When the LORD had brought peace to the land and King David was settled in his palace,
David summoned Nathan the prophet. "Look!" David said. "Here I am living in this beautiful cedar palace, but the Ark of God is out in a tent!"
Nathan replied, "Go ahead and do what you have in mind, for the LORD is with you."
But that same night the LORD said to Nathan,
"Go and tell my servant David, 'This is what the LORD says: Are you the one to build me a temple to live in?
I have never lived in a temple, from the day I brought the Israelites out of Egypt until now. My home has always been a tent, moving from one place to another.
And I have never once complained to Israel's leaders, the shepherds of my people Israel. I have never asked them, "Why haven't you built me a beautiful cedar temple?"'
"Now go and say to my servant David, 'This is what the LORD Almighty says: I chose you to lead my people Israel when you were just a shepherd boy, tending your sheep out in the pasture.
I have been with you wherever you have gone, and I have destroyed all your enemies. Now I will make your name famous throughout the earth!
And I have provided a permanent homeland for my people Israel, a secure place where they will never be disturbed. It will be their own land where wicked nations won't oppress them as they did in the past,
from the time I appointed judges to rule my people. And I will keep you safe from all your enemies. "'And now the LORD declares that he will build a house for you -- a dynasty of kings!
For when you die, I will raise up one of your descendants, and I will make his kingdom strong.
He is the one who will build a house -- a temple -- for my name. And I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.
I will be his father, and he will be my son. If he sins, I will use other nations to punish him.
But my unfailing love will not be taken from him as I took it from Saul, whom I removed before you.
Your dynasty and your kingdom will continue for all time before me, and your throne will be secure forever.'"
So Nathan went back to David and told him everything the LORD had said.
Then King David went in and sat before the LORD and prayed, "Who am I, O Sovereign LORD, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far?
And now, Sovereign LORD, in addition to everything else, you speak of giving me a lasting dynasty! Do you deal with everyone this way, O Sovereign LORD?
What more can I say? You know what I am really like, Sovereign LORD.
For the sake of your promise and according to your will, you have done all these great things and have shown them to me.
"How great you are, O Sovereign LORD! There is no one like you -- there is no other God. We have never even heard of another god like you!
What other nation on earth is like Israel? What other nation, O God, have you redeemed from slavery to be your own people? You made a great name for yourself when you rescued your people from Egypt. You performed awesome miracles and drove out the nations and gods that stood in their way.
You made Israel your people forever, and you, O LORD, became their God.
"And now, O LORD God, do as you have promised concerning me and my family. Confirm it as a promise that will last forever.
And may your name be honored forever so that all the world will say, 'The LORD Almighty is God over Israel!' And may the dynasty of your servant David be established in your presence.
"O LORD Almighty, God of Israel, I have been bold enough to pray this prayer because you have revealed that you will build a house for me -- an eternal dynasty!
For you are God, O Sovereign LORD. Your words are truth, and you have promised these good things to me, your servant.
And now, may it please you to bless me and my family so that our dynasty may continue forever before you. For when you grant a blessing to your servant, O Sovereign LORD, it is an eternal blessing!"
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)