After the king had made himself at home, he said to Nathan the prophet, "Look at this: Here I am comfortable in a luxurious palace of cedar and the Chest of the Covenant of God sits under a tent."
Nathan told David, "Whatever is on your heart, go and do it; God is with you."
But that night, the word of God came to Nathan, saying,
"Go and tell my servant David, This is God's word on the matter: You will not build me a 'house' to live in.
Why, I haven't lived in a 'house' from the time I brought up the children of Israel from Egypt till now; I've gone from one tent and makeshift shelter to another.
In all my travels with all Israel, did I ever say to any of the leaders I commanded to shepherd Israel, 'Why haven't you built me a house of cedar?'
"So here is what you are to tell my servant David: The God-of-the-Angel-Armies has this word for you: I took you from the pasture, tagging after sheep, and made you prince over my people Israel.
I was with you everywhere you went and mowed your enemies down before you; and now I'm about to make you famous, ranked with the great names on earth.
I'm going to set aside a place for my people Israel and plant them there so they'll have their own home and not be knocked around anymore; nor will evil nations afflict them as they always have,
even during the days I set judges over my people Israel. And finally, I'm going to conquer all your enemies.
When your life is complete and you're buried with your ancestors, then I'll raise up your child to succeed you, a child from your own body, and I'll firmly establish his rule.
He will build a house to honor me, and I will guarantee his kingdom's rule forever.
I'll be a father to him, and he'll be a son to me. I will never remove my gracious love from him as I did from the one who preceded you.
I will set him over my house and my kingdom forever; his throne will always be there, rock solid."
Nathan gave David a complete and accurate report of everything he heard and saw in the vision.
King David went in, took his place before God, and prayed:
But that's nothing compared to what's coming, for you've also spoken of my family far into the future, given me a glimpse into tomorrow and looked on me, Master God, as a Somebody.
What's left for David to say to this - to your honoring your servant, even though you know me, just as I am?
O God, out of the goodness of your heart, you've taken your servant to do this great thing and put your great work on display.
There's none like you, God, no God but you, nothing to compare with what we've heard with our own ears.
And who is like your people, like Israel, a nation unique on earth, whom God set out to redeem as his own people (and became most famous for it), performing great and fearsome acts, throwing out nations and their gods left and right as you saved your people from Egypt?
You established for yourself a people - your very own Israel! - your people forever. And you, God, became their God.
So now, great God, this word that you have spoken to me and my family, guarantee it forever! Do exactly what you've promised!
Then your reputation will be confirmed and flourish always as people exclaim, "The God-of-the-Angel-Armies, the God over Israel, is Israel's God!" And the house of your servant David will remain rock solid under your watchful presence.
You, my God, have told me plainly, "I will build you a house." That's how I was able to find the courage to pray this prayer to you.
God, being the God you are, you have spoken all these wonderful words to me.
As if that weren't enough, you've blessed my family so that it will continue in your presence always. Because you have blessed it, God, it's really blessed - blessed for good!
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)