When God Told David, “No.”

Text: II Samuel 7:1-17


I.         David had gained a measure of peace in his reign. The battles had settled down. Now was a time to think about other things.

            A.        David was embarrassed that he lived in a fine, solidly built house while God’s “house” remained a tent.

            B.        It was David’s desire to build a permanent structure for God and so he told the prophet Nathan.

            C.        Nathan thought it a fine idea and seemed certain that God would support the effort, but as we later learn Nathan forgot one important thing: He forgot to ask God.

                        1.         As often happens when men are so certain as to what God would like, Nathan was wrong.

                        2.         It happened to Samuel when looking for Saul’s replacement - I Samuel 16:6

                        3.         That night Nathan was told to correct his statement

II.        No, thank you

            A.        God explains that He has chosen for hundreds of years to use a tent as His place.

                        1.         He never asked for permanent place, though there were plenty of opportunities.

            B.        God has raised up David from a lowly shepherd to mighty warrior and famous king. David doesn’t need to build a house for God to further his reputation.

            C.        But it is time for Israel to settle down, so God is going to establish a permanent house to rule His people.

            D.        David’s son will build a house for God and God would watch over him. God will not cut off David’s line as He did Saul’s

III.       How do you respond when God says, “No”?

            A.        There are times we’ve asked God and have been turned down

                        1.         Prayers for loved ones to be healed

                        2.         Prayers for better circumstances

                        3.         Prayers for burdens to be lifted

                        4.         Prayers for opportunities

            B.        How do you cope with being told “No”?

            C.        David’s response was gratitude - II Samuel 7:18-24

                        1.         David didn’t sulk, he looked back at his life and was amazed at what God had done for him.

                        2.         He knew he wasn’t deserving of all of God’s favors and the fact that God said, “No,” to one more wasn’t a major let-down.

                        3.         Do you count all the blessings God has favored you, despite you being who you are?

                        4.         Look at what you have instead of what more you think you should get.

            D.        David listened to what God really wanted

                        1.         God didn’t outright reject David’s idea. He told David it was a good thought - I Kings 8:18

                        2.         But God had other plans. He had someone else in mind to build His house.

                        3.         So David did what he could to support God’s plan

                                    a.         The building would go on land that he had purchased - I Chronicles 21:22-26; 22:1

                                    b.         He negotiated and supplied material for the building project - I Chronicles 22:2-5

                                    c.         He drew up plans - I Chronicles 28:11-13

                                    d.         He financed much of the building - I Chronicles 28:14-19

                                    e.         He planned out the services and workmen - I Chronicles 28:21

                                    f.         And then he gave more and the people gave as well - I Chronicles 29:1-9

                        4.         Even with all this preparation, it still took Solomon seven years to actually build God’s temple.

                        5.         Now think a moment. If David had built the house himself, would it have been as grand? Or, would the pressures of further battles and other issues have caused David to take practical short cuts?

                        6.         What we may see as an unanswered prayer may merely be God saying there is a better way.

                                    a.         You might get passed over a job promotion and so you missed out in uprooting your family and moving half-way across the country.

                                    b.         Perhaps what God really wants is you to grow in influence in the local church and serve as an elder there.

                                    c.         You just never know what God has planned - Romans 8:28

            E.        David looked toward the future

                        1.         What shocked David most was while God said, “no” to David building Him a house, God declared he would build David an eternal house - II Samuel 7:25-29

                        2.         David offered God a gift and God gave him a far greater gift in return

                        3.         How can anyone be glum over not getting what he asked for when God gives something greater? - II Corinthians 4:17-18

                        4.         David prayer was answered, but not in the way he expected - Ephesians 3:20-21

IV.      Don’t sell your dreams short

            A.        What we think as best often isn’t.

            B.        When we pray for someone to live, do we think about the quality of life they will have here on earth or the pain they might suffer?

                        1.         And yet God can grant them eternal life in an immortal body.

                        2.         Which is the greater gift?

            C.        God might change our plans, but they always exceed what we expected the results to be.

Based on an article by Marc Hinds