Things Seldom Work Out Exactly the Way We Plan

13.1CHRONICLES.17

(verses 1-2):

[1] AS DAVID sat in his house, he said to Nathan the prophet,  Behold, I dwell in a house of cedars, but the ark of the covenant of the Lord remains under tent curtains.

[2] Then Nathan said to David,  Do all that is in your heart, for God is with you.

Here we see that David is living in a pretty nice house.  I dwell in a house of cedars.  Since CEDAR wood was especially valued, it means David lived in an expensive beautiful home.

David remembered that the ark of the covenant of the Lord was under tent curtains and the contrast got under his skin. David was troubled by the thought that he lived in a nicer house than God’s Presence at the ark of the covenant.  So his desire needed a PLAN.  That was who David was.

My PLAN “A” versus God’s Plan “A” –

329794e8f685ce0454e65bf00f7623d9Without saying the specific words, David told Nathan that he wanted to build a TEMPLE to replace the TABERNACLE.  

I have often repeated a quote by Will Smith when people when people ask, “If things don’t work out the way you’ve plan, what is your PLAN B?”

“There’s no reason to have a plan B because

it distracts from plan A.” ~ Will Smith

More than four hundred years earlier, Israel was in the wilderness and God commanded Moses to build a tent of meeting according to a specific pattern (Exodus 25:8-9).

God never asked for a permanent building to replace the tent, but now David wanted to do this for God.

The Tent of Meeting–

The tent of meeting–also known as the tabernacle–perfectly suited to Israel in the wilderness, because they were constantly on the move.

Now that Israel finds themselves securely in the land, and the tabernacle is in Jerusalem (2 Samuel 6:17), David decides it would be better and more appropriate to build a permanent structure…A TEMPLE, to replace the tabernacle (PLAN ‘A’).

CONFIRMATION OF PLAN “A” – Do all that is in your heart, for God is with you.

Nathan said this to David because it seemed like a good and reasonable idea.  I don’t know about you, but if someone like Nathan came to me with his godly counsel, telling me my desires…my ideas were BLESSED; do all that is in your heart, for God is with you…I would probably jump up and down and shout Hallelujah!  “Lets get this thing done!”

What could be wrong with David wanting to build the TEMPLE then?

All that is in your heart shows that David’s heart, his mind, his soul was filled with this question:  “What can I do for God?”

He was so filled with gratitude and concern for God’s glory that he wanted to do something special for God.

(Vs. 3-6):  God Corrects Nathan’s Premature Advice–

[3] And that same night the word of God came to Nathan, saying,  [4] “Go tell David My servant. Thus says the Lord: You shall not build Me a house to dwell in.  [5] For I have not dwelt in a house since the day that I brought up Israel from Egypt until this day; but I have gone from tent to tent, and from one tabernacle to another.  [6] Wherever I have walked with all Israel, did I say a word to any of the judges of Israel whom I commanded to feed My people, saying, ‘Why have you not built Me a house of cedar?”

That very night that the word of God came to Nathan, his response to David was found presumptuous.  He answered according to human judgment and common sense, but before the word of God came to him.

For I have not lived in a house since the time that I brought up Israel, even to this day.

God seemed honored and “surprised” at the same time when David offered to build Him a house.

“You want to do what? No one has ever offered to do that before, and I never commanded anyone to do it.”

David wanted to do more than God had said to do.  

This is a wonderful place to be in our relationship with God.  Most of us are so stuck in thinking, “How little can I do and still please the LORD”, that we never really want to do more than God asks of us.

I love what Spurgeon says on this matter:

“Though the Lord refused to David the realization of his wish [his plan], He did it in the most gracious manner.  He did not put the away from him in anger or disdain as though David had cherished an unworthy desire, but He honored His servant even in the non-acceptance of his offer.” 

David now knew that God didn’t want him to build the TEMPLE, but David didn’t respond by doing nothing.  Instead of building the house of God, David gathered all the materials for the upcoming construction project so Solomon, his son, could build a glorious TEMPLE to God (1 Chronicles 29:2-9).

God’s Plan “A” – He Promises to Build David a House instead (vs. 11-15):

I will set up your seed after you…

[11] And it shall come to pass that when your days are fulfilled to go to be with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, one of your own sons, and I will establish his kingdom.  [12] He shall build Me a house, and I will establish his throne forever.  [13] I will be his father, and he shall be My son; and I will not take My mercy and steadfast love away from him, as I took it from him [King Saul] who was before you.  [14] But I will settle him (Him) in My house and in My kingdom forever; and his (His) throne shall be established forever more.  [15] According to all these words and according to all this vision, so Nathan spoke to David.

How would I feel coming up with a great idea, a plan, then finding out someone else is going to get the credit? Anger, envy, jealousy, disheartened, devastated and more?

