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  • Writer's pictureEast Martin CRC

Nomad God

2 Samuel 7:3-7

Verse 6 I have not dwelt in a house from the day I brought the Israelites up out of Egypt to this day. I have been moving from place to place with a tent as my dwelling.

David had shared with the prophet Nathan what he was thinking about having a palace when the Ark of the Lord was in a tent and Nathan told the king to go ahead and build something for the Lord if he wanted to. But that night Nathan is confronted by the Lord and told that he was speaking out of his own wisdom because God had other words for his man David.

Nathan had thought that there was no way that God could reject the idea of having a building built for Him since they had finally settled into what God had said was His Promised Land. God wasn’t using the same human reasoning that Nathan had used to encourage the king. God simply says, “Have I asked for a permanent dwelling?” Now Nathan had to go back to David and tell him he had been speaking for himself not the Lord when he had given the king the go ahead.

The Lord’s words back to David are the words of a loving Father. He isn’t asking the king, “Who do you think you are” but had a softer approach asking instead, “why do you think you should be the one to build me a home?” Notice that God starts the timeline of His having a dwelling with the exodus from Egypt. God sees His relationship with His people taking a drastic turn when He brought them out of their bondage.

He seems to be saying that when He called His people out of Egypt that He was not so much calling them out of the bondage but calling them to Himself. While there was the goal of the Promised Land, the promise had more to do with the relationship that God was calling them to than the place where it would happen. He was willing to move about as was needed to teach them various things about His character and His desire for them.

This reminder was important for David to remember as he led the nation into a new era of God’s movement within His people. Just as it was important in the wilderness wanderings for the leadership to be intentional about their relationship with God so that He could lead them from place to place, it was important for David to lead by following God through his ever deepening relationship with Him. It wasn’t about physical location but about heart location. Saul had failed but David needed to stand firm.

Making It Personal

When you go to church do you think of it as going to visit God? Why is it important not to enclose God into a building? What does it mean to you to have God living with and in you?

Making It Personal Kids

Does God live in a building? Why is it important to not limit God to living in a building? How does it make you feel to think that God lives with His people?

Closing Prayer

Father, it is humbling to know You want to dwell with Your people. Please help us understand what it means to dwell in You and how to live to keep that relationship close. In Jesus’ name, amen.


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