When God Says No

Title: When God Says No

Bible Book: 1 Chronicles 28

Author: Franklin L. Kirksey

Subject: Will, God's; Purpose; Submission



1 Chronicles 28:1 - 29:30

When God says no, what do you do?

Mrs. Charles E. Cowman (1870-1960) shares a statement in Streams in the Desert, attributed to Dr. F. B. Meyer (1847-1929), "Someday we shall understand that God has a reason in every NO which He speaks through the slow movement of life."[i]

Sir W. Robertson Nicoll (1851-1923) studied for the ministry and felt led to become a preacher. Unexpectedly, he contracted typhoid and sustained lung damage forcing him to leave the pulpit he loved. He moved to London and began to minister with his pen. This Scottish Free Church Minister wrote many books and became a journalist, editor, and man of letters.[ii]

Dr. Thomas Alan Ogle Redpath (1907-1989) confesses, “I have always found in my life and have had to learn this again and again, that one of the hardest things is to give up some cherished ambition of my own.”[iii]

Allow me to share three elements from David’s closing days to encourage you.

I. David’s Desire

We read in 1 Chronicles 28:1-8, “Now David assembled at Jerusalem all the leaders of Israel: the officers of the tribes and the captains of the divisions who served the king, the captains over thousands and captains over hundreds, and the stewards over all the substance and possessions of the king and of his sons, with the officials, the valiant men, and all the mighty men of valor. Then King David rose to his feet and said, ‘Hear me, my brethren and my people: I had it in my heart to build a house of rest for the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and for the footstool of our God, and had made preparations to build it. But God said to me, ‘You shall not build a house for My name, because you have been a man of war and have shed blood.’ However the Lord God of Israel chose me above all the house of my father to be king over Israel forever, for He has chosen Judah to be the ruler. And of the house of Judah, the house of my father, and among the sons of my father, He was pleased with me to make me king over all Israel. And 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. Now He said to me, ‘It is your son Solomon who shall build My house and My courts; for I have chosen him to be My son, and I will be his Father. Moreover I will establish his kingdom forever, if he is steadfast to observe My commandments and My judgments, as it is this day.’ Now therefore, in the sight of all Israel, the assembly of the Lord, and in the hearing of our God, be careful to seek out all the commandments of the Lord your God, that you may possess this good land, and leave it as an inheritance for your children after you forever.”

Please note, God said, “No”, to David, of whom it is written, “He raised up for them David as king, to whom also He gave testimony and said, ‘I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will’” (Acts 13:22). We find divinely inspired commentary in 2 Samuel 7:1-11. Here, we read, “Now it came to pass when the king was dwelling in his house, and the Lord had given him rest from all his enemies all around, that the king said to Nathan the prophet, ‘See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells inside tent curtains.’ Then Nathan said to the king, ‘Go, do all that is in your heart, for the Lord is with you.’ But it happened that night that the word of the Lord came to Nathan, saying, ‘Go and tell My servant David, ‘Thus says the Lord: ‘Would you build a house for Me to dwell in? For I have not dwelt in a house since the time that I brought the children of Israel up from Egypt, even to this day, but have moved about in a tent and in a tabernacle. Wherever I have moved about with all the children of Israel, have I ever spoken a word to anyone from the tribes of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd My people Israel, saying, ‘Why have you not built Me a house of cedar?’ Now therefore, thus shall you say to My servant David, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘I took you from the sheepfold, from following the sheep, to be ruler over My people, over Israel. And I have been with you wherever you have gone, and have cut off all your enemies from before you, and have made you a great name, like the name of the great men who are on the earth. Moreover I will appoint a place for My people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own and move no more; nor shall the sons of wickedness oppress them anymore, as previously, since the time that I commanded judges to be over My people Israel, and have caused you to rest from all your enemies. Also the Lord tells you that He will make you a house.”

Drs. Tim LaHaye and Ed Hindson explain, "The immediate introductory context of 2 Samuel 7 concerns David's desire to build a temple for the Lord, the Lord makes a clever reversal. Rather than David building the Lord a house (in the sense of a temple), God Himself pronounced that He will build a house (in the sense of a royal dynasty) for David (Samuel 7:11)."[iv]

Matthew writes in Matthew 1:1a, 16 and 17, “The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David. . . And Jacob begot Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus who is called Christ. So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations, from David until the captivity in Babylon are fourteen generations, and from the captivity in Babylon until the Christ are fourteen generations.”

