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 David isn’t happy. He isn’t happy because he realizes that while he lives in a nice, comfortable house made of cedar, the Ark of God is kept in a tent!

This doesn’t seem right to David, so he determines that he wants to build a temple for the Ark to be housed in. That sounds like a good idea, but God rejects his offer in 1 Chronicles 22.8-10:

“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.’”

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.

“It’s the thought that counts” is a common saying that we tend to throw around when we receive a gift we don’t like. It’s somewhat of an ironic saying, since often the reason we receive bad gifts is specifically because very little thought was put into it, but I think it’s still a true statement, and it’s basically what God tells David in this story.

While our actions certainly matter, the thoughts behind our actions matter as well. We can’t always control how things turn out, but we can control our intentions.

When we decide to try to do something good, even if it doesn’t work out the way we plan, it’s still important that we try.

If you try to help a friend with a problem, but your assistance is refused

If you try to influence others for good, but your example is ignored

If you share your faith with someone, but it falls on deaf ears…

Whatever the circumstance, it’s still important that you try.

“You did well that it was in your heart…”