1 Chronicles 17:16-27 (Part 1) – Your Past Is Never Too Big to be Covered by God’s Grace!

Posted: May 4, 2020 in 13-1 Chronicles

1 Chronicles 17:16-27

David’s Prayer of Thanks

God’s grace is huge! It’s really big! That’s the idea for today, based on what I read in today’s passage. He is a redeemer. Just look at David. He sees the wonder of God’s grace as he expresses himself in this passage.

David, the forgotten son, left to shepherding the sheep, while Samuel met with Jesse’s family to see if the anointed of God was among them. He was the low man on the family totem pole. He was considered so unimportant that he wasn’t even called to the family meeting. It’s almost like he wasn’t considered a full-fledged member of Jesse’s family. Some scholars conjecture that he was considered a second-class citizen in his own family because of the fact that David’s mom was not the same as the other brothers. David’s mother was most likely the second wife of Jesse, the first wife being the mother of David’s half-brothers. Jesse’s first wife’s standing before the `righteousness of the law’, (her not having been married to, or the concubine of, a heathen king, as was David’s mother), would have been superior to that of David’s mother, and explains why David’s half-brothers, Jesse’s other sons, would have felt they were superior to David, and why he would be accused of being prideful, for thinking he was as good as them. David’s mother was apparently a Jewish woman, because `no Ammonite shall enter the congregation of the Lord to the 10th generation’ (Deuteronomy 23:3), and yet in Psalm 86:16 and Psalm 116:16, David refers to himself as “the son of thy handmaid”, which would seem to testify to his mother’s relationship with the Lord. David’s mother was, in the eyes of Jewish law, considered `defiled’ by her previous relationship to an Ammonite.

Growing up, then, David was most likely constantly humbled because of who he was and from whom he came and all of that, there was nothing he could do about it. It surely made him feel “less than” for much of his formative years. However, God saw David’s heart and knew that he would be considered the greatest king Israel had ever known. Though he was born in a lowly station in life, he was still found by God to be worthy and useful in the Lord’s kingdom because of David’s love and devotion to the Lord.

It reminds me of my own salvation story. Although I don’t have some horror story of my life before salvation but it was bad enough for me. In my life before salvation and even for some years after, I struggled with finding my identity, my value, my worth. Growing up as a preacher’s kid and not living anywhere long enough growing up to feel like I had roots anywhere, I was a chameleon. I just wanted validation of my worth through other people liking me. As a teenager and as a grown man, that validation became more focused by defining my value by whether I was in a relationship with a woman or not. If I was in a relationship, I defined my value by whether or not the woman in my life approved of me or not. I had no sense of my own value. I let others define who I was. I thought the world would implode if I was on my own and alone. For then, I would have no value at all – in my mind. All of this led to two failed marriages, broken relationships, stupid decisions, and, ultimately being alone. It was not until some years after my salvation and after my second marriage ended and when I had several years alone that I really, with God’s help, began realizing that I had value in and of myself – not by what others defined.

I can identify with David here in this passage. He’s saying to the Lord. You know where I’ve come from. You know who I am. But, yet, Lord, you have chosen me to be the Davidic king (from which the Messiah will come). I can say to the Lord as I stand here now 2+ years into full-time pastoral ministry and stand amazed at what God has done. That’s the thing I thought of this morning as I read this passage, 1 Chronicles 17:16-27, this morning. Let’s read it together now:

16 Then King David went in and sat before the Lord, and he said:

“Who am I, Lord God, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far? 17 And as if this were not enough in your sight, my God, you have spoken about the future of the house of your servant. You, Lord God, have looked on me as though I were the most exalted of men.

18 “What more can David say to you for honoring your servant? For you know your servant, 19 Lord. For the sake of your servant and according to your will, you have done this great thing and made known all these great promises.

20 “There is no one like you, Lord, and there is no God but you, as we have heard with our own ears. 21 And who is like your people Israel—the one nation on earth whose God went out to redeem a people for himself, and to make a name for yourself, and to perform great and awesome wonders by driving out nations from before your people, whom you redeemed from Egypt? 22 You made your people Israel your very own forever, and you, Lord, have become their God.

23 “And now, Lord, let the promise you have made concerning your servant and his house be established forever. Do as you promised, 24 so that it will be established and that your name will be great forever. Then people will say, ‘The Lord Almighty, the God over Israel, is Israel’s God!’ And the house of your servant David will be established before you.

25 “You, my God, have revealed to your servant that you will build a house for him. So your servant has found courage to pray to you. 26 You, Lord, are God! You have promised these good things to your servant. 27 Now you have been pleased to bless the house of your servant, that it may continue forever in your sight; for you, Lord, have blessed it, and it will be blessed forever.”

In this passage, we see that David’s reference to Israel’s exodus from Egypt would not have gone unnoticed by the original readers of 1 Chronicles, who were either just beginning or had just completed a second great exodus back to Israel from captivity/exile in Babylon. Remembering God’s promises, mercy and protection during the first Exodus would have encouraged the exiles returning to Israel, just as God had promised. Further, this whole passage is reminiscent of our personal journeys of deliverance from valleys of our exile in bondage to our sins and their consequences.

Getting back to the idea of how this all applies to my life (and maybe yours too) is that idea that God can make any one of us useful to His kingdom, no matter the background, no matter the mistakes, no matter what you’ve done or others have done to you. You are so valuable to God that He can redeem you and make you useful to His kingdom. All we must do is believe that God loved us so much that He sent His son to pay the price for all our mess of sins and mistakes so that we don’t have to. All we have to do is love the Lord so much for doing that for us that we give our lives over to his Lordship.

If He can take a mistake-filled, sins galore-filled life, and a defining-yourself-by-sinful-things life like mine and redeem it and turn me into a guy that is so thankful for His redemption that it has ultimately led me into full-time pastoral ministry, then…well…I think He can do it for you too. He did it for David. He did for me. He will do it for you. Just come to the altar as the old song by Elevation Worship states:

Leave behind your regrets and mistakes

Come today there’s no reason to wait

Jesus is calling

Bring your sorrows and trade them for joy

From the ashes a new life is born

Jesus is calling

O come to the altar

The Father’s arms are open wide

Forgiveness was bought with

The precious blood of Jesus Christ

There is nothing that you have done in your past that is too big for the grace and forgiveness offered by God through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Come to the altar. The Father’s arms are open wide!

Amen and Amen.

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