Songs and Praise
   

 
 
 

Less DAVID'S DESIRE FOR A HOUSE FOR THE LORD

 
2 Samuel 7:1-29; Psalm 30:1; saiah 66:1-2;

Lesson Senior Lessons

MEMORY VERSE:  "Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest?" (Isaiah 66:1).

 

I David's Request and Its Reception

1 David was troubled, in the time of God-given peace, because his house was better than the Ark's shelter, II Samuel 7:1, 2; 5:11; 6:17; I Chronicles 17:1; Psalm 30:1

2 Nathan, as a man of God, encouraged David to build a permanent Temple, II Samuel 7:3; I Chronicles 17:2

3 Nathan, as the Prophet of God, received God's actual will concerning the Temple, II Samuel 7:4; I Chronicles 17:3

II God's Message to David

1 God had not asked that a Temple be built, II Samuel 7:5-7; Isaiah 66: 1, 2; John 4:20-24; I Chronicles 17:4-6; Acts 7:48-50

2 David's desire to build the Temple was commended by God, I Kings 8:18; II Chronicles 6:7, 8

3 David was called by God to be a man of war and not to build the House of Peace, II Samuel 7:8, 9; I Chronicles 17:7, 8; 22:7-10; Romans 11:29; I Corinthians 7:20; 12:28; Ephesians 4:11

4 David was not allowed to build the Temple, because God had a greater plan for him and for all Israel, through him, II Samuel 7:10; I Kings 8;16-20; I Chronicles 17:9, 10; Jeremiah 32:37-42; Isaiah 55:8, 9; I Corinthians 3:16, 17; 6:19

5 The responsibility for the building of the Temple was to be given to Solomon, II Samuel 7:12, 13; I Kings 8:19; I Chronicles 17:11-14; 22:9, 10; II Chronicles 6:9, 10

6 God's promises concerning Solomon were conditioned on his full obedience, II Samuel 7:14, 15; I Chronicles 22:12, 13; Psalm 89: 30-32

7 God's covenant with David was confirmed with an oath and was capable of fulfillment only in the coming of the Messiah, II Sam­uel 7:16, 17; I Chronicles 17:14, 15; Psalm 89:1-4, 20-37; Numbers 24:17-19; Isaiah 9:7; Zechariah 14:9, 16, 17; Matthew 21:5-9; 27:37; Luke 1:32, 33; Revelation 19:11-16

III David's Reply to God

1 David was humbled before the comprehensive provisions of God's covenant with him, II Samuel 7:18; I Chronicles 17:16; Isaiah 51:1

2 David's answer proves that he understood, at least in a degree, the eternal scope of God's covenant, II Samuel 7:19; I Chronicles 17: 17; Matthew 13:17; Hebrews 11:32-35; I Peter 1:10-12

3 David praises God for divine condescension to himself and to Israel, II Samuel 7:20-29; I Chronicles 17:18-27; Deuteronomy 4:7, 8; 33: 29; Numbers 23:8-10

NOTES

In considering this wonderful lesson we might well begin with a pas­sage not in the assigned text. From this passage we can see some of the applications that are to be found in a careful study of this incident in the life of Israel's second king.

Some have passed over this account quickly and have failed to see the eternal implications and the far-reaching effect of the provisions which were instituted here. This was no casual event. Its repercussions will be felt in eternity, for it was a climax in the life of the initial king of an eternal Kingdom. David was God's 'firstborn, higher than the kings of the earth,' a king who was anointed with holy oil by God Himself, and a man whose seed would 'endure for ever, and his throne as the days of heaven' (Psalm 89:20, 27, 29).

God's Ways

'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' (Isaiah 55:8, 9).

Here is an instance where it is outstandingly demonstrated that God's ways are higher than our ways and that His thoughts are not our thoughts. The Prophet David and the Prophet Nathan saw, in this incident, the transcendent glory and fullness of God's plans as compared to the extreme limitations of their own. David's plans were not wrong. They merely were limited by his human vision and earthly perspective as well as by the fact that no person would dare entertain such a hope of eternal distinction as God had in mind for the man whose heart was perfect toward Him.

It has been said, by a certain devout man of a former day, that 'God is the author of all our holy purposes, as well as of our good works; he first excites them; and if we be workers together with Him, He will crown and reward them as though they were our own, though He is their sole author.' This man was merely stating that 'every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning' (James 1:17).

Some have thought that David was being reprimanded when his request that he be allowed, to build a house for the Lord was refused. But the Word of God tells us that his purpose and intention was good and com­mendable. The refusal is but the demonstration that God's ways are not our ways and that His thoughts are higher than our thoughts.

The Covenant by Sacrifice

It is always good to prefer God and His interests above our own. It is never wrong to seek 'first the kingdom of God' and to promote its enter­prises, even to the sacrifice of our own comforts and pleasures and some of our so-called necessities. God is always pleased when we honor Him above our own selves, our associates, our work, and our earthly interests. The Gospel of the Kingdom is a religion of sacrifice. There is no royal road to Heaven. There is no tramway to the mountain heights of heavenly glory. The saints who will be gathered to Christ will be those who have made a covenant with Him by sacrifice (Psalm 50:1-6).

