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When God Says No, Part 1

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll
The Truth Network Radio
July 4, 2022 7:05 am

When God Says No, Part 1

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll

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July 4, 2022 7:05 am

David: A Man of Passion and Destiny


Today on Insight for Living. It's easy to see God's hand in our lives when things are going well. When the kids are behaving, our career is moving forward, and nothing appears to threaten our plans.

But what happens when the bottom drops out? Where is God when we come to an impasse? Does He know or even care when we're disappointed?

Today on Insight for Living, Chuck Swindoll continues our study on David's remarkable life. We're about to learn some difficult lessons along with this Old Testament leader on what to do when God says no. If you have walked with the Lord for any length of time, then you understand the disappointment that comes when God says no to some desire or wish that you might have. Now this is especially true when you feel that it was the Lord's will that you have it.

At those times, it's easy to miss the larger purpose and plan that God is working out in our lives, isn't it? David experienced God's mysterious no way back in ancient days when he passionately wanted to build a house of worship and praise where the Ark of the Covenant would rest. David's response, frankly, is nothing short of incredible. We learn about that response as we turn in our Bibles to 2 Samuel chapter 7. We'll begin our reading with verse 1. 2 Samuel 7 verse 1. 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.

Nathan said to the king, Do all that is in your mind, for the Lord is with you. But in the same night the word of the Lord came to Nathan, saying, Go and say to my servant David, Thus says the Lord, Are you the one who should build me a house to dwell in? For I have not dwelt in a house since the day I brought up the sons of Israel from Egypt, even to this day.

But I have been moving about in a tent, even in a tabernacle. Wherever I have gone with all the sons of Israel, did I speak a word with one of the tribes of Israel, which I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, saying, Why have you not built me a house of cedar? Now, therefore, thus you shall say to my servant David, Thus says the Lord of hosts, I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, to be a ruler over my people Israel. 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. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be a father to him, and he will be a son to me. When he commits iniquity, I will correct him with the rod of men and the strokes of the sons of men. But my loving kindness shall not depart from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you. Your house and your kingdom shall endure before me forever.

Your throne shall be established forever. In accordance with all these words and all this vision, so Nathan spoke to David. Then David the king went in and sat before the Lord, and he said, Who am I, O Lord God? And what is my house that you have brought me this far? And yet this was insignificant in your eyes, O Lord God, for you have spoken also of the house of your servant concerning the distant future.

And this is the custom of man, O Lord God. Again, what more can David say to you? For you know your servant, O Lord God. For the sake of your word and according to your own heart, you have done all this greatness to let your servant know. For this reason, you are great, O Lord God. For there is none like you, and there is no God besides you, according to all that we have heard with our ears.

You're listening to Insight for Living. To dig deeper into the Bible with Chuck Swindoll, be sure to download his Searching the Scriptures Studies by going to, slash studies. And now Chuck describes what to do when God says no. There's a line that is taken from an old hymn. The hymn unfortunately is not in our present hymnal, but is in many of the old ones.

It's entitled Security. It's the hymn that begins, More secure is no one ever than the loved ones of the Savior, not yon star on high abiding, nor the bird in homeness hiding. But the line that is of interest to me as it relates to this message is the one that reads, what he takes or what he gives us shows the Father's love so precious. Now it is easy for us to sing what he gives us shows the Father's love, but it is hard for us to sing in reality what he takes shows the Father's love.

We think of love as something that one gives to another, and it is, but often love is something is an expression involved in taking something that would not be best. The choir sang a song entitled Children of the Heavenly Father, and as I listened to it, there kept ringing back to me the final strain which said, Though he giveth or he taketh, God his children ne'er forsaketh. His the loving purpose solely to preserve them pure and holy. What that is saying obviously is that in expressing his love to us, he takes from us things that would not cultivate completely his plan of purity and holiness for us. Now, however you wish to put it, I want to talk about the whole problem of broken dreams. The whole area of pursuing something that we felt was the plan of God or the will of God for our lives only to have it stopped and have the Father say in so many ways, That's not my plan. That's a good, that's a noble purpose.

In fact, that's a great resolve, but it's not my plan for you. That's hard to hear. As I say that, I remember a young lady who came to me in a former pastorate when I was in Texas, and she had come to the Dallas area after being raised in Chicago. She was a registered nurse.

It was not difficult for her to find employment in that city, but there was more than employment that brought her. She had fallen in love with a young man who was in Dallas Seminary, and he was studying for ministry. She was hoping in the days ahead for their romance to flourish and for marriage to occur. As they arrived on the scene and I met both of them, it was obvious that they had all the compatible traits to become a happy husband and wife, and we began to talk about that. They were engaged, and plans for marriage were set. A date was determined, and we were involved in council for several occasions only to find in the middle of it her to hear from him that he did not have peace in pursuing that romance.

Now the romance was pure. There was a walk with God on both parts. They personally desired very much for God's will. He felt it was not the Lord's plan, and she had no such inclination, and he broke it off. That was a disillusioned young woman. In fact, it was a matter of weeks before she made plans to leave and go back to her home in Chicago, and she left a brokenhearted Christian young woman who had all the hopes and dreams and the high resolve of a godly Christian home that would be started within a matter of weeks.

