Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Why Couldn't David Build a House For God?

We have just completed a series on the Book of Job. The non-contradictory interpretation leads to the revelation that God wants to have Fellowship with us.

This is God's Process: He wants us to ask ANY question because it is not a sin to ask a question. God wants us to make progress and constantly check with Him because if we are off, He ALWAYS reaches out to everyone who sins. God does this for their Long Term benefit. God is focused on repair (repentance)...on life.

The popular misinterpretation of Job leads to people having an excuse why they shouldn't have Fellowship with God AND not attempt to make any progress. This belief leads to people thinking God is about appearance. We saw this belief leads to the WORST result according to Jesus: LUKEWARM.

Since completing the series on the Book of Job, we have been looking at the first three kings...

-We saw the first king (Saul) was COLD. He did the wrong thing and did not repent.
-We saw the second king (David) was HOT. He did the wrong thing, checked with God, confessed, and then DID the right thing (which is repentance).
-We saw the third king (Solomon) was LUKEWARM. He did the wrong thing, checked with God, confessed, and DIDN'T repent.

In fact, Solomon was the OPPOSITE of Job. Notice both men expressed their ARE through poetic verse, however, while we seem to know EXACTLY what Job knew and believed because he was HOT, Solomon is much trickier due to his LUKEWARMNESS.

For instance, what was the reason David was NOT allowed to build a House for God?

The answer is pretty clear, except that people misinterpret it due to Solomon being LUKEWARM...

Let's go back to "Davidic Covenant"...

"1 And it came to pass, when the king dwelt in his house, and Jehovah had given him rest from all his enemies round about,
2 that the king said unto Nathan the prophet, See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwelleth within curtains.
3 And Nathan said to the king, Go, do all that is in thy heart; for Jehovah is with thee.
4 And it came to pass the same night, that the word of Jehovah came unto Nathan, saying,
5 Go and tell my servant David, Thus saith Jehovah, Shalt thou build me a house for me to dwell in?
6 for I have not dwelt in a house since the day that I brought up the children of Israel out of Egypt, even to this day, but have walked in a tent and in a tabernacle.
7 In all places wherein I have walked with all the children of Israel, spake I a word with any of the tribes of Israel, whom I commanded to be shepherd of my people Israel, saying, Why have ye not built me a house of cedar?
8 Now therefore thus shalt thou say unto my servant David, Thus saith Jehovah of hosts, I took thee from the sheepcote, from following the sheep, that thou shouldest be prince over my people, over Israel;
9 and I have been with thee whithersoever thou wentest, and have cut off all thine enemies from before thee; and I will make thee a great name, like unto the name of the great ones that are in the earth.
10 And I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in their own place, and be moved no more; neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them any more, as at the first,
11 and as from the day that I commanded judges to be over my people Israel; and I will cause thee to rest from all thine enemies. Moreover Jehovah telleth thee that Jehovah will make thee a house.
12 When thy days are fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, that shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom.
13 He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom for ever.
14 I will be his father, and he shall be my son: if he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men;
15 but my lovingkindness shall not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee.
16 And thy house and thy kingdom shall be made sure for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever.
17 According to all these words, and according to all this vision, so did Nathan speak unto David." (II Samuel 7:1-17, ASV)

David wanted to build a House for God because he was bored...he had peace from his enemies. God used QUESTIONS through Nathan to show that David wasn't following grace. Instead of punishing David, God made three promises to David:

1) The Christ would come from David's lineage
2) David's son would build a House to God
3) God would not remove His lovingkindness from David's son like He did with Saul

In the previous post, we saw that promise #3, allowed Solomon to be LUKEWARM because he couldn't experience suffering from God for the things that Solomon caused. (This is just one of the ways that Solomon was the opposite of Job. Job experienced suffering from God for things he didn't cause.)

What was the reason David couldn't build a House for God? So far, it sounds like it was because God didn't tell David to do it...

Let's look at what Solomon has to say about this:

"1 And Hiram king of Tyre sent his servants unto Solomon; for he had heard that they had anointed him king in the room of his father: for Hiram was ever a lover of David.
2 And Solomon sent to Hiram, saying,
3 Thou knowest how that David my father could not build a house for the name of Jehovah his God for the wars which were about him on every side, until Jehovah put them under the soles of his feet.
4 But now Jehovah my God hath given me rest on every side; there is neither adversary, nor evil occurrence.
5 And, behold, I purpose to build a house for the name of Jehovah my God, as Jehovah spake unto David my father, saying, Thy son, whom I will set upon thy throne in thy room, he shall build the house for my name." (I Kings 5:1-5, ASV)

Solomon is stating that David could not build a House for God because David was dealing with wars "on every side". Is that a fact? Let's look at another tool needed to get a non-contradictory interpretation of the Bible...

