Summary: God told David He didn’t want him building a Temple for Him. It’s possible to build a building God doesn’t want. Do you know what makes the difference between what He wants and what He doesn’t?
OPEN: According to a story in R.Digest from several years ago, a great emperor named Shah Jahan once built an absolutely beautiful structure in memory of his wife of 19 years who died while bearing their 14th child.
When she died, Shah Jahan left his wife’s deathbed and went straight to his quarters, locking the doors behind him. For 3 days he remained within, taking no food or drink. When he reappeared 9 days later, his raven black hair had turned completely white.
Returning to his palace, the emperor began the construction of his wife’s tomb on the Jumna river within easy view of his windows.
To build it, 22,000 men and women labored 24 hours a day for 22 years. It was a white marble tomb decorated with 28 different types of gems. A sheet of pearls was spread over the coffin, doors of solid silver opened onto the tomb and a solid gold railing surrounded the monument.
Does anybody know what the name is - of this building in India? (The Taj Mahal)
Shah Jahan planned a mirror image of the Taj - in black marble - as his own tomb. But that never happened. He was taken prisoner by his son, who usurped the throne in 1658, and was confined in his own palace and lived until his death. And so it was that when his guards found Shah Jahan dead at the age of 74, his eyes were still open, fixed upon the shimmering jewel of the Taj Mahal.
APPLY: It is NOT uncommon for someone to create or build something beautiful for the one they love. That’s what David (a man after God’s own heart) wanted to do. He wanted to build something beautiful for his God.
As I read the text for this morning’s sermon a couple of things really stuck out to me.
I. A man/ woman after God’s own heart wants to build a house worthy of their God.
David wanted to build a Temple for His God. For several hundred years, the Ark of God had been housed in a Tent like structure called the Tabernacle. All the sacrifices offered up to God had been done - for generations in the courtyard of this temporary structure.
But NOW, David wants to change all that. HIS GOD deserves better than a simple tent. And he’s basically asked God’s permission to build a permanent house of worship in Jerusalem. In fact, David was so committed to this project that he accumulated many of building materials and stored them away during his reign.
Now, we love God too, and we’ve been talking for a few years now about building a worship center worthy of the God we serve. We want to build a beautiful structure in which we can sing, and pray and take communion together. We want this building not only to be functional… but also worthy of the God we love.
(DATA ON BUILDING FUND FINANCES)
Now, we’re going to get that structure built in good time… in God’s time.
And I’ve talked with various people who’ve decided to give God extra money (above/beyond tithe) for this building. I didn’t solicit their comments, they simply told me about their decisions as we talked about different matters.
One person has decided to give their tithe… and then to give a 1/10 more for the bldg. Fund.
One woman has committed herself to give to fund as much as she spends on food at restaurants throughout the week… and she told me she had accumulated $84 this past month.
The SonShine Boys (our Gospel Quartet) are putting on their concert tonight and will have an offering taken up for the building fund.
And I’m sure some people have decided to put the church building fund in their wills
I’m not worried. In God’s time, we’ll build a beautiful worship center built right over there (pointing to the area where it will be built).
II. But we need to realize that it’s possible to build a building God doesn’t want
David asked for permission to build a temple for God, and what did God say? (NO)
God told David – I don’t need a fancy building.
In Isaiah 66:1 we’re told “This is what the LORD says: ‘Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. Where is the house you will build for me? Where will my resting place be?’”
God doesn’t NEED a building. And he tells David - you’re not going to build me one.
(pause…) But, now wait a minute – if God didn’t need a Temple, how come the Lord told David that his son (Solomon) would build a Temple for Him? In 2 Samuel 7:12-13 God tells David “When your days are over and you rest with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, who will come from your own body, and I will establish his kingdom. HE IS THE ONE WHO WILL BUILD A HOUSE for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.”