God’s Covenant with David

2 Sam 7:1-6, 8-10, 12-16

SS Lesson for 10/22/2017

 

Devotional Scripture:  Ps 89:1-15

Introduction

Overview and Key Verse of the Lesson

The lesson examines and helps us understand the unconditional nature of God’s Covenant with David. The study's aim is to be grateful for God’s unconditional commitment to His children. The study's application is to thank God for His unconditional promise to save us eternally.

                                                              (Adapted from the Bible Expositor and Illuminator Commentary)

 

Key Verse: 2 Sam 7:16

And your house and your kingdom shall be established forever before you. Your throne shall be established forever

 

Commentary from the Bible Knowledge Commentary

7:1-2. 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. The tent, he felt, was no longer suitable, especially in comparison with his own elaborate palace of cedar (cf. 5:11).

7:3-17. Having communicated his desires to the Prophet Nathan, whose initial response was favorable, David soon learned that his intentions were premature. Since the Exodus the Lord had resided among the people in a temporary structure. There was no need now for anything different. In fact it was not God’s will for David to build Him a house; instead God would build a house for David! (v. 11) God had called David from inauspicious beginnings to be a shepherd of God’s people (v. 8). Likewise, God had gathered Israel to Himself and would plant them securely in their own land. The house to be built for David would be a royal house, a dynasty of kings. It would originate with him but would never end (v. 16). The kingdom and its throne would be permanent, a realm over which the Son of David would reign forever (cf. 23:5). The promise that David and his seed would be kings fulfilled the even more ancient Abrahamic Covenant blessing that the patriarchs would be the fathers of kings (Gen. 17:6, 16; 35:11). To Judah, great-grandson of Abraham, was given the explicit pledge that a promised ruler would come from Judah (Gen. 49:10). Samuel anointed this one from Judah, David himself, of whom the Lord said, “He is the one” (1 Sam. 16:12). David was aware of his election by God and of the theological significance of that election as part of the messianic line that would result in a divine Descendant and King (Pss. 2:6-7; 110; cf. Ethan’s words in Ps. 89:3-4). The prophets also attested to the Davidic Messiah, the One who would rule over all and forever on His throne (Isa. 9:1-7; 11:1-5; Jer. 30:4-11; Ezek. 34:23-24; 37:24-25; Amos 9:11-15). The promise that the people of the Lord, David’s kingdom Israel, would have an enduring land of their own was also based on earlier commitments of the Lord. The seed of Abraham, God said, would be given Canaan as a home forever (Gen. 13:15; 15:18; 17:8; Deut. 34:4). As for a temple, David would not be allowed to build it, but his son after him would have the honor of doing so (2 Sam. 7:12-13). That this refers to a literal house and not a dynasty is clear from the context, which speaks of the results that would follow if the son would be disobedient to the Lord (vv. 14-15). This could not be true of the King who is spoken of as the climactic figure of the Davidic dynastic line. These verses, then, are a good example of an Old Testament passage in which some elements find fulfillment in the immediate future (Solomon and other strictly human descendants of David), while other elements will be realized only in the more distant future (Jesus Christ, the Son of David; cf. Luke 1:31-33).

7:18-29. David’s response to this magnificent revelation concerning the nature of his kingship was to acknowledge the Lord’s goodness in bestowing it (vv. 18-21) and to extol God’s incomparable sovereignty (How great You are... ! There is no one like You, v. 22). This, David said, was seen especially in God’s selection of Israel and His redemptive grace on her behalf (vv. 23-24). Finally he prayed that the promise God had made might indeed find fulfillment to the glory of His own holy name—so that His name would be great forever (vv. 25-29). Interestingly David addressed God 7 times as O Sovereign Lord (vv. 18-20, 22, 28-29), words that translate the Hebrew ʾădōnāy (lit., “Lord”) Yahweh. David expressed his humility before God by referring to himself as Your servant 10 times (vv. 19-21, 25-29).

