In 2 Samuel 7 we see an intriguing account of David as he desires to build a house for God (a good thing right?) and God says no while establishing a covenant with David and then David praises God for who He is and His goodness. At first glance this is confusing, no doubt. However, upon further searching we see David was struggling with what we struggle with everyday: not making our God like the “gods” of our world.
You see throughout all history Eastern Kings would build and devote resources to temples and their “gods”… not to praise… but to “secure divine blessings for themselves and their kingdoms.” So, while what David wanted to do seemed good it was influenced by other pagan kingdoms and their “gods”. It is not bad to want to honor God in this way but God wanted to show that He was distinct from them. So, God said no (v. 4-17).
Through Nathan, God showed David that He, despite not having this building, is bigger and greater than any God he could fathom of this world. He  had been with them (v. 9-10)  is with them (v. 10-11)  and will be with them after the death of David (v.12-17). God made a covenant, a promise to David and all of Israel.
Out of this David praised God (v. 18-29). He didn’t just praise God for all He has done, is doing, and will do. David’s praise came from the heart that God called out. David proclaimed, “Therefore you are great, O Lord God. For there is none like you, and there is no God beside you, according to all that we have heard with our ears.” (v. 22). David was reminded, and we are reminded today that there is no God like God. He is distinct. Isaiah claimed the same thing in Isaiah 40:18-20,
To whom will you liken God, or what likeness compare with Him?
An idol! A craftsman casts it, a goldsmith overlays it with god and casts its for silver chains.
He who is too impoverished for an offering chooses wood that will not rot; he seeks out a skilled craftsman to set up an idol that will not move.
Our living God has no comparison with the lifeless, stagnant, incapable “gods” of this world. Far too often these idols form our view and understanding of God. We must hold our view of God against His Word and see the glorious, holy, majestic God we serve for who He is!
- How has the “gods” of this world affected our view of God?
- What is God seeking to correct in our view of Him today?
By: Nick Parsons — Pastoral Ministry Associate: College