When God Says, “NO” (2 Samuel 6-7; 1 Chronicles 17)

Daily reading assignment: 2 Samuel 6-7; 1 Chronicles 17

Our Scripture reading continues with David’s decision to move the Ark of God to Jerusalem. As noted in a parallel passage recorded in 1 Chronicles 13, the celebration was cut short when David, the priests, and Levites failed to consult the Torah on the means of transporting the Ark.

An earlier devotional addressed the tragedy surrounding David employing a “new cart” to transport the Ark to Jerusalem. Today’s devotional will look past that tragic event (2 Samuel 6:1-11).

2 Samuel 7 and 1 Chronicles 17 – Parallel Passages

2 Samuel 7 and 1 Chronicles 17 offer us two expositions of the same event. We are introduced to the prophet Nathan, Samuel’s successor, who will have a great influence in David’s life during his reign.

No doubt in a reflective mood in the comfort of his new palace, David’s thoughts turned to building a temple for Israel to come to Jerusalem and worship the LORD (1 Chronicles 17:1-9).  Nathan gave his blessing to David’s desire (2 Samuel 7:2; 1 Chronicles 17:2); however, that same night the LORD revealed to the prophet that the king would not be permitted to build a temple; however, his son and successor would build a temple (1 Chronicles 17:3-12).

We find two covenant promises expressed to David in 1 Chronicles 17 and 2 Samuel 7.  The first, that God would bless David, subduing his enemies and establishing his lineage on Israel’s throne forever (17:7-11).  The second, that his son and successor would not only build a house of worship to the LORD, but his throne would “be established for evermore” (17:14); a promise fulfilled in the Messiah Jesus Christ.  The balance of today’s Scripture is a record of David’s praise and thanksgiving for God’s covenant promises (2 Samuel 7:12-17; 1 Chronicles 17:16-27).

Permit me to close by proposing a question:

How do you respond when God’s answer to your longing and prayer is contrary to your desire? In other words, when God says, “no.”

David’s love for the LORD moved him to request that he might build a house, a temple for God. The King reasoned, how could he rest in a palace when the Ark of God resided in a tent of curtains (2 Samuel 7:2; 1 Chronicles 17:1).

God refused David’s request saying, “Shalt thou build me an house for me to dwell in?” (2 Samuel 7:5). The LORD gave two grounds for His refusal. The first, His earthly presence among Israel had always been as a sojourner, “in a tent and in a tabernacle” (2 Samuel 7:6). The second basis of God’s refusal was He had not commanded David to build Him a house (2 Samuel 7:7).

God did not need a house; however, Israel needed the king the LORD chose and anointed to rule His people (2 Samuel 7:8-11).

If David set His heart to love the LORD and serve His people, God promised He would bless him, and his lineage would reign forever (a promise that will be fulfilled in Jesus Christ – 2 Samuel 7:12-16).

Lesson – Trust God and accept He is sovereign. The LORD has authority to order both the stops and the starts in life, and His way is perfect (Romans 8:28).

Copyright 2020 – Travis D. Smith