How are your gift giving skills? I’ll be honest, I’m terrible. I can’t tell you what I would want; much less what someone else might enjoy. To be clear, it’s not for lack of effort, it’s just not a gift I have ever been accused of possessing. It might in fact be a disorder, I would be embarrassed to admit the amount of time I’ve wasted just standing in front of the gift card tree, in the store, frozen with indecision, I can’t even pick out a gift card for people! But even with my lame gifts, I do not remember anyone ever looking at me and refusing one of my gifts. Yet that is where this promise we find in 2 Samuel comes from, out of God refusing to accept a gift, from the hand of David, the King after His own heart.
David had made it, so to speak. God had given victory and prosperity. The poor shepherd boy had gone from poor kid from the unknown family to the most successful, powerful, king the nation had ever and would ever know. He had the big house, he had the pool out back, the big theater room, basketball courts….well he would have if it were today, he had it all. But something was wrong, here David was living in luxury and the Ark of God, the symbol of God’s presence, was still housed in the Tabernacle, a tent. David, like any good child is apt to do, when he makes good, decides to buy His Father a new big house. He calls up Nathan the prophet and tells him he wants to build God a Temple. Nathan like any good preacher, knows a good offer when he hears one, he is like man I don’t even need to pray about this one, go ahead and start writing the check I’ll call the contractor. The King went to bed happy, believing he was finally going to be able to pay God back a little bit for all the Lord had done for Him.
When David got up the next morning though, Nathan was there to see him. Nathan told David they’d jumped the gun, and that God didn’t want his gift. God did not need David to do something nice for Him. God reminded David that he had not made it because of himself, but that the Lord had given him everything he had. In other words, David was trying to buy God’s gift with God’s money. The Lord tells David No! Imagine being told no by the Lord when you are trying to give Him a massive offering. That is exactly what David heard from the Lord.
The surprise gets even bigger though, God doesn’t just say no to David’s gift. He turns around and says, instead of you building me a house, I am going to build you one, one that will last forever (2 Samuel 7:11).
Which gets us to our promise for this Friday morning. God tells David that after he is gone that the Lord will raise up a king after him that will rule forever. That this, Son of David, will have a kingdom that never ends. That this promised One, will build a house for the Lord’s name and be established forever. The title, Son of David, became the promise Israel was looking for when she looked for her messiah. Matthew records the hope of the people as they ask the question, “can this be the Son of David?” (Matthew 12:23) followed later, by the crowds praising the Lord, for sending them, "the Son of David" (Matthew 21:9), as Jesus came into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. Jesus has come to be our promised King, He is the Son of David who will rule righteously for all eternity and give His people a house that will never end.
This promise was in response to God saying no to a prayer request, a request that anyone who was guessing would have said, the Lord will say yes. David asked the Lord to allow him to give God a house and God said no! Instead God gave David an eternal home, and in turn gave everyone who trusts in Jesus an eternal home as well.
Has God told you no? Accept His no and realize that His plan is eternally better than any plan you could have come up with. He is the best gift giver in the universe, He knows what you will want and need far better than you.
When God says no, it is for good reason. Trust His wisdom today. He knows what He is doing and His no is eternally better than anyone else’s yes.