…. they were unschooled, ordinary men …. they had been with Jesus …. the crippled man healed standing with them – Acts 4:13,14

Discerning Man’s plans & blessing, Fulfilling God’s Purposes & Prophecy – David & Nathan

Is a good idea with good intentions,
…  synonymous with God’s will & purposes ?

When the means and ability to execute a plan is available, and there is support from others
… does it mean its God’s will & purposes?

When a prophet says it, … is it always prophecy, … i.e., God speaking?

In this post, we’ll explore these questions as played out in the life of David in 2 Samuel 7.

The book of Proverbs gives us good counsel,

Proverbs 19:21 (NASB, NIV)
Many plans are in a man’s heart,
But the counsel of the Lord will stand.

Many are the plans in a person’s heart,
but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.

Later in the post we’ll explore …  some essential ingredients in fulfilling God’s purposes.


Let’s look in 2 Samuel 7, (parallel account is in 1 Chronicles 17)

2 Samuel 7:1-4 (NASB)
Now it came about when the king lived in his house, and the Lord had given him rest on every side from all his enemies, that the king said to Nathan the prophet,
“See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells within tent curtains.”

the Lord had given him rest on every side from all his enemies
The Lord had established David as king over Judah and the rest of tribes of Israel (2 Samuel 5:3-5).
David conquered Jerusalem and made it his capital (2 Samuel 5:6-10)
David had completed building his own house (2 Samuel 5:11,12),
David’s own family was growing (2 Samuel 5:13,14).
David just had two successive, crushing victories over the Philistines (2 Samuel 5:17-25).
David had brought the ark of covenant to Jerusalem. (2 Samuel 6)

All conditions seemed right to do so.
David desired to build a temple for the Lord to honor the Lord.

A good idea with good intentions.

David went to share his desire with his friend, Nathan the prophet.

Nathan said to the king,
“Go, do all that is in your mind,
for the Lord is with you.”

Prophet Nathan’s reply was clear and concise,
Go, do … the Lord is with you.

Action. … & Assurance.
An affirmative “Amen”.

A well-known, proven prophet has endorsed it
… or is it ?

Was prophet Nathan’s words a specific prophetic word of confirmation,
or just a  general blessing or  opinion
of personal support ?

Furthermore, … David had the means, capability and ability to build a temple for the Lord,
and he also had the support of the people (eg. Nathan)

David’s desire was also godly and noble.

All the boxes ticked?
Any more boxes to tick ?

Just do it ?

Godly counsel & Prophecy

Let’s read on ….


in the same night the word of the Lord came to Nathan, saying,
“Go and say to My servant David,

Thus says the Lord, …

12 When your days are complete and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your descendant after you, who will come forth from you, and I will establish his kingdom.

13 He shall build a house for My name …

(v4-17, the prophecy is longer than this, and includes details of God’s promise to David’s family & foretelling of the Messiah.  See also Luke 1:32, 33)

Later that same day, … in the night,
Nathan received the true prophetic word of  the Lord for David;
superseding what Nathan had humanly said earlier.

for no prophecy was ever made by
an act of human will,

but men moved by the Holy Spirit
spoke from God.

2 Peter 1:21 (NASB)

Prophecy is divinely inspired by the Holy Spirit,
its not humanly contrived.

For we know in part
and we prophesy in part;

1 Corinthians 13:9 (NASB)

Nathan’s prophecy spoke about one of David’s son who will build the temple after he died.
No reason was given.

Nathan’s prophecy did not mention which one of David’s sons.
Btw, at this point in David’s life, … Solomon was not yet born.
(Solomon only appears in 2 Samuel 12, the second son of David and Bathsheba)

Like  Nathan the prophet, and what he said earlier to David,
“Go, do all that is in your mind, for the Lord is with you.

it can happen even to the best of us,
sometimes we un-intentionally mis-read, mis-interprete God’s plans and purposes;
… a good, godly idea… is sometimes assumed & supported as God’s idea.

Then the Lord came
and stood and called as at other times,

“Samuel! Samuel!”

