“…And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established forever…” (2 Sam. 7:16).
Everyone would love to see all of their life’s efforts last long after they have expired. Even more so in lines of royalty. It is the desire of a monarch to see their lineage reign forever. They make every preparation to ensure that their “house is established” while they are living so that when they die, their family’s name will continue to remain in a position of power.
Understanding The Text
In previous verses, we observe David’s activity to legitimate his reign as king (1 Sam. 27 – 2 Sam. 7:2). The multiple war campaigns. David’s alliance with the Philistines. His alliance with Abner. Also, his quest to bring the Ark of God into the city of David. These all were acts that would allow David to establish his reign as king and also ensure that he could pass the throne to his posterity securely after he expires.
In verse 2 (the final act of establishment), David mentions building a house for the Ark of God. He receives support from Nathan the prophet, which God overturns two verses later. God tells Nathan to explain to David that He never asked for “…a house for Me to dwell in…” (vv. 5-7).
God understood the motivation behind David’s efforts. He reminds David that it was He Who implemented the ascension of David to the throne. What David needed to understand was that any effort to secure his house could potentially lead him away from absolute dependence on God. Since God began the work in David’s life, He would be the One to establish David’s house and bring and maintain the security and assurance which David sought (Ps. 127:1).
Why Is This Important To Us?
This is important to us because it reminds us that we can never fully secure any success in life through our own efforts. History has demonstrated this truth to us with the rise and fall of numerous empires. Any successful endeavor (according to Kingdom principles) requires its origin with God as its Source (Prov. 3:5-6; 9:10; 14:12; 16:3). Nothing lasts forever without it finding its origin with God. All that God does has effects that are eternal and timeless because He is eternal and timeless. Whatever He decrees stands in the heavens forever (Ps. 119:89).
Attempting to “establish a house” is an effort in futility if the motivation is not firmly grounded in the advancing of God’s Kingdom. Regardless of the fact that we know the outcome at the end of the Bible, we still tend to focus on temporal things. In addition, our life’s work should focus solely on implementing God’s Kingdom Agenda and effecting change in the lives of those in our surrounding communities. As a result of this, we should not be so inwardly focused that we neglect the will of God and the eternal destination of others.
Sean Mungin, author of “The Thorn In The Flesh”