 

Commentary from the Bible Expositor and Illuminator Commentary

Here is a mighty prophecy. Psalm 89 calls the substance of it God's "covenant" with David (vs. 3; cf. vs. 4). In this psalm we learn that the covenant results in glorious praise being lifted up to God as the one and only true God who can control history and bring His glorious plan to fruition. This covenant includes in its vision the messianic plan of the Lord Jesus from His first coming all the way to His second coming and on into eternity. The covenant, revealed to Nathan the prophet, gives us a sense of what it is to be part of God's glorious, eternal, victorious saving plan. We see in the text three aspects of the covenantal promise to David. First, he would be given a "house" forever. This refers to a people. God covenanted with David that He would secure a royal line of descendants that would culminate in the Messiah Himself. When we come to know the Lord as our Saviour, we have to realize that we are part of something much greater than the simple transaction of faith and salvation we make on a given day. We are drawn into God's covenant, secured into the eternal people of God who are called out to worship Him forever. Second, we see that God's covenant with David includes a "kingdom." God's kingdom is sometimes more outwardly manifest than at other times. It is not always as visible as we would like today as God assembles for Himself a people from all the nations of the world. We can, however, see a picture of what the kingdom looks like to some degree in the local churches that are organized all over the globe to lift up the name of Jesus. The kingdom will not reach its full visibility until the Lord Jesus returns to the earth. Then God's kingdom will be fully manifest, with Jesus ruling with His people over all the earth. And this kingdom will be "forever." This leads to the third aspect of the Davidic covenant that we see in this text—that of dominion. God's covenant with David assured him that his throne would be established forever. So we have his house, his kingdom, and his eternal throne. The idea of a throne speaks of dominion and authority. One day, in the fulfillment of this covenant, there will be no more challenge to the authority of God upon the earth. There will be no more usurpation of His rule, with all the pain and trouble that causes. The Lord Jesus, the Seed of David, will rule in perfect justice and wisdom. What we see in this covenant is the full manifestation of God's glorious, saving plan. He will save a people for Himself. He will establish a kingdom for His Son, the Lord Jesus. And that kingdom wilt be ruled in perfect love and truth. To belong to Jesus is to belong to all these precious promises and prophetic truths. We are heirs of a kingdom and a throne. We shall be with the people of God forever. All this was spoken in response to David's desire to build a better "house" (temple) for God to dwell in (2 Sam. 7:1 -3). God was saying to him, "Wait until you see what I am going to build for you!" We cannot out give God. His plan for us goes far beyond anything we have done or could do for Him.

 

Lesson Introduction and Background

From the NIV Standard Lesson Commentary

Presidents of the United States have many avenues for leaving legacies. One such is by means of the Presidential Libraries Act of 1955. This act established a system of libraries operated and maintained by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). At the beginning of 2016, the 13 presidential libraries that are maintained by the NARA contained over 400 million pages of printed materials, about 10 million photographs, over 15 million feet of motion-picture film, and nearly 100,000 hours of audio and video recordings. It’s natural to want to leave our mark on earth in some lasting way. King David himself had a plan as to how he would do that. But the fact that he had “shed much blood and [had] fought many wars” (1 Chronicles 22:8; 28:3) meant that God had a different idea.

 

The previous two lessons examined Scriptures dealing with God’s covenant with the nation of Israel. Today we move forward to the time of King David to consider another covenant God made—this one with the “man after [God’s] own heart” (Acts 13:22). David was in very ordinary surroundings when Samuel came to Bethlehem to anoint a replacement for King Saul. The youngest of eight brothers, David’s viability as a candidate to be king was not seriously considered by his father, so Samuel pushed the issue: after none of David’s seven brothers proved to be God’s chosen, David was sent for and anointed as Israel’s next king (1 Samuel 16:1-13). After Saul’s death, David became king of only the tribe of Judah, which he ruled for seven and a half years. When Saul’s son Ishbosheth was murdered, the way became clear for David to become king over the entire nation (2 Samuel 5:1-5). David proceeded to conquer the city of Jerusalem and bring the ark of the covenant there (5:6-10; 6:12-23). He also defeated the Philistines who had been a thorn in Israel’s side for some time (5:17-25). While the above achievements were steps David took to solidify his reign, today’s lesson text records what God did to solidify that reign in a way David never could have imagined.

 

Major Theme Analysis

(Scriptural Text from the New King James Version; cross-references from the NIV)

David’s Plan Denied (2 Sam 7:1-6)

 

1 Now it came to pass when the king was dwelling in his house, and the Lord had given him rest from all his enemies all around,

2 that the king said to Nathan the prophet, "See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells inside tent curtains."

