Before long, the king made himself at home and God gave him peace from all his enemies.
Then one day King David said to Nathan the prophet, "Look at this: Here I am, comfortable in a luxurious house of cedar, and the Chest of God sits in a plain tent."
Nathan told the king, "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're going to build a 'house' for me to live in?
Why, I haven't lived in a 'house' from the time I brought the children of Israel up from Egypt till now. All that time I've moved about with nothing but a tent.
And in all my travels with 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 along after sheep, and made you prince over my people Israel.
I was with you everywhere you went and mowed your enemies down before you. Now I'm making you famous, to be ranked with the great names on earth.
And 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 any more. Nor will evil men afflict you as they always have,
even during the days I set judges over my people Israel. Finally, I'm going to give you peace from all your enemies.
When your life is complete and you're buried with your ancestors, then I'll raise up your child, your own flesh and blood, to succeed you, and I'll firmly establish his rule.
He will build a house to honor me, and I will guarantee his kingdom's rule permanently.
I'll be a father to him, and he'll be a son to me. When he does wrong, I'll discipline him in the usual ways, the pitfalls and obstacles of this mortal life.
But I'll never remove my gracious love from him, as I removed it from Saul, who preceded you and whom I most certainly did remove.
Your family and your kingdom are permanently secured. I'm keeping my eye on them! And your royal throne will always be there, rock solid."
Nathan gave David a complete and accurate account of everything he heard and saw in the vision.
King David went in, took his place before God, and prayed: "Who am I, my Master God, and what is my family, that you have brought me to this place in life?
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, my Master God!
What can I possibly say in the face of all this? You know me, Master God, just as I am.
You've done all this not because of who I am but because of who you are - out of your very heart! - but you've let me in on it.
"This is what makes you so great, Master God! There is none like you, 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 in the earth, whom God set out to redeem for himself (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 permanently. And you, God, became their God.
"So now, great God, this word that you have spoken to me and my family, guarantee it permanently! Do exactly what you've promised!
Then your reputation will flourish always as people exclaim, 'The God-of-the-Angel-Armies is God over Israel!' And the house of your servant David will remain sure and solid in your watchful presence.
For you, God-of-the-Angel-Armies, Israel's God, 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.
"And now, Master God, being the God you are, speaking sure words as you do, and having just said this wonderful thing to me,
please, just one more thing: Bless my family; keep your eye on them always. You've already as much as said that you would, Master God! Oh, may your blessing be on my family permanently!"
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)