Summary: David is a man after God’s own heart for sure. Just look at how he responds after hearing God say "no" to his plan to build the temple.
A. I spent some time looking for a good joke to begin today’s sermon, but I came up empty.
1. When I got to thinking about it, I realized that today’s subject is not very funny.
2. None of us like to hear the answer “NO.” That’s true of children, teenagers and adults.
B. I remember I hated to hear that answer when I was a child.
1. “Mom, can I have a candy bar?” “No, we are going to have dinner soon.” Rats!
2. “Dad, can I go out and play?” “No you can’t, it’s raining outside.” Rats!
3. “Mom and Dad, can I stay out all night running around with my friends getting into trouble?”
C. Thankfully, my parents said “No” to me a lot.
1. It takes a lot of love and courage for parents to say “no.”
2. Saying “yes” all the time is certainly not what is best for children.
3. Listen to these words from an article I read this week: “No is a word that children today do not seem to understand. Why is that? Because they rarely hear it. Apparently, parents have forgotten how to say no. Once upon a time no was a household word that was used quite often. I know I heard it plenty of times. But not anymore. Think about it. When was the last time you told your kids no and meant it and then stuck with it? Saying yes has spiraled out of control and it’s time to put a stop to it.
Psychologists, parents and educators are realizing that it’s time to stop looking the other way and start teaching kids that life does not revolve around them. Kids have become demanding, rude and spoiled. There is no longer any respect for adults or authority of any kind. They lack compassion for others and they do not know the value of any kind of work, much less hard work. There is only a sense of entitlement. Kids are out of control.” (Parents to Kids: I Said "No" and That’s My Final Answer!, by Judy Wilson)
4. Another article said: “No is a way in which we set limits on behavior. Whether we like it or not, there are limits. Society sets limits. Families set limits. Parents set limits. Employers set limits. Our spouses set limits. There are all sorts of ways in which we live and function in a world where there are limits.
We prepare children for life when we create a world, which reflects the limits of reality.
How did we go wrong here? We can go wrong when we allow our two year old to pound away at our legs, and chuckle as he does so, thinking that he’ll learn to lighten up later on. This does not reflect reality. Reality is that we can’t hit away at someone else. The sooner kids learn no for such actions….the easier life will be.
When your daughter asks for a limousine to take six of her best friends to the mall to go shopping for her birthday, you must say no. Perhaps you can afford it. That not the point.
The point is that you want to prepare your kids for reality. For most of us, reality is not that we have a limousine taking us out to dinner every time we have a birthday. The reality is also that there are limits on spending, and that your child needs to learn that their request is not your command.” (Learning How to Say No, by Dr. Randy Cale)
5. There are not many pictures sadder to me than that of a parent who can’t say “no” to their child - A child who is obviously in control of his or her parent.
D. God, our Heavenly Father is a perfect parent and that’s why there are times when God says “no.”
1. As God’s children, we probably don’t like it when God says “no” any more than when we were kids and our earthly parents said “no.”
2. But it is so important that we learn to trust God and thank Him when He says “yes” and when He says “no.”
3. In today’s story from 2 Samuel 7 we are going to witness how God said “no” to David and how David responded to God’s answer.
4. There is an important lessons for us to learn from David’s example.
I. The Story
A. As our story begins we see that things have finally come together for David.
1. The Bible says: After the king was settled in his palace and the LORD had given him rest from all his enemies around him…(2 Sam. 7:1)
2. After the years of danger and struggle and waiting, David is finally settled in his palace and the Lord has given him rest from all his enemies.