Isaiah prophesies, “For unto us a Child is born, / Unto us a Son is given; / And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called / Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace / There will be no end, / Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, / To order it and establish it with judgment and justice / From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this” (Isaiah 9:6-7).

John records in Revelation 19:11-16, “Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.”


II. David’s Determination

By way of introduction to this point we read in 1 Chronicles 28:9-21, “As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a loyal heart and with a willing mind; for the Lord searches all hearts and understands all the intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will cast you off forever. Consider now, for the Lord has chosen you to build a house for the sanctuary; be strong, and do it.’ Then David gave his son Solomon the plans for the vestibule, its houses, its treasuries, its upper chambers, its inner chambers, and the place of the mercy seat; and the plans for all that he had by the Spirit, of the courts of the house of the Lord, of all the chambers all around, of the treasuries of the house of God, and of the treasuries for the dedicated things; also for the division of the priests and the Levites, for all the work of the service of the house of the Lord, and for all the articles of service in the house of the Lord. He gave gold by weight for things of gold, for all articles used in every kind of service; also silver for all articles of silver by weight, for all articles used in every kind of service; the weight for the lampstands of gold, and their lamps of gold, by weight for each lampstand and its lamps; for the lampstands of silver by weight, for the lampstand and its lamps, according to the use of each lampstand. And by weight he gave gold for the tables of the showbread, for each table, and silver for the tables of silver; also pure gold for the forks, the basins, the pitchers of pure gold, and the golden bowls—he gave gold by weight for every bowl; and for the silver bowls, silver by weight for every bowl; and refined gold by weight for the altar of incense, and for the construction of the chariot, that is, the gold cherubim that spread their wings and overshadowed the ark of the covenant of the Lord. ‘All this,’ said David, ‘the Lord made me understand in writing, by His hand upon me, all the works of these plans.’

And David said to his son Solomon, ‘Be strong and of good courage, and do it; do not fear nor be dismayed, for the Lord God—my God—will be with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you, until you have finished all the work for the service of the house of the Lord. Here are the divisions of the priests and the Levites for all the service of the house of God; and every willing craftsman will be with you for all manner of workmanship, for every kind of service; also the leaders and all the people will be completely at your command.”

Remember, David could have washed his hands of the whole affair, but he did not! He supported His successor and he wanted to see his successor succeed. Even though God would not allow him to build the temple, he provided plans and the means to make it happen. May we take a lesson from David at this point.

Paul reminds us in 1 Corinthians 12:12-27 about the unity and diversity in the body of Christ. Each member of the body of Christ has a God given and God ordered function. Just because God did not call you to be the pastor of a local church, does not mean you should not support the preaching of the Word. Just because God did not call you to be a career missionary, does not mean you should not support missionaries around the world. I understand that I will share in the reward of others as I support the work God calls them to do. Those who have a problem with this concept need to read and heed 1 Corinthians 13.

A. Please note how David invites all the assembly.

We read in 1 Chronicles 29:1-9, “Furthermore King David said to all the assembly: “My son Solomon, whom alone God has chosen, is young and inexperienced; and the work is great, because the temple is not for man but for the Lord God. Now for the house of my God I have prepared with all my might: gold for things to be made of gold, silver for things of silver, bronze for things of bronze, iron for things of iron, wood for things of wood, onyx stones, stones to be set, glistening stones of various colors, all kinds of precious stones, and marble slabs in abundance. Moreover, because I have set my affection on the house of my God, I have given to the house of my God, over and above all that I have prepared for the holy house, my own special treasure of gold and silver: three thousand talents of gold, of the gold of Ophir, and seven thousand talents of refined silver, to overlay the walls of the houses; the gold for things of gold and the silver for things of silver, and for all kinds of work to be done by the hands of craftsmen. Who then is willing to consecrate himself this day to the Lord?’ Then the leaders of the fathers’ houses, leaders of the tribes of Israel, the captains of thousands and of hundreds, with the officers over the king’s work, offered willingly. They gave for the work of the house of God five thousand talents and ten thousand darics of gold, ten thousand talents of silver, eighteen thousand talents of bronze, and one hundred thousand talents of iron. And whoever had precious stones gave them to the treasury of the house of the Lord, into the hand of Jehiel the Gershonite. Then the people rejoiced, for they had offered willingly, because with a loyal heart they had offered willingly to the Lord; and King David also rejoiced greatly.”

