‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, to be prince over my people Israel, 8 and I have been with you wherever you have gone and have cut off all your enemies from before you. And I will make for you a name, like the name of the great ones of the earth. 9 And I will appoint a place for my people Israel and will plant them, that they may dwell in their own place and be disturbed no more. And violent men shall waste them no more, as formerly, 10 from the time that I appointed judges over my people Israel. And I will subdue all your enemies. Moreover, I declare to you that the Lord will build you a house. 11 When your days are fulfilled to walk with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, one of your own sons, and I will establish his kingdom. 12 He shall build a house for me, and I will establish his throne forever. 13 I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son. I will not take my steadfast love from him, as I took it from him who was before you, 14 but I will confirm him in my house and in my kingdom forever, and his throne shall be established forever.’ ”
David has a noble idea after he settles in Jerusalem. He has just moved the Ark of the Covenant into the Tabernacle that he has setup there. He recognizes the hand of God at work in establishing him and giving him victory over his enemies, as the move to Jerusalem symbolizes, and in light of that desires to build a permanent house for God to dwell in rather than the tent. The sojourning is over! That’s the realization. But Nathan the prophet has a vision about David’s proposal and gives him the Lord’s response in the passage quoted above. In essence God tells David, “I like your thinking, David. There is a sense of fulfillment in you being established as king and settling in this place. But my house is more significant than even this. I have something greater in mind. To that end, I will establish your house and your name as your son, who will come a century from now, will build my house. He will build it not with bricks but with people – living stones – and the kingdom over which he reigns will be the whole earth and it will last forever. He will fulfill all of the promises that I have made to your forefathers in full. There will be a time of great peace and prosperity, justice and equity. The nations will all be healed and the sorrows of life will be gone. This is what will happen when my house gets built.”
This, of course, speaks of the church and the future new heavens and new earth, the time when the dividing line between heaven and earth disappears and the curse is lifted, the time when “everything sad will become untrue.” It is a glorious future to which we look forward.