Notice, the passage explaining the "Davidic Covenant" in II Samuel is from "God's Perspective". The story comes from the narrator. In the Bible, we always assume the nameless narrator is truthful. The nameless narrator has God's perspective. In the passage from I Kings 5, the narrator is stating that Solomon said David couldn't build the house because he was always dealing with wars.

It is a fact that Solomon said this. However, it is NOT a fact that David was always dealing with wars! Solomon is stating something NOT right about David and God...Did Solomon know the truth?

Three chapters later, Solomon is talking to the elders of Israel:

"17 Now it was in the heart of David my father to build a house for the name of Jehovah, the God of Israel.
18 But Jehovah said unto David my father, Whereas it was in thy heart to build a house for my name, thou didst well that it was in thy heart:
19 nevertheless thou shalt not build the house; but thy son that shall come forth out of thy loins, he shall build the house for my name.
20 And Jehovah hath established his word that he spake; for I am risen up in the room of David my father, and sit on the throne of Israel, as Jehovah promised, and have built the house for the name of Jehovah, the God of Israel." (I Kings 8:17-20, ASV)

Is it a fact that God said it was well in David's heart that he wanted to build a House of God? It is a fact that Solomon told the elders of Israel this...

In the next chapter, after Solomon builds the House to God, we read the following:

"10 And it came to pass at the end of twenty years, wherein Solomon had built the two houses, the house of Jehovah and the king's house,
11 (now Hiram the king of Tyre had furnished Solomon with cedar-trees and fir-trees, and with gold, according to all his desire), that then king Solomon gave Hiram twenty cities in the land of Galilee.
12 And Hiram came out from Tyre to see the cities which Solomon had given him; and they pleased him not.
13 And he said, What cities are these which thou hast given me, my brother? And he called them the land of Cabul unto this day.
14 And Hiram sent to the king sixscore talents of gold.
15 And this is the reason of the levy which king Solomon raised, to build the house of Jehovah, and his own house, and Millo, and the wall of Jerusalem, and Hazor, and Megiddo, and Gezer." (I Kings 9:10-15, ASV)

It looks like Solomon was not only busy building a House for God, but he also built himself a house...and other projects.

Notice, the next chapter (I Kings 10) documents Solomon violating God's warnings.

Then the next chapter (I Kings 11) documents that Solomon turned his heart away from God.

What is the REAL reason David couldn't build a House to God?

Remember the end of the post on David building an altar near the end of his life to end the pestilence? Here's the version of the story in I Chronicles:

"26 And David built there an altar unto Jehovah, and offered burnt-offerings and peace-offerings, and called upon Jehovah; and he answered him from heaven by fire upon the altar of burnt-offering.
27 And Jehovah commanded the angel; and he put up his sword again into the sheath thereof.
28 At that time, when David saw that Jehovah had answered him in the threshing-floor of Ornan the Jebusite, then he sacrificed there.
29 For the tabernacle of Jehovah, which Moses made in the wilderness, and the altar of burnt-offering, were at that time in the high place at Gibeon.
30 But David could not go before it to inquire of God; for he was afraid because of the sword of the angel of Jehovah." (I Chronicles 21:26-30, ASV)

Why was David afraid to go before God in His House?

Did David EVER go before God in His House?

Did David EVER attend a "church service"?

He was a man after God's own heart...wasn't he?

In the next chapter, (I Chronicles 22) we have an account of what David told Solomon:

"1 Then David said, This is the house of Jehovah God, and this is the altar of burnt-offering for Israel.
2 And David commanded to gather together the sojourners that were in the land of Israel; and he set masons to hew wrought stones to build the house of God.
3 And David prepared iron in abundance for the nails for the doors of the gates, and for the couplings; and brass in abundance without weight;
4 and cedar-trees without number: for the Sidonians and they of Tyre brought cedar-trees in abundance to David.
5 And David said, Solomon my son is young and tender, and the house that is to be builded for Jehovah must be exceeding magnificent, of fame and of glory throughout all countries: I will therefore make preparation for it. So David prepared abundantly before his death.
6 Then he called for Solomon his son, and charged him to build a house for Jehovah, the God of Israel.
7 And David said to Solomon his son, As for me, it was in my heart to build a house unto the name of Jehovah my God.
8 But the word of Jehovah came to me, saying, Thou hast shed blood abundantly, and hast made great wars: thou shalt not build a house unto my name, because thou hast shed much blood upon the earth in my sight.
9 Behold, a son shall be born to thee, who shall be a man of rest; and I will give him rest from all his enemies round about; for his name shall be Solomon, and I will give peace and quietness unto Israel in his days:
10 he shall build a house for my name; and he shall be my son, and I will be his father; and I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel for ever.
11 Now, my son, Jehovah be with thee; and prosper thou, and build the house of Jehovah thy God, as he hath spoken concerning thee.
12 Only Jehovah give thee discretion and understanding, and give thee charge concerning Israel; that so thou mayest keep the law of Jehovah thy God.
13 Then shalt thou prosper, if thou observe to do the statutes and the ordinances which Jehovah charged Moses with concerning Israel: be strong, and of good courage; fear not, neither be dismayed." (I Chronicles 22:1-13, ASV)

