As we start chapter 7 in 2 Samuel, we see calmness. All the surrounding enemies were subdued, for a time. Scripture says, “The Lord had given him rest from all around (2 Samuel 7:1).
In verse 2 is the first mention of God’s prophet Nathan. David is at rest, his children are being born and growing up, and David starts to think of the ark of the Lord having only a tent to reside in.
2 Samuel 7:2, 3 – “See now, I dwell in a house of cedar but the ark of God dwells within tent curtains.” (Verse 3) Then Nathan said to the king, “Go, do all that is in your heart, for the Lord is with you.”
It had started to bother David that while he had a beautiful house to live in, God’s ark was surrounded by a temporary curtain. David’s motive for wanting God to have a permanent place to dwell was pure. David only wanted to exalt the name of Jehovah.
We all have had great expectations of doing great things for God at one time or another. Sometimes those dreams won’t let go. They haunt us when we lie down at night and the first thing we think about in the morning. Sometimes they are from God, sometimes not. They are noble dreams, great ideas, but when it’s not of God, it won’t come to fulfillment. It’s hard to determine whether it is from God or not. I’ve been there, as many of you have. In fact, our friends will agree and encourage us to go with it. That’s what Nathan did to David, he encouraged him. However, look what happened the very night Nathan had encouraged David.
2 Samuel 7:4, 6 – But it happened that night that the word of the Lord came to Nathan, saying, “Go tell My servant David, ‘Thus says the Lord’; “Would you build a house for Me to dwell in?”
In 1 Chronicles 17:4, it says what the Lord said a little plainer: “You shall not build Me a house to dwell in.” (Verse 6) “For I have not dwelt in a house since the time that I brought the children of Israel up from Egypt, even to this day, but have moved about in a tent and in a tabernacle.”
God goes on to tell Nathan to tell David, He has blessed him to be ruler over Israel and when his days are fulfilled, he will have David’s seed build Him a house for “My name, and He will establish the throne of his kingdom forever (2 Samuel 7:7-17).
This was not a rebuke or judgment against David. God was simply redirecting the plan to build Himself a house, to someone else.
We don’t always know why God does this. In our minds, it makes sense to let us do it, whatever it is. Sometimes we have to stand back and watch another complete our dream. That can be hard, but when it’s God’s will, it will be blessed. God in no way condemns us for wanting to do great things for His kingdom. It’s just that sometimes His ways are not our ways.
When God throws a cog into our plans and they don’t work out the way we think they should, it might just be a re-direction. We can keep trying but if it’s not God’s will, it won’t come to pass. There’s no reason to feel guilty or beat yourself up. He has something else He wants you to do, that will be blessed.
I’ve said this before; not everyone is called to be a pastor. They love God; their joy and enthusiasm overflows for Him, but they were not called into the pulpit. Sometimes we won’t know for sure if this is His will until it all falls into place. But we cannot ignore His will. As in this conversation concerning David, “Not everyone is called to build the temple,” but we are all are called to be a witness!
God has all kinds of creative ways to use us for His kingdom. It doesn’t have to be on a missionary field, and it doesn’t have to be behind a pulpit. That might be hard for some to swallow, but if that person goes on with their plans, it can be disastrous for them and those around them.
Let’s check out David’s response when he is told, “It won’t be you.”
In 2 Samuel 7:18-29, David goes in and sat before the Lord and basically said this: You’ve blessed my house; you’ve blessed my life, and you’ve brought me from leading sheep to placing me on a throne, “Who am I?’
I think it’s a good thing to just sit at the Master’s feet and recall all the times He has blessed our lives.
Dream or no dream, we are a blessed people. If you will read the rest of what David spoke to God, you will see how truly grateful he is. David revealed his true heart to God. There is no one like our God. No one can do the things He does or did for us.
When our plans don’t work out, don’t think that God is punishing you, which will bring guilt. Just try to listen and wait and He will direct your path!