2 Sam. 7:4-7
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?’ ” ’ “
Nathan had been charged with delivering a word to David, and its beginning seems promising. David wanted to build a house for the Lord, and the Lord seems to have had a desire for that home, but it went a little deeper than that. This was not simply about having a fixed dwelling place for God’s presence. This also was about priority. Many people had better homes than God had. Specifically, David resided in that palace made of cedar while God’s ark resided in a tent. There was something wrong about that picture, so God made known his agreed desire for that home, but it was not for David to fulfill that request. He would be told of God’s wish, but he would not be chosen for the job. That would fall to his son.
There was nothing wrong with David. It is not as if he did not meet some threshold of personal quality or skill that disqualified him from this assignment. This was not an issue of worthiness. David simply was not the man that God had selected for this job, but that was no slight to him. He was chosen for plenty of amazing and miraculous tasks, so he could not be angry or jealous. In fact, considering that the job of building this house of God’s fell to his son, David still should have felt honored. One would expect, however, that this very human man felt disappointment when he was told that God had someone else in mind to complete the very work that he wanted to complete for God.
God chooses wisely and perfectly, and we must remember that when He does not choose us as expected. Just because we have a desire to do a great thing for the Lord, it does not mean that it is his desire for us to complete that work. Above all, we submit to his will, and that means different things. Sometimes it means having to do what we do not want to do, and other times it means withholding our hand when we really want to act. If we are going to serve the Lord, we must be resigned to the fact that our service to him will be according to his desires and not ours. Father, give us peace with the work that You have chosen for each of us, that we would not instead chase what we feel is a greater work.