God is the Author of the purpose in the heart of a Heaven-bound pilgrim who will lay aside everything—even life itself—to see the Kingdom advanced and God's name exalted. That desire and purpose is not of earth; it is one of the good and precious things that comes down from Heaven itself. There never has been a sacrifice made by a true Christian — from the wealthy monarch, David, to the widow who quietly and unassumingly placed all she had in the offerings of God — but that is noticed by God and rewarded by Him. Those who have not made a covenant 'by sacrifice' know nothing of the joys of such a covenant-relationship with God. The counting of our all as loss for Christ's Kingdom proves where our loyalty is, who our Sovereign is, and to whom we have given our affection.

There is no sacrifice that is too great to make for God, for He re­wards and repays with hundredfold interest. There is nothing that we could have in this world, and then give up for  Him, that would be too costly a sacrifice. This world will eventually pass away; and even though we should die before the great day of the Lord, when everything will melt with fervent heat, we would be forced to leave every earthly gain and step into eternity alone and unassisted by our previously acquired earthly possessions or advantages. But a sacrifice made for God will pay eternal rewards. We may not possess the trinkets and playthings of this earth, but we can have, instead, a huge store of eternal treasure.

Christ's Sacrifice for Us

Sacrifice was necessary, even for the Son of God. He was exalted by God to a place and Name higher than any other because He was willing to make that sacrifice. He gave His life. He gave all. He did not consider death on the cross of infamy as too great a sacrifice. Christ's whole desire was that God's name might be glorified and that lost humanity might be reclaimed.

Christ was also offered the kingdoms of this world if He would renounce His allegiance to God and give it to the god of this world instead. Millions are doing that very thing: falling down in the wholehearted sur­render of themselves, and of their •resources and abilities, to the one who can give them what amounts to absolutely nothing in return. Countless multitudes of these are among the group who take the sacred name upon their lips in what is actually mock worship. They are saying, 'Lord, Lord,' while their hearts are far from God. However, Jesus did not yield to Satan; and He is, in this point also, an example to all of us who follow in His steps.

David's Sacrifice of His Will and Plans

David's house was built of cedar, but the Ark was sheltered in a tent. David asked what any man of God would request: that God might have his best. Nathan, the man of. God, saw David's desire and, feeling that it was of God, gave his approval to the plan. But there was little, if any, sleep in the Prophet's chamber that night. Nathan and David both were con­cerned about the advancement of God's cause, but neither was stubborn or willful about his ideas concerning it. Beyond a doubt, Nathan prayed that God would stop everything that was not in accord with His will and prosper only that which was His will. God can talk to one whose ears are open. He could speak to Nathan. We can see that David's heart was open to the perfect will of God, too, for in making his prayer of consecration and acceptance of the will of God he said that he had 'found in his heart to pray this prayer' to God. One finds spiritual treasures only when he searches for them. Therefore, we know that David, too, was searching for the will of God in the matter even after he had received the approval of the man of God.

God's Plans for David

God had not asked that a house be built for Him. No house can con­tain Him who is greater than the universe. He did not choose a particular city in which to dwell. He chose a man, instead, and that man was David. God was pleased with David's desire to build a house for Him; and even­tually He allowed it to be done in a certain sense. But it was not built as a habitation for God. It was built, rather, for the honor of God's name.

No place of man's building could ever be adequate for God. He said, 'To this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word' (Isaiah 66:1, 2). God saw, in David, a man in whom He could fulfill His covenant obligations toward a world of sinners. David found that God was looking beyond his desire to build the house of God. God was going to build a house for David; not, particularly, to honor the man, David, but to fulfill the covenant promises made to Abraham.

 

God's True Temple

Our bodies are the temples of the Holy Ghost (I Corinthians 3:16, 17; 6:19, 20). We are bought with a price. We are not our own. God had chosen David to fulfill His eternal plans and purposes; and He is calling today, in an even greater measure, for those who will make the covenant 'by sacri­fice' and yield themselves wholly to Him who doeth righteously and justly.

God is seeking for those whom He can trust with the covenant re­sponsibilities of the Kingdom of Heaven, that the Gospel might go forward to the whole earth, to the multitudes of people who are, outside that King­dom and who do not know the way to enter. The work of spreading the Gospel today is the responsibility of the Holy Spirit and the Bride of Christ. Christ is at the right hand of God the Father, interceding for mankind, and has committed to us the ministry of reconciliation. For this work the Holy Spirit will fill us — His temples — empower us, guide us, and strengthen us. It is this responsibility that rests heavily upon all who live close to God and who are seeking only for God's glory and are preferring His ways to their own. Through them God can fulfill His promise that He made with the patriarchs of former ages.

 

The Covenants

Here we catch another glimpse of God's great covenant-plan. He made an everlasting covenant with Abraham that was to be fulfilled in and through the nation of Israel. He made a specific covenant with Israel for that purpose. The covenant that God made with Abraham was con­firmed with an oath, and because God could swear by nothing greater He swore by Himself (Hebrews 6:13).

