“Wherever I have moved about with all Israel, have I ever spoken a word to any of the judges of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd My people, saying, ‘Why have you not built Me a house of cedar?’”
—1 Chronicles 17:6
David was settled into his house in Jerusalem. He got to thinking, “I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of the covenant of the Lord is under tent curtains.” That didn’t seem right to David so he purposed in his heart to build a permanent temple for the Lord. He even got the go-ahead from Nathan the prophet.
But as verses 3-14 record, God spoke to Nathan, who in turn informed David regarding God’s heart on the matter. In short, building a temple wasn’t God’s idea, but David’s. God neither wanted nor needed a permanent temple. In fact, instead of allowing David to build a “house” of stone for God, God pledged to build an everlasting “house” for David—a house built by and on the Lord Jesus Christ.
I am instructed in several issues by this. First, my ideas about how to worship and serve God are not needed nor wanted by God. He tells me how to worship and serve Him. What does that say about all the creative ideas that men concoct about ministry, that are nowhere to be found in God’s Word?
Second, just as Nathan was wrong until God enlightened him in the matter (v.2), even the most godly person can be wrong. What made Nathan and David truly godly was their willingness to shelve their plans when God made His clear.
What is truly important is not what any of us can do for God, but what He has done and continues to do for us in the person of Christ Jesus. When we get that through our heads, like David in the twelve verses that conclude the chapter, we will worship and extol God for who He is and for all that He does on our behalf for His eternal glory.