1 Chronicles 17: To Build or Not To Build…


(27 verses, 4:06 to read)

What I am about to READ

  • King David desires to build a house for the Lord.  Nathan agrees, but then is told by God to declare to David that it shall not be so.  David then prays a prayer of blessing and thanksgiving to the Lord.


  • See II Samuel chapter 7 for corresponding account of this chapter.
  • (vs. 1-3)–David desires to build a house for the Lord and approaches Nathan with his intent.  Nathan agrees and tells him to, “Do all that is in your heart, for God is with you.”
  • (vs. 4-15)–We hear the Lord’s reply to David’s request.
    • (vs. 4-6)–The Lord never once requested that a house be built for Him.  David’s predecessors did not sin in the eyes of God by not building Him a house.  In fact, they followed His command in setting up the Tabernacle.
    • (vs.7-8a)–The Lord has been with David and exalted him above all.  He is the One who has done all things for David and all things for Israel.
    • (vs. 8b-10)–The Lord will continue to bless David (and through him, Israel) by establishing a house for him.
    • (vs. 11-15)–Once David’s days are fulfilled, The Lord God will raise up one of His offspring in order to build and establish the House of the Lord.  And God will be a Father to Him and He will be a Son to God.
    • The House that the Lord establishes will last forever.  Nothing in all of creation will be able to tear it down.
  • (vs. 16-27)–David prays a prayer of thanksgiving.
    • David declares that he indeed is unworthy of all of the great and innumerable blessings that the Lord has bestowed upon him.  He has not deserved a single one of them.  For the sake of God’s grace and mercy alone has the Lord done these wonderful things.


  • It is a great misconception that we have that believes that we must turn worship into a time in which the primary focus is our works toward God.  The Lord requires nothing from us but a broken and contrite heart (a heart that He Himself breaks).  Worship is the time in which He continues to do His work to and for us; gives His gifts to us.  We are brought into worship in order to receive His undeserved forgiveness in the Word spoken, sprinkled, and served.
  • When God declares that it will be one of David’s offspring that builds a house for Him we should not immediately assume that He is speaking about Solomon.  While it is true that Solomon did in fact build the Temple, that Temple did not last forever.  It was destroyed by the Babylonians.  …  Instead we should hear this passage in this way:  The offspring of David that is to establish the House of the Lord is none other than Christ the Lord.
    • It is in the person of Jesus that, “the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.” (Col. 1:19)  And this all took place when the Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us.  (Jn.1:14)

Questions? Comments? Join the conversation in our facebook page here.

In Christ,
Rev. Eli Lietzau
Faith in Christ Lutheran Church, ABQ, NM


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