A Heart for God:  David.

David and the Lord's house

Readings:  2Sam 7:5-17, 27-29
Sermon:  Sun 1st November 2015
Setting the scene:
David’s battle for survival is over. He is established on the throne of Jerusalem. God has enabled him to bring peace and stability. Accordingly under his godly rule, Israel is flourishing.
As a devout man of God, King David turns his attention to the Ark of the Covenant that he has brought to Jerusalem. David is living in a royal palace while the Ark resides in a tent.
According to tradition the Ark contained the two tablets of stone on which the laws of the covenant were written.  It had become a talisman for the Hebrews, being paraded around the city of Jericho prior to the fall of the walls etc.  It’s easy to see its significance in the daily and worshipping life of the people.  The Ark itself was not seen as a dwelling place of God, rather it was the place in which Gods justice and judgment towards sin was satisfied.
Ice-breaker: Can you think of a time when having agreed on a course of action, you changed your mind? Consider sharing your recollection with friends and explain why you changed your mind.
(See Helpful Hints)
Read 2 Samuel 7: 1-17
A) Understanding David:
1. a) Why do you think David wanted to build a permanent home for the Ark of the Covenant?
b) What was the prophet Nathan’s reply to David’s suggestion.
2. In your own words, summarize the Lord’s message for David that he gave to Nathan that night.
Read 2 Samuel 7:18-28 3.
a) Describe David’s response to the Lord’s message that Nathan delivers the next morning.
b) How would you describe his prayer
B) Learning from David
1. This episode reveals the difference between a ‘good idea’ and a ‘God idea’.
a) Can you think of times in your walk with God, when you have had a similar experience?
b) How do you cope with disappointments?
2. Reviewing this episode which helped David to grow deeper and further in faith, draw out some points of application to help us in our continuing life of discipleship.
C) Praying with David
Take some time to share areas/items for prayer
Conclude by saying the Lord’s Prayer focusing on what it means to pray, “Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
Helpful Hints
A) Understanding David:
2. a) David is not the person to build the Temple
b) God has never asked any of his servants to build a permanent structure for the Ark
c) The Lord chose David and will make his name great in world history
d) The Lord will grant peace and stability for the nation of Israel under David
e) The Lord will establish a house for David, His son, who will succeed David as King, will be the one to build a permanent Temple
f) The Lord will guide and correct David’s son and establish his kingdom (note: prophecy about Jesus)
3. David’s response reveals that he is overwhelmed by the grace of God. Although God has turned down his plans (which appear commendable), David is drawn closer to God and expresses his thanks and love for God in his prayer. David is overwhelmed by God’s grace.
B) Learning from David
2. David revealed a….:
a) Teachable spirit – his willingness to seek Nathan’s counsel; his willingness to accept the change of plan and his humility in accepting the refusal of his original intention. Notice too the change in David’s language as the episode develops.
b) Humble heart – Kings in ancient times were not renowned for their flexibility. David’s past experiences have created a humble spirit and a heart that is devoted to God. He doesn’t get angry or sulk at God’s rejection of his plans. Instead David chooses to draw close to God. The opening words of his prayer (verse 18b) reveal His understanding and humility. Do we? How we handle disappointment tends to reveals the true place that God has in our hearts and the extent of our humility.
c) A Faithful Prophet - We all need Nathan’s in our life. Our willingness to seek out and receive from a godly person, like Nathan, is evidence of a teachable spirit and a humble heart.
d) An Eternal Perspective – All too often we can bring our plans to God and seek His divine approval. Disappointment can be an accurate way of testing our flexibility and obedience to God. David was a strong King of immense influence. But he had not lost his understanding of God and his dependency on Him. At first hand, David had seen what power had done to Saul and so he was determined to be a different type of King under God. I would like to describe this as possessing an eternal perspective as it summarises what is required of us: - the acknowledgement that God is sovereign - and a willingness to live out the words of the Lord’s Prayer, “Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

RJ / SB, 10/08/2015