Summary: In this chapter Nathan presents two different oracles from God to David, tied together by different understandings of the word "house." David wants to build a house for God; God instead intends to build David's house.
2 SAMUEL 7: 1-17 [The Life of David]
WHEN GOD SAYS NO TO OUR DREAMS
In this chapter Nathan presents two different oracles from God to David, tied together by different understandings of the word "house." David wants to build a house for God; God instead intends to build David's house.
It's a wonderful thing to dream of doing something to honor God. Now for the first time since ascending the throne David was in a position to do something that had probably been in his heart for a long time. He was established in his new house and secure from his Philistine enemies. What should David do for God in this interlude of calm and peace?
Often people come to this place in their lives and become bored and restless. Rather than using their stability as a base from which to do good, they focus on themselves in an effort to become more secure or find more pleasure. David though wanted to use his time, resources, and knowledge to honor God. I have known a score of Christians who have come to a place in their lives where they wanted to do something special for God. [Chafin, Kenneth. The Preacher's Commentary Series, Vol 8: 1, 2 Samuel. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Inc, 1989, S. 258.]
Let's look and learn from David's noble attempt to do something, extravagant, something extraordinary for the God who had in His time established him.
I. A Concern for God's House, 1-3.
II. A Heaven-Sent Correction, 4-7.
III. A Prophecy to Consider, 8-11.
IV. A Divine Covenant, 11c-17.
With time to think David began to consider what was the most important thing, the most important undertaking he could do for God and his people. Verse 1: "Now it came about when the king lived in his house, and the Lord had given him rest on every side from all his enemies,"
David was very conscious of God's presence in his life. After David had become well settled in Jerusalem and was enjoying a period of peace, his thoughts turned to the idea of building a more permanent structure in which the Lord could reside among His people.
So he calls his friend and confidant, the prophet Nathan, to discuss the project with him in verse 2. "the king said to Nathan the prophet, "See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells within tent curtains."
One of the factors that caused him to declare his interest and intention to Nathan was the contrast between the house in which he now lived and the tent that he had provided for the ark of God David felt the tent was no longer suitable, especially in comparison with his own elaborate palace of cedar.
Not everyone is bothered by the contrast between their opulent lifestyle and the neglect of the church. David's attitude would have thrilled the prophet Haggai who railed against God's people because they built for themselves "paneled houses" while the temple lay in ruins (Hag. 1:2–4).
It isn't hard to see why Nathan was impressed by David's desire and gave his blessing to the project in verse 3. ‘Nathan said to the king, "Go, do all that is in your mind, for the Lord is with you."