“Now when the king was settled in his house, and the Lord had given him rest from all his enemies around him, the king said to the prophet Nathan, “See now, I am living in a house of cedar, but the ark of God stays in a tent.” Nathan said to the king, “Go, do all that you have in mind; for the Lord is with you.” (II Samuel 7:1-3)
It says a great deal about David that once he was settled in his kingship, he wanted to honor God. It is a natural progression from the young David who sang songs to God while he watched over sheep to the young warrior David who yearned to win his country from their enemies to the established king who seeks to honor the God who has been with him. It would have been the making of King David.
“But that same night the word of the Lord came to Nathan: Go and tell my servant David: Thus says the Lord: Are you the one to build me a house to live in? I have not lived in a house since the day I brought up the people of Israel from Egypt to this day, but I have been moving about in a tent and a tabernacle. Wherever I have moved about among all the people of Israel, did I ever speak a word with any of the tribal leaders of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, saying, “Why have you not built me a house of cedar?” Now therefore thus you shall say to my servant David: Thus says the Lord of hosts: I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep to be prince over my people Israel; and I have been with you wherever you went, and have cut off all your enemies from before you; and I will make for you a great name, like the name of the great ones of the earth. And I will appoint a place for my people Israel and will plant them, so that they may live in their own place, and be disturbed no more; and evildoers shall afflict them no more, as formerly, from the time that I appointed judges over my people Israel; and I will give you rest from all your enemies.” (Verses 4 to 11a)
In other words, God did not need David; David needed God. There is nothing David can add to what God already is, what God has done, and what God will do. And, I do not think I am giving away the story of David when I say that under David’s rule is a golden time. But after David and his son’s rule, comes darker times again.
“Moreover the Lord declares to you that the Lord will make you a house. When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come forth from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be a father to him, and he shall be a son to me. (Verses 11b -14a)
I do not know if King David took this as a foreshadowing of what was to come in the days after his “offspring” were no longer ruling the nation. David’s kingship and that of his son Solomon are remembered as being golden and wise.
It is also a reminder to us, beloved reader, that our lives and our efforts are not to be put towards increasing the Almighty, but are to be a reflection of what the Almighty is and does. We talk about bringing “glory” to God, but what that actually means is conducting ourselves as Godly people. Our brief shining moments of “perfection” do not compare to the Perfection that is God already.
It seems to me, and maybe (I hope) it seems to you that these weeks following Pentecost are lessons about authentic Christian living. And I hope point to renewal and recommitment to the Christian life. May you learn the lessons that God sets before you. Selah!