ACKNOWLEDGE & APPRECIATE the ‘AMAZING GRACE’ of GOD
April 27 Bible Reading: 1 Chronicles Chapters 16-18
Then King David went in and sat before the Lord; and he said: "Who am I, O Lord God? And what is my house, that You have brought me this far? And yet this was a small thing in Your sight, O God; and You have also spoken of Your servant's house for a great while to come, and have regarded me according to the rank of a man of high degree, O Lord God. What more can David say to You for the honor of Your servant? For You know Your servant. O Lord, for Your servant's sake, and according to Your own heart, You have done all this greatness, in making known all these great things. O Lord, there is none like You, nor is there any God besides You, according to all that we have heard with our ears." (1 Chron. 17:16-20)
King David was regarded as a man after God’s heart (1 Sam. 13:14; Acts 13:22), and he was now genuinely concerned that he was living in a house made of cedar wood, while the ark of God was still housed in a tent (1 Chron. 17:1). However, God spoke to Nathan the prophet, and made it clear that He did not want David to build a temple for Him (17:4) but that it was his son who would be instrumental in building a structure to house the ark of God (17:11-12). Moreover, God promised that He will establish his son’s throne forever (17:12-14). This promise was fulfilled literally through his son Solomon, and eschatologically through Jesus Christ, who was born in Bethlehem as the “Son of David” (Matt. 1:1; 15:22; 20:30).
When King David heard these things, he went in before the ark of God in the newly established worship center in Jerusalem and literally “sat before the Lord” (17:16). Instead of being angry and upset at God for not allowing him to build the temple, David’s reaction was one of humility and thanksgiving. His response to God reveals two of David’s outstanding traits: humility and trust in the Lord. Through this response, David shows himself to be a man of spiritual sensitivity, who was always ready to go to God in prayer, thanksgiving, and praise. David’s response to the news that he was not to build the temple is an excellent illustration of how we should handle disappointments in our lives as well!
Overwhelmed by this revelation from Nathan, David could only marvel at the grace of God upon his life (17:16–19). In response to God’s favor upon him, David could only affirm that Jehovah God was indeed the source of every blessing in his life. David asked what made him the object of God’s grace as he did not have any credentials to deserve God’s amazing promises of an eternal kingdom. David’s prayer was permeated with humility as he questioned: "Who am I, O Lord God? And what is my house, that You have brought me this far? (17:16). Ten times in this chapter David calls himself a “servant” of God, and his sincere expression of humility sets a wonderful example for us today!
It is a known fact that these words of David’s reaction (17:16-17) inspired a former slave-trader (and later preacher of the gospel) John Newton to write his famous spiritual song, “Amazing Grace”. Like David he was overwhelmed by his own unworthiness and smallness exalted by God’s truly amazing grace. In the similar manner, whether we look at our past, present or, towards our future, we can only visualize the amazing grace and goodness of God!
When everything is going well with our lives, it is easy to feel proud of our accomplishments. We get tempted to think that we are good, and it is by our own abilities that we have achieved the successes in our lives. But let us never forget that it is the hand of God behind everything that is good in our lives (James 1:17). Today, let us be careful to acknowledge and appreciate the amazing grace of God as we remember that it is only by His grace that we have been saved from God’s judgment, and it is only by His grace that we are still alive on this earth and are enjoying every blessing that only He can provide us.