2 Samuel 7:1-17
7 The king settled down in his palace. The Lord had given him peace and rest from all of his enemies who were around him. 2 Then the king spoke to the prophet Nathan. He said, “Here I am, living in a palace that has beautiful cedar walls. But the ark of God remains in a tent.” 3 Nathan replied to the king, “Go ahead and do what you want to. The Lord is with you.” 4 That night the word of the Lord came to Nathan. The Lord said, 5 “Go and speak to my servant David. Tell him, ‘The Lord says, “Are you the one to build me a house to live in? 6 I have not lived in a house from the day I brought the people of Israel up out of Egypt until now. I have been moving from place to place. I have been living in a tent. 7 I have moved from place to place with all of the people of Israel. I commanded their rulers to be shepherds over them. I never asked any of those rulers, ‘Why haven’t you built me a house that has beautiful cedar walls?’”’ 8 “So tell my servant David, ‘The Lord who rules over all says, “I took you away from the grasslands. That’s where you were taking care of your father’s sheep and goats. I made you ruler over my people Israel. 9 I have been with you everywhere you have gone. I cut off all of your enemies when you were attacking them. “‘“Now I will make you famous. Your name will be just as respected as the names of the most important people on earth. 10 I will provide a place where my people Israel can live. I will plant them in the land. Then they will have a home of their own. They will not be bothered anymore. Evil people will no longer crush them, as they did at first. 11 That is what your enemies have done ever since I appointed leaders over my people Israel. But I will give you peace and rest from all of them. “‘“I tell you that I myself will set up a royal house for you. 12 Some day your life will come to an end. You will join the members of your family who have already died. Then I will make one of your own sons the next king after you. And I will make his kingdom secure. 13 He is the one who will build a house where I will put my Name. “‘“I will set up the throne of his kingdom. It will last forever. 14 I will be his father. And he will be my son. When he does what is wrong, I will use other men to beat him with rods and whips. 15 I took my love away from Saul. I removed him from being king. You were there when I did it. But I will never take my love away from your son. 16 “‘“Your royal house and your kingdom will last forever in my sight. Your throne will last forever.”’” 17 Nathan reported to David all of the words that the Lord had spoken to him.
Things had settled down for David. He was back home and he wasn’t fighting anyone. Everyone was having a rest. Sounds good for a change. Given the peace David started thinking about God and what he could do for God – whether everything was as it should be. He realized that he and all his people had a nice place to be but the ark – the physical indicator of God’s presence with them – was still stuck out in a tent. David decided he would fix this. He did talk to Nathan – the prophet God spoke through to David – Nathan said go for it. Neither of them thought to ask God.
God had to break into Nathan’s dream to get His point of view across. He gave Nathan a big wake up call. This was going to be God’s home on earth and they didn’t even ask Him whether now was the right time or the right place. Obviously it was important to God – He immediately intervened.
God’s plans are not always what we would do in a situation. David wanting to build a beautiful place for God’s representation on earth to be, wasn’t a bad idea but it wasn’t a God idea. It was appropriate that David started thinking about what he could do for God who had looked after him so well through all the battles. It’s just that he didn’t invite God into the idea. We can have great ideas too. Ideas that look like they should be just what God wants. But we have to ask Him whether it’s the right thing, the right time or the right place. God wants to work with us helping us grow more like Him each step along our way. Asking God to be part of the idea right from the start and being willing
to hear “this isn’t for you to do” is an important part of our growth.
Dear Lord thanks so much that you gave us pictures of people trying to live how you want us to and getting it wrong and hearing from you to remind them how to do it right. Lord help us to learn from your stories. Lord help us to go to you with our ideas instead of just assuming we are so in tune with you we can’t be wrong. Thanks!!
Written by Therese Manning