3 Then Nathan said to the king, "Go, do all that is in your heart, for the Lord is with you."

4 But it happened that night that the word of the Lord came to Nathan, saying,

5 "Go and tell My servant David, 'Thus says the Lord: "Would you build a house for Me to dwell in?

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.

 

Plan based on man’s idea of good times (1-2)

Plans to take life easy based on abundance (Luke 12:16-21)

16 And he told them this parable: "The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. 17 He thought to himself, 'What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.' 18 "Then he said, 'This is what I'll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19 And I'll say to myself, "You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry." '  20 "But God said to him, 'You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?' 21 "This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God."

Plans that have the wrong priorities about wealth (Luke 18:22-25)

22 When Jesus heard this, he said to him, "You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." 23 When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was a man of great wealth. 24 Jesus looked at him and said, "How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God! 25 Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."

Plans that hinder our productivity because of fear of losing (Luke 19:20-24)

20 "Then another servant came and said, 'Sir, here is your mina; I have kept it laid away in a piece of cloth. 21 I was afraid of you, because you are a hard man. You take out what you did not put in and reap what you did not sow.' 22 "His master replied, 'I will judge you by your own words, you wicked servant! You knew, did you, that I am a hard man, taking out what I did not put in, and reaping what I did not sow? 23 Why then didn't you put my money on deposit, so that when I came back, I could have collected it with interest?' 24 "Then he said to those standing by, 'Take his mina away from him and give it to the one who has ten minas.'

Plans that put too much dependence on wealth (1 Tim 6:17)

17 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.

Plans that try to hide things from God because of greed (Acts 5:1-5)

5 Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. 2 With his wife's full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles' feet. 3 Then Peter said, "Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? 4 Didn't it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn't the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied to men but to God." 5 When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard what had happened.

 

Plan based on other men approvals (3)

Approval of your peers versus godly wisdom (1 Kings 12:6-17)

6 Then King Rehoboam consulted the elders who had served his father Solomon during his lifetime. "How would you advise me to answer these people?" he asked. 7 They replied, "If today you will be a servant to these people and serve them and give them a favorable answer, they will always be your servants." 8 But Rehoboam rejected the advice the elders gave him and consulted the young men who had grown up with him and were serving him. 9 He asked them, "What is your advice? How should we answer these people who say to me, 'Lighten the yoke your father put on us'?" 10 The young men who had grown up with him replied, "Tell these people who have said to you, 'Your father put a heavy yoke on us, but make our yoke lighter'-tell them, 'My little finger is thicker than my father's waist. 11 My father laid on you a heavy yoke; I will make it even heavier. My father scourged you with whips; I will scourge you with scorpions.'" 12 Three days later Jeroboam and all the people returned to Rehoboam, as the king had said, "Come back to me in three days." 13 The king answered the people harshly. Rejecting the advice given him by the elders, 14 he followed the advice of the young men and said, "My father made your yoke heavy; I will make it even heavier. My father scourged you with whips; I will scourge you with scorpions." 15 So the king did not listen to the people, for this turn of events was from the Lord, to fulfill the word the Lord had spoken to Jeroboam son of Nebat through Ahijah the Shilonite. 16 When all Israel saw that the king refused to listen to them, they answered the king: "What share do we have in David, what part in Jesse's son? To your tents, O Israel! Look after your own house, O David!" So the Israelites went home. 17 But as for the Israelites who were living in the towns of Judah, Rehoboam still ruled over them.

Approval from leaders versus God (John 12:42)

42 Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not confess their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue;

Approval because people are prone to evil (Exodus 32:21-25)

21 He said to Aaron, "What did these people do to you, that you led them into such great sin?" 22 "Do not be angry, my lord," Aaron answered. "You know how prone these people are to evil. 23 They said to me, 'Make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don't know what has happened to him.' 24 So I told them, 'Whoever has any gold jewelry, take it off.' Then they gave me the gold, and I threw it into the fire, and out came this calf!" 25 Moses saw that the people were running wild and that Aaron had let them get out of control and so become a laughingstock to their enemies.


