Prayers of the Old Testament
The Prayer of David continued...
Having seen the abundance of blessing God had bestowed upon him, David decides to build a house for the ark of God. He shares his heart with the prophet Nathan, and before Nathan could ask God if this was His will, he speaks to David and says, ‘go, do all that is in your heart, for the Lord is with you.’
I know not why Nathan did not inquire of the Lord whether David ought to build a house for the ark or not, but alas, that night the word of the Lord came to Nathan and commanded him to go and tell God’s servant David that he would not be the one building him a house, but his seed would.
Even the best of intentions can have the wrong outcome if they are not the will of God. Perhaps it was because it seemed like such a good idea, that Nathan did not inquire of the Lord as to whether or not David ought to build a house for the ark. It was a noble gesture, a good thing, what could be wrong in something so selfless?
One of the most difficult lessons for us to learn as human beings is that the purpose of our existence on this earth is not to be magnanimous, charitable, giving, or generous for the sake of it, but because we are acting out our obedience toward God. The purpose of our existence is obedience and walking in the will of God. And yes, oftentimes God calls us to be benevolent and altruistic.
God rewards obedience. This truth has been proven out in scripture time and again. If I want to do something noble and kind yet God tells me not to do it at that particular time, if I follow through and do what I proposed to do, even though it was a noble thing, I would still be in rebellion and disobedience toward God.
Sometimes obedience is the easiest thing in the world, at other times the most difficult. When, what God commands us goes against the grain of our preconceived notions and ideas, the humbling of oneself is required in order to lay aside our wants, our wills, and simply obey.
David knew there was no point in arguing with God, and the promise God made David, concerning the house his seed would build for the Lord caused him to bend his knee and pray one of the most beautiful prayers of the Old Testament.
2 Samuel 7:18-22, “Then King David went in and sat before the Lord; and he said, ‘Who am I, O Lord God? And what is my house, that You have brought me this far? And yet this was a small thing in Your sight, O Lord God; and You have also spoken of Your servant’s house for a great while to come. Is this the manner of man, O Lord God? Now what more can David say to You? For You, Lord God, know Your servant. For Your word’s sake, and according to Your own heart, You have done all these great things, to make Your servant know them. Therefore You are great, O Lord God. For there is none like You, nor is there any God besides You, according to all that we have heard with our ears.’”
Although David’s prayer continues for another seven verses, I would be remiss if I did not point out some evident truths from his prayer thus far.
The first thing to stand out is David’s genuine humility. Although he had been anointed king, David stands before God and asks, ‘Who am I, O Lord God? And what is my house, that you have brought me this far?’
If we begin to juxtapose David’s prayer with the prayers of any given televangelist nowadays, we begin to see the stark difference between the two. Though David was king, he still inquired of the Lord ‘who am I, O Lord?’ while men with an iota of tenuous power and influence scream of their entitlement to the heavens, reminding God that they too are little gods and ought to be appeased.
There is a great difference between ‘Lord I am unworthy of your many blessings,’ and ‘is this all you’re going to give me Lord? I deserve more! In fact, I’m entitled to more!’
In recent years we have consistently moved away from godliness with contentment, and toward the mentality that God somehow owes us, and if we demand it loudly enough, often enough, and sternly enough, He will do as we demand.
David understood what many today choose not to: that God’s blessings are undeserved and when He chooses to bless us, all we can do is thank Him for His goodness and faithfulness.
The second thing to stand out in David’s prayer is his unshakable faith in the promises of God. God had spoken some great things to David through the prophet Nathan, including that his house and kingdom would be established forever before him.
At the time of this prophecy, David still had enemies who were all around, there was still division among his own people, yet when God spoke, David believed God at His word and began to thank Him for all the great things He had done.
In David’s heart, the matter was already settled, and God had already done these great things.
The third thing to stand out in David’s prayer is his awareness of God’s greatness. ‘There is none like You, nor is there any God beside You,’ David says.
It’s not just the words David spoke, but what they imply that’s of true import. David acknowledged the supremacy of God, the uniqueness of God, and the omnipotence of God. David knew the God he served, knew the extent of His power, the wonder of His majesty, and because he knew God, he stood on the promises of God accepting them as having already been made manifest.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.