In 2 Samuel 7:16 (KJV), “God states, and thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established forever.” This is an insightful scripture that is the result of God saying no to David’s desire and placing him in a far better position based on His promise. This scripture has far-reaching implications in the life of a Christian. What should you do when your heart says yes and God says no? The true child of God will trust and obey God. It has been said, the safest place in the whole wide world is in the Will of God. The Christian must be careful not to operate outside of God’s Will. There is danger in allowing one’s desires, egos and ambitions to supersede the voice and Will of God. This will cause a Christian to miss out on the true blessings of God for his life.
Although it would have satisfied a need, David’s request reflected his heart and not the heart of God. Meeting a need is not enough evidence that God has set His approval on what an individual is doing. The Christian must remain sensitive to the voice of God. God had better things for the life of David. Building the House of God by David would have given temporary glory to David and the Lord. But, God wanted an everlasting glory and an everlasting kingdom after the seed of David, which is Christ. Flesh and blood cannot build God’s Kingdom, neither can flesh and blood inherit the Kingdom of God. Remember the following scripture, Matthew 16:18 (KJV), “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
David’s earthly dominion ended, but Jesus Christ, a direct descendant of David, was the ultimate fulfillment of this promise that God made to David. This promise was in connection to the promise that was made in Genesis 3:15. Christ will reign for eternity now in His Spiritual Kingdom (in Heaven and later on the Earth), and in the New Jerusalem (Luke 1:30-33, Rev. 21). Christians must remember not to allow zeal, ego and worldly ambition to cloud the vision and Will of God. Remember, God answers prayers according to His overall Will for the Church and the Kingdom of God. His promises are not according to man’s personal desires, egos and ambitions, but according to His Will.
These scriptures represent the challenge of doing God’s Will versus man’s desires, egos, and ambitions. The source of most problems that people face are attributed to the devil. It must be remembered that the source of man’s problems are caused by himself, the devil and sin. The problem that David was getting ready to face was being caused by himself. David saw a definite need to build a permanent structure for the Ark of God. There was nothing evil about desiring to build a temple. However, had David built the temple, it would have served the intended purpose and appeared to all as a good work. But, it would have been out of the Will of God. In addition, it would have fallen short of the glory of God. David, having built the Temple, would have given the devil an advantage over this work because he and the work would have been out of the Will of God. There is the sin of omission and there is the sin of commission. If David had listened to Nathan and not God, 2 Samuel 7:3 (KJV), “And Nathan said to the king, “Go, do all that is in thine heart; for the LORD is with thee.” , he would have done a great work, helped the people, and served an apparent good purpose. But all that he did would have been out of God’s Will, thus giving the devil the advantage over his work. The Christian must understand that the new life dictates a surrendering of man’s desires, egos, and ambitions to God’s Will. When these are surrendered, there is actually no challenge between God’s Will and man’s will. Proverbs 3:5-6 (KJV) states, “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”
When reading God’s Word and seeking God’s Will, it’s good to remember Isaiah 55:8-9 (KJV), “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” These scriptures represent the distance between God’s thoughts and man’s thoughts, or even the difference in God’s thoughts and man’s thoughts. Man’s thoughts are often carnal, selfish, and limited to his present need. God’s thoughts on the other hand, are spiritual, non-selfish and far-reaching. David’s thoughts concerning building God’s house were limited and centered on a present need.
David was not permitted to build the House of God, but his son would have the privilege of doing so (2 Sam. 7:12-13). God’s vision was firmly established in the promise made in Genesis 3:15. Also, this vision represented the promises made to the faithfulness of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. This promise refers to the literal house, physical and spiritual dynasty that would reach into the ends of the world; even into the priesthood of Jesus Christ. God’s Will and promise here are good examples of an Old Testament passage which finds it’s fulfillment in the immediate future to Solomon and other descendants of David at that period in time; while other elements of this promise will be fulfilled only in the more distant future to Jesus Christ, the Son of David, Luke 1:31-33 (KJV), “And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.”
