Unlike Saul, who dedicated a statue in his own honor (1 Samuel 15:12), David’s success doesn’t cause him to covet for himself the glory and honor that belong only to God. David’s heart is to build a temple for Yahweh: Here I am, living in a palace of cedar, while the ark of God remains in a tent (2 Samuel 7:2). Nearly 500 years later, God would scold the returning exiles through the prophet Haggai: Is it time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while [the Temple] remains a ruin (Haggai 1:4)?
David is becoming famous but, rather than desire the world’s acclaim, he wants only to make God’s name great. Because David has his priorities in the right order, God speaks over him: I will make your name great, like the names of the greatest men of the earth.
Do you remember our conversation back in January contrasting the people of Babel with Abraham? The men on the Plain of Shinar proclaimed: Let us build ourselves a city . . . that we may make a name for ourselves (Genesis 11:4). Because Abraham honored God, God said: I will make your name great (Genesis 12:2).
If you want the right kind of acclaim, don’t worry so much about your own reputation. Make God’s name great!
What have you done this week to bring glory to God?