The desire of King David’s heart was to build God a house. Here he was living in a cedar house and his Lord dwelled in tents that moved around. This didn’t set right with David. But the Lord had a plan, which he shared with David through his prophet Nathan.
“When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son. When he commits iniquity, I will discipline him with the rod of men, with the stripes of the sons of men, but my steadfast love will not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before you. And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me. Your throne shall be established forever.” In accordance with all these words, and in accordance with all this vision, Nathan spoke to David. (2 Samuel 7:12-17 ESV)
It is obvious to me from these passages that the Lord and David had a good relationship. What love the Lord poured out on David, making a covenant with him and his offspring. And what gratitude David rightly expressed to the Lord in response.
“For you, O Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, have made this revelation to your servant, saying ‘I will build you a house.’ Therefore your servant has found courage to pray this prayer to you. And now, O Lord God, you are God, and your words are true, and you have promised this good thing to your servant. Now therefore may it please you to bless the house of your servant, so that it may continue forever before you. For you, O Lord God, have spoken, and with your blessing shall the house of your servant be blessed forever.” (2 Samuel 7:27-29 ESV)
I just recently taught my kindergarten class the Golden Rule song. For obvious reasons, it teaches them that treating others the way we would prefer to be treated is the way to be. I was reminded of this when I read through the story of David showing kindness to Mephibosheth. David adored Jonathan like a brother. Even though his father wanted him killed, David never held that against Jonathan. He would do anything for him. What better way to honor his good friend than by showing generosity to his son?
“And David said to him, ‘Do not fear, for I will show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan, I will restore to you all the land of Saul your father, and you shall eat at my table always.” (2 Samuel 9:7 ESV)
“So Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, for he ate always at the king’s table. Now he was lame in both his feet.” (2 Samuel 9:13 ESV)
Mephibosheth could not walk, so he was likely treated as an outcast to most people. But not David. He was a ‘man after God’s heart’ who always tried to do the right thing.
Lord, let us learn by David’s example that a close relationship with You includes sharing the desires of our hearts. Sometimes You don’t give us what we want, but you always give us what is best for us. And You always care for our whole beings with your tenderness and compassion, showing us Your plans piece by piece as we are ready for them. May we forever give You credit where credit is due.