When the king had settled into his palace and the Lord had given him rest on every side from all his enemies… (2 Samuel 7:1)
In science, it’s called “Cause and Effect.” A simple Google search reveals the plethora of material written on the subject and even a supposed connection to Buddhism that some historian believes he discovered. I’m not sure about that part.
Simply explained, “Cause and Effect” is when one thing happening triggers something else happening over and over. Like, if you put water in a freezer, it becomes ice. Cause and Effect. Simple enough.
In this story, we see a classic example of a holy cause and effect that, I believe, we need in our lives, today, more than ever. In the story, the king tells the prophet he is convinced God should have a place where His presence can dwell – after all, the king has a home – why shouldn’t Holy God have the same? The prophet agrees with the premise and supports the vision of the king. In the meantime, God weighs in on the idea and extends it further to not only what should be built, but also, who should build it. It didn’t turn out the way the king envisioned, but the vision would be fulfilled by David’s offspring. The prophet delivers even more information about the project and relates a powerful promise as well. And all of that part of this story is what I would call, “the effect.”
So what was the “cause” part of the equation?
We see it in the first verse of the chapter – “When the king had settled into his palace and the Lord had given him rest on every side from his enemies…”
The rest that David enjoyed after an intense season of defending and defeating his enemies (while leading God’s people) caused a space to open up in David’s heart – for a vision to develop. It was in the rest the Lord had given him that David found direction for the next phase of his life. And this vision was so huge that it would outlive David’s capacity to fulfill it. It would take generations to accomplish this God-sized vision.
Maybe the reason we so seldom have a clear view of the great things God has for us is that we rarely find that place of rest where the vision can come. We have no time to dream and no way to listen. We are so busy with the here and now, we cannot imagine what might be. The problem with that reality is, the vision for ministry comes in the margins of our life – those places where we can be still and quiet and find rest for our souls.
Instead of doing the same thing over and over, maybe it’s time to lay down a few of our swords and spend some time resting with the Lord…to find out what He wants us to do next. What He puts in our hearts just might outlive us if we do.
Director, LifeWay Worship