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The Cloud of Witnesses

Former title Lessons From the People of the Bible



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Lesson 5: David – Had A Dream To Build A Temple For God


1 Chronicles 28:1-21.

Had A Dream To Build A Temple For God

God called David a man after His own heart. After studying David's public failures and indiscretions we may be forgiven for wondering why. David’s life story is definitely one of highs and lows, and yet we are forced to agree that on balance David’s heart was always towards God. We may feel that David’s life was far more godly prior to the time he was made the king of Israel, and yet even through some of the most dramatic situations he nevertheless sought God’s will.

When David ran from Jerusalem as Absalom proclaimed himself king in Hebron and was accosted by Shimei who shouted abuse and curses on him, David’s response was – let him curse me, it may be God who had told him to – rather than eliminating Shimei, which would have been very simple and the most natural thing to do.

David entrusted his whole life to the Lord. He would not take Saul’s life even though Saul had set out to destroy him. Why? Because he recognised the fact that God had anointed Saul king, and if God appoints then it is up to Him to diss-appoint. It was not for David to take matters into his own hands.

God had given David victory over the lion, the bear and Goliath – God was therefore fully able to fix the rest of his life and destiny.

When we study David’s psalms we see someone who was totally absorbed by God. Whether he was commanding the whole of creation to praise the Lord, or asking God to destroy His enemies, or whether he was just expressing his love for God, David’s sole purpose in life was to worship his Shepherd.

How often we run out of words in trying to express our worship. How often we turn to David’s psalms to help us express our own devotion because he seems to be able to do it so much better.

As we read his words of praise and worship we discover how a man can truly love God as a friend. His love for God is pure and simple – open and honest – free and expressive. Whilst women seem to be able to express their love to God easily, men often struggle – but not David. There was nothing effeminate about him – he was a real man – a valiant warrior – a killer of men and yet he was able to express his love for God in ways that are intimate and sensitive.

How was David able to do that? Maybe it was because he knew what it meant to be forgiven. He had sunk to the lowest place when he committed murder after having committed adultery. And yet God specifically sent Nathan to confront and convict him. David, instead of blaming someone else or claiming some mitigating circumstances, owned up – he took responsibility, and in the words of that contrite Psalm 51 – asked God to forgive him. And God did.

I wonder when David first had the idea of building God a temple. Was it when he was still a shepherd boy? Was it after experiencing Saul’s palace? Was it when he was saved from Goliath? Or after he had become king?

It doesn’t matter. What does matter is that David longed for God to be permanently present with him. Psalm 23 reveals that he longed to dwell in God’s House forever. Yes, David always wanted to be with his God in His Temple.

God was worthy of the best building mankind could build. Not that God could be contained within a building but it would permanently represent His Presence, just as the Tabernacle represented God’s Presence among the Israelites in all their travels. God would forever be in the midst of them. David longed for God to be the permanent focus of Israel for the rest of history – David’s throne and God’s Kingdom established through all the generations.

However, God did not allow David to complete the vision for he had killed too many people. The privilege was given to David’s son, Solomon.

Yet that only pointed forward to a new King, a new Throne and a new Kingdom. That King is Jesus, His Throne is in Heaven and His Kingdom exists today in the hearts and lives of His redeemed disciples.

David would say to us today...

Don’t be surprised if God uses someone else to complete the vision held passionately in your heart.


Father, I long for my family and friends to know You as their Saviour and Lord. Yet I know that I may not be the best one to lead them to faith. Help me release them to You for You to bring the right person alongside them. Help me realise that there will be others whom You want me to reach. Help me also release the ministry You have called me to be a part of back to You, so the vision is completed whether through me or someone else – because it is all for Your glory and the extension of Your Kingdom on earth. Amen.

Additional readings

Numbers 20:1-12; Isaiah 45:1-13; Habakkuk 1:5-11.


What is your heart’s desire?

Do you think you will achieve it?

How would you feel if God drew others alongside to help and then take over?

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