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Something Else

2 Samuel 7:1-17 


"Now it came about when the king lived in his house, and the Lord had given him rest on every side from all his enemies, [2] that the king said to Nathan the prophet, 'See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells within tent curtains.' [3] And Nathan said to the king, 'Go, do all that is in your mind, for the Lord is with you.' [4] But it came about in the same night that the word of the Lord came to Nathan, saying, [5] 'Go and say to My servant David, 'Thus says the Lord, 'Are you the one who should build Me a house to dwell in? [6] '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. [7] '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?' ' ' [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 ruler over My people Israel. [9] 'And I have been with you wherever you have gone and have cut off all your enemies from before you; and I will make you a great name, like the names of the great men who are on the earth. [10] 'I will also appoint a place for My people Israel and will plant them, that they may live in their own place and not be disturbed again, nor will the wicked afflict them any more as formerly, [11] even from the day that I commanded judges to be over My people Israel; and I will give you rest from all your enemies. The Lord also declares to you that the Lord will make a house for you. [12] '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. [13] 'He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. [14] 'I will be a father to him and he will be a son to Me; when he commits iniquity, I will correct him with the rod of men and the strokes of the sons of men, [15] but My lovingkindness shall not depart from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you. [16] 'And your house and your kingdom shall endure before Me forever; your throne shall be established forever.' [17] In accordance with all these words and all this vision, so Nathan spoke to David."

Really, David's thought was a noble one, he thought that God's house should be as nice as his. In many ways, it showed spiritual maturity. I've seen the other attitude. Right after Susan and I were married, I accepted the pastorate at the First Baptist Church of Palm Desert. There were a small group of people that gathered on my first Sunday to greet me in a little run down building. It was a small house with an added on auditorium. Sometimes the restroom worked, sometimes it didn't. One of the rooms had a hole in the floor and the air conditioning wasn't always in working order. But the dirt parking lot was lined with Mercedes Benz automobiles and Cadillacs. To God's glory, we got rid of the old building and built a new one at a new location. With some leadership, the people were willing to work and to give to provide a place where the church could grow, but I never will forget my disappointment when I saw their nice cars and nice homes then looked at their run down church building. I knew it wasn't right.

That was David's thought-it isn't right for me to live in a nice house and for the Lord's house to be a tent. It sounded right to Nathan too, and he gave David his blessing. A blessing he had to retract whenever God spoke to him about it. It was the right thing to do, no doubt, but it wasn't the right timing-God's timing-and David wasn't the right person to do the job. Nathan made a mistake in assuming he knew God's will, without talking to God. A huge mistake, because God had something else in mind.

Why did God stop David from doing this good thing? Sometimes God stops good people from doing good things, but that doesn't mean that God is mad at the person or opposed to them. A person can still be blessed of God, yet not allowed to do something that he wants to do. Acts 13:22 says, "'I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after my heart, who will do all My will.'" David was a man after God's own heart-he was God's choice for king-he just wasn't God's choice to build the temple.

Sometimes God stops a good man from doing a good thing because he has something else for him to do. 1 Kings 5:3 says, "You know that David my father was unable to build a house for the name of the LORD his God because of the wars which surrounded him, until the LORD put them under the soles of his feet." In 1 Chron. 22:8 Solomon gave the same reason for him not building the temple as David gave, "'But the word of the LORD came to me, saying,' 'You have shed much blood, and have waged great wars; you shall not build a house to My name, because you have shed so much blood on the earth before Me.'" 

David had a different lot in life-he was to be a warrior, not a builder. He son's legacy would include building many things, among them the temple. David didn't get to do this good thing, but God's promise to him was that he son would get to do it.

Sometimes God stops good people from doing something they've planned to do, though He doesn't always stop them in the same way. Sometimes He puts obstacles in their path, like He did in Numbers 22:21-22; 32. "So Balaam arose in the morning, and saddled his donkey, and went with the leaders of Moab. [22] But God was angry because he was going, and the angel of the LORD took his stand in the way as an adversary against him. Now he was riding on his donkey and his two servants were with him. [32] And the angel of the LORD said to him, 'Why have you struck your donkey these three times? Behold, I have come out as an adversary, because your way was contrary to me." 

Other times He speaks to us through other people like He did in Genesis 20:2-3 "And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, 'She is my sister.' So Abimelech king of Gerar sent and took Sarah. [3] But God came to Abimelech in a dream of the night, and said to him, 'Behold, you are a dead man because of the woman whom you have taken, for she is married.'" 

And Sometimes He speaks to us through prayer like He did to Abraham in Genesis 17:18-19 "And Abraham said to God, 'Oh that Ishmael might live before Thee!' [19] But God said, 'No, but Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; and I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him." And still other times, He speaks to us through disturbed peace like He did to the Apostle Paul in Acts 16:6-10 "And they passed through the Phrygian and Galatian region, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia; [7] and when they had come to Mysia, they were trying to go into Bithynia, and the Spirit of Jesus did not permit them; [8] and passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas. [9] And a vision appeared to Paul in the night: a certain man of Macedonia was standing and appealing to him, and saying, 'Come over to Macedonia and help us.' [10] And when he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them."

Just because it is the right thing to do doesn't mean you are the right person to do it. Typically, God will speak to someone about something He wants to do and He won't give them a burden without calling them to serve in that area. But other times, He reserves the right to give one person the vision and another person the responsibility of carrying it out.

We're not talking about doing "general good" here. The scripture says, "Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do, and does not do it, to him it is sin." (James 4:17 NASB) We're talking about a specific good-a specific plan for your life. God has reserved good things for you to do. He has a plan that is tailor made for you. Don't get sidetracked doing good deeds, when you could be following God's will for your life. Ephes. 2:10 says, "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them."

Do you know God's specific will for your life? Do you know what you are supposed to be accomplishing as your life work? It all begins by surrendering your life to his control, then passionately pursuing His will for your life. Have you given your life to Him? If not, you can today. Have you given Him your life, but need to find His will for what you are supposed to be doing? You can discover His will by not walking through closed doors and asking Him to open the doors He wants you to walk through.

Sometimes, God stops good people from doing good things. But that's because He has something else for them to do. Are you doing the "something else?" 

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