Consolation Series - Part 12 - David
When King David lived in his house, and Yahweh had given him rest from all his enemies all around, David said to Nathan the prophet, “See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but God’s ark dwells within curtains.”
Nathan said to David, “Go, do all that is in your heart; for Yahweh is with you.”
That same night, Yahweh’s word came to Nathan, saying, “Go and tell my servant David, ‘Yahweh says, “Should you build me a house for me to dwell in? For I have not lived in a house since the day that I brought the children of Israel up out of Egypt, even to this day, but have moved around in a tent and in a tabernacle. In all places in which I have walked with all the children of Israel, did I say a word to any of the tribes of Israel, whom I commanded to be shepherd of my people Israel, saying, ‘Why have you not built me a house of cedar?’”’ Now therefore tell my servant David this, ‘Yahweh of Armies says, “I took you from the sheep pen, from following the sheep, to be prince over my people, over Israel. I have been with you wherever you went, and have cut off all your enemies from before you. I will make you a great name, like the name of the great ones who are in the earth. I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in their own place, and be moved no more. The children of wickedness will not afflict them anymore, as at the first, and as from the day that I commanded judges to be over my people Israel. I will cause you to rest from all your enemies. Moreover, Yahweh tells you that Yahweh will make you a house. When your days are fulfilled, and you sleep with your fathers, I will set up your offspring after you, who will proceed out of your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He will build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be his father, and he will be my son. My loving kindness will not depart from him. Your house and your kingdom will be made sure forever before you. Your throne will be established forever.”’”
2 Samuel 7:1-17
In this evocative passage, David surveys his situation and decides that God has fulfilled everything that He promised and it is time for David to honor God by building a temple for Him. But God declines. God notes that He has been happy to live in the tabernacle tent prepared for him by Moses and the Israelites at the base of Mount Sinai. God reminds David that He anointed David as king even though David was the youngest of his brothers and so unlikely a choice that his father had left him to mind the sheep when the prophet Samuel calls to identify the new king.
God announces that He has been with David always and everywhere and will continue to be. God goes further and promises David that he will establish a house for David in the form of offspring who will succeed David on the throne and live in peace. Only then, during the reign of David’s son, Solomon, will God relent and allow a Temple to be built for Him.
God is still keeping the covenant he announced to Abraham and delivering more abundantly than Abraham or David could imagine. Clearly, we are to understand that we are the successors of Abraham and David and the beneficiaries of the original promise made to Abraham.
God will always be with us.