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How to build a house that lasts by Mercy Mecha

When I graduated from university, like all the other graduates I had  dreams of building my own little dynasty. I dreamed of owning a house and car; hoped to invest in lucrative stocks; travel to exotic destinations; have a surplus income to give away, and write a book about it all. I believed that with hard work, focus and a bit of good luck I could achieve these goals in my own strength – most of the books I read and the people I listened to churned out these self deterministic messages. And as a self-proclaimed atheist it made a lot of sense. Sadly, even as a Christian, I continued to hold the same views of “doing it by my own strength”. I remember getting angry at a friend who told me  tp “stop striving and start trusting God more because He is capable of giving you are all the things you are yearning for.” I thought she was crazy and out of touch with reality. The truth of her words hit me recently as I reflected on the rise and establishment of the “ House of David”. It was not something he did on his own strength, but something that required God’s intervention. His house I realised was built on the tenets written in the third verse of the twenty fourth chapter of proverbs. It says:

“Through wisdom a house is built,
And by understanding it is established;
By knowledge the rooms are filled
With all precious and pleasant riches. (Pr. 24:3)

David’s house was built on the foundation of wisdom. This wisdom is not the bare bones bestseller kind “how to build a great dynasty”, but one founded on God. David understood that it was God, and not man, who builds great dynasties: “unless the Lord builds a house, the builders labour or in vain.” (Psalm 127:1) Therefore David spent his life blood, not undercutting others to get ahead, but in cultivating a robust fear of the Lord for it is written that , “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. (proverbs 9:10) We see this fear of God in action when David foregoes the opportunity to kill King Saul even if the death of the latter would guarantee him a quick ascent to the throne. Instead David spent years as a fugitive on the run from Saul. He understood that killing to get what he wanted could only make him lose the favour of the one who had the power to enthrone and dethrone kings. This is a kind of understanding that many rich and powerful people lack and which I lacked.

 

David’s house was established by understanding. Unlike many rich and famous people who think they have come to fame and fortune because of their abilities, and for their own selfish ends, David understood that God had exalted him for the sake of Israel, God’s chosen. He was merely a servant or an instrument for God to use. Therefore David had no reason to boast or to Lord it over people as do the leaders of this age, instead he ruled with a gratitude and humility that foreshadowed the ultimate King Jesus, humble enough to ride on a donkey. One utterance that exposes David’s heart is when on two occasions when he was shown favour by Saul and by God he said, “Who is David?”. This is contrary to the world we live in where we are told, “Who are you not to be great? rich?…” This humility borne of understanding is what led to the establishment of David’s dynasty forever because God crushes the proud but exalts the humble. David understood that his kingship was not for himself because he had knowledge of the Holy One which is what leads to understanding.”

Knowledge increases strength but a lack of it leads to the demise of many great houses. David’s house thrived on knowledge and was filled with precious blessings.The knowledge here again is not like we read about in such captivating titles as ”The monk who sold his Ferrari” but of God’s perfect ways. When we know God intimately, then we will know what pleases Him: To bring glory to His name. Many famous people always falter on this for they focus on bringing glory to their own names. However, David sought to bring God laud and honour by valiantly fighting Israel’s enemies, shepherding Israel, and collecting the best materials in preparation for the building of the temple. Above all he portrayed knowledge of the Holy One by making praise and thanksgiving the centre of Israel’s worship: He separated four thousand levites whose sole job would be to praise God with instruments he had made and he even wrote psalms for them to sing (1 Chronicles 23:5, 25:1). Small wonder that God called David a man after His own heart. This is a man who knew what was truly precious and pleasant and worth collecting.

It is no wonder that when David wanted to build God a house, God surprised David by telling him that He (God) build  him an everlasting dynasty; the Messiah Jesus would come through his lineage. This would be the greatest dynasty ever for it would not have an ending thus catapulting David to heaven’s hall of fame. But this honour did not come to a slothful man or mule lacking understanding, but to one who abounded in wisdom, understanding and knowledge. As he delighted in the Lord, the Lord gave him the desires of his heart. Think about it. There are three houses that David might have built: a palace for himself, a house for God and a House for future generations. The interesting thing is that David did not build any of these  houses. His palace was built for him by King Hiram, the house he intended to build for God was built by his Son Solomon and his house( dynasty) was built for him by God. This justifies the statement that unless the Lord builds a house, the builders build in vain. 

Building a great house requires not merely mortar and bricks and hard work,but divine wisdom,  understanding and knowledge.