And Samuel said,
Speak, for Your servant is listening.”

1 Samuel 3:10 (NASB)

In the Gospels and Revelation, quite a number of times, the Lord reminds us,
He who has ears to hear, let him hear.
(eg Matthew 11:15, Revelation 2:7)

Hence, let’s not rush or be impatient,
Speak, for Your servant is listening

As in this example of David and Nathan,
sometimes, … a general blessing or opinion by a prophet,
… may be mistaken as prophecy.

Be careful … let’s not assume that
everything or anything
a prophet says
is prophetic.

examine everything carefully … test everything that is said,
then, Hold on to what is good,
(discard the rest)

19 Do not quench the Spirit;
20 do not despise prophetic utterances.
21 But examine everything carefully;
hold fast to that which is good;
1 Thessalonians 5:19-21 (NASB)

but test everything that is said.
Hold on to what is good.
1 Thessalonians 5:21 (NLT)

Like eating fish, … eat the meat,
discard the bones.

On a side note,

in 2 Samuel 7, when Nathan initially gave his blessing word,
there was no record of David’s response.

In contrast, … right after Nathan gave the prophecy from the Lord,
David’s prayer of thanksgiving is recorded in 2 Samuel 7:18-29.

17 In accordance with all these words and all this vision, so Nathan spoke to David.
Nathan heard, … & saw in vision form the word of God to David,
… a glimpse of the future.
Hence, Nathan’s prophecy was clear and precise, … and not vague or just generalities, … and can be accurately verified later by real events fulfilling the prophecy.

Nathan’s full prophecy (2 Samuel 7:4-17)  is usually referred  as God’s covenant with David (see also Psalm 89:28, 2 Samuel 23:5), heralding the birth of one of his descendants — the Messiah, Jesus.

Personal Confirmation

As David sought the Lord,

God confirmed the word in David’s heart,
and personally gave David the reason.

Later, God also showed David personally,  exactly which of his sons the Lord has chosen to build the temple, i.e. Solomon.  (David had at least 19 sons, … and Solomon was not the eldest.)

Years later, David said,

1 Chronicles 28:2-6 (NASB)
Then King David rose to his feet and said, “Listen to me, my brethren and my people;

I had intended to build a permanent home for the ark of the covenant of the Lord and for the footstool of our God.
So I had made preparations to build it.

But God said to me,
You shall not build a house for My name because
you are a man of war and have shed blood.’

Yet, the Lord, the God of Israel, chose me from all the house of my father to be king over Israel forever. For He has chosen Judah to be a leader; and in the house of Judah, my father’s house, and among the sons of my father He took pleasure in me to make me king over all Israel.

Of all my sons (for the Lord has given me many sons),
He has chosen my son Solomon to sit on the throne of the kingdom of the Lord over Israel.

He said to me,
‘Your son Solomon is the one who shall build My house and My courts;
for I have chosen him to be a son to Me, and I will be a father to him.

(see also 1 Chronicles 22)

As we faithfully walk with the Lord, … His plan progressively unfolds to us
over time.
God does not give us a massive download of His plan all in one go.
For we know in part and we prophesy in part;

Like David,
we should not solely rely on prophets to give us guidance.

David has to hear the Lord himself,
and so do we.

Furthermore, as David sought the Lord himself about the matter,
the Lord revealed further details of His plan.

The Lord guides us by His word through His Spirit.

Your word is a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path.

Psalm 119:105 (NASB)

But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes,
He will  guide you   into all the truth;
for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak;
and He will disclose to you what is to come.

John 16:13 (NASB)

It is the Spirit that gives life.
The flesh doesn’t give life.

The words I told you
are spirit, and they give life

John 6:63 (NCV)

Plan, … working and walking it out

On a further note,

David faithfully, and humbly submitted to the Lord’s plan and purposes with gratitude;
even though he himself could have build the temple.
A humble example for us to follow.

