1 After David was settled in his palace, he said to Nathan the prophet, “Here I am, living in a palace of cedar, while the ark of the covenant of the LORD is under a tent.” 

     2 Nathan replied to David, “Whatever you have in mind, do it, for God is with you.” 

    3 That night the word of God came to Nathan, saying:

     4 “Go and tell my servant David, ‘This is what the LORD says: You are not the one to build me a house to dwell in. 5 I have not dwelt in a house from the day I brought Israel up out of Egypt to this day. I have moved from one tent site to another, from one dwelling place to another. 6 Wherever I have moved with all the Israelites, did I ever say to any of their leaders whom I commanded to shepherd my people, “Why have you not built me a house of cedar?”‘

1 Chronicles 17:1-6  (NIV)

David was uncomfortable, not because his palace was too small or too large. It only made him uncomfortable that while he was living in the lap of luxury, the ark of the covenant was still kept in a tent. David’s heart was in the right place.

But God spoke to his prophet Nathan telling him that David was not the right person who was to build a house for God. He further added that he was not unhappy to have the tent for his dwelling place and that he had never asked for a house of cedar.

God does expect his house to be reverent. He is not opposed to fine craftsmanship. I say this because of the explicit instructions he gave to Moses for building the ark of the covenant and for making the tent that was the tabernacle. See Exodus 25:10-22.

Do we share David’s concern over how we keep God’s house? Do we honor God by taking care of our churches, especially the sanctuaries? And do we do so for the right reasons? Are we making extravagant improvements so we will have a nicer church than the one up the street, or are we making it beautiful to bring honor to God? Are we spending so much on our church that we have nothing left to give to missions at home or abroad? Are you making a large donation to the building fund so the church will place a large plaque somewhere with your name on it, or are you willing for your contributions to go unmentioned?

Lord, help us examine our motives for building your house. May our actions bring glory to you and not to ourselves.

Copyright © 2008 by Janice Green

Scripture quoted by permission. Quotations designated (NIV) are from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.

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