God had been good to David. He had once been a shepherd, the youngest of his father’s sons, and now he was the king of Israel. God had also given David victory over all of his enemies. And though David often spent the night sleeping out under the stars when watching over his father’s sheep, he now lived in a beautiful palace. David summoned Nathan, the prophet.
“Here I am,” David said to Nathan, “living in a house of cedar, while the ark of God dwells in a tent.” The ark was a sacred box which contained the tablets that God had given to Moses with the Ten Commandments on them. The ark was carried wherever the Israelites had traveled over the years. They believed the ark was the presence of God with them. “Go, do whatever you have in mind,” Nathan replied, “for the Lord is with you.” That night, God gave Nathan a message. “Go tell my servant David, ‘Should you build me a house to dwell in? In all my wandering everywhere among the Israelites, did I ever utter a word to any one of the judges whom I charged to tend my people Israel to ask: Why have you not built me a house of cedar?'”
Nathan went to speak with David. David told Nathan to tell him everything the Lord had said. If the Lord was not happy with what he might do with the ark, David wanted to know.
Nathan delivered God’s message. “I have been with you wherever you went, and I have destroyed all of your enemies before you. I will fix a place for my people Israel; I will plant them so that they may dwell in their place without further disturbance. I will raise up your heir after you, and I will make his kingdom firm. It is he who shall build a house for my name. And I will make his royal throne firm forever. Your house and your kingdom shall endure forever before me; your throne shall stand firm forever.”
David was so moved by God’s love for him and all of the people of Israel that he said a prayer. “Great are you, Lord God. You have established for yourself your people Israel as yours forever. Bless the house of your servant.”
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2 Samuel 7
1. What did David say about the ark?
2. What did God say about David’s kingdom?