Lighthouse Leader Study Guide
Date: October 8, 2017
Series: The kings & the King: A Study of 2 Samuel
2 Samuel 7:1-29
This Week’s Printable Resources:
- Lighthouse Discussion Guide (pdf)
- Lighthouse Leader Study Guide (pdf)
- Study Notes for 2 Samuel 7
- Proclaim Slides for This Sunday
Overview of this Lesson
How do you deal with disappointment? This week we see God say “No” to David’s dream of building a temple in Jerusalem. Nothing stings more than to see one of our dreams die. Yet, when God says “No” it is often because He has a greater purpose planned for us. Like David, we may not realize or see the fulfillment of this purpose during our lifetime, but God is working from generation to generation. Like David, we must trust and obey.
Memory Verse for This Week
Therefore you are great, O Lord God. For there is none like you, and there is no God besides you, according to all that we have heard with our ears. — 2 Samuel 7:22
Possessions (Luke 16:11–12): I seek to maintain an eternal perspective on money and possessions, realizing God has give me all that I have, and that he expects me to manage it wisely for His glory.
This Week’s Take Home Truth
Then, now, and forever God will keep his promise to his “Son” and all who are in his kingdom are securely kept and eternally blessed.
- Have you ever been told “No” to something that was very important to you only to discover later that the “No” led to a greater “Yes”?
- How do you deal with disappointment in your life when things don’t turn out the way you expected?
- Looking back at your notes from this week’s sermon, was there anything that particularly caught your attention, challenged or confused you?
Make sure you ask this question this week. It gives people the opportunity to discuss questions or issues that come up beyond the written questions. People’s responses can often lead into one of the questions in the “Digging Deeper” section. Also, some weeks this question will result in a lot of discussion, other weeks, not so much.
Read the Text (2 Samuel 7)
As David’s life reaches a season of rest, his heart’s desire is to build a house for the Lord. David consults with Nathan the prophet about building a temple for the Lord, and Nathan encourages him to do so. That night, however, the Lord appears to Nathan and gives him a revelation stating that Solomon, not David, will build the temple. Nathan delivers the message, and David accepts the word of the Lord and worships Him for his mercies. Read 2 Samuel 7.
In this section, feel free to develop your own questions to help guide your group’s discussion. Below are some suggestions. Remember, if you are hearing from everyone in your group, chances are you won’t have to time to discuss every question. You may start with one that catches your attention so you don’t run out of time. For example, it’s not odd to start with Question #6, then go to Question #5 and if you have time come back to Question #4.
Summarize what is happening in 2 Samuel 7.
This week we climb to the summit of one of the great Mountain Peaks of Scripture. From this week’s text we can get a glimpse into the Eternal Kingdom of God in which Jesus Christ reigns.
The Dividic Covenant found in 2 Samuel 7 fills in many aspects of the coming Messiah, which has been hinted at in previous writings from the Old Testament, but starting in 2 Samuel 7 we know that the Messiah will come from the line of David, that he will reign as king on David’s throne, and that his kingdom will be an eternal kingdom.
We also see a unique look into David’s life at this stage. He is (finally) at rest from his enemies and he is living in a palace made of cedar. It’s while he is looking out over the city of Jerusalem and all that God has done for Him that a dream begins to take seed in David’s heart. David would have nothing if it were not for God, yet David lives in a palace of cedar while the Lord dwells in a tent that is hundreds of years old. That doesn’t seem right. The God of the universe deserves a magnificent house so that all the world will know of God’s glory.
While David’s motives are right and pure, this is not God’s will. He sends Nathan the prophet to let David know that he is not permitted to build a house for the Lord. Instead, the Lord is going to build David a dynasty, but not just an earthly dynasty that will fade with time, but an eternal dynasty that will be ruled by David’s own son.
David’s response is worship and praise as well as petition to the Lord: “what you have said, let it be so!”
The parallel passage to 2 Samuel 7 is found in 1 Chronicles 17.
What is the significance of this chapter to the entire narrative of the Bible?
Begin to read commentaries on 2 Samuel 7 and you will quickly learn this is one of the greatest chapters in all the Bible, one of the Mountain Peaks of Scripture. One of my favorite Bible teachers, J. Vernon McGee, gives an excellent introduction to this chapter that highlights its significance to the entire narrative of the Bible.
God’s covenant with David makes this one of the great chapters of the Bible. The message of the Bible from this point on rests upon this promise that God makes to David. David desired deeply to build a temple to house the ark of God, and Nathan the prophet concurred with him in the plan. God appeared to Nathan to correct him, for God would not let David build the temple because he was “a bloody man.” However, God gave him credit for his desire, and in turn He promised to build David a house. God promised a king and a kingdom to come in the line of David. He was referring not only to Solomon but to Christ, great David’s greater Son, and His eternal Kingdom. God confirmed this promise with an oath (Ps, 89:34–37). David understood that a King was coming in his line who would be more than a man.
