Alternate title: Even Prophets Need Time to Process
Who says there aren't principles for our lives that can be gleaned from Chronicles? I'm seeing myself right in its pages today, as well as some of my friends! :) Today's story is a tale of unsolicited advice and a tale of saving the best advice for last. King David was hanging out at his house one day and got to thinking: "Here I am, living in a palace of cedar, while the ark of the covenant of the LORD is under a tent." (1 Chr 17:1 NIV) That was a good observation, don't you think? After all, why should God be "living" in a place of less stature than an earthly king. I like how it showed a) David's deep thinking side and b) His respect, love and concern for God. However, was it a question? Nathan, the resident prophet, apparently thought so.
Upon hearing David's thought regarding God's housing provisions, Nathan spoke up and said to David:
"Whatever you have in mind, do it, for God is with you." (1 Chr 17:2 NIV)
David sure must have had a good testimony for a prophet to say that God was with him. Could the same be said of us? Oh, but I digress. There are more principles here than I thought! :) Back to the point I'm trying to make... I'm interested not in Nathan's first response but his second, after some time had passed and God had a chance to speak to Nathan. Had Nathan never spoke up a second time, I wonder if David would have wound up building the magnificent temple instead of Solomon. Our bibles might have read a bit different. In short, Nathan went back to David some time later to tell him what God had said - that David should not build a temple for Him, but his son Solomon would after David's death. This is quite different than Nathan's first response of basically telling David to do whatever he wished. Do you see the difference? God had the final and most definitive say.
So how does this apply to us? Can you ever think of a time when someone asked your advice about an important predicament in their life? Let me ask this. Did you give them an "off the cuff" response, or did you prayerfully consider your reply before voicing it? I've done both. While I can't recall the exact details of a specific situation - after all, it is getting to be my bedtime here - I would venture to guess that the times I slept on the issue and waited for God to give me some wisdom, that my advice turned out to be the best.
God tells us to ask for wisdom when we need it. He granted it abundantly to Solomon so many years ago (1 Kings 3:9-12) and He promises in His word that He will grant it to us.
James 1:5 If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding falut, and it will be given to him.
Wisdom will be given to us. God's word doesn't say it will be given to us if we catch God in a good mood, now does it? If we ask for it, God will give it. I just love God, don't you? He is so perfect and so consistent and so good. What would we do without Him in our lives?
So friends, don't be afraid to give advice or to ask for it. Just give God a chance to give you the answers before you come up with your own. I guarantee God's thoughts will be better. Let's give out His thoughts, not ours.