“Yet, the Lord, the God of Israel, chose me from all the house of my father to be king over Israel forever. For He has chosen Judah to be a leader; and in the house of Judah, my father’s house, and among the sons of my father He took pleasure in me to make me king over all Israel,” (28:4).
The emphasis in the first half of this chapter seemed to be placed on God’s Sovereign Choosing; for five times, in verses 4 through 10, a form of chosen is used.
“Yet, the Lord, the God of Israel, chose me from all the house of my father to be king over Israel forever. For He has chosen Judah to be a leader; and in the house of Judah, my father’s house, and among the sons of my father He took pleasure in me to make me king over all Israel. 5 Of all my sons (for the Lord has given me many sons), He has chosen my son Solomon to sit on the throne of the kingdom of the Lord over Israel. 6 He said to me, ‘Your son Solomon is the one who shall build My house and My courts; for I have chosen him to be a son to Me, and I will be a father to him…10 Consider now, for the Lord has chosen you to build a house for the sanctuary; be courageous and act.” (28:4-6, 10 emphasis added).
So of course, I was drawn to this repeated fact of His Choice, His Sovereign Choice. Because when God repeats Himself, there is no doubt it holds significant weight, perhaps even five times over.
But I also couldn’t get away from this thought of God taking Pleasure in David. Was that the reason He Chose David from all the rest of his brothers? Did David make God happy, so God made him king? “… and among the sons of my father He took pleasure in me to make me king over all Israel,” (28:4).
That’s a pretty bold declaration. I think about my own station in life. Would I claim that I made God happy, so that’s why I’m so blessed? Blessed to be the wife of my incredible pastor, mother to my amazing daughter and son, blessed yet again as mother-in-love to my remarkable son and daughter through marriage, culminating as grandmother to my three treasured grand-gifts… because I made God happy?
Well, that didn’t ring true. So… I had to dig.
And wow, oh wow!
Consider His Pleasure in His Sovereign Choosing
First off, about this word, Chosen…
From NIV Study Bible: “These are the only uses in the Old Testament of the Hebrew verb for “chosen” with reference to any king after David.”
This Choosing marks a significant point in time. After Solomon, the throne would continue through the line of David, in other words, through birth. But before the lineage of David, there was His Sovereign Choosing.
Chosen: “977. בָּחַר bāḥar: A verb whose meaning is to take a keen look at, to prove, to choose. It denotes a choice, which is based on a thorough examination of the situation and not an arbitrary whim.” Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance
It was His Choice, His purposeful and Sovereign Choice based on His thorough examination, decided and determined solely by Him.
This Choosing by His Sovereignty would determine the king who would sit on His throne forever.
“He said to me, ‘Your son Solomon is the one who shall build My house and My courts; for I have chosen him to be a son to Me, and I will be a father to him. 7 I will establish his kingdom forever…’” (28:6-7).
But there was a caveat…
“…if he resolutely performs My commandments and My ordinances, as is done now.’ 8 So now, in the sight of all Israel, the assembly of the Lord, and in the hearing of our God, observe and seek after all the commandments of the Lord your God so that you may possess the good land and bequeath it to your sons after you forever,” (28:7-8).
The dreaded “IF” …pretty tall order: to perform resolutely, to not waver in observing, to determinedly seek and keep all God’s commandments and ordinances; and that’s how one is to take possession of His promises. Impossible, for any human.
And in light of this impossibility in man to perform, I was continually drawn back to this idea of God’s pleasure involved in His Choosing. So, a little more digging. And again, wow oh wow!
Take Pleasure: “7521. רָצָה rāṣāh: A verb meaning to delight, to take pleasure, to treat favorably, to favor, to accept, to pay off, to pay for, to make up for.” Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance
Wrapped up in this concept of His Pleasure, is His favor. His Pleasure emanates from His favor, His favor to pay off, pay for, make up for.
And then it all made sense. His pleasure was not in David at all. He Sovereignly Chooses for His Pleasure; and His Pleasure is in Himself, in His will, in His grace, in His favor to do for us what we absolutely cannot ever do for ourselves. And again, I say, wow oh wow!
