Connecting to the Larger Story
After receiving the law and wandering the wilderness for many years, Moses finally led the people to the promised land although he himself would not enter it. Joshua succeeded him as leader of the people. After conquering the land, the people fell away from God, came under oppression, and finally called out to God for deliverance. God raised a leader called a "judge" (not like a courtroom judge) to deliver the people. This pattern repeated itself many times over several generations until God finally appointed a king named Saul to lead the people. Saul disobeyed God, and then David - one of the great kings of Israel - came to rule. David consolidated his power and created a capital in Jerusalem complete with a lavish palace. All the while, the holy things of Israel were kept in a tent as they were while the people were traveling the wilderness. David decided on his own that he should build a temple as a home for God and to house the holy things.
Important to Note
1) While David thought he was honoring God, God - through the prophet Nathan - points out that the tent had been sufficient for all the time the people were in the wilderness and even since. Just as Jacob sought the name of God when they wrestled and wound up receiving a new name himself, David is denied the honor of being the one to build God's house and instead God promises to build a great house for David. David's offspring will rule and build a temple for God among the people, and David's house and kingdom will endure forever.
2) David responded to God's promise with a song of praise - a psalm. David wrote many psalms - sung prayers to God - that are recorded in the book of Psalms along with others written later on.
Thoughts for Reflection
1) Do we ever try to please God in ways that God has not asked us to? Are we seeking to honor God or ourselves?
2) How do we praise God when we are blessed?