This is the passage that people use to answer the question of WHY David couldn't build a House for God. David says it was because of the blood he had shed. However, NONE of this is mentioned in the ONLY account that comes directly from God. Notice, this is an account from David. It is a fact that David told Solomon that it was because he shed much blood, however, is it a fact that God said this? Is it a fact this is God's reason? If not, did David repent of this explanation later?

Notice also that David supplied everything in abundance for the building of a House to God BEFORE he died. Why did Solomon need even more materials?

Reread the last two verses above...David reminds Solomon to keep the Law, observe the statutes and ordinances which God gave to Moses.

It turns out Solomon DOESN'T do this. Deuteronomy 17 gives the warnings that Solomon violates in I Kings 10!

Did David keep the Law, ordinances, and statutes that God gave to Moses? Here's ANOTHER guideline from God to Moses in Deuteronomy:

"2 A bastard shall not enter into the assembly of Jehovah; even to the tenth generation shall none of his enter into the assembly of Jehovah." (Deuteronomy 23:2, ASV)

Look at David's lineage:

"3 The sons of Judah: Er, and Onan, and Shelah; which three were born unto him of Shua's daughter the Canaanitess. And Er, Judah's first-born, was wicked in the sight of Jehovah; and he slew him.
4 And Tamar his daughter-in-law bare him Perez and Zerah. All the sons of Judah were five.
5 The sons of Perez: Hezron, and Hamul.
6 And the sons of Zerah: Zimri, and Ethan, and Heman, and Calcol, and Dara; five of them in all.
7 And the sons of Carmi: Achar, the troubler of Israel, who committed a trespass in the devoted thing.
8 And the sons of Ethan: Azariah.
9 The sons also of Hezron, that were born unto him: Jerahmeel, and Ram, and Chelubai.
10 And Ram begat Amminadab, and Amminadab begat Nahshon, prince of the children of Judah;
11 and Nahshon begat Salma, and Salma begat Boaz,
12 and Boaz begat Obed, and Obed begat Jesse;
13 and Jesse begat his first-born Eliab, and Abinadab the second, and Shimea the third,
14 Nethanel the fourth, Raddai the fifth,
15 Ozem the sixth, David the seventh;
16 and their sisters were Zeruiah and Abigail. And the sons of Zeruiah: Abishai, and Joab, and Asahel, three." (I Chronicles 2:1-16, ASV)

Judah had a son with his daugher-in-law: Perez. Judah and Tamar were not married. (Read the Sequel "Modeling God's Wills" if you want to understand the Biblical doctrine of marriage.) Perez is a bastard. Perez is not allowed to enter the assembly of God in His House, even to 10 generations:
1. Perez
2. Hezron
3. Ram
4. Amminadab
5. Nahshon
6. Salma
7. Boaz
8. Obed
9. Jesse
10. David

David was NOT allowed to enter God's House, let alone build it. Solomon would have been the first generation to be allowed to build the House to God so that he could dedicate it, like Solomon did in II Chronicles 6.

It is hard to say what Solomon knew and didn't know. However, Solomon had wisdom and warnings. Solomon being LUKEWARM and God NEVER giving Solomon suffering led to Solomon ending his life with his heart turned away from God.

Having a non-contradictory interpretation of the Book of Job helps bring clarity to the rest of the Bible. We have seen how it helps us understand the first three kings of Israel. We even saw that Solomon was the "Anti-Job"!

For the rest of the month, we will look at the "New Testament Version of the Book of Job"...Simon being sifted as wheat by Satan.

Next Post


Anonymous said...

