Thursday, January 31, 2013

CVIII - II Samuel Chapter 7 - David Desires to Build God a Temple

In the last chapter (6) we saw David successfully bring the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem, to establish Jerusalem as Israel's religious center, as well as its center of government.  David and all Israel was at rest from enemies now.  David had taken this peaceful time to establish his government and rebuild and reuinite his war-torn nation.  Imagine how much work was involved in this.  Don't forget, we're dealing with twelve tribes of somewhat clanish people.  David's biggest advantage in
his attempts to reunite Israel was the fact that the nation no longer feared the dreaded Philistines as murderers and oppressors.

So David was busying himself with the day-to-day responsibilities of being the king of an entire nation.  He probably frequently enjoyed the sweet taste of success as he saw his plans coming together, and not having to be on the road with his army any more.  But David's thoughts never strayed far from God.

Note what David said to Nathan in verse 2 of the 7th chapter.  {Nathan was a prophet and evidently a close confidante to David.  Although the name Nathan appears in other places of the Bible, it was not the same Nathan.  There is not a lot of information about him.}  But in these first few verses I can just picture David standing on the balcony of his cedar-lined palace fit for a king, looking down at the "tent" which housed the Ark of the Covanent.  David voiced the unfairness of him having this elaborate palace in which to dwell while the Creator of the Heavens, the Earth, and the Universe lived in a tent.  {Just take a moment and ponder David's thoughts in his heart at this particular moment.  This gives us a clue as to the relationship David had with God.  He actually felt for God at this moment.  This takes me back to Genesis and the reason God created man in the first place.  David got it.  He understood God.  David loved God.  And God loved David.  We should all strive to have such an attitude toward God.  I can honestly say that it pains my heart when this society insists on placing God further and further in the back seat.  After all He has done for us.  And this is done in the name of Freedom of Religion.  We as a nation have no idea of the possible impact as to what we're doing.  I cannot help but think that this is so backwards.  At the risk of politicizing this too much, I always justify my thoughts when I consider what a great nation this has been.  I go back to its beginnings.  Our founding fathers wanted freedom from the oppression of King George of England.  As they formed the government of this new nation, they were careful to do two things:  1)  Use Judeo-Christian principles as the basis for our consitiution, the laws, and the judicial system, and 2)  Keep government as small and non-intrusive as possible.  The Ten Commandments and the phrase "In God We Trust" were all over this nation's early History.  So much for my taking space to opine.}

Vss 4,5  -  In a night of prayerful reflection, Nathan heard God's gentle reproof of David's plans to build Him a temple.  {Note: A Tabernacle is a mobile tent-like housing for the Ark and various worship utensils, which can be moved from place to place.  A Temple, on the other hand is a permanent structure such as a building that cannot be moved.}  God told Nathan to go back to David and tell him that he is not to build a temple for God.  God told Nathan to remind David that He accompanied His people from Sinai to Canaan and shared their kind of habitation.  The Israelites had no permanent homes, but rather dwelt in tents, so God chose to do likewise.  In the following verses God proceeds to tell David that he is His choice to shepherd His people at this time.  However, there will be a time soon when God will want a temple built for Him.  God even tells David who will build the temple.  It will be David's son.  {We know that it will be Soloman, but David (having many sons) does not know this at this time.  There has been much speculation about the reason God did not allow David to build the temple, but I have always accepted the fact that God just wanted Soloman to build it.  We'll soon see just how gifted Soloman was at such matters.}

In verses 18-28, David says a prayer.  Please take a moment to read this prayer, as it gives us even further insight to the heart and mind of this wonderful man.  In this prayer, David tries to put into words just how overwhelmed he is that God has chosen him to bless so richly.  David admits he is at a loss for words in his attempt to thank and praise God properly.  {Like I said before, David gets it.}  In his prayer David states that he has mustered the courage to say to God these words that God
has Himself said.  This is where David claims God's promise to him and his lineage.  Vss 25-->  David gratefully accepts God's promise and renewed covenant.  (NIV) "Do as You promised, so that Your Name will be great forever.  So that all Israel (and all nations) will say "The Lord God Almighty is God of All".

Next post - David's Continued Victories

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