It's a very difficult time. Now the question comes, and we always think in terms of categories, on which one had sinned, or why did God change his mind, or such things as if he led them in this direction, what reason did he have to to give her no peace, or to give him no peace, and to give her a sense of complete direction in pursuing it? What was his plan? How could you fit it all together and call that love, a love that takes, though he never forsakes, he takes from his children? Well, it's illustrated beautifully in the life of David in 2 Samuel chapter 7, and it is so perfectly designed for the subject. We will see a number of analogies throughout this study together in 2 Samuel. When I cracked my Bible open to this chapter in recent days, I thought, what a unique setting in which David found himself.

Being a man of war, a very courageous warrior, he was often involved in battle and unrest. However, there's an interlude that's very calm and quiet. His life is like a great overture that moves from one passionate strain to another, one movement to another, only to pause in the middle, and the water settles and there's a very quiet period of time where David is alone. And in the interlude in verses 1, 2, and 3, there's peace. It says, it came about when the king lived in his house and the Lord had given him rest on every side.

Something happened. First of all, there was domestic peace. It's like the offertory this morning, come, come, you saints, all is well, all is well. David could have sung that. Written over the hearth, above his fireplace, shalom, all is peace, all is well.

The kids were playing in the rooms around the house. The wife was happy. David was at peace in his heart. There was an interlude of quietness as perhaps he set beside the fire one evening and watched it crackle and he began to muse, began to meditate. Those are some of the best times in life.

The brief interludes, the quiet times. Furthermore, there was a national rest. See verse 1, God gave him rest on every side from all his enemies.

I'll tell you, David didn't know that very often. The age-old battle with the Philistines was now settled and quiet, at least for a while. There was no giant on the scene shouting out blasphemies. There was no movement, no strategy that you could hear the old chariots as they were bringing the battle implements up close to Jerusalem.

None of that. There was peace. It's a beautiful scene.

The best word is interlude. And David, as he begins to reflect upon the peaceful time and the lovely home in which home in which he's living, lined with cedar, beautiful home, he began to envision a dream. Verse 2, he said to his close companion Nathan, by the way, it's the first mention of Nathan the prophet in all the Bible. He's a confidant of David. He's the man later who pointed the finger in chapter 12 at David and said, you are the man.

You're the sinner. He's a close friend. He's a prophet.

He's a counselor. And so David calls him in and he says to Nathan, see now I dwell in the house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells within tent curtains. And Nathan responds and says, do all that is in your mind for the Lord is with you. Well, that's a good friend.

Good friends encourage you. And there are times in which you see a need and you think I'm the one that should meet that need. David had that happen. Remember, we looked at the ark of God as he brought it into the area and he had in mind a place to build this idea. He was going to build a permanent residence in which to house the furniture of the tabernacle. God had never dwelt in a permanent house. David said, it isn't fitting that the king should live in this lovely cedar dwelling and the ark should be in a little tent out there. I will build a house for God.

I'll build a temple. Now that was his resolve. Now I want to emphasize there was nothing of an ulterior motive. He had no selfish ambition.

He had no desire to make a name for himself. As a matter of fact, he wanted to exalt the name of God in building this house. A couple of thoughts run through my mind as I see the first three verses. First of all, it is during the interludes of life that we seize a dream, an ideal objective. Some of you in a quiet moment of your life realized God's calling me for the ministry.

Others of you said, I am to pursue a nursing career and you're in that pursuit right now. Some of you saw some great resolve and some great design in your mind's eye and you said, it's to the mission field I'm to go. Maybe it happened at a camp.

Maybe it happened in the quietness of your own bedroom after a church service one evening. You went to bed, you couldn't go to sleep and you turned through the scriptures and you landed on some things that began to make sense and you began to put the lights together and before long they stretched out a direct arrow towards some ideal objective and you said, that's it. You know those last few nights at a camp when you take a little little cinder and you toss it on the fire and you say, hey, that's my great resolve.

Well, I believe if all the people that did that for the mission field had gone, we'd have millions on the mission field tonight that are not there right now. I mean, great, great goals and dreams. That's my commitment.

That's where I'm going. It's in the interlude of life that those things happen. You have to slow down to hear his voice. But let me add this other thought that's in my mind. Sometime the dream is from God, sometime it's not. Now both are noble, both are great resolves, both are ideals. But when it's not of God, it won't come to fulfillment and it's hard to determine which is which.

It's very hard. In fact, you'll have friends like Nathan who will say, go do all that is in your mind for the Lord is with you. Only to have the Lord show you later on it's not his plan.

And that's exactly what happened. Look at the divine response. Hey, it comes through Nathan, but it's just as clear as if it had come directly to David. That very night, verse 4, it came about the same night that the word of the Lord came to Nathan saying, go and say to my servant David, thus says the Lord, are you the one who should build me a house to dwell in? Hold your place here and turn to a parallel in 1 Chronicles chapter 17.

It's the same experience written by another pen that puts it more directly. 1 Chronicles 17 verse 3 and verse 4. It came about the same night that the word of God came to Nathan saying, go and tell David, my servant, thus says the Lord, you shall not build a house for me to dwell in.