David’s response to the change in plans had nothing to do with “feelings”.  His loving relationship with his heavenly Father took precedence over feelings of personal success.  God must have a better a better PLAN “A”.

God has a better plan that comes with promises.

David is told,  not only will your son build Me a house, but I will establish his throne forever.  God’s PLAN promised David that the reign of his dynasty will last forever.

Each of these great promises revealed within God’s PLAN is partially fulfilled in Solomon, David’s son, successor to his throne.

*  Solomon ruled on David’s throne.

*  God’s mercies never departed from Solomon, though he sinned.

*  Solomon built God a magnificent house.

Yet, God’s Promise to David was all the more important…because when the Chronicler (Ezra) wrote about it–after the  exile, when there wasn’t an independent kingdom of Israel, and the throne of David seemed vacant–the PROMISE wasn’t broken, even when all appeared that it was.

The Chronicler knew that Messiah would indeed come from the seemingly dead line of David and reign forever.  He had FAITH in what the prophets foretold as a greater fulfillment of God’s PLAN:

Jeremiah 23:5-6 ~

Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will raise up to David a righteous Branch (Sprout), and He will reign as King and do wisely and will execute justice and righteousness in the land.  In His days Judah shall be saved and Israel shall dwell safely; and this is His name by which He shall be called:  The Lord Our Righteousness.

Isaiah 9:6-7 ~

For to us a Child is born, to us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor,  Mighty God, Everlasting Father [of Eternity], Prince of Peace.  [7] Of the increase of His government and of peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from the [later] time forth, even forevermore.  The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.

Luke 1:31-33 ~

And listen! You will become pregnant and will give birth to a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus.  [32] He will be great (eminent) and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to Him the throne of His forefather David,  [33] And He will reign over the house of Jacob throughout the ages; and of His reign there will be no end.

God did not want the earthly house built until…

Until the SPIRITUAL HOUSE was promised and established.  The more important house had to be in place first, and that house was the dynasty and was the result in the throne of God’s Son.

What is our response when we think our plans are so meaningful, so exact, so wonderful in furthering the kingdom…and then God says no?  Let’s look had David’s response.

David’s Thankful Response to God’s Plan (16-22):  *Note – You will need your Bible to read along.

Who am I O LORD God?…O LORD there is none like You

When David received this spectacular gift, he didn’t think it made him any greater.  In David’s eye, it made God greater.

David’s attitude wasn’t “I’m so great that even God gives me gifts.”

Our attitude in receiving…

We should receive th gift of our SALVATION and every BLESSING with the same attitude as David’s.  God’s giving reflects the greatness of the Giver, not the receiver.  [*See Footnote [i] ]

Your servant

David’s humble reception of this gift is shown by the repetition of the phrase Your servant ten times in this prayer (15-27).

It shows that David humbly accepted God’s “no” when he wanted to build the TEMPLE.

Bringing Boldness in Prayer – (23-27)

“And now, O LORD, let the word that Thou hast spoken concerning Thy servant and concerning his house, be established forever, and do as Thou hast spoken.

“And let Thy name be established and magnified forever, saying ‘The LORD of hosts is the God of Israel, even a God to Israel; and the house of David Thy servant is established before Thee.’

“For Thou, O my God, has revealed to Thy servant that Thou will build for him a house; therefore Thy servant hath found courage to pray before Thee.

“And now, O LORD, Thou art God, and has promised this good thing to Thy servant.

“And now it hath pleased Thee to bless the house of Thy servant, that it may continue forever before Thee; for Thou, O LORD, hast blessed, and it is blessed forever.”

(The NASB translation)

David’s conversational prayer boldly asked God to do what He promised.  This wasn’t a passive prayer:  “Well God, do whatever You want to do–I don’t care one way or another.”

This wasn’t an arrogant prayer either that said, “Well God, let me tell You what You need to do here.”

This was a BOLD PRAYER–that said, “God here is Your promise.  Now I trust You to fulfill it grandly and to be faithful to Your word.”

Confidence in Prayer Comes from the Blood of Jesus–

I love a verse in Hebrews that reflects bringing boldness to our prayers with confidence.

“Therefore, brethren, since we have full freedom and confidence to enter into the [Holy of] Holies [by the power and virtue] in the blood of Jesus…”  (Hebrews 10:19).

Prayer that comes from the heart –  Therefore Your servant has found it in his HEART to pray before You.

Notice that David’s prayer was coming from his heart.  Some people pray from a book, others pray from their head.  But oh, what a difference it makes when we pray from our hearts.


 Credits, Footnotes, Photo credits:

Referred Commentary by David Guzik 2006.

Footnote [i] : from David Guzik’s commentary.

Photo Credits: Google Images.

Bible Translation for this Blog:  Amplified Bible except where noted.

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