King David was now living in his palace. One day he sent for the prophet Nathan and said to him, "Here I am living in a house built of cedar, but the Lord's Covenant Box is kept in a tent!"
Nathan answered, "Do whatever you have in mind, because God is with you."
But that night God said to Nathan,
"Go and tell my servant David that I say to him, "You are not the one to build a temple for me to live in.
From the time I rescued the people of Israel from Egypt until now I have never lived in a temple; I have always lived in tents and moved from place to place.
In all my traveling with the people of Israel I never asked any of the leaders that I appointed why they had not built me a temple made of cedar.'
"So tell my servant David that I, the Lord Almighty, say to him, "I took you from looking after sheep in the fields and made you the ruler of my people Israel.
I have been with you wherever you have gone, and I have defeated all your enemies as you advanced. I will make you as famous as the greatest leaders in the world.
I have chosen a place for my people Israel and have settled them there, where they will live without being oppressed any more. Ever since they entered this land they have been attacked by violent people, but this will not happen again. I promise to defeat all your enemies and to give you descendants.
When you die and are buried with your ancestors, I will make one of your sons king and will keep his kingdom strong.
He will be the one to build a temple for me, and I will make sure that his dynasty continues forever.
I will be his father, and he will be my son. I will not withdraw my support from him as I did from Saul, whom I removed so that you could be king. 1
I will put him in charge of my people and my kingdom forever. His dynasty will never end.' "
Nathan told David everything that God had revealed to him.
Then King David went into the Tent of the Lord's presence, sat down, and prayed, "I am not worthy of what you have already done for me, Lord God, nor is my family.
Yet now you are doing even more; you have made promises about my descendants in the years to come, and you, Lord God, are already treating me like someone great.
What more can I say to you! You know me well, and yet you honor me, your servant.
It was your will and purpose to do this for me and to show me my future greatness.
Lord, there is none like you; we have always known that you alone are God.
There is no other nation on earth like Israel, whom you rescued from slavery to make them your own people. The great and wonderful things you did for them spread your fame throughout the world. You rescued your people from Egypt and drove out other nations as your people advanced.
You have made Israel your own people forever, and you, Lord, have become their God.
"And now, O Lord, fulfill for all time the promise you made about me and my descendants, and do what you said you would.
Your fame will be great, and people will forever say, "The Lord Almighty is God over Israel.' And you will preserve my dynasty for all time.
I have the courage to pray this prayer to you, my God, because you have revealed all this to me, your servant, and have told me that you will make my descendants kings.
You, Lord, are God, and you have made this wonderful promise to me.
I ask you to bless my descendants so that they will continue to enjoy your favor. You, Lord, have blessed them, and your blessing will rest on them forever."