Frankly, it is very difficult to understand the prophets from this point on without knowing about this covenant. One of the reasons many people find themselves so hopelessly confused in the study of prophecy is because they do not pay attention to a chapter like this. Second Samuel 7 is by far the most significant chapter thus far in the Old Testament. The New Testament opens with: “The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David….” That is important because the promises God made to David are to be fulfilled in prophecy.
When the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary, he said, “… Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shall call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David” (Luke 1:30–32). You see, God is fulfilling His promise to David.
Peter began in 2 Samuel 7 when he preached on the day of Pentecost: “Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne” (Acts 2:29–30; see also Acts 2:25–31, 34–36). Peter is making reference to that which God promised to David.
Paul, in the Book of Romans, says, “Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,) Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh” (Rom. 1:1–3).
The New Testament closes with the Lord Jesus Christ saying, “I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star” (Rev. 22:16). These are only a few of the fifty-nine references to David in the New Testament.
The Old Testament prophets based their message of the kingdom on the promise God gave to David in 2 Samuel 7. You will find that each of the Old Testament prophets goes back to David and God’s promises to him concerning the kingdom. After all, what is the kingdom of heaven but the kingdom that God vouchsafed to David? For example, listen to Jeremiah 23:5, “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.” The kingdom became the theme song of the prophets.1
What can we learn from David’s response when God says “No” to us?
Few things in life can be more difficult than to hear the word “No” to something we have dreamed of doing.
When I was 20-years old, I was a sophomore studying music at Arizona State University. My dream was to be a professional musician, my instrument was trumpet. I had earned a scholarship to study music at ASU, so I knew I had the basic skills necessary. My freshmen year, I did well. I held my own in a field of outstanding trumpet players. As my sophomore year started, I entered with both confidence and excitement. This year, however, would prove to be one of the most difficult of my life. Through a series of events, I saw my dream of being a professional musician die.
- As the school year started, I auditioned for the top band at ASU, the Wind Ensemble. Ten trumpets were allowed into the band, and I didn’t make the cut.
- In October, I auditioned for the ASU Pep Band that would play at all home basketball games. Six trumpets were allowed into the Pep Band, and I didn’t make the cut.
- In January, I had a seizure. It would be several years before I would be diagnosed with a mild form of epilepsy, but the seizure freaked me out. I had never dealt with performance anxiety, but for the first time I experienced full out panic attacks when I had to perform. Let’s just say that panic attacks and seizures are not conducive to performing on a wind instrument. To this day I struggle on stages with bright theatrical lighting.
By Spring Break of my sophomore year, I knew my dream of becoming a professional musician was dead. It was a painful realization. I dropped my scholarship and changed majors. Music had been my focus since 7th grade, and now, in a few short months, it was gone.
Looking back now, I see how that sophomore year was part of God’s greater plan for my life, but it was difficult to see when I was living it. The course God took me on starting with my junior year at ASU ultimately led to my entry into full-time ministry six years later.
I would like to tell you that I had complete trust in God during this time, but that’s not true. While I trusted God with my life, I had no idea what He was doing. If you read my journal from those years, you will see a lot of pain and questioning. In truth, I was grieving the loss of my dreams.
David gives us an excellent example of how to properly respond when God says “No” to the dreams of our life:
Don’t respond in anger, sit and wait upon the Lord. The first thing 2 Samuel 7:18 tells us David did after hearing the Word of the Lord through Nathan the prophet was to go and sit before the Lord. When God says “No,” the first thing we must do is what David did: sit down, slow down, quiet down. As David sat before the Lord, he understood the “why” of God’s “no.” Later, 1 Chronicles 22 gives us more insight to this incident as David is recounting it to his son, Solomon, he says,
And David said to Solomon: “My son, as for me, it was in my mind to build a house to the name of the Lord my God; but the word of the Lord came to me, saying, ‘You have shed much blood and have made great wars; you shall not build a house for My name, because you have shed much blood on the earth in My sight. — 1 Chronicles 22:7-8.
Do respond with thanksgiving and gratitude. When David heard “no,” he didn’t start asking why…he responded with both gratitude and thanksgiving. David understood that behind God’s “no” there was a greater yes. His prayer is one of both worship and thanksgiving. When we are struggling with disappointment because a dream has died, focus on all that God has done for you that is a testimony of His love and care for you. I’ve learned that thankfulness is an excellent way to combat discouragement.
Pray the Promises of God. David turned God’s “No” into a prayer of petition. David worshipped the Lord for His sovereignty in David’s life, but His petition then became one of seeing God fulfill His Word. “Do as you have spoken…” (v. 26); “May it please you to bless the house of your servant, so that it may continue forever before you…” (v. 29). In times of distress, learn to pray God’s promises found in His Word. There are more than 3,000 promises from God to man found in the Bible. Among these promises are some promises that God is applying directly to your life.
