Gaebelein's Annotated Bible
Now it came to pass, as David sat in his house, that David said to Nathan the prophet, Lo, I dwell in an house of cedars, but the ark of the covenant of the LORD remaineth under curtains.7. The Covenant and the Promise
1. David’s plan to build a house (1Chronicles 17:1-6)
2. The covenant and the promise (1Chronicles 17:7-15)
3. David’s praise and prayer (1Chronicles 17:16-27)
After the ark had found its resting place in a tent the king became deeply concerned about the building of a house. He contrasted his own house of cedars with the humble dwelling place of the ark of the covenant. The desire to build a house for the Lord was expressed to Nathan, who told David, without having consulted the Lord, “Do all that is in thine heart, for God is with thee.” That night the message came to Nathan, “Go and tell David my servant, Thus saith the LORD, Thou shalt not build Me a house to dwell in, for I have not dwelt in a house since the day that I brought up Israel unto this day, but have gone from tent to tent, and from one tabernacle unto another. Wheresoever I have walked with all Israel, spake I a word to any of the judges of Israel, whom I commanded to feed My people, saying, Why have ye not built Me a house of cedars?” What condescension and what identification with His people these words reveal!
When Israel was a slave, God became his Redeemer; when he dwelt in tents, God abode in one also; when in conflict, God presented Himself as captain of Jehovah’s host; when settled in peace, God establishes Himself in the house of His glory. The interval was the probation of His people on earth. God abode in the tent, and even His ark is taken. He interposes in grace for deliverance.
“Christ also, since we were born of woman, is born of a woman; since His people were under the law, He is born under the law; now that He will have a heavenly people, He is on high for us; when He comes in glory, we shall come with Him, and reign when He reigns, but in these last we are with Him.” (Synopsis of the Bible).
As we have already considered the great Davidic covenant and its meaning (2 Sam. 7) as well as David’s worship and prayer, we refer the reader to the annotations of that chapter. Solomon, David’s son, is first in view, but he is only a type of Christ, David’s greater Son and David’s Lord as well. In Christ alone, this great covenant-promise is to be fulfilled. It is still all future, for the Son of David, rejected of His own, does not sit and rule upon the throne of His father David. He has gone to heaven, occupying the throne of God, sitting at His right hand up to the time when His enemies will be made His footstool. Then, when He appears the second time, the angelic announcement will come true, “and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David.”
And what words David spoke to Him, whose grace had made such promises! Humility, faith and confidence answered grace.