1 Chronicles 14:2 - "And David knew that the Lord had established him as king over Israel, and that his kingdom was highly exalted for the sake of his people Israel" (ESV).
This past Sunday I was traveling out of town and was blessed to visit and worship with friends. I sat in on one of the adult classes which was doing a survey of 1 Chronicles, and they happened to be covering chapters 13-15, where David attempted to move the ark into Jerusalem, failed in his first attempt at the cost of Uzzah's life, and then succeeded in chapter 15 after he followed the divinely prescribed method of transportation.
In between those moments the chronicler tells us how David acknowledged God and at other times knew to seek him before making desicions (1 Chron. 14:10, 14). In that chapter our teacher drew our attention to verse 2, where David knew that his situation and role had all been orchestrated by God. I wanted to think a little bit more about that, as well as when we fail to it.
- There are times when we are tempted to take credit for what God has done!
In Daniel 4:28-30, even after God sent a warning via a dream and a prophet, Nebuchadnazzer pridefully evaluated his kingdom and asked, "Is not this great Babylon, which I have built by my mighty power as a royal residence and for the glory of my majesty?" God immediately changed his circumstances in order to humble him until he was willing to humbly acknowledge Him (Daniel 4:34-37).
Everyone encounters moments when something amazing has happened, or after great effort has been expended the outcome is positive, and others compliment or praise you. What David and Nebochadnezzar teach us is that we need to humbly redirect back to the source of every good gift (James 1:17), the One who gives us strength (2 Corinthians 12:9-10) the One in whose image we were created (Genesis 1:26-27).
- There are times when we mistakenly attribute God's providence and sovereignty to luck or chance.
There are some things in life that only become clear in hindsight. God's providential hand is one of those things. While we can be certain that God is working and that "for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose" (Romans 8:28), sometimes it's hard to maintain that conviction when we're in the thick of it. We can become uncertain of what is happening and who is in control when we're in the daily trenches of life. And if we don't hang on to that principle, when difficult times begin to improve we can forget that it is because of God.
For instance, Joseph's confidence in God's sovereignty and in His faithfulness to fulfill the prophetic dreams, gave him great hope and endurance during unfair trials that lasted for years (Genesis 37, 39. 40 & 41). With this perspective he looked back over the tumultuous course of his life, even the hurtful moments where people wronged him, and he gave God the credit for using those things in a redemptive way, "As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today" (Genesis 50:20).
- David knew that he was king because of God, and he acknowledged it.
Because of his ongoing relationship with God, David was highly aware that he had not left the sheep in the pasture to rule a kingdom of men by his own strength or merits. It was God who told him, "I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, that you should be prince over my people Israel" (2 Samuel 7:8).
Acknolwedging God provides multiple blessings:
It keeps you humble. If it were not for God's grace and mercy no one would have anything.
It reminds you of your stewardship! Whatever is in your charge is really God's, and you need to care for it as such.
It makes you dependent. If it is by God's grace, wisdom and strength that you are where you are, then you need to continue to reside within His grace and seek more of His wisdom and strength. Without them you will not succeede.
It magnifies God and His name! It helps others realize how incredible God is. God is God and worthy of all praise!
Sunday was an unexpected gift from God. Just when I personally needed to hear it, God in His sovereignty provided a reminder that I need to continue to acknowledge Him in everything that happens in my life, and humbly redirect everyone to Him as the giver of every good gift! Thank you to my friend for the wonderful class.