1.The context of David’s perspective
1Now when the king lived in his house and the LORD had given him rest from all his surrounding enemies, 2 Samuel 7:1 (ESV)
The peaceful circumstances described in the first verse of this chapter may suggest that most if not all of the battles listed in 2 Samuel 8 were now over.
Looking through David’s eyes, God’s promises to his people had now been fulfilled as would relate to the land.
2. The concern of David’s perspective
2the king said to Nathan the prophet, “See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells in a tent.” 3 And Nathan said to the king, “Go, do all that is in your heart, for the LORD is with you.” 2 Samuel 7:2-3 (ESV)
David was probably questioning the appropriateness of the humble tent for the ark compared to the splendid dwelling for himself. Was this properly honoring God?
Nathan makes the mistake that some of us make today. He speaks before studying, praying, and knowing the mind of God.
3.The correction of David’s perspective
4 But that same night the word of the LORD came to Nathan, 5 “Go and tell my servant David, ‘Thus says the LORD: Would you build me a house to dwell in? 6 I have not lived in a house since the day I brought up the people of Israel from Egypt to this day, but I have been moving about in a tent for my dwelling. 7 In all places where I have moved with all the people of Israel, did I speak a word with any of the judges of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, saying, “Why have you not built me a house of cedar?”’ 2 Samuel 7:4-7 (ESV)
John Woodhouse: The best of human beings with the highest motives often get things wrong. This is especially true in our response to God. Frequently it is because we do not properly understand the situation in which we find ourselves.
8But the word of the LORD came to me, saying, ‘You have shed much blood and have waged great wars. You shall not build a house to my name, because you have shed so much blood before me on the earth. 1 Chronicles 22:8 (ESV)
15I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways. Psalm 119:15 (ESV)
4Make me to know your ways, O LORD; teach me your paths. 5 Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long. Psalm 25:4-5 (ESV)