When God Says, “No!”
II Samuel 7:1-5
And it came to pass, when the king sat in his house, and the LORD had given him rest round about from all his enemies; That the king said unto Nathan the prophet, See now, I dwell in an house of cedar, but the ark of God dwelleth within curtains. And Nathan said to the king, Go, do all that is in thine heart; for the LORD is with thee. And it came to pass that night, that the word of the LORD came unto Nathan, saying, Go and tell my servant David, Thus saith the LORD, Shalt thou build me an house for me to dwell in? (Read II Samuel 7:1-29)
Up to this time, David’s life has been filled with war, bloodshed and trouble. David is now resting from his enemies and a thought comes to mind, a desire to build a special dwelling place for the Ark of the Covenant. The prophet Nathan is introduced for the first time in Scripture and will later record many of the events surrounding David’s life as you will see in 1 Chronicles 29:29; Now the acts of David the king, first and last, behold, they are written in the book of Samuel the seer, and in the book of Nathan the prophet, and in the book of Gad the seer. Nathan is God’s spokesman for the kingdom and David decides to bring to him this desire and Nathan encourages David by saying, Go, do all that is in thine heart; for the LORD is with thee.
We must remember that Nathan is human––like the rest of us and the proposal David gave him sounded great. Nathan would have a new “church” in which to preach and worship the Lord in so he responded quickly. How did Nathan know God would want a building? Had Nathan talked to God about it? Maybe he reasoned as many of us do. “If it’s in the name of God, it must be okay.” That night as Nathan lay down to sleep, the LORD spoke to him and Nathan realized that he had spoken too soon. Now he would have to go to David and admit that he had been wrong.
God had said, “No” to David’s desire of building a permanent dwelling place for the ark but He never condemned it. Instead, David was commended in II Chronicles 6:8, But the LORD said to David my father, Forasmuch as it was in thine heart to build an house for my name, thou didst well in that it was in thine heart. David could have felt empty or even angry that God had turned him down but he didn’t and the Lord knew that. So, God decided to give King David a reminder from the past and a glimpse of the future.
Five promises were made to David and Israel from the Lord. The first promise given to David was He would be given “a great name.” II Samuel 7:9 says, And I was with thee whithersoever thou wentest, and have cut off all thine enemies out of thy sight, and have made thee a great name, like unto the name of the great men that are in the earth. A past promise from Genesis 12:2 reads, And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:
The second promise was that God would appoint a place for Israel. Moreover I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more; (II Samuel 7:10a). Promise three, God gave David “rest” from all his enemies; neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them any more, as beforetime, (II Samuel 7:10b). The fourth promise God gave was that the Lord would build a “house” i. e., a temple. Even though David’s desire was to build it for God, God would build for him a dynasty.
Last but not least, according to Scripture, it was the coming Messiah who would establish David’s kingdom forever. II Samuel 7:16, And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever. Isaiah 9:6-7, For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.
Thought: Though God had said, “No” to David’s dream of building the temple, He did give to David many blessings. David’s submission to the ways of God exhibits for us the attitude we must have when God says,”No” to us. David prayed with awe and thanksgiving over God’s divine blessing on his seed and nation knowing God would keep His promises and do as He had said (1 Chronicles 17:16-27). We as children of God do not have the same promises as David did but God has promised that when we hurt, He will be there, when we cry out, He will hear our voice and when we believe and call upon His name, we will be saved. What has happened in your life? Has God told you “No?” Are you bitter or are you better because of His sovereign work in your life? I pray you will allow the Maker of this universe to do His work in your life even when He says “No” to the most important and significant treasures you hold so dear. (Romans 8:28).
I love the LORD, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications. Because he hath inclined his ear unto me, therefore will I call upon him as long as I live. The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow. Then called I upon the name of the LORD; O LORD, I beseech thee, deliver my soul. Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; yea, our God is merciful. The LORD preserveth the simple: I was brought low, and he helped me. Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the LORD hath dealt bountifully with thee. For thou hast delivered my soul from death, mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling. I will walk before the LORD in the land of the living. I believed, therefore have I spoken: I was greatly afflicted: I said in my haste, All men are liars. What shall I render unto the LORD for all his benefits toward me? I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD. I will pay my vows unto the LORD now in the presence of all his people. Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints. O LORD, truly I am thy servant; I am thy servant, and the son of thine handmaid: thou hast loosed my bonds. I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the LORD. I will pay my vows unto the LORD now in the presence of all his people, In the courts of the LORD'S house, in the midst of thee, O Jerusalem. Praise ye the LORD.
Oh, how this devotion has ministered to my own heart.