Here, I think of something written by Dr. O. S. Hawkins. He explains, “The principal hindrance to the advancement of the kingdom of God is greed. It is the chief obstacle to heaven-sent revival. It seems that when the back of greed is broken, the human spirit soars into regions of unselfishness. I believe that it is safe to say there can be no continuous revival without ‘hilarious’ giving. And I fear no contradiction: wherever there is ‘hilarious’ giving there will soon be revival!”[v]

B. Please note how David includes all the assembly.

We read in 1 Chronicles 29:10-19, “Therefore David blessed the Lord before all the assembly; and David said: ‘Blessed are You, Lord God of Israel, our Father, forever and ever. Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, / The power and the glory, / The victory and the majesty; For all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours; Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, / And You are exalted as head over all. Both riches and honor come from You, / And You reign over all. In Your hand is power and might; In Your hand it is to make great / And to give strength to all. ‘Now therefore, our God, / We thank You / And praise Your glorious name. But who am I, and who are my people, / That we should be able to offer so willingly as this? For all things come from You, / And of Your own we have given You. For we are aliens and pilgrims before You, / As were all our fathers; Our days on earth are as a shadow, / And without hope. ‘O Lord our God, all this abundance that we have prepared to build You a house for Your holy name is from Your hand, and is all Your own. I know also, my God, that You test the heart and have pleasure in uprightness. As for me, in the uprightness of my heart I have willingly offered all these things; and now with joy I have seen Your people, who are present here to offer willingly to You. O Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, our fathers, keep this forever in the intent of the thoughts of the heart of Your people, and fix their heart toward You. And give my son Solomon a loyal heart to keep Your commandments and Your testimonies and Your statutes, to do all these things, and to build the temple for which I have made provision.”

Here, I think of a song Stuart Hamblen (1908-1989) wrote in 1959, where he asks and answers the question, “How big is God?” In simple terms Hamblen reminds us of the transcendence and immanence of God. It is wonderful for the believer to remember while God is above and beyond His creation, at the same time He is also personal and dwells within us. David revels and rejoices in his relationship with the living and true God. David gives a wonderful testimony in Psalm 139. He wants everyone to know Him as he does.

C. Please note how David instructs all the assembly.

We read in 1 Chronicles 29:20-25, “Then David said to all the assembly, ‘Now bless the Lord your God.’ So all the assembly blessed the Lord God of their fathers, and bowed their heads and prostrated themselves before the Lord and the king. And they made sacrifices to the Lord and offered burnt offerings to the Lord on the next day: a thousand bulls, a thousand rams, a thousand lambs, with their drink offerings, and sacrifices in abundance for all Israel. So they ate and drank before the Lord with great gladness on that day. And they made Solomon the son of David king the second time, and anointed him before the Lord to be the leader, and Zadok to be priest. Then Solomon sat on the throne of the Lord as king instead of David his father, and prospered; and all Israel obeyed him. All the leaders and the mighty men, and also all the sons of King David, submitted themselves to King Solomon. So the Lord exalted Solomon exceedingly in the sight of all Israel, and bestowed on him such royal majesty as had not been on any king before him in Israel.”

Here, we see a smooth transition of power from one king to the next. This is a much different situation than when David assumed the throne after Saul as we read in 1 Samuel 15-18. It is always sad to see a leader attempt to hold on when God says, “Move on.” David knew it was his time to move on and he graciously released the reigns of power to his successor.

III. David’s Demise

We read in 1 Chronicles 29:26-30, “Thus David the son of Jesse reigned over all Israel. And the period that he reigned over Israel was forty years; seven years he reigned in Hebron, and thirty-three years he reigned in Jerusalem. So he died in a good old age, full of days and riches and honor; and Solomon his son reigned in his place. Now the acts of King David, first and last, indeed they are written in the book of Samuel the seer, in the book of Nathan the prophet, and in the book of Gad the seer, with all his reign and his might, and the events that happened to him, to Israel, and to all the kingdoms of the lands.”

Please note although God said, “No” to David’s desire to build the temple, David did not become a bitter old man. Remember earlier David actually wrote, “Trust in the Lord, and do good; / Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the Lord, / And He shall give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:3-4). David understood the God who inspired him to write this psalm limits its promise for his good and for God’s glory.


