Summary: How do you respond when your will is not God’s will?
2 Samuel 7
David wants to build God’s house, God build’s David’s “house.”
“If you want to hear God laugh, tell Him your plans”
David’s good desire to build a temple
We come to the point of David’s story where Saul and most of His family are dead; David was anointed as king of Judah first, then, after a brief civil war, king over all of Israel. He claims Jerusalem as his capital, and has the symbol of God’s presence, the Ark of the Covenant, brought to the Capital to make it the centre of religious worship as well as political capital.
David’s power is consolidated both inside his boarders and beyond – “the Lord had given him rest from all his enemies around him.”
It gives David time to think, and what he thinks is “"Here I am, living in a house of cedar, while the ark of God remains in a tent." He gets the dream to build a temple for God – a house for the Ark that would replace the Tabernacle.
David does very little without asking God if it is a good idea, So he asks the prophet Nathan if he thinks it’s a good idea. For Nathan, It’s a no-brainer, of course it’s a good idea! What could be wrong with blessing God with a temple!
"Whatever you have in mind, go ahead and do it, for the LORD is with you."
Nathan’s yes, God’s no
Nathan goes home, and God speaks to him, this is what he says: Read 5-17
God basically says, “What do I need a house for? Have I ever asked for a house?
He says the same thing through the Prophet Isaiah hundreds of years later in Isaiah 66:
1 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?
2 Has not my hand made all these things,
and so they came into being?"
declares the LORD.
"These are the ones I look on with favor:
those who are humble and contrite in spirit,
and who tremble at my word.
God never says that David’s plan is morally wrong – maybe a little wrong-headed, but not “evil.” Nathan even thought it was a good idea!
David was not wrong – God just had a different plan
Peterson thinks that David is walking down a slippery slope to self-reliance rather than God reliance, that might be true, but it does not say that here.
Later David says that God said no because of his violence; but here there is no talk of that.
God says to David, you want to build me a house, but I’m going to build your “house.”
It seams that every leader is concerned with the legacy that he will leave – it may be that David was hoping that this temple that he would build would be a legacy monument – “David’s Temple” rather than “Solomon’s Temple,” or “Herod’s Temple.” God tells him that he is going to build a legacy much greater than a building in Jerusalem.
2. A Son who will build the Temple
3. A Son who will live in close relationship with God
4. A Son who will be disciplined, but not removed
5. A dynasty and a kingdom that will never end
This prophesy is fulfilled mostly in David’s son Solomon. It is God’s sheer grace that he was born out of David’s relationship with Bathsheba that began as adultery and murder!