2 Chronicles 6:7-9 (New International Version)
“My father David had it in his heart to build a temple for the Name of the Lord, the God of Israel. But the Lord said to my father David, ‘You did well to have it in your heart to build a temple for my Name. Nevertheless, you are not the one to build the temple, but your son, your own flesh and blood — he is the one who will build the temple for my Name.'”
Back on July 10th, we looked at the day when Solomon’s father David brought the Ark of the Lord into Jerusalem. In the years since its arrival, as the city of Jerusalem grew up around it, the Ark stayed under the Tabernacle tent: a portable structure. The Temple has now been built as a permanent place of worship, to contain the chest with the tablets that Moses had received from God.
A long time ago someone told me that God really only gives three answers to our prayers: yes, no, or not yet. I think God responds to our prayers in significantly more complicated ways than that, but it’s a way to understand that an immediate “yes!” is not always the best answer — no matter how much we might like it to be. In today’s scripture reading, we are reminded that David, beloved as he was, still received an unequivocal no from God. He would not be allowed to build the Temple. But, interestingly, that “no” to the yearning of David’s heart also contained a “yes” and a “not yet.” The Temple would be built (that’s the “yes” part) eventually by David’s son Solomon (the “not yet”).
And here, after so many years, so much labor and prayer and effort, the Temple is ready, and King Solomon dedicates it to God: “My father David had it in his heart to built a temple for the Name of the Lord,” Solomon says. And now it has been accomplished.
For what yearning of your heart have you had to wait?
* Painting “Solomon Dedicates the Temple at Jerusalem” by James Tissot [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons