For What It's Worth: When God Says No (1 Chronicles 17)
Note; For What It's Worth is the title of my devotional thoughts from biblical texts. It is helpful to read the text first, then this devotional thought. See 1 Chronicles 17.
What do you do when God says, "No"?
We cannot help but have a reaction. What is your reaction?
A loss of faith?
King David wanted to build God a temple. It only made sense. I mean, he lived in a palace made of cedar. Shouldn't God "live" in something at least as grand?
You ever notice what you want always makes sense to you? You have a desire to have this thing come to pass, this path cleared, this thing realized. Then you submit your plans to God expecting that cosmic seal of approval and you get a "No."
I'm sorry, God, DID you say, "No"?
While your disappointment, sadness or even anger make sense to you, it is helpful to know the rest of King David's story. Though God told him, "No," He gave David something better. This is where you and I often miss out. Being so blinded by our emotional letdown, you and I can fail to see that God's noes often lead to His yeses. Is that even good English? Feel free to look it up yourself.
After God told David, "No," He told him the BETTER plans that He had for the king. It involved David's past: where God had taken David. It involved his present: yes, that confusion he felt at God's answer. Even more importantly, it involved David's future; what God would do for him and for his offspring.
First, David's past: where had God taken David? The LORD stated He had taken David from tending sheep and made him ruler over God's people, Israel. When you face your disappointment at God's, "No," remember where God has taken you thus far. Don't despair, your life is filled with God's provision, direction and sustaining grace; you just need to open your eyes again to it.
Confusion at God's "No" is a place of significance for you. It reminds you that He is God and you are not. David acknowledges this in his response in v. 20.
There is no one like you, O LORD, and there is no God but you.
It is not my will be done but "Your will be done, O God." God's "No" is a place of humility. How refreshing and soul-refining is His "No" no matter how you or I may feel about it in the immediate.
In the context of God's "No," David's future was in full view. "Not that way, my child, this way instead." God promised a great name for David (v. 8).
One of the reasons we don't like God's "No" is that we want a name for ourselves. That search for significance runs the gamut from extreme pride and self-promotion to what I think God hard-wired in all of us which is a desire to make a difference. Even though God said "No" to David's chosen path of legacy, He showed David what his legacy would be and it was indeed better.
God's "No" is not Him saying that you are not good enough.
It is not God communicating that you have failed too often or in too spectacular a way for Him to use you.
His love has not been removed or has He forgotten you.
No, God's "No" is simply Him giving you HIS BEST for you.
Please take a moment and reflect upon this devotional and the text in context of your "No" from God. I hope that it will help you see where God has taken you thus far and how His "No" can release you to experience the joy of His even better "Yes" to come.
New International Version (NIV)
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