Summary: David wants to build God a house, and God in turn reveals that He wants to build David a house, one that is eternal. God has in mind the salvation of the world. He wants to dwell in the hearts of every believer.
Last week we saw how David moved the Ark of the Lord back to Jerusalem.
• He was careless at the first round, but did it right the second time. He heeded God’s Word and followed God’s way.
• We honour God’s presence with reverence and a holy fear. We COME CLEAN with God and DRAW NEAR with pure hearts.
Although the Ark of God has been brought back, it lies under a tent. David lives in the palace of cedar. He wanted to build a house for God.
• Let’s read this interesting exchange between David and God in 2 Sam 7.
• While David wants to build God a house, God says that He wants to build David a house – an everlasting one.
Read 2 Sam 7:1-7.
David had in mind a proper building to house the Ark of God.
• This is a good thing and a noble one. Prophet Nathan agrees with him.
• It is a picture of what a man would want to do for God. Not necessarily wrong, but not the most important part.
That very night, God spoke to Prophet Nathan to clarify what is most important. God reveals His will.
• God says what He is NOT LOOKING FOR, and then what He is really LOOKING FOR.
He is not seeking for a PLACE to dwell in. He wants to be with His people.
• “I have been on the move with My people. Wherever they went, I was there with them. And I have been with you wherever you have gone.”
• That’s God’s desire and His delight – not to dwell in a PLACE but with His PEOPLE.
Since David has offered, God will still allow the HOUSE of God to be built, but not through David. His son Solomon will build the Temple of God (verse 13).
• 1 Chron 22 reveals more why God did not want David to build it:
• 1 Chron 22:7-10 7David said to Solomon: "My son, I had it in my heart to build a house for the Name of the LORD my God. 8But this word of the LORD came to me: `You have shed much blood and have fought many wars. You are not to build a house for my Name, because you have shed much blood on the earth in my sight. 9But you will have a son who will be a man of peace and rest, and I will give him rest from all his enemies on every side. His name will be Solomon, and I will grant Israel peace and quiet during his reign. 10He is the one who will build a house for my Name. He will be my son, and I will be his father. And I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel forever.'
• A man of peace to construct the temple, not a man of war. His house was to be “a house of prayer for all nations” (Isaiah 56:7).
But it is not the Temple of God that signifies His presence. His presence is always with His people. It is God’s will then and it is God’s will today.
• Remember the Samaritan woman at the well who told Jesus that she as Samaritans worships in Samaria and Jewish believers worship in Jerusalem?
• And Jesus replied her: "Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem… 23Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24God is spirit, and His worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth." (John 4:21, 23-24)
In 18th Century Russian Empire, there was a capable official named Grigory Potemkin, who was the favourite of the Russian Empress Catherine the Great.
Once the Empress wanted to visit the villages and announced her travel plan. Wanting to impress the queen, Potemkin went ahead to build fake buildings along the river banks. He hired peasants and dressed them up in nice clean clothes, and lined them on the route that the queen would take.
The only problem is everything is just a facade and front, without substance. Nothing inside those walls. The term "Potemkin Village" is now used to depict anything that deceive others into thinking that a situation is better than it really is.
It’s not about the building, it is God’s presence with His people. That’s what really matters.
• This is God’s desire – to be with you. Don’t ignore Him, don’t hide from Him like Adam and Eve, and don’t reject Him and don’t leave Him aside.
God went on to tell David what He is LOOKING FOR - 2 Sam 7:8-17.