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RESOURCE CENTER AND ARCHIVES

2 Samuel 5:912; 7:15, 811, 1821 comment (0)

November 6, 2008

By Doug Wilson

Related Scripture: 2 Samuel 5:912; 7:15, 811, 1821


Explore the Bible
Associate Professor of Christian Studies, School of Christian Studies, University of Mobile

ASSESSING YOUR LIFEWORK
2 Samuel 5:9–12; 7:1–5, 8–11, 18–21

In one sense, this lesson is somewhat premature in assessing David’s life. After all, he would go on to reign another 33 years as king of Israel. On the other hand, he had already experienced more challenges than some men face in a lifetime. He faced struggles with older brothers, wild animals, a fierce giant, numerous attempts on his life by a maniacal king, battles beyond number and a civil war.

When do you begin to take inventory of your life? After high school or college, some would answer. You might say the time comes to assess your accomplishments when you begin a family. Still others think retirement is the time to look back. The fact is that all your achievements are insignificant if you are out of step with God. All your trophies, plaques and ribbons are fading. Only who you are before God really matters.

It’s Not About You! (5:9–12)
David’s experience on the battlefield taught him about physical security, but only his relationship with the Lord afforded him real peace. He built a fortified house after routing the Jebusites. Phoenician laborers sent by the king of Tyre helped build a palace. Neither his prowess in battle nor his political alliances afforded David his position, however. Note in verse 10 that “the Lord God of Hosts was with him.” Verse 12 states, “David knew that the Lord had established him as king over Israel and had exalted his kingdom for the sake of His people Israel.” David knew God had chosen him for a purpose.

A favorite praise chorus is “It’s All About You, Jesus!” We sing this song heartily as we worship, but we often live our daily life as if it is all about us. Christians would do well to read Paul’s words to the Colossians when he wrote that Christ “is your life” (Col. 3:4) or to the Galatian churches, saying, “I no longer live, but Christ lives in me” (Gal. 2:20).

What Does God Say? (7:1–5)
Following that introduction, the text records that Israel battled the Philistines and they acquired the Ark of the Covenant. The men transporting the Ark placed it upon an oxcart, rather than carrying it on poles as the Lord required. When Uzzah touched the object to steady it along the way, God took his life. Later David had the Ark moved to Jerusalem, where he worshiped before it.

“How can I live in a fully furnished palace while the Ark is set in a tent dating back to the time of Moses?” This was the question on David’s mind, so he inquired of the prophet Nathan. Nathan initially told the king to do as his heart led him, because God’s favor was with him. During the night, however, the Lord gave Nathan a word. God never asked anyone to build Him a house. Why would David presume upon the Lord to build something He did not require?

Are You Done Yet? (7:8–11)
The answer to David’s request was “no.” God’s response did not suggest that the king’s accomplishments were complete — but only that He had different plans than what David envisioned. When God denies our request, we must not immediately conclude that our relationship with God has problems. Rather we must accept that His will is greater than ours.

This king would not build a temple for the Lord. This was because of his past as a warrior (see 1 Chron. 22:8–9).
God would establish the house of David. Not only would David reign but his descendants also would rule after him.
Eventually God would establish an eternal kingdom through David’s Seed (Jesus).

God’s Best Is Yet to Come (7:18–21)
The king was overwhelmed as he heard God speaking of his future legacy. He humbled himself before the Lord, asking the question, “Who am I?” By contrast, he considered this revelation of God’s plan to be a small thing when compared to God Himself. This promise from God had more to do with the nature of God than the worthiness of David.

When God makes a promise, you can be sure of two things: God always keeps His promises, and that promise is for your good and God’s glory. The glory of God’s promise to David was Jesus. And we know that God works all things together for our good.

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