God's Covenant With David
2 Samuel 7; 1 Chronicles 17
KEY VERSE: Thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever. --2 Samuel 7:16
We have no trouble seeing King David in his new palace, stretched out in his recliner,
drinking lemonade or something fit for a king, and musing over the goodness of God. God had
enabled him to defeat all his enemies, even the dreaded Philistines. As David's eyes gazed at
the fine cedar paneling of his great room, suddenly he thought about the contrast between his
own house and the house of God. God's house was a mere tent!
Unfortunately David did not follow his customary plan of "inquiring of the Lord." He presumed to know what God wanted without asking God. That is a dangerous game to play but one which all of us play from time to time. Indeed Nathan the prophet advisor of David made the same mistake. David's brainstorm sounded good to him too so, without seeking God's counsel, he encouraged the King to proceed with his plan to build a nice house for God.
God now begins to ask Nathan some rather disturbing questions. Mainly he invites the prophet to consider, "Have I ever commanded anyone to build a house for me?" Clearly the King and his advisor had come up with their own plan, and it was not God's plan. This scene may remind us of many times when we too have devised our own schemes without seeking divine wisdom.
Though God does not forbid the building of a temple, he makes it clear that he has a much greater plan in mind--an eternal Kingdom that would have little need of an earthly temple. And he prefers that the temple David had in mind be built by David's son, Solomon, and Solomon does build it. Perhaps it is fitting that the temple was later destroyed, though God's better plan was fulfilled as Jesus, a son of David, was raised from the dead to become the everlasting King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
And does King Jesus need a great temple? No, he has a better plan - that the body of each believer should become "a temple of the Spirit of God"!