“Go and tell my servant David, ‘Thus says the LORD: It is not you who will build me a house to dwell in . . . When your days are fulfilled to walk with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, one of your own sons, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for me, and I will establish his throne forever.” (I Chronicles 17:4, 11-12, ESV)
David, who is described as a man after God’s own heart, desired to build a splendid house of worship for the Lord and shared this dream with the prophet Nathan. “I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of the covenant of the LORD is under a tent” (I Chronicles 17:1, ESV). Why should he live in a nice home while the ark was housed in a tent? It just didn’t seem right to the king.
Building a temple for the Lord seems a noble endeavor, one David no doubt thought would please the Lord. Nathan agreed that it was a good plan. Yet, to their surprise, God said no. David had fought too many battles and had too much blood on his hands (I Chronicles 22:8).
David must have been disappointed when God rejected his plan and could have responded in several different ways.
He could have argued with God. But he didn’t.
He could have declared, “I’ll do it anyway.” But he didn’t.
He could have grown angry and bitter. But he didn’t.
He could have walked away from God. But he didn’t.
Instead, David sat before the Lord in humility and worshiped, “O LORD, there is none like thee, neither is there any God beside thee” (I Chronicles 17:20).
- Kingdom Lesson 1: When God says “no,” learn to worship instead of pout or argue.
As we skip forward to chapter 22, we learn that David’s son, Solomon, would be the one to build the Temple. Yes, the same structure that David desired to build for the Lord would be carried out by the next generation. Was David envious? Upset? Angry? No, quite the opposite. He did all he could to make the process go smoothly for Solomon. He hired masons to hew stone. He accumulated iron, brass, cedar, and many other supplies that would be needed.
“So I have made every effort to provide what is needed for the temple of my God, including the gold, silver, bronze, iron, wood, as well as a large amount of onyx, settings of antimony and other stones, all kinds of precious stones, and alabaster.” (I Chronicles 29:2, NET)
David did all he could to support Solomon and help him succeed. He also inspired the people of Israel to willingly give and support this endeavor. David never lost his enthusiasm to see a house of worship built for the Lord.
- Kingdom Lesson 2: Do all you can to support the efforts of others as they strive to fulfill God’s plan.
David’s dream of a magnificent Temple did come to pass, but God used the next generation to accomplish it. David did not live to see the fruition of his dream. Solomon fulfilled the work David envisioned.
- Kingdom Lesson 3: Invest in the future, even though you may never see the end result.
God’s plan for us may not always include our every hope and dream, but His plan is always perfect. Learn to worship in times of disappointment or redirection by God. Keep your motives pure and support others as they work to fulfill God’s plan in their lives. When we all work together, wonderful things can be accomplished for the Lord.
Lord, help me to always be supportive of kingdom work, regardless of whom You choose to accomplish the task. Show me ways to encourage and invest in the next generation as they step into positions of service and leadership. May everything that I do be for Your glory, not mine.