Approval because of fear of people (1 Sam 15:19-25)

19 Why did you not obey the Lord? Why did you pounce on the plunder and do evil in the eyes of the Lord?" 20 "But I did obey the Lord," Saul said. "I went on the mission the Lord assigned me. I completely destroyed the Amalekites and brought back Agag their king. 21 The soldiers took sheep and cattle from the plunder, the best of what was devoted to God, in order to sacrifice them to the Lord your God at Gilgal." 22 But Samuel replied: "Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. 23 For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, he has rejected you as king." 24 Then Saul said to Samuel, "I have sinned. I violated the Lord's command and your instructions. I was afraid of the people and so I gave in to them. 25 Now I beg you, forgive my sin and come back with me, so that I may worship the Lord."

 

Plan not based on God’s purposes (4-6)

God's purposes stand firm forever (Ps 33:10-11)

10 The Lord foils the plans of the nations; he thwarts the purposes of the peoples. 11 But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.

God's purposes determines man’s steps (Prov 16:9)

9 In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.

God's purposes will prevail (Prov 19:21)

21 Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails.

God's purposes will happen as He has planned (Isa 14:24)

24 The Lord Almighty has sworn, "Surely, as I have planned, so it will be, and as I have purposed, so it will stand.

God's purposes will stand (Isa 46:10)

10 I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.

God's purposes will happen because nothing is impossible for Him (Matt 19:26)

26 Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."

 

God’s Past Blessings Reviewed (2 Sam 7:8-10)

 

8 Now therefore, thus shall you say to My servant David, 'Thus says the Lord of hosts: "I took you from the sheepfold, from following the sheep, to be ruler over My people, over Israel.

9 And I have been with you wherever you have gone, and have cut off all your enemies from before you, and have made you a great name, like the name of the great men who are on the earth.

10 Moreover I will appoint a place for My people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own and move no more; nor shall the sons of wickedness oppress them anymore, as previously,

 

David’s blessings (8-9)

Blessing of selection from shepherding (1 Sam 16:11-13)

11 So he asked Jesse, "Are these all the sons you have?" "There is still the youngest," Jesse answered, "but he is tending the sheep." Samuel said, "Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives." 12 So he sent and had him brought in. He was ruddy, with a fine appearance and handsome features. Then the Lord said, "Rise and anoint him; he is the one." 13 So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came upon David in power. Samuel then went to Ramah.

Blessing of the defeat of Goliath (1 Sam 17:45-51)

45 David said to the Philistine, "You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the Lord will hand you over to me, and I'll strike you down and cut off your head. Today I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. 47 All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord's, and he will give all of you into our hands." 48 As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. 49 Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground. 50 So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him. 51 David ran and stood over him. He took hold of the Philistine's sword and drew it from the scabbard. After he killed him, he cut off his head with the sword. When the Philistines saw that their hero was dead, they turned and ran.

Blessing of selection as king (2 Sam 5:1-5)

1 All the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron and said, "We are your own flesh and blood. 2 In the past, while Saul was king over us, you were the one who led Israel on their military campaigns. And the Lord said to you, 'You will shepherd my people Israel, and you will become their ruler.'" 3 When all the elders of Israel had come to King David at Hebron, the king made a compact with them at Hebron before the Lord, and they anointed David king over Israel. 4 David was thirty years old when he became king, and he reigned forty years. 5 In Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months, and in Jerusalem he reigned over all Israel and Judah thirty-three years.

Blessing of battle victories (2 Sam 5:18-19)

18 Now the Philistines had come and spread out in the Valley of Rephaim; 19 so David inquired of the Lord, "Shall I go and attack the Philistines? Will you hand them over to me?" The Lord answered him, "Go, for I will surely hand the Philistines over to you."

 

Israel’s blessings (10)

Blessing of planting in a home (1 Chron 17:9)

9 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

Blessing of strength and peace (Ps 89:20-24)

20 I have found David my servant; with my sacred oil I have anointed him. 21 My hand will sustain him; surely my arm will strengthen him. 22 No enemy will subject him to tribute; no wicked man will oppress him. 23 I will crush his foes before him and strike down his adversaries.

Blessing of safety (Isa 60:18)

18 No longer will violence be heard in your land, nor ruin or destruction within your borders, but you will call your walls Salvation and your gates Praise.

