Read 2 Samuel 7
God’s Promise to David
1 After the king was settled in his palace and the Lord had given him rest from all his enemies around him, 2 he said to Nathan the prophet, “Here I am, living in a house of cedar, while the ark of God remains in a tent.”
3 Nathan replied to the king, “Whatever you have in mind, go ahead and do it, for the Lord is with you.”
4 But that night the word of the Lord came to Nathan, saying:
5 “Go and tell my servant David, ‘This is what the Lord says: Are you the one to build me a house to dwell in? 6 I have not dwelt in a house from the day I brought the Israelites up out of Egypt to this day. I have been moving from place to place with a tent as my dwelling. 7 Wherever I have moved with all the Israelites, did I ever say to any of their rulers whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, “Why have you not built me a house of cedar?”’
8 “Now then, tell my servant David, ‘This is what the Lord Almighty says: I took you from the pasture, from tending the flock, and appointed you ruler over my people Israel. 9 I have been with you wherever you have gone, and I have cut off all your enemies from before you. Now I will make your name great, like the names of the greatest men on earth. 10 And I will provide a place for my people Israel and will plant them so that they can have a home of their own and no longer be disturbed. Wicked people will not oppress them anymore, as they did at the beginning 11 and have done ever since the time I appointed leaders over my people Israel. I will also give you rest from all your enemies.
“‘The Lord declares to you that the Lord himself will establish a house for you: 12 When your days are over and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, your own flesh and blood, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 14 I will be his father, and he will be my son. When he does wrong, I will punish him with a rod wielded by men, with floggings inflicted by human hands. 15 But my love will never be taken away from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you. 16 Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.’”
17 Nathan reported to David all the words of this entire revelation.
18 Then King David went in and sat before the Lord, and he said:
“Who am I, Sovereign Lord, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far? 19 And as if this were not enough in your sight, Sovereign Lord, you have also spoken about the future of the house of your servant—and this decree, Sovereign Lord, is for a mere human!
20 “What more can David say to you? For you know your servant, Sovereign Lord. 21 For the sake of your word and according to your will, you have done this great thing and made it known to your servant.
22 “How great you are, Sovereign Lord! There is no one like you, and there is no God but you, as we have heard with our own ears. 23 And who is like your people Israel—the one nation on earth that God went out to redeem as a people for himself, and to make a name for himself, and to perform great and awesome wonders by driving out nations and their gods from before your people, whom you redeemed from Egypt? 24 You have established your people Israel as your very own forever, and you, Lord, have become their God.
25 “And now, Lord God, keep forever the promise you have made concerning your servant and his house. Do as you promised, 26 so that your name will be great forever. Then people will say, ‘The Lord Almighty is God over Israel!’ And the house of your servant David will be established in your sight.
27 “Lord Almighty, God of Israel, you have revealed this to your servant, saying, ‘I will build a house for you.’ So your servant has found courage to pray this prayer to you. 28 Sovereign Lord, you are God! Your covenant is trustworthy, and you have promised these good things to your servant. 29 Now be pleased to bless the house of your servant, that it may continue forever in your sight; for you, Sovereign Lord, have spoken, and with your blessing the house of your servant will be blessed forever.”
Chapter 7 gives us so many different important lessons and truths that it is hard to focus only on one main point. Many commentaries call this the key text in the Davidic Covenant. Not only does the chapter explain why Israel would always be divided into two kingdoms (God promised David that a Davidic king would always rule, therefore one tribe is always from David’s descendants), it also foreshadows Psalm 89’s protests and provides a prophetic reference to Jesus and His eternal Kingdom. All of these are important topics that could each carry their own sermon!
But today, let’s zoom in on verse 2 when David decides that if he gets to live in a house of cedar, then God’s Ark shouldn’t be stuck in a tent. We have seen in the last few days that David had recently experienced an abundance of God’s favor: he had become king, defeated the Philistines, and relocated the Ark to Jerusalem. Maybe his desire to build a house for the Ark was out of thanksgiving for all of these blessings. His heart was likely in the right place, and he even consults wise counsel when getting the go-ahead from Nathan.
The problem? God didn’t need David’s help. David’s desire, even if pure in intent, gets ahead of God’s plans. Even Nathan the prophet assumes that David’s idea is a good one, because the Lord is clearly with David in his recent success. God’s favor is evident in David’s life, so surely David’s idea must be a good one, right? It seems that way until God tells Nathan to gently remind David: It was I that plucked you from the fields as a young shepherd to rule My people; I am the one that brought the Israelites out of Egypt; if a house needs to be built for my Ark, I’m pretty sure I can handle that as well.
The point is a clear one – even those who are clearly walking with the Lord and experiencing His favor may not always have a clear grasp on the timing of His plans and purposes. We know that God did, in fact, later have a house built for the Ark by Solomon. God operates outside of our preferred timelines, but His plan is better than anything we could conceive. As believers, we have been given the Holy Spirit who guides us with wisdom and discernment. Seemingly God-honoring plans must still be fully submitted to God and the sovereignty of His timing. We must be diligent about seeking clear guidance from God within us, not merely asking for godly counsel from those around us.
- Do you tend to seek counsel from those around you before asking God to reveal His wisdom to you through the Holy Spirit?
- If you have a community of believers that you go to for godly counsel, consider asking them to hold you accountable to praying for guidance before you receive advice from them.
- Spend a few minutes thanking God for His graciousness in giving us the Holy Spirit to provide us with His wisdom and discernment.
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