Growing with God: A daily devotional with Tonia Slimm.
2 Samuel 7:1-3 (NIV)
After the king was settled in his palace and the Lord had given him rest from all his enemies around him, he said to Nathan the prophet, “Here I am, living in a palace of cedar, while the ark of God remains in a tent.” Nathan replied to the king, “Whatever you have in mind, go ahead and do it, for the Lord is with you.”
2 Samuel 7:1-3 (MSG)
Before long, the king made himself at home and God gave him peace from all his enemies. Then one day King David said to Nathan the prophet, “Look at this: Here I am, comfortable in a luxurious house of cedar, and the Chest of God sits in a plain tent.” Nathan told the king, “Whatever is on your heart, go and do it. God is with you.”
“When King David lived in his house (palace) and the Lord had given him rest from all his surrounding enemies, 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.” And Nathan said to the king, “Go, do everything that is in your heart, for the Lord is with you.”-AMPLIFIED
David had finally settled into his kingship. He had established himself. In fact, so much so that he had peace with his enemies. He had finally arrived.
“In the ancient world, what did kings do when they had no wars to fight? Nebuchadnezzar surveyed his city and boasted, “Is not this great Babylon that I have built?” (Dan 4:30). Solomon collected wealth and wives, entertained foreign guests, and wrote books, while Hezekiah seems to have supervised scholars who copied and preserved the Scriptures (Prov 25:1). But it appears from 2 Sam 7:1-3 that in David’s leisure hours, the king thought about the Lord and conferred with his chaplain Nathan about improving the spiritual condition of the kingdom of Israel. David wasn’t simply a ruler; he was a shepherd with a heart concern for his people. In rest, he thought of work he could do, and in success he thought of God and His goodness to him.” -The Bible Exposition Commentary
David’s mind turned toward the things of God and he desired to do something that would be pleasing to God. He seeks out Nathan the prophet to run the idea by him. Nathan’s first response to David’s idea was “Go for it!” but he himself had not sought God’s direction in the matter.
What David desired to do was not a bad thing; the issue was that he had not sought God’s direction in this matter. (David’s intentions were to honor the Lord.)For that matter, the prophet of God, Nathan, had not sought God’s will before he gave his “go ahead” to David either. Nathan did not know what God’s will was in this matter; yet he gave David the impression that it was all right to go ahead and do it anyhow. (Be careful in seeking direction in the things of God from those who have not taken the time to seek God with you.)
Nathan encouraged David to do whatever was on his mind or in his heart. That could have become a very precarious situation. We need to remember this bit of truth that God spoke to Jeremiah, “The heart is hopelessly dark and deceitful, a puzzle that no one can figure out. But I, God, search the heart and examine the mind. I get to the heart of the human. I get to the root of things. I treat them as they really are, not as they pretend to be.” – Jeremiah 17:9-10 (MSG)
Every hair-brained idea that pops into our heads is not necessarily of God. David was about to find this truth out. (Nathan was as well.) That very night after these two had their conversation with each other God spoke to Nathan saying to him:
“Go and tell my servant David, ‘This is what the Lord says: Will you build a house for me to live in? From the time I brought the Israelites out of Egypt until now I have not lived in a house. I have been moving around all this time with a tent as my home. As I have moved with the Israelites, I have never said to the tribes, whom I commanded to take care of my people Israel, “Why haven’t you built me a house of cedar? You must tell my servant David, ‘This is what the Lord All-Powerful says: I took you from the pasture and from tending the sheep and made you leader of my people Israel. I have been with you everywhere you have gone and have defeated your enemies for you. I will make you as famous as any of the great people on the earth. Also I will choose a place for my people Israel, and I will plant them so they can live in their own homes. They will not be bothered anymore. Wicked people will no longer bother them as they have in the past when I chose judges for my people Israel. But I will give you peace from all your enemies. I also tell you that I will make your descendants kings of Israel after you. When you die and join your ancestors, I will make one of your sons the next king and I will set up his kingdom. He will build a house for me, and I will let his kingdom rule always. I will be his father, and he will be my son. When he sins, I will use other people to punish him. They will be my whips. I took away my love from Saul, whom I removed before you, but I will never stop loving your son. But your family and your kingdom will continue always before me. Your throne will last forever.'” -2 Samuel 7:5-16 (NCV)
God’s ways are NOT our ways. Always remember that! What David wanted to do was not a bad thing, but it was not God’s will for him. Our first priority is to seek God’s direction for and in our lives. What would He have for me to do? What would He have for you to do? “Keep asking and it will be given to you; keep seeking, and you will find; keep knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who keeps asking receives; he who keeps seeking finds; and to him who keeps knocking, the door will be opened.”–Matthew 7:7-8 (Complete Jewish Bible)
Lord, I want to do your will. My desire is to be pleasing to you in everything that I do. Help me to seek your will in my life first and not as a last resort. Many times I rush into areas that even angels fear to go. I get those hair brain ideas and run with them. Too often I find out after the fact that what I have done was never your intention for me to do. Forgive me, Lord. Help me to look to you for guidance and direction in my life. Lord, I am asking. Show me what you would have me do for you today.