9 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 waste them no more, as formerly, 10 from the time that I appointed judges over my people Israel. And I will subdue all your enemies. Moreover, I declare to you that the Lord will build you a house. 11 When your days are fulfilled to walk with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, one of your own sons, and I will establish his kingdom. 12 He shall build a house for me, and I will establish his throne forever. 13 I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son. I will not take my steadfast love from him, as I took it from him who was before you, 14 but I will confirm him in my house and in my kingdom forever, and his throne shall be established forever.’ ”
After all of that praising, David really wanted to work for God. He looked at how nice his own house was and felt compelled to build a house for God. (Since God was all homeless out in that tent that was as old as Moses.)
But God didn’t need all of those good works.
Yes, God prepared work for us to do in advance, but we ourselves are God’s workmanship (Ephesus 2:10). In this case, David’s work was to be the king of Israel, but the work of building a temple for God was the work of someone else. Sometimes the work God wants out of us is to simply help somebody else to do something.
We’ve already talked about Jesus saying the work God wants out of us is to “believe in the One He sent.” As excited and zealous as we may be by God’s presence, sometimes that is the fullness of what God wants — for us to experience Him.
When you go on the great American road trip, you might have to stop at some run-down gas stations. I hope you get to pump some gas at one with analog numbers. They click around and ca-chunk ca-chunk while they spin and you fill your car up with gas.
They also take a while.
If you take that pump out and hit the road too soon, you’ll only have half of the tank you think you have. You won’t be filled to the full. You’ll only be half charged.
God doesn’t want us to do that when we’re praising and worshipping Him.
David didn’t need to build a temple. God wanted him to keep writing those Psalms, gathering the people to make a bunch of noise, and rule as king. God didn’t need a house, but He wanted His people to dwell in their place and not be disturbed. David’s obedience to what God said about this prepared the next generation to build God’s temple. David’s resting in confidence that God would do His work prepared the way for Solomon to do God’s work.
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