24 Days of Advent Scripture Devotionals

Day 11 – He Shall Build a House for My Name

2 Samuel 7:1-17

King David – Peter Paul Rubens

When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be his Father, and he shall be My son. – 2 Samuel 7:12-14

King David had defeated his enemies all around, the Ark had been brought back to Jerusalem, and he had built himself a house with cedar from the King of Tyre.

2 Samuel 7 begins with these verses: Now it came to pass when the king was dwelling in his house, and the Lord had given him rest from all his enemies all around, that the king said to Nathan the prophet, “See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells inside tent curtains.” Then Nathan said to the king, “Go, do all that is in your heart, for the Lord is with you.” (2 Samuel 7:1-2)

David had a wonderful idea about what HE wanted to do for the Lord. He would build him a house to dwell in. How can we blame him for wanting to do something big for God? God had been with him through such a long and difficult struggle and had kept his promise to David and blessed him. Most of us understand David’s sentiment: God has been so good to me; I want to do something for him!

Nathan seemed to think it was a pretty good idea until God decided to tell them both what he was thinking:

2 Samuel 7:4-17

But it happened that night that the word of the Lord came to Nathan, saying, “Go and tell My servant David, ‘Thus says the Lord: “Would you build a house for Me to dwell in? For I have not dwelt in a house since the time that I brought the children of Israel up from Egypt, even to this day, but have moved about in a tent and in a tabernacle. Wherever I have moved about with all the children of Israel, have I ever spoken a word to anyone from the tribes of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd My people Israel, saying, ‘Why have you not built Me a house of cedar?’”’ Now therefore, thus shall you say to My servant David, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts: “I took you from the sheepfold, from following the sheep, to be ruler over My people, over Israel. And I have been with you wherever you have gone, and have cut off all your enemies from before you, and have made you a great name, like the name of the great men who are on the earth. Moreover I will appoint a place for My people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own and move no more; nor shall the sons of wickedness oppress them anymore, as previously, since the time that I commanded judges to be over My people Israel, and have caused you to rest from all your enemies.

Also the Lord tells you that He will make you a house.

“When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be his Father, and he shall be My son. If he commits iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men and with the blows of the sons of men. But My mercy shall not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I removed from before you. And your house and your kingdom shall be established forever before you. Your throne shall be established forever.”

According to all these words and according to all this vision, so Nathan spoke to David.

David is being rebuked for thinking too small of the Lord. This occurred early in his career as king. At this point he is ready to kick back and settle in. He’s got his house. He’ll build a house for God. It’s all good.

Please allow me some liberty with this illustration: If we were reading the New Bronx Translation, it may have read something like this:

  • David: Yo, God. I think I’m gonna build you a house. Yeah.
  • Nathan: Sownz good ta me.
  • God: Yo, Nathan. Whadda you thinkin? Go tell that David from me, “You wanna build me a house? You wanna build ME a house? Look, You were nothin’, NOTHIN’ and I made you the king. Yeah, that’s right. And another thing. You think you’re gonna build me a house? Nah. I’m gonna build YOU a house. Yeah.”

God sees the end from the beginning. This prophetic word given to David, like other prophecies in the scriptures, has multiple facets: some near term and others longer term. The first part refers to Solomon, David’s “seed”, whose kingdom was established after David and who built the temple. We are on this side of history and we know that Solomon committed iniquity and that the kings, descendants of David, disobeyed the Lord and even followed after other gods. God did “chasten” the descendants of David with the rod of men as we see in the captivity and exile.

But parts of this promise from God were not yet fulfilled when the history books of the Kings of Israel were written (1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles). The rest of this prophecy refers to the Messiah, Jesus, the Son of David who was also the Son of God. Through the Messiah, God would fulfill this promise: “He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be his Father, and he shall be My son.”

Solomon built the Lord a physical temple that was later destroyed. But God is building the house that he promised he would build for David, even through David’s own “seed”, Jesus Christ.

Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. – 1 Peter 2:4-5

Hymn: In The Bleak Midwinter

What a beautiful, melancholy hymn. Note the words of the second verse and their relevance to today’s subject. Christina Rosetti wrote the lyrics in 1872 and they are sung to the tune “Cranham” by Gustav Holst.

In the bleak mid-winter
Frosty wind made moan
Earth stood hard as iron
Water like a stone
Snow had fallen, snow on snow
Snow on snow
In the bleak mid-winter
Long ago

Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him
Nor earth sustain
Heaven and earth shall flee away
When He comes to reign
In the bleak mid-winter
A stable-place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty
Jesus Christ

Enough for Him, whom cherubim
Worship night and day
A breast full of milk
And a manger full of hay
Enough for Him, whom angels
Fall down before
The ox and ass and camel
Which adore

Angels and archangels
May have gathered there
Cherubim and seraphim
Thronged the air
But only His mother
In her maiden bliss
Worshipped the Beloved
With a kiss

What can I give Him
Poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd
I would bring a lamb
If I were a wise man
I would do my part
Yet what I can I give Him
Give my heart

About 24 Verses

24 Verses is a blog advent calendar with one verse of scripture per day from December 1 through December 24. Each day we will feature a verse of scripture related to the Messiah's birth, death and resurrection.

Use the navigation links in the sidebar to follow each day or look at scriptures from the different books of the Bible.


  1. shannon mills says

    Rick, these verses have been such a blessing! I have searched high and low for a good advent scripture list but have not found anything I could really sink my teeth into- mostly fluffy Christmas story verses- but this is a learning experience and I am loving it so much. Thank you for this labor of love- for taking the time to write it out and share it!