OUR WAYS—GOD’S WAYS
Lord, give me the proper guidance as to what I should do for You.
Read 2 SAMUEL 7:1–17
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.
New International Version (NIV)
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Use the prayer of Psalm 118:19 today to prepare you to hear God speaking to you in this reading.
God uses different avenues to speak to us, including the wise counsel of godly men and women. Sometimes, however, even this does not constitute God’s specific word to us on a given issue, so we must be careful not to close our minds to other possible revelations, as we see in our reading today.
At the shrine in Shiloh, the Ark of the Covenant is housed in a building which is called a temple (1 Sam. 3:3, AV). That, however, is a temporary arrangement and not the magnificent citadel that David has in his heart to build. He seeks and receives positive counsel from Nathan, the man of God (1–3); but Nathan’s word is not God’s word for him on the matter, which comes through a subsequent prophetic revelation. Although God makes it clear that he does not require a human house in which to live, he does concede that a temple should be built to house the Ark, which represents his presence among his people—only David is not to build it.
God’s message through the prophet Nathan is usually called the Davidic Covenant (Psa. 89:3; Luke 1:32,33). God does not allow David to build a house for him, but he builds for David not only a house but a dynasty—not merely a temporal dynasty through his son Solomon, but an enduring one through another Son who would establish his throne forever. How God rewards our simple acts of generosity! Indeed, in the words of Paul, he does “exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think” (Eph. 3:20, AV).
A great idea, however good, is not necessarily God’s plan. Pray today that you will know and implement only God’s ideas in your life.
Lord, bless anything that I build for You, whether it be my family, my church commitment or investments in Your kingdom.