And this had always been His intent, to Sovereignly Choose for His Pleasure.
“For you are a holy people to the Lord your God; the Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. 7 “The Lord did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any of the peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples, 8 but because the Lord loved you and kept the oath which He swore to your forefathers, the Lord brought you out by a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt,” (Deuteronomy 7:6-7).
And from His Chosen people, He would Sovereignly Choose One Who would sit on His throne forever.
For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;
And the government will rest on His shoulders;
And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
7 There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace,
On the throne of David and over his kingdom,
To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness
From then on and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this, (Isaiah 9:6-7).
And this One, Sovereignly Chosen, would bring Him Pleasure, so as to delight His soul.
“Behold, My Servant, whom I uphold;
My chosen one in whom My soul delights.
I have put My Spirit upon Him;
He will bring forth justice to the nations,” (Isaiah 42:1).
After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him, 17 and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased,” (Matthew 3:16-17).
And this One would not fail, nor even dread the IF, but He would resolutely perform all His commands, in order to bring the Father Pleasure: to do His will, reveal His grace, and by His favor, do for us what we absolutely cannot ever do for ourselves.
- His Pleasure in His Sovereign Choosing to Do His Will“For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. 39 This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. 40 For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.” (John 6:38-40).
- His Pleasure in His Sovereign Choosing to Reveal His GraceAnd the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth, (John 1:14).
- His Pleasure in His Sovereign Choosing, by His Favor to do for us what we absolutely cannot ever do for ourselves.For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life, (Romans 5:6-10).
How do we respond to His Pleasure in His Sovereign Choosing?
“All this,” said David, “the Lord made me understand in writing by His hand upon me, all the details of this pattern,” (28:19).
There is scholarly debate surrounding this statement by David. Some believe that through the writings of the prophet, Samuel, David grew in his understanding of the Lord’s plans for the temple, and all that would pertain to worship. Others speculate that perhaps the Lord Himself wrote the plans for His temple, much as He had done for Moses with the tabernacle. And then some surmise that this writing was actually impressions on David’s mind prompted by the Holy Spirit.
I’m not a scholar, but the Hebrew word David used, refers to, guess what? Writing.
“3791. כְּתָב keṯāḇ: A masculine noun referring to a script, writing. It indicates the process of writing or the symbols used to write.” Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance
So in taking His Word literally, I tend to believe David was speaking of actual inscribed text he both read and believed was the inspired Word of God; written either by a prophet who wrote as directed by the Lord, or written by the very hand of God.
Therefore, I am led to believe the best way we can respond to His Pleasure in His Sovereign Choosing, is to study His Word; that we would grow in our own understanding of Who He is, what He has said and all the details of His pattern for our lives.
- That we would grow to understand the Pleasure of His will:
- having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, (Ephesians 1:5).
- That we would grow to understand the Pleasure of His grace:
- For the Lord takes pleasure in His people;
He will beautify the afflicted ones with salvation, (Psalm 149:4).
- For the Lord takes pleasure in His people;
- That we would grow to understand the Pleasure of His favor, that will do for us what we absolutely can never do for ourselves:
- He does not delight in the strength of the horse;
He does not take pleasure in the legs of a man.
11 The Lord favors those who fear Him,
Those who wait for His lovingkindness, (Psalm 147:9-10).
- He does not delight in the strength of the horse;
And as we commit our whole heart to study, to seek Him, to know and find Him, He promises He will grant us the privilege to do just that… find Him!
“As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a whole heart and a willing mind; for the Lord searches all hearts, and understands every intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will let you find Him…” (28:9).
And as we find Him, He will be faithful to strengthen us in our faith and obedience as He grows us in our understanding and comprehension of His love.
that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God, (Ephesians 3:16-19).
Let us prayerfully seek to grow in our knowledge of His truth, of His Pleasure in His Sovereign Choosing that Chose us to know His incomprehensible love. And as we grow in our knowledge, may we grow in our gratitude that would birth a resolute desire to live our lives with a determined commitment to daily bring Him Pleasure.
Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him, (2 Corinthians 5:9).
for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light 9 (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth), 10 trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord, (Ephesians 5:8-10).