Let’s have a quick look at the nut-&-bolts, down to earth aspects,
Fulfilling the purposes of God also involves the practical working and walking out of God’s word.
The practical follow-through … the execution.

Although David was not commissioned to build,
David did not stop.
David faithfully supported God’s plans for Solomon,  by making preparations for the building of the temple:

** Plan — David gave Solomon a fully annotated, detailed plan of the temple — architectural plan, furnishings, utensils, division and service of the priests. (1 Chronicles 28:11-19)

“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail !”
— Benjamin Franklin

** Budget — David raised the budget to build the temple.
David gave out of his own pocket, and raised an overwhelming offering from the people
(1 Chronicles 29:1-9)

Then the people rejoiced because they had offered so willingly,
for they made their offering to the Lord with a whole heart,
and King David also rejoiced greatly.
1 Chronicles 29:9 (NASB)

Godly giving, … willingly,   rejoicing,   with a whole heart.
Overwhelming, rejoicing support for the project.

— raising startup capital, … grassroot crowdfunded 🙂

** People support — David rallied the people to support Solomon on this building project. (1 Chronicles 22:17-19)

When the leaders lead in Israel,
when the people volunteer,
praise the Lord.
Judges 5:2 (HCSB)

— stakeholder buy-in & engagement

** Building materials — David got the building materials ready for this building project. (1 Chronicles 22:1-4, 14, 16)

— project resources

** Skilled workmen/craftsmen —  1 Chronicles 22:15

— skilled manpower with right skillset

** David advised, mentored Solomon — eg. 1 Chronicles 22:6-16

… So David made ample preparations before his death. 
1 Chronicles 22:5 (NASB)

A massive startup project, … David was thorough and diligent in making ample preparations  (implying risk management, as well).

From the list of activities that’s mentioned in 1 Chronicles 22 & 28,
David was an anointed and skilled project manager, architect, finance director, operations manager, quantity surveyor, structural engineer, project evangelist 🙂

David had both Vision … Plan & breath of execution.
It was not just talk … he rolled up his sleeves and hands-on, … with an eye to detail and the practical.
The buck stops here.

Diverse skills and talents of many others were needed to deliver the project with high quality and excellence, … for the Lord.

Also, tracing through the history of this project, and the highs & lows in David’s life,
certainly God is also the God of order, and step-by-step faithfulness.

23 The Lord directs the steps of the godly.
    He delights in every detail of their lives.

24 Though they stumble, they will never fall,
    for the Lord holds them by the hand.
Psalm 27:23, 24 (NLT)

“God’s work done
in God’s way
will never lack God’s supply.”

— Hudson Taylor

Thus, in the building this temple project,
with pure hearts in prayer, … God’s purpose
confirmed by prophecy,
is fulfilled by passionate people God inspired,
with a detailed and practical plan which God gave,
with resources that God provided,
all collaboratively and joyfully working together to fulfill God’s work
for God’s glory.

Matthew 6:9, 10 (GW)
“This is how you should pray:

Our Father in heaven,
    let your name be kept holy.
10     Let your kingdom come.
    Let your will be done

on earth
as it is done in heaven.

Ultimately, it is the Lord God who fulfills His purposes,
in His time, in His way,

Unless the Lord builds the house,
They labor in vain who build it;

Unless the Lord guards the city,
The watchman keeps awake in vain.
Psalm 127:1 (NASB)

“How could one chase a thousand,
And two put ten thousand to flight,

Unless their Rock had sold them,
And the Lord had given them up?
Deuteronomy 32:30 (NASB)

Let’s humbly walk close to the Lord,
understand His ways, and His Word to guide us,
trusting Him, persevering on by faith.
(even though at times we don’t understand)

Like David & Nathan in this story,
let’s avoid human presumption and assumption,
self-confidence, … over-confidence,

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing
by the word of God.
Romans 10:17 (NKJV)

The key to the Christian life is to find out what God is doing
and get in  on it.

