News Articles

Bible Study: Accepting God’s unique plan for our lives

NASHVILLE (BP) — This weekly Bible study appears in Baptist Press in a partnership with Lifeway Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. Through its Leadership and Adult Publishing team, Lifeway publishes Sunday School curricula and additional resources for all age groups.

This week’s Bible study is adapted from the YOU curriculum.

Bible Passage: 2 Samuel 7:8-16

Discussion Questions:

  • What has helped you recognize God’s work in your life?
  • What attributes of God are revealed through the promises in this passage?
  • How does the anticipation of Christ’s kingdom encourage you for life today?

Food for Thought:

Traveling to Israel on a pilgrimage to what many Christians refer to as “the Holy Land” may be on your “bucket list.” Visiting the actual places that are described in the Bible is said to be a life-changing, spiritual experience. One of the highlights in the northern region of Galilee is Mount Arbel. From atop the mountain, one can see where the international highway ran right next to the mountain.

People from many different nations traveled that ancient highway. Powerful kings from Assyria, Babylon, Greece and Rome led their armies through that area. Those kings were great, but now they’re gone. Their kingdoms didn’t last.

History has seen many empires, dynasties and kingdoms come and go. At the height of their power and greatness, the leaders of those kingdoms might have thought they would remain on top of the world, but history has proven otherwise. Even a country as great as the United States has no guarantee its power will last.

Ultimately, only one kingdom will stand forever, the kingdom over which Jesus Christ will rule.

Read 2 Samuel 7:8-16. Nathan the prophet was one of David’s trusted advisors, and Nathan encouraged the king to pursue whatever plans he had to honor God (7:3). Nathan likely assumed God would appreciate David building Him a temple.

However, perhaps to Nathan’s surprise, God corrected his thinking (7:4-7). In the 450 years or more since God brought His people out of Egypt, He had never asked for a temple or scolded Israel’s leaders for not building Him one. Nathan thought David could honor God by building Him a temple, but God would choose the way honor came to Him.

The word translated “so now” (v. 8) indicates God was about to reveal to Nathan the bottom line of what He wanted to communicate to His new king. God affirmed that David was His servant, which of course was a good thing. But God had a different course of action for David than the one David wanted to pursue.

God had guided David’s life since David’s youth, when he pastured his father’s flocks. God had brought about David’s kingship, and God had delivered David from his enemies. God had made David king over Israel, but God had not made David king merely so David alone could experience God’s blessing.

Rather, God would use David to bring great blessing to Israel’s citizens as well, for they were both God’s people and David’s people. God confirmed He would create a secure place for His people to live. The blessing was ultimately God’s doing, not David’s. God promised He would use David to end Israel’s instability and give His people rest from their enemies. Nathan then told David, “The Lord Himself will make a house for you” (v. 11).

David’s heart for God prompted a desire to build God a house, a temple. God rejected David’s request but rewarded David’s attitude. He would build David a house instead, a house of people. God made David an incredible promise; however, the fulfillment of God’s promise would not occur in David’s lifetime. God told David that his descendant would build the temple. Furthermore, God declared, “I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever” (v. 13). God’s purpose certainly exceeded David’s expectations.

Gospel writers Matthew and Luke both point to Jesus as a descendant of David (Matthew 1:6-16; Luke 3:23-31). Jesus’s birth in Bethlehem, the city of David, points to the fulfillment of God’s promise to David (Luke 2:1-20; Matthew 2:1-11). Jesus, to be sure, is God’s only Son, but His earthly lineage can be traced through David’s line. As such, He perfectly fulfills God’s promise to David. Jesus is the eternal King God has promised, the ultimate fulfillment of God’s promise to David.


YOU is committed to providing a complete Bible study experience for small groups and classes. Every session is written through an urban and multiethnic lens that provides relevant, engaging and applicable studies that not only encourage and equip people, but also motivate them to mission. This flexible, non-dated, all-in-one quarterly resource offers weekly Bible study for leaders and learners, devotionals and teaching plans, as well as articles on hot topics and missions. For additional downloadable online teaching resources, visit You.Lifeway.com.

    About the Author

  • Staff/Lifeway Christian Resources