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Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.

That "Thing"

takes a long time to get.

2 Samuel 7:1–7

Now it came to pass when the king was dwelling in his house, and the LORD had given him rest from all his enemies all around, that the king said to Nathan the prophet, “See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells inside tent curtains.”

Then Nathan said to the king, “Go, do all that is in your heart, for the LORD is with you.”

But it happened that night that the word of the Lord came to Nathan, saying, “Go and tell My servant David, ‘Thus says the LORD: “Would you build a house for Me to dwell in? For I have not dwelt in a house since the time that I brought the children of Israel up from Egypt, even to this day, but have moved about in a tent and in a tabernacle. Wherever I have moved about with all the children of Israel, have I ever spoken a word to anyone from the tribes of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd My people Israel, saying, ‘Why have you not built Me a house of cedar?’ ” ’ “

This is one of the most glorious passages in the whole Bible—not for what it says, but for how it feels.

David doesn’t just notice that his new house is nicer than the tabernacle; he’s ticked about it. A lot of guys would see that their house is the best in the land and say, “How cool is that?” But David is offended.

You don’t learn that by simply memorizing scripture.

David has a “thing” about God’s glory—a thing we should all try to get. This is a deep lesson, but it’s essential, and it’s all over the Bible. It’s what Jesus was talking about when He said:

“If you love me, keep My commandments.” — John 14:15

The Greek word that’s translated as “love” here (ἀγαπᾶτέ, agapate) is a conjugation of the verb for sacrificial love. When written as a noun, the King James uses “charity” instead of “love” for this word. Keeping the Lord’s commandments is loving Him in that sense. It’s not about feelings, it’s about pursuing the good of another. That’s what David is doing in today’s passage.

Except that this is about feelings. The holiness and dignity of God and His ark aren’t just a priority for David; they’re his heart’s desire. Most kings would look at this scene and be pleased, thinking they’ve arrived.

But David notices what’s lacking. This is not because of something he learned in Saturday School, or a pledge he made to honor the LORD and His ark. It’s just how he feels.

Great. So, what’s the trick for gaining a heart for the LORD like David’s?

No trick; it just takes time—a lot of time, time with the LORD, time spent depending on Him, time learning that His priorities do not always match ours.

For David, that time came while he was guarding sheep.

These weekday DEEPs are written by Mike Slay. The Saturday ones are written by Matt Richardson. To subscribe click here:

The weekly study guides, which include questions for discussion or meditation, can be downloaded here:

Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.

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