Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Accepting the word "No"...

Week 3:

2 Samuel 7:1-17 After the king was settled in his palace and the Lord had given him rest from all his enemies around him, he said to Nathan the prophet, “Here I am, living in a house of cedar, while the ark of God remains in a tent.”
Nathan replied to the king, “Whatever you have in mind, go ahead and do it, for the Lord is with you.”  But that night the word of the Lord came to Nathan, saying:  “Go and tell my servant David, ‘This is what the Lord says: Are you the one to build me a house to dwell in? I have not dwelt in a house from the day I brought the Israelites up out of Egypt to this day. I have been moving from place to place with a tent as my dwelling. Wherever I have moved with all the Israelites, did I ever say to any of their rulers whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, “Why have you not built me a house of cedar?”’  “Now then, tell my servant David, ‘This is what the Lord Almighty says: I took you from the pasture, from tending the flock, and appointed you ruler over my people Israel. I have been with you wherever you have gone, and I have cut off all your enemies from before you. Now I will make your name great, like the names of the greatest men on earth. 10 And I will provide a place for my people Israel and will plant them so that they can have a home of their own and no longer be disturbed. Wicked people will not oppress them anymore, as they did at the beginning 11 and have done ever since the time I appointed leaders over my people Israel. I will also give you rest from all your enemies.
“‘The Lord declares to you that the Lord himself will establish a house for you: 12 When your days are over and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, your own flesh and blood, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 14 I will be his father, and he will be my son. When he does wrong, I will punish him with a rod wielded by men, with floggings inflicted by human hands. 15 But my love will never be taken away from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you. 16 Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.’”
17 Nathan reported to David all the words of this entire revelation.
(This story is expounded in 2 Chronicles 22:6-10)

Several years ago, my wife and I took a class at Church called “Growing Kids God’s Way.”  It is a great guide to raising children and I highly recommend the course to anyone.  Not only has it helped me as a parent, it has helped me as a coach, teacher and principal as well.  There are great concepts that work well with children of all ages.

One of the concepts the presenters teach is this idea of accepting the word “no” before being able to accept the word “yes”.  In many cases, as a parent, we have to tell our children “no”.  Most of the time, we know the reason, outcome, etc.  Sometimes we explain the “why” behind our “no”.  Sometimes, that explanation is beyond the child’s maturity level.  Sometimes, it is a judgment call on the part of a parent.  Regardless, handling the word “no” creates a maturity and/or responsibility around handling the word “yes”.  This is similar to the concept Jesus introduced about being trusted with little allows one to be trusted with much. 

This application of handling the word “no” is not lost on us as adults.  There are several examples of where God one of His “no”.  Paul was told “no” on a couple of occasions.  The above passage is the story of David being told “no”.  David wanted to build a temple for God.  God told him “no”.  This the man after God’s own heart…yet he was not going to build the house of God. 

Here are a few things I pick up from this example:

·         God knows the outcome.  God has the master plan.  He knows what is best and he knows the why.  It is difficult for me at times to not know why I am getting a “no” answer.  The “no” from God is a great practice of submission and faith.
·         God has something different and maybe even something better in store for me.  In the case of David, he is to be the one who’s family line Jesus is to come from.  God had a different plan in mind.  Furthermore, David’s past may have kept him from being the one who built the Temple.  God has other plans for me in my “no” moment.  It may be a yes later.  It may be a different plan.  It may be a consequence for how I was at one time.
·         Even though what we want is good and noble and in our mind can further the kingdom…the answer still may be “no”.  David’s heart was right.  He wanted to build a house for God.  That is a noble want.  Still God knows better.  He knows what His purposes and plans are.  I can be disappointed and grieve the fact that God says “no”.  However, I still have to accept the “no” and look for what God wants me to do next.

One thing I notice about the word “no” in this culture.  It appears to me that the word “no” is short for “negotiation”.  I realize that in a wealthy country like the United States, we have poverty and homelessness.  However, for a large part of our population, we need for nothing and, in fact, have a large excess.  This makes the word “no” a difficult answer to take.  I know I don’t like the word.  I believe that is the challenge when it comes from hearing “no” from God.  The older and wealthier I become, the more difficult to take a “no”.  Yet…God knows what He is doing.  That is where faith comes in.


1.      How well do you handle the word “no”?  Explain.
2.      Where in your life have you heard a “no” from God?
3.      Have you experienced where God wanted you after the “no”?  Explain.
4.      What came up for you when you read the statement “…’no’ is short for ‘negotiation’”?
5.      What are some other Biblical examples of God telling someone “no”?
6.      This week, pay attention to how you handle the word “no”.  Ask God to reveal to you what you might need to learn in this situation.

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