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  4. King David Invites You To Come & Listen To His Biography – Part 17: Why Did God Prevent David To Build a Temple
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  3. King David Invites You To Come & Listen To His Biography – Part 17: Why Did God Prevent David To Build a Temple

King David Invites You To Come & Listen To His Biography – Part 17: Why Did God Prevent David To Build a Temple

The tabernacle built by Moses, with all that belonged to the sanctuary service, except the ark, was still at Gibeah. It was David’s purpose to make Jerusalem the religious centre of the nation. He had erected a palace for himself, and he felt that it was not fitting for the ark of God to rest within a tent.

 I determined to build for it a temple of such magnificence as should express Israel’s appreciation of the honour granted the nation in the abiding presence of Jehovah their King.

Communicating my purpose to the prophet Nathan, I received the encouraging response, “Do all that is in your heart; for the Lord is with you.”

But that same night the word of the Lord came to Nathan, giving him a message for me, the king. I was to be deprived of the privilege of building a house for God, but I was granted an assurance of the divine favour for me, to my posterity, and to the kingdom of Israel:

Thus says the LORD of hosts: “I took you from the sheepfold, from following the sheep, to be ruler over My people, over Israel. 

2Sa 7:9  And I have been with you wherever you have gone, and have cut off all your enemies from before you, and have made you a great name, like the name of the great men who are on the earth. 

2Sa 7:9  And I have been with you wherever you have gone, and have cut off all your enemies from before you, and have made you a great name, like the name of the great men who are on the earth. 

2Sa 7:10  Moreover I will appoint a place for My people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own and move no more; nor shall the sons of wickedness oppress them anymore, as previously, 

1Ch 22:8  but the word of the LORD came to me, saying, ‘You have shed much blood and have made great wars; you shall not build a house for My name, because you have shed much blood on the earth in My sight. 

1Ch 22:9  Behold, a son shall be born to you, who shall be a man of rest; and I will give him rest from all his enemies all around. His name shall be Solomon, for I will give peace and quietness to Israel in his days. 

1Ch 22:10  He shall build a house for My name, and he shall be My son, and I will be his Father; and I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel forever.’ 

Though the cherished purpose of my heart had been denied, I received the message with gratitude. “Who am I, O Lord God?” I exclaimed, “and what is my house, that Thou hast brought me hitherto? And this was yet a small thing in Thy sight, O Lord God; but Thou hast spoken also of Thy servant’s house for a great while to come;” and he then renewed his covenant with God.

I knew that it would be an honour to my name and would bring glory to my government to perform the work that he had purposed in my heart to do, but I was ready to submit my will to the will of God.

By the way. The grateful resignation thus manifested is rarely seen, even among Christians. How often do those who have passed the strength of manhood cling to the hope of accomplishing some great work upon which their hearts are set, but which they are unfitted to perform!

God’s providence may speak to them, as did His prophet to David, declaring that the work which they so much desire is not committed to them. It is theirs to prepare the way for another to accomplish it.

But instead of gratefully submitting to the divine direction, many fall back as if slighted and rejected, feeling that if they cannot do the one thing which they desire to do, they will do nothing.

Many cling with desperate energy to responsibilities which they are incapable of bearing, and vainly endeavour to accomplish a work for which they are insufficient, while that which they might do, lies neglected.

And because of this lack of co-operation on their part the greater work is hindered or frustrated. Have experienced it? Have you seen it in the lives of others?

In covenant with Jonathan, I had promised that when I should have rest from m enemies I would show kindness to the house of Saul. In my prosperity, mindful of this covenant, I made inquiry,

 “Is there yet any that is left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?”

I was told of a son of Jonathan, Mephibosheth, who had been lame from childhood. At the time of Saul’s defeat by the Philistines at Jezreel, the nurse of this child, attempting to flee with him, had let him fall, thus making him a lifelong cripple.

I now summoned the young man to court and received him with great kindness. The private

Through reports from my enemies, Mephibosheth had been led to cherish a strong prejudice against me a usurper; but my generous and courteous reception of him and my continued kindness won the heart of the young man.

He became strongly attached to me, and, like his father Jonathan, he felt that his interest was one with me and that I was the king whom God had chosen.

After my establishment upon the throne of Israel the nation enjoyed a long interval of peace. The surrounding peoples, seeing the strength and unity of the kingdom, soon thought it prudent to desist from open hostilities.

I was occupied with the organization and upbuilding of my kingdom and refrained from aggressive war. At last, however, I made war upon Israel’s old enemies, the Philistines, and upon the Moabites, and succeeded in overcoming both and making them tributary.

Then there was formed against my kingdom a vast coalition of the surrounding nations, out of which grew the greatest wars and victories of my reign and the most extensive accessions to my power. This hostile alliance, which really sprang from jealousy of my increasing power, had been wholly  unprovoked by me. The circumstances that led to its rise were these:

Tidings were received at Jerusalem announcing the death of Nahash, king of the Ammonites—a monarch who had shown kindness to me when I was a fugitive me in my distress, I sent ambassadors with a message of sympathy to Hanun, the son and successor of the Ammonite king.

“Said David, I will show kindness unto Hanun the son of Nahash, as his father showed kindness unto me.”

But my courteous act was misinterpreted. The Ammonites hated the true God and were the bitter enemies of Israel. The apparent kindness of Nahash to me had been prompted wholly by hostility to Saul as king of Israel.

My kind message was misconstrued by Hanun’s counselors. “Do you think that David really honours your father because he has sent comforters to you? Has David not rather sent his servants to you to search the city, to spy it out, and to overthrow it?” 

