Scripture Focus: 2 Samuel 7.12-14
12 When your days are over and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, your own flesh and blood, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 14 I will be his father, and he will be my son. When he does wrong, I will punish him with a rod wielded by men, with floggings inflicted by human hands.
Reflection: The House God Desires
By John Tillman
Building a “house” for God can be interpreted as an immature understanding of God. Through the prophet Isaiah, God says:
“Heaven is my throne,
and the earth is my footstool.
Where is the house you will build for me?
Where will my resting place be?” (Isaiah 66.1-2)
However, God often bears with our immaturity and limited understanding. God accepts the immature like children and leads those who will listen toward growth and maturity. (Mark 4.9) He led immature slaves across the desert. He used imperfect and flawed leaders to guide imperfect and flawed people.
At the time of David’s request to build a house for the Lord, God is bearing with the immaturity of a nation that refused to be led by God and yearned for a king to be placed over them. Saul was a king in their own image. He was selfish, driven by anger and jealousy, unspiritual, untruthful, and ignorant of how to follow God.
Nathan’s prophecy in response to David’s proposal to build a “house for God” is multifaceted. It touches the immediate future and our future in eternity with Christ simultaneously. The son Nathan refers to is not only Solomon but all the kings of Israel, ending ultimately with the King of Kings, Christ himself.
Despite Israel’s weakness, God chose to show his strength in them.
Despite rebellious immaturity, God chose to set over them (and us) a better king—one in his image.
Despite childish thoughts of God needing a house, God stooped to enter Solomon’s Temple.
Despite the sinfulness of David’s line, Christ lowered himself to be born the Son of David.
It is in Christ, Paul tells us, that all of God’s promises are, “Yes” and “Amen.” (2 Corinthians 1.20) We, like Israel and David, are loved and used by God despite our immaturity and are called toward growth and development of greater faith.
The house we must build for God is in our own hearts.
We build it in hope, with humility and obedience, with repentance and faith.
He stands at the door and knocks. (Revelation 3.20)
When we make room for God in our hearts and lives, he will enter.
And when our lives are over, we will awake in the house of God.
Christ, the true son of David, is building the house that God desires—a house with rooms for all his children. And he has prepared a place for us.
Divine Hours Prayer: The Morning Psalm
Sing to God, sing praises to his Name; exalt him who rides upon the heavens; Yahweh is his Name, rejoice before him!
Father of orphans, defender of widows, God in his holy habitation! — Psalm 68.4-5
– From The Divine Hours: Prayers for Summertime by Phyllis Tickle.
2 Samuel 7 (Listen 4:26)
Revelation 16 (Listen 3:17)
Read more about Slavery to Maturity
In Egypt, the Israelites were well-fed physically but not spiritually. The same could be said of Western and American Christianity.
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