After the death of King Saul, there is a struggle between David and Saul’s son, Ish-bosheth, for the throne of Israel. With God’s support, David eventually wins out, things settle down, and everything seems to be okay.
“But the word of the Lord came to me, saying, ‘You have shed much blood and have waged great wars; you shall not build a house to My name, because you have shed so much blood on the earth before Me. Behold a son will be born to you, who shall be a man of rest; and I will give him rest from all his enemies on every side; for his name shall be Solomon, and I will give peace and quiet to Israel in his days. 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 forever.’”
Later, Solomon talks about his father’s desire to build a temple for God in 1 Kings 8.17-19:
“Now it was in the heart of my father David to build a house for the name of the Lord, the God of Israel. But the Lord said to my father David, ‘Because it was in your heart to build a house for My name, you did well that it was in your heart. Nevertheless you shall not build the house, but your son who will be born to you, he will build the house for My name.’”
Did you catch that? God tells David, “You did well that it was in your heart.”
Even though David wasn’t going to be able to accomplish his goal of building the temple, God still appreciated and honored David’s intentions. Because he had been a man of war, David was told that he would not be the one to build a temple for the Lord—but God still appreciated that David had the desire to do so.
- Maybe you try to help a friend with a problem like substance abuse or financial or marital difficulties, but your assistance is refused…God looks at your “failure” and says, “You did well that it was in your heart!”
- Maybe you try to influence others for good and try to be salt and light in the world, but your influence is ignored and they continue to embrace darkness…You did well that it was in your heart!
- Maybe you’re a youth minister and you’ve got that teen who you’ve poured yourself into— teaching, going to athletic events, modeling the Christian life, praying for them and lying awake at night worrying about them—but they choose to follow the world…You did well that it was in your heart!
- Maybe you try to share your faith with someone, perhaps a family member or close friend, but it simply falls on deaf ears…You did well that it was in your heart!