Heart of David: Humility


Unless the Lord builds the house,
the builders labor in vain.

— Psalm 127 NIV

Read 1 Chronicles 17 here. 

If you want to read 1 Chronicles 17 all together on your own, go for it. I am going to summarize most of it below, but it is always good to discover it on your own.

1 Chronicles 17 is a great example of what humility looked like in the life of David. In verses 4-6 we are told that God interrupts the plans that David had to build a temple. It was David’s wish to build a house for the Lord that would honor and praise him. In the Old Testament, the presence of God was carried with the people of Israel, and they would set up a tent to put it in wherever they traveled to. David’s plan was to make a permanent house to put the presence of the Lord in. This is followed by God telling David that he has a different plan than what David was thinking. Instead, God promises to exalt David and use him establish the house of God in a much different way. God promises David that his bloodline will be the family to bring Jesus into the world. Verse 12 tells us that Jesus is the one who is going to come and build a “temple”, He is the one who is going to come and build the kingdom of God on earth.

All of this might not seem like much, and even may seem like more of a history lesson, but I think if we try to put ourselves in David’s shoes, as well as look at his response to all of this information, we will be able to greater understand what humility should look like in our lives.

In verses 16-25, we see the humility of David’s heart pour out onto the pages. David’s first response to the God he is to remind himself of the insufficiency of himself and the grace that God has continued to show. (vs 16-18). He then reminds himself of the greatness and faithfulness of God; that God’s will is so much greater than his (vs 19-22). David then chooses to agree and partner with God in his plan. David chooses to submit himself to the will of God instead of continuing to walk in the path that he thought was the best (23-27).

So now imagine that you are in David’s shoes. David is planning on building the Lord a temple, most likely an extravagant one that he was going to put a lot of effort and work into. David has big plans in mind, but God chooses to interrupt him, with a plan much bigger than his own.

In our own lives, how easy it is to think that we know best. How easy it is for us to coast throughout our days without ever taking a moment to allow God to speak his plans in our life. One of the most humble things we can do as Christians is realize that our plans, and even greater, our lives are void of purpose and power apart from God. It is only through daily seeking, knowing, and submitting to God that we can get to a point like David in which we can gladly lay ourselves down and say like Jesus, “not my will but yours” (Luke 22:42). At the core of this story, David knew that apart from God, who gave him breath to live, he could do nothing. David knew that if God wasn’t supporting what he was doing, it would accomplish nothing. David’s son Solomon summarizes this thought very well in Psalm 127:1. I don’t think it is any coincidence that the humility of David is also seen in his son.

Humility is so much more than holding a door open, letting someone in front of you in line, or helping an old lady across the street. It is so much more than being willing to in the background and not be recognized for what you do. Humility is about living a life that is completely dependent on God for all. It is relying on God in every aspect of every day and realizing that apart from God, and realizing that it is He who sustains us and makes all things possible. It is not us but He.


A great way to grow humility is to thank God for everything that is good in your life. I encourage you to throw some worship music on and think about the blessing from God in your life and pray this when you are done.

“God show me the pride in my heart and rid me of it. I want to walk humbly with you like David did. Grow a humility in my heart that relies on you for everything. I don’t want to go throughout my days relying on my own knowledge and strength. I want to be filled with your Holy Spirit. Thank you for making that possible Jesus. Amen!”

– Nick Spencer

See also  We Can Walk Away From The Fear of Man: Isaiah 51:7-9

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