The Message

1 Chronicles 17

David Submits and Prays

1After the king had made himself at home, he said to Nathan the prophet, “Look at this: Here I am comfortable in a luxurious palace of cedar and the Chest of the Covenant of God sits under a tent.”

Nathan told David, “Whatever is on your heart, go and do it; God is with you.”

3-6 But that night, the word of God came to Nathan, saying, “Go and tell my servant David, This is God’s word on the matter: You will not build me a ‘house’ to live in. Why, I haven’t lived in a ‘house’ from the time I brought up the children of Israel from Egypt till now; I’ve gone from one tent and makeshift shelter to another. In all my travels with all Israel, did I ever say to any of the leaders I commanded to shepherd Israel, ‘Why haven’t you built me a house of cedar?’

7-10 “So here is what you are to tell my servant David: The God-of-the-Angel-Armies has this word for you: I took you from the pasture, tagging after sheep, and made you prince over my people Israel. I was with you everywhere you went and mowed your enemies down before you; and now I’m about to make you famous, ranked with the great names on earth. I’m going to set aside a place for my people Israel and plant them there so they’ll have their own home and not be knocked around anymore; nor will evil nations afflict them as they always have, even during the days I set judges over my people Israel. And finally, I’m going to conquer all your enemies.

10-14 “And now I’m telling you this: God himself will build you a house! When your life is complete and you’re buried with your ancestors, then I’ll raise up your child to succeed you, a child from your own body, and I’ll firmly establish his rule. He will build a house to honor me, and I will guarantee his kingdom’s rule forever. I’ll be a father to him, and he’ll be a son to me. I will never remove my gracious love from him as I did from the one who preceded you. I will set him over my house and my kingdom forever; his throne will always be there, rock solid.”

15 Nathan gave David a complete and accurate report of everything he heard and saw in the vision.

16-27 King David went in, took his place before God, and prayed:

Who am I, my Master God, and what is my family, that you have brought me to this place in life? But that’s nothing compared to what’s coming, for you’ve also spoken of my family far into the future, given me a glimpse into tomorrow and looked on me, Master God, as a Somebody. What’s left for David to say to this—to your honoring your servant, even though you know me, just as I am? O God, out of the goodness of your heart, you’ve taken your servant to do this great thing and put your great work on display. There’s none like you, God, no God but you, nothing to compare with what we’ve heard with our own ears. And who is like your people, like Israel, a nation unique on earth, whom God set out to redeem as his own people (and became most famous for it), performing great and fearsome acts, throwing out nations and their gods left and right as you saved your people from Egypt? You established for yourself a people—your very own Israel!—your people forever. And you, God, became their God.

So now, great God, this word that you have spoken to me and my family, guarantee it forever! Do exactly what you’ve promised! Then your reputation will be confirmed and flourish always as people exclaim, “The God-of-the-Angel-Armies, the God over Israel, is Israel’s God!” And the house of your servant David will remain rock solid under your watchful presence. You, my God, have told me plainly, “I will build you a house.” That’s how I was able to find the courage to pray this prayer to you. God, being the God you are, you have spoken all these wonderful words to me. As if that weren’t enough, you’ve blessed my family so that it will continue in your presence always. Because you have blessed it, God, it’s really blessed—blessed for good!

New International Reader's Version

1 Chronicles 17

God Makes a Promise to David

1David moved into his palace. Then he spoke to Nathan the prophet. He said, “Here I am, living in a house that has beautiful cedar walls. But the ark of the covenant of the Lord is under a tent.”

Nathan replied to David, “Do what you want to. God is with you.”

But that night a message came to Nathan from God. He said,

“Go and speak to my servant David. Tell him, ‘The Lord says, “You are not the one who will build me a house to live in. I have not lived in a house from the day I brought Israel up out of Egypt until now. I have moved my tent from one place to another. I have moved my home from one place to another. I have moved from place to place with all the Israelites. I commanded their leaders to be shepherds over my people. I never asked any of those leaders, ‘Why haven’t you built me a house that has beautiful cedar walls?’ ” ’

“So tell my servant David, ‘The Lord who rules over all says, “I took you away from the grasslands. That is where you were taking care of your father’s sheep and goats. I appointed you ruler over my people Israel. I have been with you everywhere you have gone. I destroyed all your enemies when you were attacking them. Now I will make you famous. Your name will be just as respected as the names of the most important people on earth. I will provide a place where my people Israel can live. I will plant them in the land. Then they will have a home of their own. They will not be bothered anymore. Sinful people will no longer crush them, as they did at first. 10 That is what your enemies have done ever since I appointed leaders over my people Israel. But I will bring all your enemies under your control.

“ ‘ “I tell you that I, the Lord, will build a royal house for your family. 11 Some day your life will come to an end. You will join the members of your family who have already died. Then I will give you one of your own sons to become the next king after you. I will make his kingdom secure. 12 He is the one who will build me a house. I will set up his throne. It will last forever. 13 I will be his father. And he will be my son. I took my love away from the man who ruled before you. But I will never take my love away from your son. 14 I will place him over my house and my kingdom forever. His throne will last forever.” ’ ”

15 Nathan reported to David all the words that the Lord had spoken to him.

David’s Prayer

16 Then King David went into the holy tent. He sat down in front of the Lord. He said,

Lord God, who am I? My family isn’t important. So why have you brought me this far? 17 I would have thought that you had already done more than enough for me. But now, my God, you have spoken about my royal house. You have said what will happen to it in days to come. Lord God, you have treated me as if I were the most honored man of all.

18 “What more can I say to you for honoring me? You know all about me. 19 Lord, you have done a wonderful thing. You have given me many great promises. All of them are for my good. They are exactly what you wanted to give me.

20 Lord, there isn’t anyone like you. There isn’t any God but you. We have heard about it with our own ears. 21 Who is like your people Israel? God, we are the one nation on earth you have saved. You have set us free for yourself. Your name has become famous. You have done great and wonderful things. You have driven out nations to make room for your people. You saved us when you set us free from Egypt. 22 You made Israel your very own people forever. Lord, you have become our God.

23 “And now, Lord, let the promise you have made to me and my royal house stand forever. Do exactly as you promised. 24 When your promise comes true, your name will be honored forever. People will say, ‘The Lord rules over all. He is the God over Israel. He is Israel’s God!’ My royal house will be made secure in your sight.

25 “My God, you have shown me that you will build me a royal house. So I can pray to you boldly. 26 You, Lord, are God! You have promised many good things to me. 27 You have been pleased to bless my royal house. Now it will continue forever in your sight. Lord, you have blessed it. And it will be blessed forever.”