Proclaim. Mobilize. Equip.
Call 866-865-6253

When You Have the Right Desire and Motive

October 11, 2018

“Go and tell my servant David, ‘Thus says the Lord: Would you build me a house to dwell in?’” 2 Samuel 7:5

If we were looking for something that David did wrong here, we might say, “Well, putting up a great building was surely not the right way for David to invest his money. After all, God does not live in a house made with human hands (Acts 7:48; Isa. 66:1).”

But God later blessed Solomon with the privilege of building the temple for him, and when the building was complete, the glory of the Lord came down and filled the temple.

So when God asks of David, “Would you build me a house to dwell in?” the emphasis is on the word you. The point is not: God does not want a temple to be built. The point is that David will not be the one to do it. Someone else will. David’s son “shall build a house for my name” (7:13).

We might also wonder if perhaps David was trying to make a name for himself by sponsoring this great building project. But that cannot be the case, for this reason: God commends David for having this desire, which clearly indicates that David’s desire and his motive were good. Solomon would later recall, “the Lord said to David my father, ‘Whereas it was in your heart to build a house for my name, you did well that it was in your heart’” (1 Kgs. 8:18).

“Man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart” (1 Sam. 16:7). When God looked at the desire in David’s heart to build the temple, he saw something good, and he commended David for it!

Do you believe that God sees and commends the good desires of your heart—even when he chooses not to grant them?


The Author
Colin Smith

Colin Smith is the senior pastor of The Orchard Evangelical Free Church in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. He has authored a number of books, including Heaven, How I Got Here and Heaven, So Near - So Far. Colin is the president and teacher for Unlocking the Bible. Follow him on Twitter.



Explore this topic further

You Need to Be Able to Answer This

“You must be born again.” John 3:7 (NIV) Has this miracle of God’s grace happened in your soul? There is no more important question. Have you been regenerated by the Spirit? You need to be able to answer this question clearly. If you’re regenerate, you need to know that so...

Read Post

An Entirely New Position

“If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me… streams of living water will flow from within him.” John 7:38 (NIV) If God is your friend, sin is your enemy. Give it no place in your life. Flee it. Resist it. Refuse it. Maybe...

Read Post

Are They Gifts or Demands?

We love because he first loved us. 1 John 4:19 (NIV) Imagine what it would be like if these signs of life were God’s demands. Suppose God said, “I will give you new life, but you have to earn it. Here’s how: You have to do what is right, you...

Read Post
For your gift of any amount

The Plan

God's Design for Your Life

Get Unlocking the Bible's Weekly Email

"This Week at Unlocking the Bible" features new articles, radio programs, devotionals, and ministry updates

We will never sell or misuse your information.