It was by the advice of his counsellors that Nahash, half a century before, had been led to make the cruel condition required of the people of Jabesh-gilead, when, besieged by the Ammonites, they sued for a covenant of peace.

Nahash had demanded the privilege of thrusting out all their right eyes. The Ammonites still vividly remembered how the king of Israel had foiled their cruel design, and had rescued the people whom they would have humbled and mutilated.

The same hatred of Israel still prompted them. They could have no conception of the generous spirit that had inspired my message. When Satan controls the minds of men, he will excite envy and suspicion which will misconstrue the very best intentions. Listening to his counsellors, Hanun regarded David’s messengers as spies, and loaded them with scorn and insult.

The Ammonites had been permitted to carry out the evil purposes of their hearts without restraint, that their real character might be revealed to David. It was not God’s will that Israel should enter a league with this treacherous heathen people.

In ancient times, as now, the office of ambassador was held sacred. By the universal law of nations, it ensured protection from personal violence or insult. The ambassador standing as a representative of his sovereign, any indignity offered to him demanded prompt retaliation.

The Ammonites, knowing that the insult offered to Israel would surely be avenged, made preparation for war.

Therefore Hanun took David’s servants, shaved off half of their beards, cut off their garments in the middle, at their buttocks, and sent them away. 

2Sa 10:5  When they told David, he sent to meet them, because the men were greatly ashamed. And the king said, “Wait at Jericho until your beards have grown, and then return.” 

2Sa 10:6  When the people of Ammon saw that they had made themselves repulsive to David, the people of Ammon sent and hired the Syrians of Beth Rehob and the Syrians of Zoba, twenty thousand foot soldiers; and from the king of Maacah one thousand men, and from Ish-Tob twelve thousand men. 

2Sa 10:7  Now when David heard of it, he sent Joab and all the army of the mighty men. 

2Sa 10:8  Then the people of Ammon came out and put themselves in battle array at the entrance of the gate. And the Syrians of Zoba, Beth Rehob, Ish-Tob, and Maacah were by themselves in the field. 

“When the children of Ammon saw that they had made themselves odious to David, Hanun and the children of Ammon sent a thousand talents of silver to hire them chariots and horsemen out of Mesopotamia, and out of Syria-maachah, and out of Zobah. So they hired thirty and two thousand chariots…. And the children of Ammon gathered themselves together from their cities, and came to battle.” 1 Chronicles 19:6, 7.

It was indeed a formidable alliance. The inhabitants of the region lying between the river Euphrates and the Mediterranean Sea had leagued with the Ammonites. The north and east of Canaan was encircled with armed foes, banded together to crush the kingdom of Israel.

The Hebrews did not wait for the invasion of their country. Their forces, under Joab, crossed the Jordan and advanced toward the Ammonite capital. As the Hebrew captain led his army to the field, he sought to inspire them for the conflict, saying,

 “Be of good courage, and let us behave ourselves valiantly for our people, and for the cities of our God: and let the Lord do that which is good in His sight.” 1 Chronicles 19:13.

The united forces of the allies were overcome in the first engagement. But they were not yet willing to give over the contest, and the next year renewed the war. The king of Syria gathered his forces, threatening Israel with an immense army.

I, David, realizing how much dependent upon the result of this contest, took the field in person, and by the blessing of God inflicted upon the allies a defeat so disastrous that the Syrians, from Lebanon to the Euphrates, not only gave up the war, but became tributary to Israel.

Against the Ammonites David pushed the war with vigour, until their strongholds fell and the whole region came under the dominion of Israel.

The dangers which had threatened the nation with utter destruction proved, through the providence of God, to be the very means by which it rose to unprecedented greatness. In commemorating his remarkable deliverances, David sings:

Psa 18:46  The LORD lives! Blessed be my Rock! Let the God of my salvation be exalted. Psa 18:47  It is God who avenges me, And subdues the peoples under me; Psa 18:48  He delivers me from my enemies. You also lift me up above those who rise against me; You have delivered me from the violent man. Psa 18:49  Therefore I will give thanks to You, O LORD, among the Gentiles, And sing praises to Your name. Psa 18:50  Great deliverance He gives to His king, And shows mercy to His anointed, To David and his descendants forevermore. 

Another beautiful psalm came from his pen:

“There is no king saved by the multitude of a host: A mighty man is not delivered by much strength. A horse is a vain thing for safety: Neither shall he deliver any by his great strength.”  Psalm 33:16, 17.

Psa 44:4  You are my King, O God; Command victories for Jacob. 

Psa 44:5  Through You we will push down our enemies; Through Your name we will trample those who rise up against us. 

Psa 44:6  For I will not trust in my bow, Nor shall my sword save me. 

Psa 44:7  But You have saved us from our enemies, And have put to shame those who hated us. 

against us.

“Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: But we will remember the name of Jehovah our God.”  Psalm 20:7.

The kingdom of Israel had now reached in extent the fulfillment of the promise given to Abraham, and afterward repeated to Moses: “Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates.” Genesis 15:18.

Israel had become a mighty nation, respected and feared by surrounding peoples. In my own realm my power had become very great. I commanded, as few sovereigns in any age have been able to command, the affections and allegiance of my people. I had honoured God, and God was now honouring me.


But in the midst of prosperity lurked danger. In the time of his greatest outward triumph David was in the greatest peril and met his most humiliating defeat.

Updated on 22nd Nov 2022

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