So Nathan told the king, “Go and do all that is on your heart, for the Lord is with you.” But that night the word of the Lord came to Nathan…. – 2 Samuel 7:3-4
King David, as he considered his own lavish royal surroundings, became convinced that the ark of God should no longer be housed in an old tent. In his mind and heart, the Lord of all creation deserved a more stately, permanent structure and so he asked his advisor (God’s prophet) if he should build one. That prophet (Nathan) at first gave David a big thumbs up, but then retracted his approval after he heard from God on the matter.
It seems that Nathan should have checked with the Almighty before advising the king, but at least the course was corrected before things went too far. Unfortunately, many have been led astray, because their leaders failed to understand God’s intent before rendering their own opinions.
When Nathan advised David to build the Temple, the king had been on a roll. Success after success had led the prophet to assume things that were not true. A successful track record does not preclude the future necessity of God’s affirmed direction. Yet, this is often the potential failure in prolonged success.
If honest of heart and uprightness before God were lacking or if I did not patiently wait on God for instruction, or if I preferred the counsel of my fellow-men to the declarations of the Word of God, I made great mistakes. – George Müller