Blessing of an everlasting covenant of establishment (Ezek 37:25-28)

25 They will live in the land I gave to my servant Jacob, the land where your fathers lived. They and their children and their children's children will live there forever, and David my servant will be their prince forever. 26 I will make a covenant of peace with them; it will be an everlasting covenant. I will establish them and increase their numbers, and I will put my sanctuary among them forever. 27 My dwelling place will be with them; I will be their God, and they will be my people. 28 Then the nations will know that I the Lord make Israel holy, when my sanctuary is among them forever.'"

Blessing of their dominion (Hos 2:18)

18 In that day I will make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field and the birds of the air and the creatures that move along the ground. Bow and sword and battle I will abolish from the land, so that all may lie down in safety.

 

God’s Future Promises Defined (2 Sam 7:12-16)

 

12 "When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom.

13 He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.

14 I will be his Father, and he shall be My son. If he commits iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men and with the blows of the sons of men.

15 But My mercy shall not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I removed from before you.

16 And your house and your kingdom shall be established forever before you. Your throne shall be established forever."'"

 

Promise of kingdom established (12-13)

Established in a kingdom that cannot be shaken (Heb 12:28)

28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe,

Established in God's eternal glory after suffering a little while (1 Peter 5:10)

10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.

Established in Jesus (Col 2:6-7)

6 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, 7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

Established by being built into God's dwelling (Eph 2:21-22)

21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.

Established by remaining in Jesus (John 15:5-7)

5 "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.

 

Promise of disciplines (14-15)

Discipline that produces perseverance, character; and hope (Rom 5:3-5)

3 Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

Discipline that achieves an eternal glory (2 Cor 4:17)

17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.

Discipline that keeps me from going too far astray (Ps 119:67)

67 Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey your word.

Discipline that keeps us from the folly of life (Prov 22:15)

15 Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him.

Discipline that is part of God's pruning so that we will be more fruitful (John 15:2)

2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.

Discipline that aids in refining our faith and proves it is genuine (1 Peter 1:6-7)

6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that your faith — of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire — may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.

 

Promise of eternal kingdom (16)

An eternal kingdom where God's covenant will ensure it is established forever (Ps 89:34-37)

34 I will not violate my covenant or alter what my lips have uttered. 35 Once for all, I have sworn by my holiness —  and I will not lie to David —  36 that his line will continue forever and his throne endure before me like the sun; 37 it will be established forever like the moon, the faithful witness in the sky." Selah

An eternal kingdom that God promised (Jer 33:17)

17 For this is what the Lord says: 'David will never fail to have a man to sit on the throne of the house of Israel,

An eternal kingdom that God sets up (Dan 2:44)

44 "In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever.

An eternal kingdom where God given authority never ends (Luke 1:32-33)

32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end."

An eternal kingdom where righteousness is supreme (Heb 1:8)

8 But about the Son he says, "Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever, and righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom.

 

Conclusion and Other Thoughts

Commentary Thoughts from Bob Deffinbaugh

The first lesson I learn from our text is that even our highest, most noble ambitions and goals are flawed by sin. David's desire to build a house for God is so lofty even Nathan is taken in by it. Who could fault David for wanting to build God a glorious house? God could and did. And the reason is that David's motives and his ambitions fall far short of what God intended. David seems to have become a little too caught up by his recent successes, by his own position and power, and even by the splendor of his own palace. God's response to David most certainly contains a rebuke to David's arrogance: “Who are you to be building Me a house?” No matter how pious my plans for God and His work appear to be, they fall far short of the purity of thought and motive God requires. In the final analysis, there is nothing we can do for God in our own strength. It is God who must accomplish great things through us, and very often in spite of us.

Related to this first lesson is yet a second lesson: No matter how high and lofty our goals and plans may be, God's plans are greater. Paul put it this way:

Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! 34 For WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, OR WHO BECAME HIS COUNSELOR? 35 Or WHO HAS FIRST GIVEN TO HIM THAT IT MIGHT BE PAID BACK TO HIM AGAIN? 36 For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen (Romans 11:33-36).

But just as it is written, “THINGS WHICH EYE HAS NOT SEEN AND EAR HAS NOT HEARD, AND WHICH HAVE NOT ENTERED THE HEART OF MAN, ALL THAT GOD HAS PREPARED FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM” (1 Corinthians 2:9).

Does David plan to build a house for God? David could not even imagine the “house” that God was going to build for him. God's “house” far surpasses David's proposed “house.”