"2 A bastard shall not enter into the assembly of Jehovah; even to the tenth generation shall none of his enter into the assembly of Jehovah." (Deuteronomy 23:2, ASV)

Just because Perez is a bastard how is it JUST for God to punish 10 generations when they haven't been born yet and it's through no fault of there own?

jg lenhart said...

Hi Anonymous,

It is JUST because God was establishing the most important quality about Himself: His Nature. God is Holy.

This point is for the benefit of EVERYONE. Today, our religious leaders have lost this point and they don't know and can't explain God's Nature. A better question would actually be: How is it JUST for God NOT to punish people today who don't know God's Nature (Right and Just) yet profess to be representatives of God? Or better, How is it JUST for people to profess to be representatives of God yet teach people that we CAN'T know God?

Notice also that the verse you mention did NOT prevent the person from worshiping God or being a believer in God.

In fact, how many people today do you believe would WELCOME the ability to NOT be allowed to go to church while also being able to be a believer in God?

I believe I answered your question "how is it JUST". Are you going to answer my questions? Would it be JUST for you NOT to answer my questions?

Anonymous said...

JG,thanks for the reply!

I'm still not sure I understand. It's because God is holy that ten generations of people can't enter the assembly. All this because one person was a bastard? What did the ten generations do before they were born to deserve this?

Your questions.

1.I'm not sure I understand your question correctly. Could you ask it another way please?

2.Not many!

jg lenhart said...

Hi Anonymous,

Your original question was excellent and the fact that you answered my questions proves you are excellent so I will tell you the complete answer is complex and I will try to give a Big Picture explanation. If there is a part of this explanation you want to discuss in detail, please let me know!

God is Holy which more specifically means He is ALWAYS COMPLETELY Right (qualitative) and ALWAYS COMPLETELY Just (quantitative). Holy means "of one substance" and the effect is that God is "clean, pure".

During the dispensation of the Law, God tried to influence people from the outside. God tried to teach people His Nature from the outside.

God was present in the ark of the covenant and that was in the House of God. Everything was done to SHOW that God was HOLY. Priests and the congregation members had to go through rituals to become "clean" in order to enter the House of God.

Having someone who was "unclean" being in God's House would give the impression that God could DIRECTLY interact with "uncleanness". (The Book of Job Series immediately preceded this post and gave a lot of background for this point. Have you read that Series?)

So, my question was asking if it would be HOLY (Right and Just) of God at that time to allow someone who was considered "unclean" in His presence seeing as how this would confuse people of that time and introduce a contradiction.

The other point in understanding this issue is to get RESOLUTION on the difference between "unclean" and "sinful". There was nothing in this story that stated David was sinful or that the descendants of a bastard were sinful.

So, I believe it was the PERFECT response at that time to not consider the descendant of a bastard as sinful AND to not allow the descendants of a bastard (to ten generations) to be DIRECTLY present with God for the benefit of conveying His Nature to people of that time.

There are many implications to people of our time during the dispensation of grace via the Holy Spirit.

Anonymous said...

JG thanks!
I have read the job series :)

I believe my lack of placement amoungst the events of the time was preventing me from understanding this issue.

If I understand it correctly now the reason a bastard couldn't enter was because they were unclean and this would have caused people to believe differently about Gods nature.

I guess I would have to ask the following with a hypothetical "could" a bastard go through the cleansing process and enter into the house of God Or was what made them unclean something inside them that couldn't be cleaned from the outside?

Also why ten generation? What changed between the tenth and eleventh generation that allowed the next to be allowed? Was it just that people knew God was right and just?

jg lenhart said...

Hi Anonymous,

First of all, you should post your name because you are someone to be looked up to and referenced if you should ever make any other comments!

I would have to say that the bastard couldn't go through the cleansing process at that time. (I like the way you stated it differentiating the inside and outside.)

I don't know what the difference was between the tenth and eleventh generation. I'm sure someone could come up with what the number ten meant in the Bible and try to convince me...and I'd be willing to listen.

The best answer was the one you gave: that people knew God was right and just.

I'd like to offer another answer and want to make sure that I'm clear this is just a thought and not definitive: Perhaps God had intended to have this Law so that someone who truly loved God (like David) would be prevented from being in His direct presence AND the result would be AMAZING psalms that not only spoke to the glory of God in a poetic fashion but also contained prophecy.

I don't know if you read on this blog that David being a man after God's own heart meant that WHENEVER God confronted David, David IMMEDIATELY confessed and repented...which DID show how much David loved God.

Again, thank you Anonymous for handling this interaction in an excellent fashion and you have leadership qualities. If you EVER want to discuss anything concerning God and His Word, please feel free to contact me through e-mail: jglenhart@gmail.com!