Tag Archives: God’s Will

God’s People, part 55: King’s Will

Read 1 Chronicles 28


“Then David died and was buried with his ancestors in the City of David.” (‭1 Kings‬ ‭2:10‬ ‭NLT‬‬)‬‬‬

When we think of God’s people, we tend to think one of two things. We might think of the Israelites who were God’s “chosen people”, or we might think of specific characters in the Bible. Either way, we tend to idealize the people we are thinking about. For instance, we may think that God’s people are super faithful, holy, perform miracles and live wholly devout and righteous lives. Unfortunately, this idealism enables us to distance ourselves from being God’s people, because we feel that we fall short of those ideals. As such, I have decided to write a devotion series on specific characters in the Bible in order to show you how much these Biblical people are truly like us, and how much we are truly called to be God’s people.

  Part 55: King’s Will. God, through the prophet Nathan had specifically told David that he was not the one to build a Temple for God to “live” in. First, God questioned David’s motives and thinking by asking, “Did I, who brought Israel up out of slavery in Egypt, ever ask for such home? Do I require a temple of cedar, or a home to be boxed into? No, you will not build me such a home; rather, I will build a home, a dynasty, for you! I will raise up your seed following you and will establish his throne forever” (2 Samuel 7:11-13, paraphrased).

What’s more, in 1 Chronicles 28:3, the author has David reveal that God said he had too much blood on his hands and was not fit for building God’s Temple. What is important to note here is that both of these texts (2 Samuel and 1 Chronicles) were written after the time of David and Solomon and so these texts are recording the history of these two EPIC characters as remembered by the people of a time long after David and Solomon had passed.

Thus, it is fair to ask this question. Was the “seed” that God spoke of referring to Solomon, or someone else. Was Solomon the one to whom God gave the honor to build the Temple? Was Solomon the one who’s rule would last forever? Or, was seed referring to one of David’s descendants…down the line…someone, shall we say, such as Jesus of Nazareth, the Messiah, the son of God? That certainly could easily be read into this text, coming from a Christian perspective, as Jesus was of the line of David.

The word “seed” can mean both immediate offspring, or it can mean descendant and different English translations come down differently in translating that word. On top of that, we know that Solomon’s rule did not last forever and, following Solomon’s death, the Kingdom of Israel divided and broke up, with the Kingdom of Israel in the North and the Kingdom of Judah in the South. These two Kingdoms would war against each other throughout the rest of the Hebrew Scriptures and the animosity they had toward each other lasted right up until the Assyrian Infiltration of the Northern Kingdom and the Babylonian exile of Judah. Even beyond that, the animosity still existed in Jesus’ day (e.g. the Samaritans).

So, it is debatable as to whether or not God ever intended David, or Solomon, to build God’s temple. In fact, it is debatable as to whether God, who is imageless and demands that no images (and houses are an “image” of sorts) be built for worship, ever wanted a temple built in the first place. Perhaps, the temple God that God says David’s seed will build is the same temple that Jesus refers to in various places…the temple of the human heart, where God most wishes to have a home.

Yet, King David ends up asserting his own will over and above God’s. In 1 Chronicles 28, David instructed his son Solomon on how to construct the Temple. In other words, even if David was not be the one to see the building to completion, he still had his imprint on how it was to look. God said, “No” to David’s request to build a Temple, but David found a loophole and ensured his will, NOT God’s, was carried out. While the Temple is a debatable disobedience of God, there are other sins David committed (e.g. taking a census of God’s people in 2 Samuel 24) that are explicitly shown to be sinful.

We, like David, are prone to put our will above God’s. We pray, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done”, but often are actions are reflecting the opposite of that prayer, “My kingdom come, my will be done.” The question for us is this, will we go on making idols of ourselves? Will we carry on in our sinful self-worship, or will we finally open our hearts as holy Temples for the living God? The choice is ours.


“You are believing not in your god but in yourself if your god knows no better than you do…and yet, in this alone, I am afraid, you have already been fooling yourself.” – Criss Jami


Lord, you are God. I am not. Remind me that to worship you I must submit to your will for my life and trust that your ways are better than my own. Amen.

