2 Samuel 6:1-11. Good intentions, wrong attitude. David felt strongly about bringing the ark of the covenant into Jerusalem. With much pageantry, he loads the ark onto a new oxen-driven cart. But along the way, the ox stumbles. Uzzah, one of the soldiers in the parade, tries to steady it, but God is not pleased and strikes him dead! How do you balance holy reverence of the Lord with joy in the Lord? What ways can you work at maintaining a balanced view of God by both fearing and enjoying him? 

2 Samuel 6:12-23. Good intentions, right attitude. David tries again to lead another parade into Jerusalem with the ark. He becomes overwhelmed with joy and starts to dance before the Lord with all his might. He didn’t care what people thought. When was the last time you allowed yourself to be overcome by the joy of praising God? Try it.

2 Samuel 7:1-10. Good intentions, wrong timingDavid enjoyed living in his new palace, but he felt guilty that the ark resided in a tent. He should do something about it, right? His closest confidant agreed. “Go, do all that is in your heart, for the Lord is with you,” said Nathan. Do people seem to “rubber-stamp” all your plans? Is it helpful? 

2 Samuel 7:4-11. Good intentions, right timing. Nathan couldn’t sleep. He’s prompted to remind David that God has never requested a permanent structure to house the ark. God’s faithful presence has been active for generations—in Egypt, in tents, in the wilderness, in battle—without a temple. Have you ever stepped “ahead” of God with a good idea? How did that turn out? Why do you think God’s timing is such a struggle? 

2 Samuel 7:12. Good intentions, wrong initiator. David’s heart is to build a “house” for the Lord, but to his surprise, God tells him that he isn’t the one to build it. Eventually, his son, Solomon, will build a glorious temple in Jerusalem, but it will be destroyed by the Babylonians, rebuilt, and destroyed again in AD 70. What “temple” are you trying to build? “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain” (Psalm 127:1). 

2 Samuel 7:13-16. Good intentions, right initiator. The divine plan for a “house” is magnificently greater than David could have ever imagined. When the Son of David arrives, he behaves and talks as if he is somehow God’s living, breathing “house” (John 2:16)! And he is growing us “into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you are being built together into a dwelling place for God through the Spirit” (Ephesians 2:11-22). No wonder the Son of David is also a carpenter’s son! He is the only one who can build a “house” that will last forever into the age to come!