July 19, 2009
?Proper 11
2 Samuel 7:1-14

Have you ever conceived a plan that you thought was perfect, only to find out that no one wanted to do it? Were you crushed? Did you become discouraged or depressed? What went wrong? What do you do now?
King David had just that kind of experience. He wanted to do something great for God only to be turned down. Perhaps by peeking through the window of the king’s palace and listening in on David’s conversations, we can gain insight into how we can know and do God’s plans instead of our own.

I. Our plans seem like good ideas at a good time (2 Samuel 7:1-3).
A. Plenty of time on our hands (vv. 1-2). David was sitting in his palace one day without having to worry about fighting wars. Was David a bit bored when he conceived the idea of building a temple for God? 
Often we get what we think are great ideas when we really don’t have anything else to do. They seem like good ideas at the time.
B. Plenty of encouragement from others (v. 3). Wouldn’t you know it? A wealthy man wants to build a church, and the preacher says, “Go for it!” Nathan’s big mistake was to speak for God without inquiring from God.
We need to seek God’s will through prayer first. Good advice from other people is helpful but can never replace God’s counsel.

II. Our plans need to be tested by the will of God (2 Samuel 7:4-11).
A. God loves us enough to reveal His will (vv. 4-5a). Although Nathan had not sought the Lord, the Lord sought him. Nathan was not prepared to hear God turn his plans upside down.
David wrote: “He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name sake” (Psalms 23:3). If we are dependent on God and obedient to Him, then we don’t worry about whether or whither God leads. He will lead, and He will lead on the paths of righteousness because His name-His reputation-is at stake.
B. God loves us enough to correct us (vv. 5b-11). God did not reject David, but He corrected His “servant.” God reminded David that He was the reason David became king. God was the power by which David defeated Israel’s enemies. God was the source of David’s great reputation.
When we think that we can do something for God, God loves us enough to put us in our place. The truth is we can’t do anything for God, we can only cooperate by allowing God to do what He wants to do in us and through us.

III. Our plans need to be set aside in deference to God’s plans (2 Samuel 7:10-14).
A. God’s plans are permanent (v. 10).
God desired a place where Israel could settle in. While Israel went into exile many times because of disobedience, God maintained His reservation on the land He promised the patriarchs. Eventually the people returned to the place God had prepared
for them.
Our plans tend to be short-sighted, focused on the immediate. God looks long-range and plans for the ultimate best for His people.
B. God’s plans are peaceful (v. 11). Whenever Israel cried out for help, God raised up judges to bring peace to the land. Similarly, God reminded David that He had given him rest from all of his enemies.
Often human plans result in conflict; God’s plans result in peace. As King David wrote, “Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth and delight themselves in an abundance of peace” (Psalms 37:11).
C. God’s plans are full of potential (vv. 12-14). God honored David’s desire although He disallowed David’s plan. While David could not build a temple, his son would. God’s plan went beyond the building of a house of worship. He wanted to establish the throne of David as part of His kingdom.
God builds His kingdom in the hearts of obedient people. He wants us to be His children. As we love Him and obey His will, we can enjoy the blessings of His plans. On the other hand, if we rebel and sin against Him, He still loves us enough to bring even painful correction into our lives for our best interest and His glory.

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