Dr. John F. Walvoord (1910-2002) shares, “Building for God has many requirements. . . . Today we are not building temples, but lives. Our building, too must have gold, silver and precious stones, fireproof materials to be judged at the judgment seat of Christ (1 Cor. 3:12-15). Too often our lives are built of materials which will not survive God’s judgment because they are worthless wood, hay and stubble.”[vi]

John exhorts in 1 John 2:15-17, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.”

David’s son, Solomon, confesses in Ecclesiastes 2:8 and 11, “I also gathered for myself silver and gold and the special treasures of kings and of the provinces. . . . Then I looked on all the works that my hands had done / And on the labor in which I had toiled; And indeed all was vanity and grasping for the wind. There was no profit under the sun.” Dr. F. B. Meyer explains, “What do we count most valuable on earth? Gold. Men live for gold, kill for it. But in heaven gold is so plentiful that they pave the streets with it.”[vii]

Cheryl Walterman Stewart shares a remarkable story about her maternal grandfather, whom she affectionately called "Grandpa Nybakken". The robust Norwegian carpenter enjoyed seeing people’s reaction to harmless practical jokes. However, this time, the joke was on him.

The church he attended in Chicago collected clothes to send to an orphanage in China. He used his skills as a carpenter to build some crates. As he worked away on that cold Saturday his glasses fell out of his pocket and into one of the crates. Later, he discovered they were missing, so he diligently searched for his twenty dollar pair of glasses, but to no avail. They were gone. To more fully understand his disappointment Cheryl Walterman Stewart reveals, “The Great depression was at it height and Grandpa has six children.”

As he prayed about the lost glasses, he reminded God about his faithful stewardship and expressed his frustration at God’s apparent unfairness.

About one year later, the orphanage director came to the United States to share his appreciation for the support of his work in China. He visited the small church on Sunday evening where “Grandpa Nybakken” worshipped. After he generally expressed his gratitude for their support, he said, “But most of all, I must thank you for the glasses you sent last year. You see, the Communists had just swept through the orphanage, destroying everything, including my glasses. I was desperate.

Even if I had the money, there was simply no way of replacing those glasses. Along with not being able to see well, I experienced headaches every day, so my coworkers and I were much in prayer about this. Then your crates arrived. When my staff removed the covers, they found a pair of glasses lying on top."

Cheryl explains, “The missionary paused long enough to let his words sink in. Then, still gripped with the wonder of it all, he continued: ‘Folks, when I tried on the glasses, it was as though they had been custom-made just for me! I want to thank you for being a part of that.’”

Although members of that local congregation rejoiced with the missionary, they felt he was in error about the glasses coming from their church. “Grandpa Nybakken” knew otherwise. Tears of joy filled his eyes as it dawned on him the Master Carpenter used him.[viii]

May we respond correctly, when God says no.

[i]Streams in the Desert, compiled by Mrs. Charles E. Cowman (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1925), October 23 Reading, p. 312

[ii]E. W. Lawrence, “The Blessing of Frustrated Desire”, Sermon Notes, (1 Chronicles 28:2-3); and Supplementary Information on William Robertson Nicholl Available from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Robertson_Nicoll Accessed: 04/28/12

[iii]Alan Redpath, “Handing on the Torch”, Sermon Notes, (1 Chronicles 28:2-9)

[iv]Tim LaHaye and Ed Hindson, Exploring Bible Prophecy From Genesis To Revelation (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 2006), p. 77

[v]R. T. Kendall, Tithing: A Call to Serious Giving (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1983), p. 27

[vi]John F. Walvoord, “Your Building For God”, Sermon Notes, (1 Chronicles 28:1, 9, 10, 20, 21)

[vii]Douglas Connelly, The Promise of Heaven: Discovering Our Eternal Home (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2000), p. 122

[viii]Cheryl Walterman Stewart, “A Perfect Mistake”, The Christian Reader [now Today’s Christian magazine], (Carol Stream, IL: Christianity Today International, 1989), reprinted in Christianity Today, Volume 42 (Carol Stream, IL: Christianity Today International, March/April, 1998), p. 83, Available from: http://www.christianity.com/christian%20living/features/11622290/ Accessed: 04/26/12

By Dr. Franklin L. Kirksey, pastor First Baptist Church of Spanish Fort 30775 Jay Drive Spanish Fort, Alabama 36527

Author of Sound Biblical Preaching: Giving the Bible a Voice Available on Amazon.com and WORDsearchbible.com


e-mail: [email protected] / (251) 626-6210 © April 29, 2012 All Rights Reserved

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