Many years ago, my wife and I moved from our first place of living to a small cottage converted from a summer home to a year-round residence. We thought we’d won the lottery, to be newly married and living in a small home. We could barely afford the rent, but the Lord provided; and we actually contemplated trying to buy the place. At the time it was not in God’s plan to allow us to do that; and looking back this was a good thing. We wanted to find a place of our own, and we considered starting a family. I remember kneeling in front of that old salmon-colored sofa we had, reading this passage of scripture in 2 Samuel 7. It was where David reflected on all of God’s work in his life, and how God had blessed him. We were struggling to know if God would allow us to have children, and we had lost two children early in the pregnancy process to miscarriage.
David’s heart for God was so apparent in this passage. David could not consider his own status and the success that God had brought to him, without reflecting on the fact that the tabernacle of God was still a tent. David had established a permanent residence for himself; while the Ark of the Covenant was in a temporary movable dwelling. The passage depicts how the prophet Nathan, while at first encouraging David in his plans, ultimately responded back to David with the word of the Lord. God did have a plan for his tabernacle, His house; but He also had a plan for the house of David. God had a plan to bless Israel through David; but also to bless David’s family. God gave David a picture of his future, through his own children following after him. David was overwhelmed with the picture and humbled by it.
I read this passage before we had children, as I recall. I read this and wondered about God’s blessing on my own life; and if God would allow us to have children. As a young man I wanted to do great things for God. I had in my mind what those great things would be. God had other things in mind. God did bless us with children, and I was grateful but not fully aware of the sacrifice this would require. I seemed to fail miserably in some of those things I did for God. It was me trying to do things for God; while I gave little time and attention to this family which God was beginning to bless and grow right in front of me. But God was faithful and showed kindness to me as He showed kindness and mercy to David, by blessing him and giving him a great heritage through his own children. After leaving the church planting, I recognized that the best thing that I could do was to be a good father and nurture and disciple these children God had given to us, and not look past them to the things I had planned to do for God. God had a plan for my house as well; and I was slowly starting to realize it.
As I reflect back on Father’s Day I think of God’s goodness to me and my house through my life. He has given me a beautiful, patient, encouraging wife. She is the reason that I am not only a father, but also a Dad. I would never have known the best things to do without her. God has also blessed us with wonderful, talented children. Just this week, I got to reflect on the talents and the unique gifts of each of my children, as I observed or was made aware of each one being themselves and blessing others. I am as grateful as King David was grateful, when he sat before the Lord and said: “Who am I, my Master GOD, and what is my family, that you have brought me to this place in life?” (2 Samuel 7:18 MSG).
What else can I say? God has a plan for your house, a redemptive plan to build up and nurture. It is right there in front of you, as you recognize His mercy and claim His salvation, for you and you household (“Put your entire trust in the Master Jesus. Then you’ll live as you were meant to live—and everyone in your house included!” Acts 16:31 MSG). Let me close this off before I get too emotional, and share David’s closing prayer from 2 Samuel 7: “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!” (2 Samuel 7:28-29 MSG). Bless them, Lord; keep Your eye on them always! Amen!