So King David was settling into his palace one day in a time of relative peace with Israel’s enemies at bay and his kingdom united, when he started to feel bad about his fancy cedar digs compared to the Ark of God out in a tent somewhere. So he told the prophet Nathan about this, and Nathan ended up hearing a message from God for David that went something like this: “So you want to build me a temple? Why? I’ve never lived in a temple. From day one with you guys, my home has always been a tent, moving from one place to another. And have I ever complained? Has anyone ever heard me say, ‘Why haven’t you built me a beautiful cedar temple?’
“No, David, you forget that I’ve been with you since you were a little shepherd boy. I chose you to lead my people. I’ve been with you wherever you’ve gone. I’ve destroyed all your enemies. I’ve provided you a permanent homeland, and now I’ll tell you what I’m going to do. I’m going to build you a house — a dynasty of kings! And I will establish your throne forever.” (2 Samuel 7:1-16)
Now isn’t that so God? “I’ll keep the tent; you take the house.”
When you think of it, really, it’s pretty silly to imagine building God a house. Now if He were just a little god, an idol of our making, a house would make sense. But He is God, the one who made the universe. The one who made us. The one who uses the earth as a footstool. How could we possibly build anything that would contain Him?
Just like David; we can’t. And the truly remarkable thing is that, just as with David, God, instead, is building a house for us. Jesus is preparing a house for us in heaven, but there’s more than that. As God established David’s throne, so He is establishing our future. It’s not only a house He has for us, it’s a legacy.
It’s as if God says to you and to me: “I’m going to establish you. Your legacy will be forever. Don’t worry about building a place for me. You can’t. In fact, why would you put me in a temple when I’m already at large in the world? No if you want me in a temple, then start getting used to the fact that you are my temple! I live in you! You’re the only home I have or desire here on earth.