1 Chronicles 17

The Lord's covenant with David

1 King David was living in his palace. One day, he said to Nathan the prophet, ‘Now I am living in a beautiful palace that is made of cedar wood. But the Lord's Covenant Box is still in a tent.’

2 Nathan replied to David, ‘Do what you think is right. God will help you.’

3 But that night God said to Nathan, 4 ‘Go and tell my servant David, “The Lord says this: You are not the right man to build a house for me to live in. 5 From the time that I brought the Israelites safely out of Egypt until now, I have never lived in a house. I have lived in a tent as my home as I travelled from place to place. 6 I have moved about to many different places with the Israelites. I chose leaders to take care of my people, like shepherds take care of their sheep. But I never said to any of them, ‘You should have built a beautiful house of cedar wood for me.’ ”

7 So tell my servant David that the Lord Almighty says this: “I took you from the fields where you were taking care of sheep. I took you from there to become the ruler of my people Israel. 8 I have been with you everywhere that you have gone. I destroyed all your enemies that were attacking you. Now I will make you famous. Your name will be as great as the names of the earth's greatest men. 9 I have chosen a place where my people Israel will live. I have put them in that place, were they can be safe. They will not be afraid of trouble from any enemy. Wicked people will not hurt them any more. That happened in the past, 10 from the time that I chose leaders to rule my people Israel. But now I will cause all your enemies to be weak.

I say to you, David: the Lord will give you descendants who will rule as kings after you. That will be the royal house that I build for you. 11 When you die, people will bury you in the grave of your ancestors. Then I will choose your descendant, one of your own sons, to become king. I will make his kingdom strong. 12 He is the man who will build a house for me. And I will cause his descendants to rule as kings for ever. 13 I will be his father and he will be my son. I will never remove my faithful love from him, as I took it away from the king who ruled before you. 14 I will cause him to rule my people and my kingdom for ever. Someone from his family will always be king.” ’

17:10David wanted to build a house for the Lord, but the Lord promised to build a ‘house’ for David. That meant that he would give David a family with many descendants who would rule as kings.

15 Nathan told David the whole message that the Lord had shown to him.

David thanks the Lord

16 Then King David went into the Lord's tent. He sat down and he prayed to the Lord. He said, ‘Lord, my God, I am not a special person and my family is not special. You have helped me very much and I do not deserve it. 17 And you have done more than that, my God. You have made a promise about the descendants of my family in the future. You, Lord God, have spoken to me as if I am a very important man. 18 I am your servant and you know me completely. You have given great honour to me. There is nothing more that I can say.

17:16This was the special tent where David had put the Lord's Covenant Box.

19 Lord, you have chosen to do all these great things for me, your servant. You are telling me what you have promised to do. 20 There is nobody like you, Lord. You alone are God. What we have heard about you is true! 21 There is no other nation on earth like your people, Israel. We are the nation that you rescued so that we would belong to you. You did that to show that your name is great. You did great miracles as you rescued your people from Egypt. You chased out the nations who wanted to stop them. 22 You chose Israel to be your own people for all time. You, Lord became our God.

23 Lord, please do the things that you have promised to do for me, your servant, and for my family. Continue to do for ever what you have promised to do, 24 so that people see your promises are true. Then people will always give honour to your great name. They will say, “The Lord Almighty is Israel's God.” And David's descendants will continue to serve you as kings.

25 My God, you have made this promise to me, your servant. You have said that I will always have descendants who will rule. That is the house that you will build for me. Because you have said that, I was not afraid to pray to you. 26 Lord, you are the true God! You have promised these good things to me, your servant. 27 Now please bless my family and my descendants. Then we will serve you faithfully for ever. Yes, Lord, you have blessed my descendants, and I know that you will continue to bless them for ever.’