David, like so many Christians today, did not always see God’s Will because man’s desires, wants and ambitions often cloud God’s Will. God had to remind David of his past in order for David to see and understand the future and His Will. Faith and faithfulness in God’s Word and to God is a key element in seeing God’s Will. Trying to be faithful to God’s Word without first having faith in God’s Word is like attempting to fly an airplane without the airplane first having wings. The Christian must first believe God’s Word before attempting to be faithful. God assured David of His faithfulness and trust in past situations and the fact that He has more planned for him than just temporary gratification. David soon found more joy in accepting God’s Will than his own (2 Samuel 7:18-29). David’s response to this great revelation concerning the nature of his kingship was to acknowledge God’s goodness in bestowing it (vs. 18-21) and to extol God’s incomparable sovereignty (Wherefore thou art great, O LORD God: for there is none like thee, vs. 22). This, David said, was seen especially in God’s selection of Israel and His redemptive grace on her behalf (vs. 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 (vs 25 – 29). The Christian must remember that God operates according to His spoken Word. If the Christian world wants to know what God is going to do in the future, just look at what He has said and done in the past. God is faithful, God is unchanging. Deuteronomy 7:9 (KJV) states, “Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand.”
God was now establishing a covenant with David as he had established with David’s forefathers. David knew that he could trust God because his forefathers trusted Him. It is interesting to note that the Bible uses the word “covenant”. The American Heritage Dictionary defines the word covenant as a binding agreement; a compact; a formal sealed agreement or contract. The Holman’s Dictionary defines a covenant as a pact, treaty, alliance, or agreement between two parties of equal or of unequal authority. A covenant is simply an agreement or promise. The Christian must understand that God’s promises are not always fulfilled over night. God’s pathway to promises must be traveled. This requires patience and understanding. First, there is the spoken or written promise. Second, the circumstances that must lead to that promise. Third, the materialization of the actual promise. Fourth, the possession of the promise by the promise. There are four types of spiritual promises. First, there is the promise of salvation. Second, there is the promise of divine protection. Third, there is the promise of eternal life. Fourth, the promise of joy, blessings and peace. There are three sources of spiritual promises. First, there is man’s promise, which is unstable and unpredictable. Second, there is the devil’s promise, which is the father of all lies. Third, there is God’s promise, who cannot lie. What should be the result of a fulfilled promise? An attitude of gratitude, worship, joy, commitment and praise.
God promised to give David a son who would build the Temple and who would establish His kingdom forever. Trusting God was David’s challenge, as well as the modern Christian’s challenge. The Christian’s challenge is to understand the nature of spiritual promises and believe that God is able to do what He promised. The Christian must always understand that man’s good deeds and good intentions are not always in God’s Will. Man’s will, ambitions and desires do not always reflect the Will of God. Even the expression of thankfulness and appreciation must be within the guidelines and limitations of God’s Will. Remember the words that God told Moses, Hebrews 8:5 (KJV), “Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount.”
Most Christians desire security and longevity for themselves and their families. God plainly makes it known that if Christians would seek God first, then there would be no need to be overly concerned about the future according to Matthew 6:33 (KJV), But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Some folks fear praying that God’s Will is done in their lives. We should not fear praying that the Lord’s Will is done in our lives. If God’s Will is done in an individual’s life or in a situation, everything will work toward and for the good of that individual.
In these latter days of incorporating secular thinking to build mega ministries, great building projects and worldwide outreach programs, most Christians do not know that these works are according to and directed by God. There is no doubt that many modern ministries are serving the community and meeting a need. King David’s efforts would have also served a need, but it would have been outside of God’s Will for him to build the Temple. Today’s challenge is to function according to God’s Will and promises only after much prayer and fasting, not according to desires, egos, and ambitions.
Written by Dr. C.L. Hardy
Pastor of New Covenant Assembly Christian Ministry 602 Piney Grove Road Columbia, South Carolina 29210