? What has He cut? What will He make for him?
Slowing down and taking apart the text like this always opens my eyes to something new and maybe even shows a pattern I can apply to my life. What did the Lord pull me out of? Where has He been with me? I can pray these things back to Him and thank Him for all He has done and all He is going to do in my life.
If you have a little time this week, write out the “I” statements above and finish out the rest of the verses using this technique. You just might gain some new insights into the text and have something new to talk to the Lord about!
Let me know how it goes, I would love to hear what He shows you!