David's desire for building a Temple - Charlotte Villa

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May the words of my mouth and the meditations of all our hearts be truly acceptable to you - Amen 

Ø  WHAT WE DO - even things that on the surface look righteous and pleasing to God

o   Mean nothing to God - if we don’t do them with a truly sincere heart

Ø  Our Old Testament reading, today from second Samuel, shows us how even one of the greatest heroes of scripture, King David, gets it wrong

o   Wrong, yet on the surface it all seemed right

Ø  I will set the scene for you

o   In the two chapters right before today’s some pretty significant events transpire

§  All the leaders of the tribes of Israel have come together - and in their uniting together they anoint David as King over all Israel

§  Jerusalem is made capital of the united Israel

§  David leads the March of the ark covenant to Jerusalem

·         He was dancing before the ark of covenant with all his might

Ø  Then today’s passage - which starts out innocently enough

o   we are told that the Lord had given him rest from all his enemies

Ø  David - in this moment of rest - gets a bright idea

o   David contemplates that he is living in a mansion - a house built of cedar and he wants to build a temple for the Lord to house the ark of the covenant

§  The prophet Nathan, which seems to be David closest advisor agrees

·         As far as he can see the Lord has been with David, therefore the Lord must be with David in his intention to building the temple

Ø  On the surface it all looks to make sense

o   On the surface David’s intentions seem honorable

§  David is showing his respect for God and the things of God by wanting to build a temple for the ark of the covenant

Ø  But God knows better!

Ø  There is an old joke “how do you make God laugh?

o   tell him YOUR plans” (pause)

§  This joke runs to the very heart of passage today

Ø  You see God instructs Nathan through a vision that David’s is to be rebuked (told that his plans for building a temple are not going to happen and why)

Ø  So what was God saying when he rebuked David

o   God questions David with a wonderfully sarcastic line “Are you the one to build me a house to live in?”

Ø  God knew David’s heart - knew his intentions and his motivation

o   You see David thought he was doing something for God

o   And God called him on it

§  He says through Nathan…

·         “Go and tell my servant David”

·         no longer is this David the King - but David the servant

·         he says that God has been present with them in all their wanderings in every situation

·         God says through Nathan that All of David’s success is due to God and not to David’s effort alone

o   David is taken “From the pasture to the prince”

·         He says that It is God has defeated his enemies

·         That God will appoint a place for his people - and they will be disturbed no more

Ø  Why was God putting a halt to the best intentions of David

§  Or at least - what on the surface seems like the best intentions

o   Because God knows our hearts - God sees through it all - and knows our true motivation

o   God knows that David was trying to do something FOR God

o   God doesn’t want our stuff

§  God wants our hearts

§  There are countless examples of how God through the prophets telling us that what WE give to God is not the important thing.

Ø  So why David - why his house - his lineage

o   why does David get such an important role

Ø  Because David gets it right some times

§  gets it right in a big way

o   Like his righteous zeal against the taunting of Goliath - the cursing of the Lord by Goliath

o   Or like dancing before the procession of the ark of the covenant coming into Jerusalem - and it says “dancing with all his might”

Ø  David was rightly rebuked for thinking of doing anything FOR God

Ø  David is there to show us that attitude is everything

o   and God’s knows our hearts and knows when our attitude is rightly pointed to His will not our own


I will close with a story involving Mark Twain

A businessman well known for his ruthlessness once announced to writer Mark Twain, "Before I die I mean to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. I will climb Mount Sinai and read the 10 Commandments aloud at the top." "I have a better idea," replied Twain. "You could stay in Boston and keep them."


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