Third, the greatness and glory of God's presence and power are not to be interpreted in the light of how spectacular the surroundings and setting are. Long ago Elijah was taught that God's presence was not to be assumed in the midst of spectacular phenomenon (although sometimes He does employ the spectacular -- see Exodus 19, 34). God was not present in the wind, the earthquake, or the fire, but in a still, small voice (1 Kings 19:11-13). The disciples to some extent, and the Jews in large measure, expected the Messiah to be revealed by means of the miraculous and the spectacular, and thus the frequent demand for a sign. The Corinthians of the New Testament came to regard those with style and sensationalism as the most spiritual, while at the same time they came to despise those who were less spectacular, like Paul and the other true apostles (see 1 Corinthians 4; 2 Corinthians 4-6). Our Lord Himself did not come in a blaze of glory and sensationalism. He came with his glory veiled (see Isaiah 53:1-3; John 1:9-11; Philippians 2:5-8), and thus many failed to recognize Him as the Messiah. The second temple was not nearly as spectacular, but in God's eyes, it was glorious. The true glory comes not in the external surroundings, but in the fact that God Himself is among us, indwelling us, His body. We should learn from David and from others in the Bible that God's glory is to be found where God is present, and not necessarily where we see the spectacular.

Does David suppose that God will be more present in a spectacular temple than in a tent? He is about to be reminded that God is “enthroned upon the praises of His people” (Psalm 22:3). God has chosen to dwell in a very different “temple” these days; it is the “temple” of His body, the church:

19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God's household, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit (Ephesians 2:19-22).

4 And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God, 5 you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ (1 Peter 2:4-5).

In the eternal kingdom of God, there will be no “temple” as such, for our Lord Himself will be the “temple”:

“And I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its temple” (Revelation 21:22)

Fourth, we see that David does not need a temple nearby in order to worship His God. In fact, David is drifting away from worship when he proposes the construction of a temple. It is after David has been reminded that all he is and all he accomplishes is of God that he begins to worship in the right manner. He then begins to acknowledge his own insignificance and to praise God for His greatness, power, and presence in his life. This is where all true worship begins, not in a spectacular building, but in focusing on the greatness and the grace of our God.

There is a great deal of emphasis these days on the planting and building of churches, great churches. Planting churches is a good thing, and the building of large churches is not necessarily evil. But let us be on guard against the false assumption that larger and more impressive buildings are proof of God's presence and power. We need to be on guard against prideful thoughts of our own contribution to the kingdom of God, of thinking that God really needs us. It is always He who will be carrying us, rather than us carrying Him. How easily we begin to focus on what we have done and can do for God, rather than on all He has done and will do for and through us.

Fifth, David's divine rebuke should serve as a lesson to every Christian. Have you not thought that if you could ever grow up, ever gain maturity and wisdom as a Christian, that you would somehow become exempt from temptation, and protected from sin? Growth, maturity, and success do not insulate us from sin; often, these things can easily become new temptations for us to sin. David is in more danger in his palace than he was fleeing from Saul and hiding out in some cave. Too often we take our “successes” far too seriously. We should be reminded that there is no success that we can honestly claim as our own, for every spiritual success is a gift of God's grace:

For who regards you as superior? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it? (1 Corinthians 4:7).

Finally, I am once again reminded that the greatest blessings of our lives are not the result of our labors, but always the result of God's work, and often as He uses our failings and shortcomings. David is rebuked for requesting to build God a temple, and yet out of this request, God promises to build a house far greater than David could ever imagine. David is wrong when he commits adultery with Bathsheba and kills her husband, but in spite of this, she becomes David's wife and the mother of Solomon, the next king of Israel. David is wrong to number Israel, but as a result of this sin, the property on which the temple is to be built is procured by David.

What a wonderful and awesome God we serve! We cannot thwart His purposes and promises. And even our efforts to thwart His purposes only serve to advance His kingdom. Let us rejoice that God no longer dwells within a tent or a temple, but in the Lord Jesus Christ and in His body, the church. We are God's house if we have trusted in Jesus Christ.

