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  • Chad Werkhoven

1 Chronicles 17:10-14 - Home Builder

God always fulfills His promises at the time set by Him.


1 Chronicles 17:10-14 (NIV)

CONTEXT: David is well settled into his role as the king of Israel, and he wants to build a grand temple for the LORD, to replace the portable tabernacle. The prophet Nathan brings God's Word back to David. It won't be David building a house for God, rather...

“ ‘I declare to you that the LORD will build a house for you: 11 When your days are over and you go to be with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, one of your own sons, and I will establish his kingdom. 12 He is the one who will build a house for me, and I will establish his throne forever. 13 I will be his father, and he will be my son. I will never take my love away from him, as I took it away from your predecessor. 14 I will set him over my house and my kingdom forever; his throne will be established forever.’ ”


Listen to passage & devotional:


Belgic Confession of Faith, Article 18: The Incarnation

So then we confess

that God fulfilled the promise

which he had made to the early fathers

by the mouth of his holy prophets

when he sent his only and eternal Son

into the world

at the time set by him.

The Son took the “form of a servant”

and was made in the “likeness of man,”

truly assuming a real human nature,

with all its weaknesses,

except for sin;

being conceived in the womb of the blessed virgin Mary

by the power of the Holy Spirit,

without male participation.

And he not only assumed human nature

as far as the body is concerned

but also a real human soul,

in order that he might be a real human being.

For since the soul had been lost as well as the body

he had to assume them both

to save them both together.

In this way he is truly our Immanuel—

that is: “God with us.”



The word house, both in the original Hebrew 1 Chronicles was written in, and in today's English, has multiple meanings. The most obvious definition is the structure we dwell in. But it can also refer to a church building, as it's used in the opening line of Psalm 122, "I rejoiced with those who said to me, 'Let us go to the house of the Lord.'" But as we read it here in 1 Chronicles, the word 'house' doesn't mean either of those things.

Rather, when Nathan tells David that the Lord will build a house for him, it means that the Lord will build David's kingdom into a dynasty. The Lord is promising to establish the throne of David forever, which is a remarkable promise on its own, but the Lord goes on to promise that this will not just be an earthly kingdom, but that this promised son will be set over the Lord's house and kingdom forever (just like the word house has multiple meanings, so does the word 'son.' The kings of Israel were called 'sons of God').

This coming son who would reign forever would stem from the house of David, and be his biological offspring (v11). But one doesn't need to read too much further in these Old Testament narratives to find out that the sons of David don't fare too well. Starting with Solomon and his penchant for foreign wives, the 'house of David' goes off the rails rather quickly within a few generations. It doesn't seem like the Lord's promises here would ever come true.

This is why the miracle that occurred a millennia later in Bethlehem, the City of David, is so significant. The son born to Mary, who was also a daughter of David, is the Son referred to by the prophet Nathan. He is the one whose kingdom has been established forever.

Dig Deeper

"A time set by Him." That line, used in our Confession to describe when God would send the promised Son to build the House of David, is both comforting and frustrating. Why did God wait so long after presenting His eternal house building plans to David to send His own Son as an infant lying in a manger? Israel had suffered through so much grief by this point (granted, most of it was self inflicted), and although the religious establishment in place at the time Jesus was born was aware of this promise God had made to David, very few were actively anticipating it.

So while it's certainly frustrating for us to have to wait for the times set by God, make sure to hang on to the comforting aspect of this phrase as well. God did make good on His promise, delivered by a prophet to the greatest earthly king Israel would ever know. Every word that Nathan spoke has already come true: the offspring of David has had His house established forever, and God will never take away His love for His Son.

Even still, you and I, who are citizens of this Kingdom, have not yet fully realized the benefits of it. We're still here in this broken and grief filled world, in which most people are not even aware, much less actively anticipating, the Son who has promised to return, just as His Father promised He would arrive. And He will do so at "a time set by Him."

Let this ancient fulfilled promise that you've read in 1 Chronicles fuel your faith as you eagerly anticipate God's House being completely established in both heaven and earth.

  • ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our Father, who fulfills His promises at a time set by Him;

  • ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray that you would remember you are a citizen of the Kingdom of God and eagerly anticipate the return of God's Son and your King;



Read the New Testament in a year! Today: Romans 10


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