Read 2 Samuel 7:16
I have one place of retreat in my home which offers a little peace from a busy house or a hectic day at work. It can be very quiet and offer a wonderful environment for personal reading and study. While there may be mayhem in other parts of our home, closing the doors to my office brings quiet — and I am able to pursue my reading and studies without interruption.
In the historical account from our passage today, David was finally experiencing rest from war on all sides. He and his kingdom hadn’t experienced political peace since he slew Goliath. Most of his life up to this point was measured by moving from one battle or hiding place to the next. So, after completion of war, his peace was well-deserved and fulfilling. While he’s enjoying this solitude in his cedar house, he comes to realize God’s ark is in a tent. David is in this house when he determines to build God a house. David tells the prophet Nathan what he’s thinking, and Nathan agrees, giving him the thumbs up to proceed. But that evening, Nathan receives a message from God. God tells Nathan that he doesn’t need a house crafted by human hands, and rather than demanding a house be built for himself, he makes the promise of a house, kingdom, and throne for David lasting forever.
David, living when he did, sought to build his God a temple suitable for the power and glory God had demonstrated over the years. But that’s not what God wanted. Instead, God wanted to build David’s legacy for all eternity.
Just like David, we don’t need to build a temple for God. As Jesus followers, we are already his temple, and the Holy Spirit dwells in us! Paul says, “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?” (1 Corinthians 3:16). Just when we’re thinking God needs a temple, God says he wants our heart. While we’re thinking of establishing a worldly empire, God’s thinking of establishing a Kingdom. And God’s Kingdom is, as Jesus said, “not of this world” (John 18:36). And this Kingdom’s temple lies in the hearts of all those following him.
Reflection and Response
When the Creator of the Universe makes his home not in a building, but in us, this sounds crazy. Yet, this was God’s plan from the beginning. God promised to defeat our enemy with the “seed of the woman” (Genesis 3:15). This, too, is strange because men have the reproductive seeds. Jesus comes to dwell in one woman’s womb and then sends his Spirit to take up residence in our hearts. What a wonder! As you’re coming off the holiday energy, simply imagine God’s spirit making his home in your heart. What kind of presents would you be excited for today if you were readying your heart for Jesus’ spirit?
By Rich Obrecht