     (Adapted from URL:https://bible.org/seriespage/building-god%E2%80%99s-house-2-samuel-71-29)

 

Concluding Thoughts from the NIV Standard  Lesson Commentary

On November 14, 1970, the Marshall University football team was returning from a game in North Carolina to the Marshall campus in Huntington, West Virginia. The charter plane they were on crashed, killing all 75 individuals on board. Those who perished included 37 players, head coach Rick Tolley, members of his coaching staff and the school’s athletic director, and 25 athletic boosters. In 2006 a movie was made to tell the story of that team and that tragedy. Its title was brief but compelling: We Are Marshall. In a sense all Christians can say, “We are David.” True, few of us have had any experience watching sheep or fighting wild animals in defense of sheep. But what the Lord said to David in 1 Samuel 7:8, 9 could be applied to his treatment of any of us. God took us from what we were (lost, sinful) and made us part of his family. We did nothing to deserve such a status; what we deserved was condemnation. But Jesus, who had done nothing to deserve death, gave his life for us at the cross. Paul states the contrast first by describing humanity’s sorry status: “dead in your transgressions and sins, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts” (Ephesians 2:1, 3). Then comes the welcome remedy: “God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ” (2:4, 5). This is the same mercy that took David from the humble task of watching sheep to become Israel’s greatest king and the recipient of a very special covenant indeed. While few of us have had any experience watching sheep, we have all had experience acting like sheep by “going astray” (1 Peter 2:25). And we have all been rescued by the good shepherd.

 

Heart of the Lesson from the Bible Expositor and Illuminator Commentary

Have you ever wanted to do big things for God? Have you ever wondered what you could do to somehow show your gratitude to God for His goodness? You are not alone. King David felt the same way.

 

God's dwelling place (2 Sam. 7:1-6). King David had settled into his palace and was experiencing a reprieve from his enemies. One day he realized that he was living in a palace made of cedar, but the God he worshipped lived in a tent. David wanted to build a permanent dwelling for Him. So he spoke to Nathan the prophet. Nathan advised him to do what was in his heart. But that night, God spoke to Nathan to give King David a message. God said, "Shalt thou build me an house for me to dwell in? Whereas I have not dwelt in any house since the time that I brought up the children of Israel out of Egypt" (2 Sam. 7:5-6). God was not displeased with King David's desire to build a house for Him. In fact, it pleased God that David was concerned. However, God's presence had spent a very long time in a tent— the tabernacle. God is patient. He was willing to wait a bit longer.

 

Promise of greatness (2 Sam. 7:8-10). The Lord continued His conversation with King David through Nathan. The Lord reminded the king of where he started, as a shepherd, and of where he was ending, as a ruler over Israel. The Lord still had work for King David to do; there were still nations to conquer to ensure peace for God's people. God was with the king in the beginning, and He would continue to be with him and make his name great. King David was a warrior. At the moment, there was peace, but there were still more wars to be won. God wanted to assure David that He was with him; wicked people would no longer oppress his people.

 

A hope for the future (2 Sam. 7:12-16). In this portion of our text, we see God telling David that he would have a successor from his own bloodline. The Lord said of the king's son, "I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men: but my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee." Sometimes the dreams of what we want to do for and with God are not for us to carry out, but they are visions of what is to come. Some of our dreams or desires may be manifested through our children. The delay is not a reflection on the dream; it is simply that we are called for other purposes. King David was a warrior. He was born to fight and conquer. His God-given ability to subdue enemy nations would finance the temple that his son would build for God. The Almighty gave Solomon a heart of wisdom. He was born to lead God's people through a time of peace and prosperity. Nevertheless, because King David had a heart to bless God, the Lord made a covenant with him. The Lord promised the king that his house and kingdom would be established forever. Does God still make covenants with His people? Are you able to look through your family line and see the dreams of one generation manifested in the next? The Lord does not take lightly the desires of our hearts. As we continue to seek Him and trust Him, He will give us those desires.

 

Practical Points from the Bible Expositor and Illuminator Commentary

1.      God strengthens and protects us during times of peace while He prepares us for conflicts ahead (2 Sam. 7:1)

2.      When God prospers you, honor Him (vs. 2)

3.      When your good ideas do not fit into God's plan, always choose God (vss. 3-4)

4.      God has chosen to be present with His people at all times (vss. 5-6)

5.      When God says no, He surely has a better plan (vss. 8-10)

6.      In God alone our future is secure (vss. 12-13)

7.      No matter how difficult the situation, God will always keeps His covenant promises (vss. 14-16)