Rather than focus on what you can’t do, get busy doing what you can do. As we will see in David’s life following the “No” of 2 Samuel 7, David got busy doing what he could do, which was begin the plans for the temple. It would not be built in David’s lifetime, but David started acquiring the necessary materials and getting everything in place so when Solomon turned the first shovel of dirt, he would have what was needed to build the temple. (See 1 Chronicles 22 for a complete description of all David did to prepare for the building of the temple.) Maybe your dream is dead, but you can still accomplish much by helping and supporting those who are fulfilling God’s will and your dream.
Everyone of us will face times when the Lord says to us, “Child, even though you don’t see it and I can’t explain it right now, I want you to trust me.” It may be years later before it all makes sense, but God’s Word tells us (Romans 8:28) that one day we will look back at that disappointing “no” and realize, “Glory to You, Father. You’re always right. Veto my plans whenever You want!”
What does this story teach us about God’s Kingdom?
There is a unique relationship between God and man that we will never fully comprehend. On the one hand, God is completely sovereign and will accomplish His will apart from man, but on the other hand God brings man into His plans and commissions Him to help build His kingdom (Matthew 28:18-20). As David Jeremiah puts it so well, “the way we should look at this is so simple we sometimes miss it: Let God take care of His sovereignty and let us take care of our responsibility.”
This raises the question, Are you part of God’s eternal kingdom? Our dreams will fail. Our plans fill fold. Our loftiest ambitions are nothing but wood, hay, and stubble. God does not need us, but God will use us for His eternal purposes. That’s an amazing apparent contradiction. In God’s kingdom, nobodies are somebodies and somebodies become nobodies (Matthew 11:11).
David said, “Lord, you are a great God and I want to build you a house.” The Lord said to David, “I don’t need a house, and I don’t need you to do anything for me, but I see your heart, I see your humility, and because your heart is right, I want to build you into a dynasty without end.”
Like David, we may wrestle with the reality that what we want to do for God, God doesn’t need from us, but what God wants to do with us, we need to humbly accept and praise Him for using us.
What greater calling is there than to be a follower of Christ and to be used in His mission to build His Kingdom. Far too many of us are not satisfied in this simple reality. Our lives are too small and our legacy is too short. Yet, what Jesus desires for us is so much bigger, so much richer, so much more profound than any of us realize!
The kingdom principle is this: greatness in God’s kingdom begins in humility. If you desire greatness for yourself, God will oppose you, but if you desire God to be great, your life will have eternal value and miraculous power. Don’t focus on building houses for God, humbly submit to living your life in obedience to His Word, and answer Him when He calls.
These questions are given to prompt both reflection and learning on a personal level, and should likely be completed individually and apart from your regular group time.
Looking back at this week’s teaching and study, what’s the most important thing to remember?
Becoming A House of Prayer
“Even them I will bring to My holy mountain, And make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices; Will be accepted on My altar; For My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations.” – Isaiah 56:7.
Prayer Focus for the Week of October 8
Set aside a portion of your Lighthouse for prayer.
- Pray for those in our church family who are struggling with life threatening and/or life altering sickness. Pray for strength and hope.
- Pray for the deacons of First Family who serve in a wide variety of areas. Pray for the Lord’s blessing upon them and their family.
- Pray for the Sweden Mission Team that leaves for Stockholm Tuesday night. Pray that God will bless this trip and allow our team to be a blessing and encouragement to the Haney family, our partners in Stockholm.
- Thank the Lord for the abundance He provides for Americans. May we not lose our appreciation for His merciful blessings.
Questions to consider as you continue to reflect on what you learned this week:
- Take Action: can you identify disappointments in your life that God has used to change you? Take a minute to write out how God has used these disappointments to mold and shape you into the person you are today.
- Take Courage: Ask the Lord to turn your disappointments into joy and to reveal to you His divine purposes for your disappointments. Search the Scriptures and highlight specific promises that apply to your life and turn these promises into prayers of petition, asking God to fulfill His promises.
Work to memorize this week’s memory verse: 2 Samuel 7:22.
Our Core Practice this week is Possessions (Luke 16:11–12): I seek to maintain an eternal perspective on money and possessions, realizing God has give me all that I have, and that he expects me to manage it wisely for His glory.
Remember to use the daily Bible reading plan as part of your walk with Christ, taking the time to reflect on each passage and what it means for your lives.
This lesson was written by Chris Eller as part of the teaching series on 2 Samuel at First Family Church, Ankeny, IA. © Copyright 2017.
- J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible Commentary, electronic ed., vol. 2 (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1997), 202. ↩