“How great you are, O Sovereign LORD! There is no one like you, and there is no God but you.” 2 samuel 7
After the king was settled in his palace and the LORD had given him rest from all his enemies around him, he said to Nathan the prophet, "Here I am, living in a palace of cedar, while the ark of God remains in a tent." (2 Sam 7:1-2) Notice where David’s thought went when he had some “discretionary time” (rest from his enemies). He thought about the Lord and how he could honor and glorify Him. David was ambitious for God’s glory.
It is so natural to pat ourselves on the back when we have worked hard (as David had for 20 plus years) and now have some peace and prosperity; but not David. He had a heart inclined to worship and glorify the Lord and give Him all the credit.
John Piper asks the question, Why does God do everything He does? And it is for that purpose we see in David – to bring glory to His Name. “Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth-everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory…” (Isaiah 43:6-7)
Sometimes God says NO to even our good plans, even plans that would honor Him. David responded to God’s NO with humility and a servant’s heart. “David said, "My son Solomon is young and inexperienced, and the house to be built for the LORD should be of great magnificence and fame and splendor in the sight of all the nations. Therefore I will make preparations for it." So David made extensive preparations before his death.” (1 Chron. 22:5) He also shared with Solomon the details and the pattern/layout of the temple which the Lord had revealed to him and he gave out of his own personal wealth 3,000 talents of gold and 7,000 talents of silver. (1 Chron. 28, 29)
David’s willingness to be accountable is seen when Nathan shares what God said about building the temple. David wanted to build a house for the Lord but God tells David that He will build a house for him – the house (dynasty) of David that would culminate in Jesus Christ Who one day will reign on the throne of David. From the Fall seen in Genesis 3 to the Abrahamic Covenant to the Davidic Covenant until today God has promised to work to redeem and restore His fallen creation; especially the pinnacle of His creation – His people. “Jesus said to them, "My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working." (John 5:17) And He calls us to work with Him: “As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work.” (John 9:4)
But the Jews that came out of Babylonian captivity had stopped working with God. Years after David and the fall of Jerusalem and destruction of the temple the Jews who had returned to Jerusalem were to rebuild the temple. But they got busy with their own lives and houses and the Lord dried up the economy to get their attention. (See Haggai 1)God doesn’t need our money but He asked for the first portion of it to demonstrate that we trust Him.
"Who am I, O Sovereign LORD, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far?” (2 Samuel 7:18) David asked, why me Lord, why are you blessing me; instead of asking, why Lord am I having all these trials? This is a good reminder for us all to stop and remember all the good things God has done for us. In Luke 17: 11-18 we see where Jesus healed ten lepers (the worst physical and social disease a man could have) and only one came back to thank Him. The sad point is that the majority of God’s people are not thankful to Him. “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights.” (James 1:17)
The prayer acronym, ACTS, stands for Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplication. Most of us could use some help in spending more time in praise and thanksgiving (and yes in confession too) and make our supplications for ourselves and others more proportionate in our prayer times. Note how this is emphasized by Jesus when the disciples said, Lord teach us to pray: He begins by praising God (Hallowed be thy Name) and asking for God’s will (not my will) to be done. This sets the stage for the rest of our prayers (i.e., God’s will be done to His glory) and then we make our “requests” in light of this ultimate purpose. We ask for our daily bread (and are thankful when He gives it to us). We confess our sins (forgive me Lord for…_______________) as I forgive ____________ (another possible sin that may need confession is unforgiveness). Deliver us from temptation and from the evil one (Satan) for our good and for Your glory. Use this pattern and the Psalms for a season to help develop a prayer life and attitude of adoration and thanksgiving to our Great God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Discussion Questions FOR APPLICATION OF GOD’S WORD
“Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth-everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory…” (Isaiah 43:6-7) What do you do with your discretionary time in the evenings and week-ends, etc.? Does bringing glory to God come to mind at these times as it did with David?
“In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” (Matt. 5:16) If the Lord has blessed you with success and rest and peace, do all those around you know that it was His doing? Does He get all the glory for your accomplishments so others might be drawn to Him? How do you share His glory with others?
As New Testament Christians we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit and thus we are the temple of the Holy Spirit. (1 Cor. 6:19) So we help build God’s temple today, not with stones and wood, but by leading others to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and helping them grow. Jesus says, “I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” (Matt. 16:18) David invested generously to help Solomon build the temple, with his time, prayer, money and instructions. And the Lord calls us to do the same. “God doesn’t need our money but He asked for the first portion of it to demonstrate that we trust Him.” Discuss this at your table.
In Luke 17:11-18 we see where Jesus healed ten lepers (the worst physical and social disease a man could have) and only one came back to thank Him. The sad point is that the majority of God’s people are not thankful to Him. Do you find yourself stuck on requests for God versus praise and thanksgiving to God? What will you do to change this?
“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does.” (James 1:22-25) It is in doing God’s Word, not in just hearing it, that we are blessed. What action will you take to apply these truths to your life?
Scripture memory verse: "How great you are, O Sovereign LORD! There is no one like you, and there is no God but you, as we have heard with our own ears. And who is like your people Israel—the one nation on earth that God went out to redeem as a people for himself, and to make a name for himself." (2 Samuel 7:22-23) God saves us for His glory.