The Sermon, part 17: The Model

Read Matthew 6:9-13

Yours, O LORD, is the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory, and the majesty. Everything in the heavens and on earth is Yours, O LORD, and this is Your kingdom. We adore You as the One who is over all things. (1 Chronicles 29:11, NLT)

jesusprayerThe Lord’s Prayer is considered to be the greatest Christian prayer in the history of Christianity; however, I would be amiss to leave out the fact that The Lord’s Prayer is, at its core, a wholly Jewish prayer. For instance, it was the custom in first century Jewish prayer to address God as “Our Father”. What’s more, there is nothing in this prayer that would go against the religious convictions of the Jewish people. All Jews are in line with praising God, praying for God’s will to be done, praying for God’s Kingdom to come, praying for daily bread, forgiveness, and the deliverance from the evil one.

There are a few things we can pull from this prayer that will benefit us as Christians. Jesus lays this prayer out as a model for his disciples to shape their prayer life around. First, this prayer only goes to show that Jesus’ spiel on public prayer was meant more as a rhetorical device than to be taken literally. The very usage of plural pronouns and determiners such as “we”, “us”, and “our”, suggests that this is a communal prayer that Jesus is modeling for his disciples. It is a prayer that is meant to be prayed corporately and in public.

Second, it is a prayer that is patterned in a way that put God at the center of it, but is not devoid of concern for the people praying. The prayer starts off with a praising of God. To quote the King James Version, “Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.” This praising of God not only honors God as holy, but also clearly states who God is in relation to Jesus. For the word Father, Jesus does not use the Hebrew word for father, but rather uses the Aramaic word of “Abba”, which is a both a child’s term of endearment toward their papa or their dada, as well as it is an adults child’s formal way of addressing his/her father.

Thus, the  use of the word “Abba” denotes an intimate relationship between God (the Father), and Jesus the son. On top of that, the prayer implicates that God is not only Jesus’ father, but “our Father” as well. We are all God’s children, and those who believe in and follow Jesus acknowledge that they are included in that intimate father/child relationship. What’s more, it is implied that Jesus is not only our LORD (of which he certainly is), but also our brother.

The first half of the prayer deals with God and God’s will for this world. The people praying this prayer are, then, aligning themselves with God’s will, which is to bring heaven to earth and establish God’s Kingdom here. The second half of the prayer deals with us, and the way in which God’s Kingdom will be realized. “Daily bread” is a reference to “manna” which was provided to the Israelites during the Exodus. It is a reminder that in order to share in God’s future blessings when God’s Kingdom comes, we must trust that God provides for us in the here and now.

The prayer reinforces that to receive God’s forgiveness in the Kingdom to come, we are to be a people who forgive. This forgiveness, by the way, does not just refer to the forgiveness of sins, or forgiveness on a spiritual level. Jesus very intentionally utilizes “debt forgiveness” as a way of showing the expansiveness of God’s forgiveness. A debt can be rightly seen as metaphorical for sins, but it also points the Christian to God’s future Kingdom, where poverty, oppression, and social-economic injustice cease to be. This prayer is designed to realign the hearts of the people praying it with the heart of God. Forgive us what we owe you God (and let’s face it, we owe God EVERYTHING), just as we forgive others what they owe us. That includes sins, money, favors, allegiance, and anything that could be considered a debt.

The prayer then also acknowledges that EVIL exists, and that we are often tempted to join in with evil rather than resist it. Let’s face it, it’s much easier to maintain the status quo than to risk our livelihoods, our jobs, our families, and our lives to stand up for what is right; yet, in God’s kingdom the status quo will be overturned and replaced with God’s righteousness and justice. While the closing words of the prayer were not originally in Jesus’ prayer, they are biblical (1 Chronicles 29:11) and appropriately remind us that we are to LIVE FOR GOD and that GOD does not LIVE FOR US. It appropriately reminds us that we are to be converted to God’s will, and give up on trying to bend God to our will. In essence, it concludes where the prayer started off. In other words, our prayer life should center on God and God’s will for us. Our prayer life should also translate into how we live our lives and serve our God. This is the model Christ gave to us, and we are challenged and charged to follow it.

“Humble prayer to our Heavenly Father, in deep faith in Jesus Christ, is essential to qualify us for the companionship of the Holy Ghost.” – Henry B. Eyring

Silently, pray “The Lord’s Prayer” as often as you feel called to pray it.