“Go, do all that is in your heart, for the Lord is with you” 2 Samuel 7:3
The prophet Nathan was well aware of the way David became king of Israel. Samuel had anointed him as Saul’s successor years earlier and the Lord had preserved David through many and varied attacks on his life. It seemed that almost everyone was placing obstacles in the way of him becoming king. On occasions David seemed to act with prudence and wisdom and at other times he acted very much at a carnal level.
On this occasion, as on many others, David chose to inquire of the Lord so he expressed his desire to build a permanent structure, in which the Lord could dwell, to the prophet Nathan. He had built a great house for himself and he now saw the inequity of the Lord dwelling in a tent or tabernacle.
Nathan’s response to David was not unlike the way we might sometimes respond. Since the Lord had done much to get David to the throne of Israel it was obvious that the Lord was with him. Nathan assumed that because the Lord had demonstrably been with David that He was also with him in this desire. Without inquiring of the Lord he presumptuously told David, “Go, do all that is in your heart, for the Lord is with you.” In this he misled David and would need to be corrected. The Lord would not allow David to build Him a house and Nathan had to go back to David with a correction to his previous consent.
Have there been times when we have given counsel or approved something on the basis that the Lord has blessed that person in the past rather than inquiring afresh of the Lord? Perhaps we have even presumed that because the Lord has been with us in the past that we can go ahead with our desire without inquiry.
Nathan was a faithful prophet who was later used of God in bringing David to repentance and confession of sin (chapter 12) but here he made an assumption without first inquiring of the Lord. It appears that he was not rebuked but corrected. Because he was humble before the Lord he was receptive to correction and to putting things right. Such a spirit became the Lord’s opportunity to reveal His plan and purpose regarding David’s Seed. The ensuing covenant is a huge part of our celebration each Christmas (vv 12-16).
It may well be prudent for us to evaluate our way and walk with Jesus to see if there is any need for us to be corrected in a similar way. A close and personal walk with Jesus is the only means of prevention for being presumptuous. But if we do make this mistake a humble heart and teachable spirit, like that of the prophet Nathan, will allow Jesus to correct us without rebuke.