Hot diggity dog! David was thrilled beyond measure! His idea was so good, he couldn’t wait to tell Nathan. Caught up in the king’s exuberance, Nathan advised him to go for it. Oops!
Nathan, a prophet, should have known better. The Architect should have been consulted. God had not signed off on David’s building plan. Both the king and the prophet assumed He would be delighted with David’s grandiose plan for a spectacular house of worship.
But in the same night the word of the LORD came to Nathan, saying, “Go and say to My servant David, ‘Thus says the LORD, “Are you the one who should build Me a house to dwell in? For I have not dwelt in a house since the day I brought up the sons of Israel from Egypt, even to this day; but I have been moving about in a tent, even in a tabernacle. Wherever I have gone with all the sons of Israel, did I speak a word with one of the tribes of Israel, which I commanded to shepherd My people Israel, saying, ‘Why have you not built Me a house of cedar?’”’
(2 Samuel 7:4-7 NASB)
And David would hear more from Nathan:
The LORD also declares to you that the LORD will make a house for you. When your days are complete and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your descendant after you, who will come forth from you, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.
(2 Samuel 7:11-13 NASB)
Not only did God stamp an absolute no on David’s plan, He inserted a promise to make David a house. That is, a dynasty.
This was a lot for David to take in. So he went to the tent of meeting–the tabernacle God designed. David craved to connect with God one-on-one.
At the house of prayer, did he stand with hands and eyes lifted heavenward to praise God? Or did he look down with bowed head and closed eyes in submission? Did he drop to his knees in repentance? Did he prostrate himself and beg?
None of the above. “David the king went in and sat before the Lord” (2 Samuel 7:18 NASB). Alone with God, he sat on the dirt floor, where he meditated in a prayer of gratitude.
“Oh, the thought of having God all alone to myself and knowing that God has me all alone to Himself!” (Andrew Murray)