There it is. I tell you, that's a hard answer to give back to the king. Nathan hears it from God that night. He has just said before he went to bed that night, the Lord be with you, David. The Lord be with you, David.

Let's make plans starting tomorrow. Let's think it through and let's map out the kind of temple we ought to build for the Lord. And may God be honored in it, only to have that very night in the middle of the night, a vision given by the Lord saying, no way, no way. And that's also hard to convey. During my days in seminary years ago, we had a young man in our class who could not preach worth a toot. Now he was a very sincere, well-meaning, fine young man, certainly born again, certainly desirous of serving the Lord, but he could not communicate. When he stood up to preach, dullness wrapped all around everything he said, and he didn't realize it. Somebody had encouraged him to pursue the ministry and he was going at it, hook, line, and sinker, even though he couldn't preach.

Now about the third year of our four-year course, we began to take a course entitled homiletics, which is the study of the skill of preaching, the art of preaching, the whole area of pulpit ministry and communicating. And as we sat in the class, we wanted so much for there to be a supernatural breakthrough, and the fellow somehow began to preach so that we could at least stay awake and enjoy what he had to say, but it never came. Toward the end of that year, it became obvious that the prof was going to have to tell this young man, you don't have it. You just don't have it.

Now that's hard to do. Now I understand from a friend who was a friend of the prof that this is the way it happened. It is classic. The young man was called in the office and he sat in front of the prof and the prof began to work around the whole story so that the fellow would get it. And the more he talked, the more convinced the fellow became that he should be preaching. He said, I have the gift of preaching and I should be preaching. And finally the prof got a great thought and he said, well, son, no one has the gift of listening to you. Maybe you have the gift of preaching, but nobody has the gift of listening that I've heard.

Now that's another way of saying you're not listening to the right voice. You see, it isn't God's plan that everybody build the temple. A great resolve, a great message, a great plan, a great ideal, but it's not God's plan.

And I'll tell you, when you have to face that, it is tough to bear. We're not dealing with sin. Now go back to 2 Samuel 7 and I want you to see in the refusal of the request, God's affirmation of David. Look, for example, at several verses. Take verse eight. Therefore, thus you shall say to my servant, David, thus says the Lord of hosts, I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep that you should be ruler over my people, Israel.

All right, now that's clear. David, I've appointed you to be a king, not a builder of a temple. You have been given the gifts of doing the work of a king.

I've gifted you for that, not to build a temple. Look at verse 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.

He shall build a house for my name and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. Chuck Swindoll has much more to tell us about this Old Testament scene. He's teaching from 2 Samuel 7 and he titled today's message, When God Says No. We're midway through this dramatic story, so I'll urge you to join us again tomorrow when our study continues on Insight for Living. And remember, every sermon Chuck presents on this program is complemented by online study notes.

This allows you to jot down your own thoughts online or you can print out the document as a permanent reference tool. We call this free resource Searching the Scriptures and you can dive right in by going to slash studies. Chuck has also written a full-length biography on David. It includes an entire chapter on the message you heard today.

In fact, there are 24 chapters in all. And many of Chuck's readers have told us he makes biblical characters like David come to life. To purchase a copy, go directly to slash offer or give us a call. If you're listening in the United States, call 800-772-8888.

The title of the book is David, A Man of Passion and Destiny. We are deeply grateful for all of those who have given generously to help Insight for Living meet its fiscal goals. Because of those who support this ministry, we're able to bring Chuck's teaching to your station every day. Plus, Insight for Living is heard around the world in eight other languages. You can join this effort to make disciples in all 195 countries of the world by giving a donation. If you prefer to give over the phone, give us a call.

If you're listening in the United States, call 800-772-8888 or you can give online by going to slash donate. In March, 2023, Insight for Living Ministries is hosting an unforgettable journey to Israel. Carefully plan to deepen your understanding of the Bible and draw you closer to God.

Here's Chuck Swindoll. For thousands of years, no place has been more meaningful to God's children than the land of Israel. The rugged landscape reminds us to find refuge in God alone. The fertile valleys invite us to follow our shepherd. Jerusalem's position at the very center of the world announces the good news of Christ to every nation. And now you can see Israel with Chuck Swindoll and Insight for Living Ministries, March 5th through the 16th, 2023. Every time I visited the Holy Land, I returned home with a refreshed heart for God and a renewed vision for the world.

Really, I mean it every time. And so I want you to have the same life changing experience. To learn more, go to slash events or call this number 1-888-447-0444. Insight for Living Ministries tour to Israel is paid for and made possible by only those who choose to attend.

I'm Bill Meyer, wishing you a relaxing time with family and friends as we celebrate Independence Day. Join us again tomorrow when Chuck Swindoll continues to explain what to do when God says no on Insight for Living. The preceding message, When God Says No, was copyrighted in 1978, 1988, 1997, and 2009. And the sound recording was copyrighted in 2009 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights are reserved worldwide. Duplication of copyrighted material for commercial use is strictly prohibited.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-28 03:39:09 / 2023-03-28 03:48:23 / 9

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