This chapter is broken into three parts. First, David has a desire to build for the Lord a permanent structure to house the Ark of the Covenant. In this the prophet Nathan encourages him (7:1-3). Second, that evening the Lord came to Nathan and told him what to tell David. The Lord told Nathan to tell David that there has been no request of the Lord for a permanent structure; in fact, it won’t be that David will build a house for the Lord, but the Lord will build a house for David (7:4-17). David is humbled by this action of the Lord and tells Him as much in his prayer of praise to the Almighty (7:18-29).
Application: One’s heart’s desire to serve the Lord in a particular way is a very strong motivation to get something accomplished. However, though it is a strong motivation it is not always the right motivation. Note the question the Lord asked of David in 7:7; did the Lord ever inquire of the previous generation about why He had no permanent structure to reside in (thereby authorizing the making of it)? David’s motivation was good, but only as the Lord authorized. A second point to note in this chapter is the Lord’s promise to David. David throne would have a king, and forever would his throne be established. Jews interpret this to be a Messianic promise, and though there is no one on the throne currently, when the Messiah comes He will once again “reinstate the Davidic dynasty” (ArtScroll, p. 247). To the Jews, the Messiah has not come; when he does come, David’s physical throne/kingdom will be reinstated. The Jews have been waiting since this promise for God’s anointed to come, and when He did come they missed him!