David settled down in his palace. Then he spoke to the prophet Nathan. He said, "Here I am, living in a palace that has beautiful cedar walls. But the ark of the covenant of the LORD is under a tent."
Nathan replied to David, "Do what you want to. God is with you."
That night a message came to Nathan from God. He said,
"Go and speak to my servant David. Tell him, 'The LORD says, "You are not the one who will build me a house to live in.
I have not lived in a house from the day I brought Israel up out of Egypt until now. I have moved my tent from one place to another. I have moved my home from one place to another.
I have moved from place to place with all of the people of Israel. I commanded their leaders to be shepherds over them. I never asked any of those leaders, 'Why haven't you built me a house that has beautiful cedar walls?' " '
"So tell my servant David, 'The LORD who rules over all says, "I took you away from the grasslands. That is where you were taking care of your father's sheep and goats. I made you ruler over my people Israel.
I have been with you everywhere you have gone. I cut off all of your enemies when you were attacking them. Now I will make you famous. Your name will be just as respected as the names of the most important people on earth.
" ' "I will provide a place where my people Israel can live. I will plant them in the land. Then they will have a home of their own. They will not be bothered anymore. Sinful people will no longer crush them, as they did at first.
That is what your enemies have done ever since I appointed leaders over my people Israel. But I will bring all of them under your control. " ' "I tell you that I will build a royal house for your family.
Some day your life will come to an end. You will join the members of your family who have already died. Then I will give you one of your own sons to become the next king after you. I will make his kingdom secure.
" ' "He is the one who will build me a house. I will set up his throne. It will last forever.
I will be his father. And he will be my son. I took my love away from the man who ruled before you. But I will never take my love away from your son.
I will place him over my house and my kingdom forever. His throne will last forever." ' "
Nathan reported to David all of the words that the LORD had spoken to him.