II Samuel 7 Devotional
by Pastor Mark Hudson
This is an incredibly significant chapter in the entire Bible. We start with a conversation between Nathan the prophet and King David. David wants to build God a permanent temple instead of this big tent-like structure. Nathan, without seeking God, says, “Great idea. Go ahead.” What, no seeking God? No asking for time to pray?
Yet God, that very evening, told Nathan that He has a message for David concerning the temple. God asks David, “Would you build me a house to dwell in?” God proceeds to say that He has been moving around with His people living in a tent. He never asked anyone (v. 7) for a permanent structure. This is fascinating. God cannot dwell or live in the tabernacle (I Kings 8:27) yet He claims to dwell in a tent.. He so identifies with His people that He says, “I have been moving about in a tent . . . In all places where I have moved with all the people of Israel . . . .” in verse 6 and 7. God is moving with them and He is not concerned that He does not have a wooden structure. God is moving with His people. Amazing. God so identifies with His people that He is moving with them. He won’t “settle down” until they first are settled. God is not concerned about where He dwells. He is concerned with where His people dwell. As we will see, while David is concerned about building God a house, God has something for David. I am trying to think of some analogy but nothing is analogous. This is staggering
In verse 8, God reminds David that it was God Himself that made David. You were once a smelly shepherd. No one asked your opinion, even in your own home. You would have been forgotten but I “took you”. “I have been with you” God says in v. 9. This is what many people recognize about David: God is with him (I Sam 16:18; 18:12, 14.). God is the one who gave David victory over his enemies. Then in verse 9b, the tone begins to change. “And I will make for you a great name, like the name of the great ones of the earth.” In verse 10, God provides for His people. He provides them a place (the land of Israel). Then in v. 11, this will be a peaceful place.
But the best part is 11b. David, you want to provide me a house? I will provide a house for you. David is speaking of a literal building; God is speaking about a line of descandents and as we know, ultimately, the Messiah. See the grace in this. David wants to build a temple for God. But God says, I am building a house for you. “Moreover, the Lord declares to you that the Lord will make you a house.” II Sam 7:11.
Returning to what God says to David. We see God’s promised grace in v. 9c-11. In 9c, this grace is promised to David. “And I will make for you a great name, like the name of the great ones on the earth.” Then in 10-11a, we see His promised grace to Israel. Then 11b grace again to David. And the climax in 11c, “Moreover, the Lord declares to you that the Lord will make you a house.”
This house cannot be seen but will last for eternity. As D.R. Davis observes this house is indefectible because these are the characteristics of God’s promise to David.
Death does not annul it vv. 12-13
Sin cannot destroy it vv. 14-15
Time will not exhaust it v. 16
God reminds David that he will die but this will not alter his promise. Death is called an enemy in the Bible. But Death will not change God’s promise. Sin cannot destroy it. And did David and his family sin! After the Bathsheba incident, many churches would not allow David to be an elder. Solomon had serious troubles in his life. Often the son or daughter of a successful or wealthy person have drinking problems, relationship issues, crash cars, etc. Riches are not the blessings many people think. Even cosmic treason, sin, will not destroy God’s plan. God uses, in His way, even sin to further His cause. Finally, time will not exhaust God’s promise. Twice the word forever is used in v. 16. God will never tire of being faithful to Himself, His people, and David.
Then David, overwhelmed by what he just heard, staggers into the presence of God. I think this might be the first time, David knew his name would be connected to the Messiah. I love all these verses, but v. 20 can bring one to tears. “And what more can David say to you? For you know your servant, O Lord God!” David knew he was not being rewarded for how righteous he is. David keeps praising God and loving God’s people. David is in tune with God’s heart. David is a man after God’s own heart and God has David in His heart. All David can do is praise God and ask Him to do what He promised.
It is hard to imagine that not long after this, the sin of Bathsheba and murder of Urriah occurs. No matter what God does for us, no matter what we think we understand, sin is always lurking waiting to steal our joy. When do you think David was the most joyful? Here in chapter 7 or after his adultery with Bathsheba? God is such a giving God and we think he takes and does not give us good things. We twist who God is because sin taints our view of the thrice holy God.
Father, You are far, far better than we can ever understand. Even when we think we understand something about You we really don’t. Lord, we want to bask, bathe, and drink in Your overwhelming grace. Keep me, keep our church, from sin. Cause us to hunger and thrist after righteousness. Stir up our desires for You and You alone. Pour out Your Holy Spirit so we are not just going through the motions while really desiring more of this world. Oh, Lord deliver us from the grip of this evil age. Produce in our hearts humility and joy so we reflect Your glory. In the name of the One who never, ever sinned. Amen.