King David lives in a posh palace in the royal city of Jerusalem. Opulence for his majesty the King! But he feels bad. Guilty possibly? The Ark of the Covenant resides in a mere tent, called the Tabernacle. Nothing permanent or pretentious. Mirror-opposite of David’s regal palace.
Doesn’t God need a suitable place for worship? It’s just not right! David grouses to Nathan, God’s prophet– ‘Here I am, living in a palace of cedar, while the ark of God remains in a tent’ (2 Samuel 7:2). Without missing a beat or uttering a prayer, Nathan says to go for it–‘Whatever you have in mind, go ahead and do it, for the Lord is with you’ (v.3).
David, delighted to hear of God’s approval, nods off for a restful sleep. But not Nathan. It’s like he ate too many namesake hot dogs at Coney Island on the 4th of July! He gets clear word from the Lord. ‘Back off, buddy. I never told you or anyone else that I needed a home to live in. Tell the King to call off the construction crew! By the way, Nathan, next time consult me first before you mouth off’ (Fischer paraphrase!).
We shouldn’t be too hard on Nathan. How many times have I done much the same? Opening my big mouth before seeking His will. Making a decision that seems fine-and-dandy, while neglecting to first check it out with God Himself. Praying for His direction long after I have headed out on my own, begging God to clean up my messes.
Let me recommend consulting the Lord first and foremost. Not last but least. Check with Him beforehand. Do this because you know in your heart that His will is always best. Pray to the Lord for His best right from the get-go.
A holy habit of talking with Jesus… before anyone else. Hot dog! That’s the way to go! Certainly Nathan would agree!
Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for your eagerness to guide and direct us. We want to seek you first. In Jesus’ name. Amen.