"Now when David lived in his house, David said to Nathan the prophet, 'Behold, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of the covenant of the Lord is under a tent.' And Nathan said to David, 'Do all that is in your heart, for God is with you.' But that same night the word of the Lord came to Nathan, 'Go and tell my servant David, "Thus says the Lord: It is not you who will build me a house to dwell in."'"
1 Chronicles 17:1-4
David had learned the hard way not to jump into something until he was sure he had God’s leading on it. By the time he was made king, he had grown very cautious about this and didn’t go into battle or launch any other project until he was sure it was God work, being done in God’s way.
When he tried to bring the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem, disaster struck because although God approved the relocation, they loaded the Ark onto a cart (the way the Philistines had done) instead of having the Levitical Priests carry it as God had commanded.
David’s thought that his desire to build a Temple to the Lord in Jerusalem was a good idea, but He wanted to hear God’s instructions before he broke ground. So he brought the idea up to Nathan, the prophet.
Nathan's first reaction was, “Do all that is in your heart, for God is with you.” Nathan knew that David’s heart was pure and that this was a good and godly desire. So he gave an immediate, reasonable answer. But it wasn’t God’s timing, the place where it was to be built had not yet been revealed, and Solomon, the builder whom God had chosen, had not been born yet.
God had a better idea, so He had to correct the counsel Nathan had given. And since David was willing to listen, God turned the prophecy about David’s son building a house into a far greater, messianic prophecy, of the Jesus, Son of David, who would reign over God’s House forever.
When we do God’s work in God’s way He will do greater things with it than we can imagine. Things that may look like a setback will turn out for God's far greater glory. We just need to keep our ears open to God’s leading and respond in faith and obedience at every step along the way.
Lord Jesus, keep me from presuming on Your guidance. Open the ears of my heart to hear from You. Give me an obedient heart, to do Your work in Your way. Guide my decisions today, in Your name I pray. Amen.
Pastor Dan Giles