 Henry Blackaby,  Experiencing God

Bible Faith comes from:
Knowing what God wants you to do,
Obeying whatever He shows you to do, then,
Trusting Him to do what you cannot do,
in His way and His time.
– Loren Cunningham, Daring to Live on the Edge

Collaboration, teamwork

The people were in agreement with David and the Lord’s plans.
… For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us … Acts 15:28 (NASB)

17 Then I (Nehemiah) said to them,
“…Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem …”

18 … Then they said, “Let us arise and build.”
So they put their hands to the good work.
Nehemiah 2:17,18 (NASB)

God’s works His plans and purposes through His body of believers in a cooperative, collaborative & participative way.  Teamwork.  Let us …

David had the intention, and plans for the temple.
built the temple, & many came to help.

Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt, and received the promises of God.
Joshua led them into the promised land, & the army fought.

John the Baptist prepared the way
… for Jesus to proclaim and demonstrate the kingdom of God.

John the Baptist said about Jesus,
“He  must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.”
John 3:30 (NLT)

David, Moses & John the Baptist humbly submitted to the boundaries of their ministry.
From what they began, … they were willing to graciously step aside … for someone else to complete it, … or take things to another level.

I (Paul)  planted the seed,
and Apollos watered it.

But God is the One who made it grow.

For we are God’s fellow workers;
you are God’s field,
God’s building.

1 Corinthians 3:6, 9 (NCV)

We, together, .. are  all God’s co-laborers in His field,
co-laboring with the Lord.

God’s plans and purposes are accomplished through us,
… all of us … through His inter-dependent Body.
Let’s be mindful, that God’s will, plans and purposes is also about the rest of us,
i.e. we (plural),
not just me, .. or our group only.

As seen in the last section, David worked hard & positioned Solomon for success.

David never lived to see the magnificent temple, or experience the glorious dedication service (1 Kings 8, 2 Chronicles 5-7).
David took a long term view.

By faith, … David saw beyond his generation and invested in the kingdom of God, … the worship of the Lord by future generations.

Sometimes our role is supportive, … paving the way for others
to arise and build.

In His Time

From the time Nathan gave David the prophecy, … to the time Solomon completed building the temple was a number of years.  Although the actual number is not stated, we can infer the following:

Solomon took over David as king, after David ruled 33 years in Jerusalem (1 Kings 2:11, 12).
Solomon began building in the 4th year of his reign (1 Kings 6:1)
Solomon spent 7 years building the temple (1 Kings 6:38)

Hence, there’s a time period between prophecy and fulfillment.
Some other examples can be seen in Abraham and Joseph (in Genesis).

He hath made every thing beautiful in his time …
Ecclesiastes 3:11 (KJV)

Furthermore, fulfillment is also conditional on David and Solomon’s faithfulness
in walking with the Lord each step of the way.

God’s promises are not blank cheques.

A note on prophecy

For those of us who move in prophecy
… let’s be careful with what we say,
or painting hope with general blessings.

The tongue that heals is a tree of life,
but a devious tongue breaks the spirit.
Proverbs 15:4 (HCSB)

Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent,
and discerning if they hold their tongues.

Proverbs 17:28 (NIV)

Let’s humbly seek the Lord with integrity before speaking into someone’s life,
and also be sensitive with the timing or setting to share what we receive.
Sometimes after receiving a word, it may be for us to pray for the person, instead of sharing it, … or share later.
Pray & seek the Lord to lead.

32 and the spirits of prophets are subject to prophets;
33 for God is not a God of confusion but of peace, …

1 Corinthians 14:32, 33 (NASB)

Let’s also be honest & accountable,
… if we do not hear a word from the Lord,
let’s have the grace to be silent,

… and support in prayer,
as the Lord personally guides them.

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth.”
Psalm 46:10 (NIV)

Sometimes God is silent,
as we continue trusting Him and His faithfulness.

As we hang out with others, … people are listening to our words,

May the words of my mouth
and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you,
O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.
Psalm 19:4 (NLT)

As can be seen in the stories in the Bible, God is creative,
… He speaks to us through many ways;
prophecy is one of the many ways.

