Our Plans, God’s Plans
2 Samuel 7:1-14a
Now when the king dwelt in his house, and the Lord had given him rest from all his enemies round about, 2 the king said to Nathan the prophet, “See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells in a tent.” 3 And Nathan said to the king, “Go, do all that is in your heart; for the Lord is with you.”
4 But that same night the word of the Lord came to Nathan, 5 “Go and tell my servant David, ‘Thus says the Lord: Would you build me a house to dwell in? 6 I have not dwelt in a house since the day I brought up the people of Israel from Egypt to this day, but I have been moving about in a tent for my dwelling. 7 In all places where I have moved with all the people of Israel, did I speak a word with any of the judges[a] of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, saying, “Why have you not built me a house of cedar?”’ 8 Now therefore thus you shall say to my servant David, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, that you should be prince over my people Israel; 9 and I have been with you wherever you went, and have cut off all your enemies from before you; and I will make for you a great name, like the name of the great ones of the earth. 10 And I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in their own place, and be disturbed no more; and violent men shall afflict them no more, as formerly, 11 from the time that I appointed judges over my people Israel; and I will give you rest from all your enemies. Moreover the Lord declares to you that the Lord will make you a house. 12 When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come forth from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom for ever. 14 I will be his father, and he shall be my son.”
King David makes a plan: he decides to build a temple to honor God. Yet God sends him word not to do this. Instead God lets David know a bit of the plan He has for him: to build him a dynasty intended to last forever.
How often do we get worked up thinking God’s work in this world depends on us: one misstep on our part and all of God’s hard work might be in danger of falling apart. It’s good news that this is not so. God’s work in this world depends on God, not us. God graciously allows us to partner with him while he remains the prime mover in the unfolding of his plan. This gives us freedom to joyfully serve God knowing our service will be incomplete.
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