David Plans to Build a Temple
7 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, 2 that the king said to Nathan the prophet, “See now, I live in a house of cedar, but the ark of God remains within the tent.” 3 Nathan said to the king, “Go, do all that is in your mind, for the Lord is with you.”
4 But in the same night, the word of the Lord came to Nathan, saying, 5 “Go and say to My servant David, ‘This is what the Lord says: “Should you build Me a house for My dwelling? 6 For I have not dwelt in a house since the day I brought up the sons of Israel from Egypt, even to this day; rather, I have been moving about in a tent, that is, in a dwelling place. 7 Wherever I have gone with all the sons of Israel, did I speak a word with one of the tribes of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd My people Israel, saying, ‘Why have you not built Me a house of cedar?’”’
God’s Covenant with David
8 Now then, this is what you shall say to My servant David: ‘This is what the Lord of armies says: “I Myself took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, to be leader over My people Israel. 9 And I have been with you wherever you have gone, and have eliminated all your enemies from you; I will also make a great name for you, like the names of the great men who [a]are on the earth. 10 And I will establish a place for My people Israel, and will plant them, so that they may live in their own place and not be disturbed again, nor will [b]malicious people oppress them anymore as previously, 11 even from the day that I appointed judges over My people Israel; and I will give you rest from all your enemies. The Lord also declares to you that the Lord will make a house for you. 12 When your days are finished and you [c]lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your [d]descendant after you, who will come from [e]you, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 14 I will be a father to him and he will be a son to Me; when he does wrong, I will discipline him with a rod of men and with strokes of sons of mankind, 15 but My favor shall not depart from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from you. 16 Your house and your kingdom shall endure before [f]Me forever; your throne shall be established forever.”’” 17 In accordance with all these words and all of this vision, so Nathan spoke to David.
David’s heart certainly seemed to be in the right place, and that was really the most important part here. God didn’t need a temple, and He had never asked for one.
God doesn’t desire our physical gifts, no more than they show the condition of our heart. For that is what He truly wants, is to have our hearts in tune with His, following His path in obedience. Not grudgingly, or without thought, but out of love and devotion.
God knows that when we give, it makes us better and more like Him, IF it is done out of the right attitude. And that is one of the most important reasons He asks it of us.