The nation of Israel never fulfilled either the specific covenant that God made with them at Horeb or the provisions of the over-all covenant that He made with Abraham. But the obligations of both were fulfilled by individuals who chose the way of personal sacrifice rather than enjoying 'the pleasures of sin for a season' (Hebrews 11:25) Thanks be to God that there were faithful ones such as Moses, Joshua, Deborah, Barak, Samuel, David, Elijah, Elisha, and John the Baptist, to fulfill God's plan concerning the salvation of the world.

The original covenant with Abraham was never to pass away and was confirmed with an oath. The covenant made with Israel was specifical­ly for them and was to be fulfilled by Him who came to fulfill all righteous­ness. This covenant with Israel was not everlasting and was, therefore, not confirmed with an oath.

Some might question this point and say that there would be no dif­ference, since God's Word is eternal anyway and that everything He has spoken will come to pass. This fact is, in itself, most certainly true. The confirmation of the one with an oath was to show its everlasting character and its superiority over that which was not thus confirmed. The Words which God spoke on Mount Sinai concerning Israel were for them, and them alone. And when all things spoken in the Law were fulfilled, that Law and covenant made with Israel passed away.

A pivotal point in the development of God's plan of salvation was reached at the time David requested that he be permitted to build the house of God. God renewed certain parts of the covenant that He made with Abraham, especially those aspects that concerned David and the place he was to fill in the Divine Plan.

God said, 'I chose no city . . . to build an house, ... but I chose David' (I Kings 8:16). 'I took thee [David] from the sheepcote, . . . and have made thee a great name' (II Samuel 7:8, 9). And then God ,disclosed to the Prophet David, through the Prophet Nathan, that He would set up a kingdom that would never end, and appoint a permanent place for the remnant of Israel, who would eventually, own Him as their King God said that He would make David a house and that His mercy would never be taken away from that house as it was taken away from Saul.

David recognized the significance of this sweeping promise and covenant, for God also confirmed it with an oath. David prayed, 'Thou halt spoken also of thy servants house for a great while to come.' In this statement he lets us know that he saw in the distance the complete fulfill­ment of God's plan of the ages. He could see that his family could last for­ever only because it would culminate in Someone who will live, forever. We know that One is Jesus, the Christ. David was the second king of Israel, but he was the first earthly king in the Kingdom that will never end.

David also said, 'And is this the manner of man, 0 Lord GOD?' It has been pointed out that the literal translation of the original Hebrew of this passage is not in the form of a question but is the statement: 'And this, 0 Lord GOD, is the law of Adam.' (Adam and man are from the same Hebrew word.) Beyond doubt, David is referring here to the first Messianic promise given, that the seed of the woman would bruise the head of the serpent. In other words, he was saying, 'This will be the fulfill­ment of the great Messianic promises and hopes.' And with heart over­whelmed and soul filled to overflowing, David went in before the Lord to pour out his heart in the eloquent prayer of consecration and praise that closes the text of our lesson.

The Covenant with Us

Three hundred years later the Lord gave a stirring invitation to all to come 'to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.' God promised He would make an everlasting covenant with those who answered that call. And that there would be no mistake about what secured that covenant, He added, 'Even the sure mercies of David' (Isaiah 55:1-3).

God's mercy was taken away from Saul, but it was guaranteed for­ever to David and to his seed because of David's covenant 'by sacrifice.' God has given His unchangeable Word to us that all the eternal blessings promised to David will be ours, also, if we answer the call and make the same covenant 'by sacrifice' that David made.

We have seen that David became the first earthly king in the eternal Kingdom, and we can see that we, too, may be co-regents with that eternal King in the Kingdom that will know no end. God made a covenant with David and confirmed it with an oath, so we can know the absolute sure­ness of it and its everlasting character as well. It is not a covenant that is to be terminated when a certain purpose is fulfilled, as was the covenant specifically made with Israel on Horeb. God wants to make the same covenant with us that He made with David. This covenant is secured by the 'sure mercies of David.' This is the covenant that was sworn to by the holiness of God — the greatest attribute of the God who must swear by Himself because there is no greater than He (Hebrews 6:13; Psalm 89:3, 35). Therefore, our future is secure, if we continue to fulfill the obligations that we have taken upon ourselves — if we make and keep that covenant 'by sacrifice.'

 

 

QUESTIONS

1 What was Israel's national state at the time of this lesson?

2 What two capacities did Nathan fill in this lesson?

3 Was David being reprimanded when his request was denied?

4 What was in the mind of David that prompted the request he made?

5 What did God have to say regarding David's request?

6 What plans did God have for David and for Israel, through David?

7 Who was eventually to do the thing David desired to do?

8 What do you find in common between the covenants God made with Abraham and with David?

9 How can the great promise made to David ever be fulfilled?

10 Describe David's attitude and his reply to God after God had made known His full will for David and for Israel.

 
   
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