1 Kings 8:19: Nevertheless, you shall not build the house, but your son who shall be born to you shall build the house for my name.
I find this verse a vase of beautiful and fragrant flowers. The flowers are so beautiful and so fragrant that I want to share them with you by placing them on this post.
God is talking to David here. David wanted to build the Lord a house. God said, “No.” Instead, “your son who will be born to you will build my house.” Who is this son? Solomon. Who is Solomon? The second child of David and Bathsheba. The first child died at birth. Solomon, the second son, was allowed to live. It’s this son, born to a couple that had no business being married, whom God makes the architect of his house.
The Truth About the God We Belong To
So, the vase is God’s character. It has four flowers of glorious truths about him.
Flower One: We belong to a Big God who forgives Big Sins.
The fact that God allowed David and Bathsheba to have another son after the first died is God telling us he really does forgive. Remember how big David’s sin was. He was guilty of adultery and murder. Yet though his sins were scarlet, they became white as snow.
Are you reading this devotional burning with shame because of something you recently said or did? Something that makes you wince like you would if you were having a tooth extracted without Novocain? Well, confess that sin. God assures you that if you’ll confess he’ll forgive you (1 John 1:9).
Flower Two: We belong to a Big God who takes Big Delight in working in Big Messes.
What a mess David’s sin made. It brought a storm of death and disaster into his life (you can read about it in 2 Samuel 13-21). Yet through it all the Lord helped him, sustained him, and enabled him to handle his self-made mess. The Lord blessed his marriage to Bathsheba even though the marriage had no right to exist.
We sometimes find ourselves in these kinds of messes don’t we? You may be in one now. A spiritual crime’s been committed, you round up all the suspects, and there’s only one person in the lineup—you. Satan’s ready to throw the book at you and your own heart agrees.
If this is you, I gladly remind you that your Father loves working wonderfully in the messes we make. He’s the God “who can restore the years the locusts have eaten” (Joel 2:25). Humble yourself before him, ask him to forgive you for Jesus’ sake, and to bring good out of your failure—then watch him work. The God who worked in David’s big mess and Abraham’s big mess (Genesis 12-13) and Jonah’s big mess (Jonah chapters 1,2,3,4) and Peter’s big mess (Luke 22:31-34 and John 21:15-19) will work in yours, too.
Humble yourself before him, ask him to forgive you for Jesus’ sake, and to bring good out of your failure—then watch him work.
Flower Three: We belong to a Big God who keeps Big Promises.
This is the thrust of the entire section. Solomon says that his building the temple was God keeping his promise: God made “Now the Lord has fulfilled his promise which he made” (1 Kings 8:20).
Christian, you have a big promise from God. A promise so big we sometimes doubt it can be kept. That promise is Romans 8:28: God’s assurance that he works everything for our good.
Maybe you’re in something so tragic, so heartbreaking, so devastating that you don’t see how he can work this for your good. But he will. He’ll keep this promise. After all, it’s a small promise compared to his promise to save us. The only way he could keep that promise was by letting Jesus die on the cross. And he kept it. He kept it!!! And he’ll keep Romans 8:28.
So, if you’re wondering “how can God possibly work THIS for my good?” stand at the foot of the cross. The God who kept that promise will keep his promise and work what is troubling you now to your good.
So, if you’re wondering “how can God possibly work THIS for my good?” stand at the foot of the cross.
Flower Four: We belong to a Big God who enjoys working through imperfect people.
God doesn’t use perfect people; he uses people he’s perfecting. David wasn’t a perfect man. He failed God miserably. But God didn’t mothball David. He gave him this son Solomon and used Solomon to build his house.
What a tender Savior we have. He loves working through weak people. Don’t you see this in Jesus? Whom does he use? Fisherman. People who have failed him and disappointed him. So, do what the boy did with his loaves and fishes. Place yourself, all that you are—weak, fickle, sometimes foolish—in Jesus’ hands. Ask him to use you. He will.
One final thing: not one of these flowers will ever wilt or lose its fragrance.