David had desired to build the Lord a temple so that He would no longer have to dwell in the tabernacle of the desert days of his people the Israelites. David tells Nathan his desires and Nathan seems to think that it is a good idea.
Then, the Lord speaks to Nathan and gives him a message for David that is contrary to what David has in mind. When Nathan delivers the message to David, his response teaches us much.
David could have responded to the Nathan by rising up against his message, defending himself and his position as king and walking in his rights as the anointed one.
But he seemed to have known Nathan's words were from the Lord and he humbly responded in gratitude and thankfulness that should cause each of us to examine our hearts and our our attitudes towards the Lord and his perfect plans.
What would you have done in David's position?
The Lord told David through Nathan that it was not to be David that would build his house, but rather David's son. Furthermore, the Lord promises to establish His people throne David's seed.
The Lord might not have allowed David's desire, but his denial did not equal rejection. God simply had a greater plan for David's life than to build Him a temple.
David responds to the Lord,
"Then David went in and sat before the Lord; and he said,
'Who am I, O Lord God? And what is my house, that You have brought me this far? And yet, this was a small thing in your sight, O Lord God; Now what more can David your servant say to You? For You, Lord God, know your servant. For Your word's sake, and according to Your own heart, You have done all these great things, to make Your servant know them. Therefore, You are great, O Lord God. For there is none like You, nor is there any God besides You, according to all that we have heard with our ears.' " 2 Samuel 7:18-22
David did not believe that all God had laid out before him was because he (David) was so great or so deserving. No, David knew that the Lord knew him and all his failings and his response shows that David knew the Lord was so great that He would give even David gifts.
Proverbs 15:31-32 says, "He who listens to a life-giving rebuke will be at home among the wise. He who ignores discipline despises himself, but whoever heeds correction gains understanding."
There is rich application from this section of scripture.
The first and maybe most obvious is that the Lord has a plan for each of our lives and He will direct our steps and guide our paths. When we are looking to Him to do so, even correction, discipline and a change of direction will be recognized as His perfect will and will result in an attitude of gratitude and thankfulness, not in rebellion, pride, or resistance.
Sometimes, the Lord speaks to us through spiritual leaders in our lives. We need to be willing to receive from those the Lord has placed in authority over us and trust Him as we trust them. We need to have open ears to hear from the Lord and open hearts to receive, we need to eagerly desire to grow, and be ready to repent when confronted with our errors.
For the past four weeks, we have had mission teams on the property helping with the remodeling project of a building on the property that will be used to house future mission teams. There has been a man helping the team throughout the whole process who is from the church who is in need of work. He was hired by the church to assist in any way needed. He did everything from run back and from the shed for tools and supplies, to holding a ladder, to trying his hand at different parts of the construction process- sometimes with success and other times realizing that a certain skill or job was clearly not his gift. Saturday, he and his wife brought a token of their appreciation to the team members that remained. His wife had cooked a Guatemalan dessert for the men to enjoy and this was their way of saying thank you. The men had not given them anything material, but it was the time the husband had spent with them that had impacted his heart and touched him deeply. And they came to say thank you. He asked me to translate for him as he shared with them his gratitude. One thing he said to them forced me to swallow hard to keep the tears from coming as I tried to translate. He said he had learned so much from them. But the one main thing that had transformed his life was that he had learned that anything he tried to build of his life would only come to ruin. He had learned that the plan the Lord had for his life was far superior to his and he knew now that he would yield to the Lord and trust him completely for whatever might come.
You see, the reason the tears came to me is that I know their story, They have been in the midst of an intense fire and an attack from the enemy. Seemingly, they have lost everything. But God. He taught the husband through the demolition and rebuilding of a earthly, temporary structure, that His plan is always far better than any that we mere humans could ever imagine.
David learned this same lesson in 2 Samuel chapter seven.
The response of both men are the same- humbleness and gratitude- and a willingness to follow the Lord and His perfect plan, no matter what.
May my heart attitude and my outward reaction be the same as both my fellow brother and as David's.
I thank the Lord for correction, exhortation, and discipleship of the spiritual leaders in my life. I am thankful for their willingness to allow us to walk in the way of the Lord and also for their patience and grace to guide and lead us.
In the devotional, Wisdom for Women, Debbi Bryson says this,
"Never underestimate how God can use your present circumstances to deepen you and prepare you for his noble purposes. Be faithful in the small things. Be a servant joyfully and willingly. Trust God with all of your heart. The fear of the Lord teaches a man wisdom and humility comes before honor."
|This picture was taken in June 2006 on Brooke's first mission trip to Costa Rica. This was the beginning of their journey to present day, for such a time as this.|