Let’s be open as to how the Lord creatively speaks to us.

On a side note, and not related to this story:
as can be seen in the corporate world, … human nature as it is,
… when one is riding the crest of waves of successes, … overconfidence silently creeps in,
and suddenly, ambition takes the driver’s seat,
… ending up over-extending oneself (or the organisation) with grandiose plans and vision.


In conclusion, let’s have a quick look at an incident involving David’s predecessor, Saul

1 Samuel 14:35,36 (NLT)
36 Then Saul said, “Let’s chase the Philistines all night and plunder them until sunrise.
Let’s destroy every last one of them.”

His men replied, “We’ll do whatever you think is best.”

But the priest said, “Let’s ask God first.

Just do it ?
The king said “Let’s do it”
Everyone else said, “Yes, .. let’s do it”
But the priest said, “Let’s ask God first.”

Let’s ask God first,
before throwing our lot in with the rest.
This may save us from disappointments, or mis-matched expectations in the future,
or in a worse case, … being part of birthing Ishamels, …rather than Isaacs.

Whenever we have a good, godly desire, … and even prophecies or “prophecies” received from others,
its wise to always seek the Lord ourselves and hear directly from the Lord
for confirmation; … that indeed,
our good idea … is really God’s idea.

Speak, for Your servant is listening

As we faithfully walk with the Lord, … His plan progressively unfolds to us
over time.

Prayer, … godly counsel, … plan, … execution, management, … collaboration, teamwork,
are some of the essential ingredients to fulfill a vision.
Also, … prayerful patience & faithfulness … over time.

Let’s seek the counsel of the Lord first
in what we’re about to do,
and each step along the way;
confident in the steadfast love and faithfulness of the Lord,
Though they stumble, they will never fall,
    for the Lord holds them by the hand.

Many plans are in a man’s heart,
But the counsel of the Lord will stand.

Many are the plans in a person’s heart,
but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.
Proverbs 19:21 (NASB, NIV)

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord.

“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways
And My thoughts than your thoughts.

10 “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven,
And do not return there without watering the earth

And making it bear and sprout,
And furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater;

11 So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth;
It will not return to Me empty,
Without accomplishing what I desire,
And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.

12 “For you will go out with joy
And be led forth with peace;
The mountains and the hills will break forth into shouts of joy before you,
And all the trees of the field will clap their hands.
Isaiah 55:8-12 (NASB)

Further Notes:

Very briefly, a quick note on temple and worship in the light of  the New Covenant in Jesus, and the fulfillment of Nathan’s full prophecy in Jesus.

Acts 7:46-48 (NASB)
46 David found favor in God’s sight,
and asked that he might find a dwelling place for the God of Jacob.

47 But it was Solomon who built a house for Him.
48 However, the Most High does not dwell in houses made by human hands;

Solomon also admits this as well, at the dedication of the completed temple,
“Is God indeed to dwell on earth?
If the heavens and the highest heavens cannot contain you,
how much less this house which I have built!
1 Kings 8:27 (NASB)

See Luke 1:32, 33 and  2 Saumel 7:12-16 with regards to Nathan’s prophecy.

John 4:21 & 23 (NASB)
21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when
neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem
will you worship the Father.

23 But an hour is coming, and now is,
when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth;
for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers.

24 God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

John 2:19-21 (NASB)
19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” 20 The Jews then said, “It took forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?”
21 But He was speaking of the temple of His body.

1 Corinthians 3:9, 16 (NASB)
For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field,
God’s building.

16 Do you not know that you are a temple of God
and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?

To do justice on  the subject of tabernacle and temple requires another post, apologies.

 Ministry Spirit & Truth | Prophecy

by 林弟兄, bro Lim
September 24, 2016

Copyright © 林弟兄 bro Lim, Laymanointing, 2014-2016 – All Rights Reserved
Creative Commons License




This entry was posted on September 24, 2016 by in Daily Rice, Ministering Spirit & Truth, Prophecy, Serving Quietly, Shepherd leadership and tagged , .

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