David looks at his house then at the tent he erected for the Ark of The Lord. How can he live in such luxury while God’s ‘house’ is a tent? He wants to remedy that.
David truly loved the Lord. He wanted to honor Him in all and with all. He has done everything he knows how to do to bring the people of Israel closer to God. He brought the Ark back to the people. He commanded praise be offered on a daily basis in the tent that was set up for the Ark. He commanded the morning and evening sacrifices be offered according to the Law. He even authored songs to the Lord that he passed on to the people.
These were not simply outward acts that David did to prove his ‘righteousness’ to the people but acts of love from his heart that he poured out on a daily basis. He lived what he preached. But he was not perfect. We will run into more of his issues as time goes on. We will also run into God’s discipline of him for his issues.
For now though, David turns his heart to building something even more special for God. David constructed the “tent of David” for the Ark of The Lord. That’s not enough. He feels guilty when he compares his home to the tent he made for the Lord. One is palatial where the other is of fabric and animal hides. David had his heart set on balancing the scales.
David takes his plan to one of his closest advisors, Nathan, and presents it to him. Nathan is thrilled by the plan and figures that anything David wants God will do for him. “Go, do all that is in your heart; for the Lord is with you” (verse 2b). Did you notice that neither man consulted Hof about their ideas.
God doesn’t wait for either one of them to ask for permission. He gives them His ‘unsolicited’ answer. He tells David, “No.” I bet David didn’t see that coming and neither did Nathan.
I like God’s answer. “I never once asked ANYONE to build me a house out of brick and wood. I was and am perfectly happy with the home of My own design.” (I’m paraphrasing of course.) Out of love for David, I believe, God said that one of David’s “offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name” (verses 12b-13a). We know from our place in history that Solomon would be the one to build the Temple for the Lord.
I noticed a couple things in our reading that struck me. First, why did God send Nathan the dream instead of David? Second, the description of “who” would build the house for God’s name and the kingdom that would be established forever leave me with a possible glimpse into even further history than Solomon.
Let’s tackle the first point. Why did God send Nathan the dream instead of David? Is it possible that God had been trying to tell David ‘No” but he wasn’t hearing it? David could have been passing off God speaking to him as his own doubts. I believe the fact that he went to Nathan for counsel spoke of his doubts and reservations. It is also plausible that God answered through Nathan because he was the man David sought in the first place?
God gave Nathan a FAST and certain answer. He didn’t want until David had already began the project. He also didn’t send ‘little signs’ that something was wrong. He took an immediate and firm stand on David’s idea.
Is it possible that He used Nathan as an accountability partner for David? If He had only spoken to David on this matter, David could have easily hidden (from men) the fact that he was told “No” where, by telling Nathan, someone besides David knew His answer on this issue. No getting around the truth of the “No” answer after this. David couldn’t even pretend not to know God’s will on this matter.
Just a few thoughts on this issue. On to the second observation.
While I was reading the section about who was going to build the house for God’s name I started seeing it as Jesus’ job; not Solomon’s. I stepped back from that point of view when God spoke of this person committing iniquity and disciplining him with the rod of men. But then God mentions the “stripes of the sons of men” and my mind goes right back to Jesus.
Solomon definitely built the Temple. God’s presence dwelt there. But it is also called “The Temple of Solomon”, not simply the Temple of God. This same ‘name consistency’ and presence happened with the Tabernacle. It was called the Tabernacle of Moses instead of “The Tabernacle of God.” And God’s presence filled the Tabernacle.
Looking one more time at this passage I find where the one building the “house for My name” cannot be Jesus. God tells Nathan that the one building this house would come from David’s own body. We know that David couldn’t birth children so this would mean that he fathered this person. Jesus is of the line of David but His Father is NOT an earthly father. He did NOT come from the “body” of man.
That settles the question I had but let’s look at the comparison anyway. A “what did I see” peek.
Jesus will be raised up after David. He is proclaimed as being in the line of David. He is also the King of kings. And to top that all off, He was “raised up” when He hung on the cross.
Jesus would build a more excellent “house” for God’s name to dwell. God would not be confined to a stone and wood house after Jesus finished His work. His “home” would be the hearts of those who called on Him.
David’s physical throne ended. His descendants died out and the kingdom was divided and overthrown. David’s descendants ruled in half of Israel for many generations but you cannot say it was “forever.” Jesus’ Kingdom will have no end. God established His throne and Kingdom forever.
God IS/WAS/WILL BE a Father to Jesus and He IS/WAS/WILL BE God’s Son. This Father and Son team won’t end. Solomon’s relationship with God waivered because of his relationships with women. He was led to other god.
When it comes to “iniquity” and “discipline”, there was a time when Jesus fit this description. When He hung on the cross, He was wearing our sin. God “disciplined” Him for the sins of man. The “rod of men” and the “stripes of the sons of men” were upon Him. They were the tools used to bring about our salvation. I don’t know of a place in scripture where Solomon was ever “disciplined” for his sins, especially not with a rod or stripes.
God’s steadfast love NEVER departed from Jesus. God did turn His head in the end while Jesus hung on the cross but it wasn’t out of disappointment or abandonment. It was out of love for us. God didn’t leave Solomon like He did with Saul, even when Solomon didn’t follow His Laws.
The last time God mentions establishing a throne it isn’t for the one who would build His house; it was for David himself. God did establish David’s throne through the life of Jesus. It took a LONG time before David’s “house and kingdom” were truly established forever. And that only through the person of Jesus Christ. My Lord and Savior.
Father God, thank You for letting me look deeper. For bringing me back to look even one more time and see Your words. Thank You for making my heart Your home too. I pray it is always a place You are pleased to call Your own.
Thank You for Your fingerprints through the ages that kept the door open for the work of Jesus. You never abandoned Your desire to rebuild Your relationship with man. From the day Eve sinned until the day of the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, You guide and shift us in subtle and sometimes not so subtle ways to keep us moving towards You. Thank You for NEVER giving up! I’m looking forward to seeing what Your REAL home looks like some day. I bet it blows EVERYTHING away that man has ever tried to construct.
Help me also Father to know and accept what is “mine” to do and what isn’t. Don’t let me get so fixated on an idea that I refuse Your direction.