A Holy Discontent and a Grateful Heart

Read: 2 Samuel 7

A good reputation. Victories, here and there. Earthly treasures. God’s favor.  Name it, and most likely, David had any good king would ask for.  Now, it’s an opportune time to experience rest from Israel’s battles.  Yet there’s something inexplicable that David could not just shake off from his heart and mind.  What could it be?  Perhaps, a burden? Well, you can say that it’s a holy kind of burden.  It’s what some aptly call a “holy discontent”.

Now when the king lived in his house and the LORD had given him rest from all his surrounding enemies, the king said to Nathan the prophet, “See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells in a tent.” And Nathan said to the king, “Go, do all that is in your heart, for the LORD is with you.” (2 Sam. 7:1-3)

What keeps you wide awake at night? What sort of vision totally exhilarates you?  In this text, David had one – to build a house (temple) for the God he loves so dearly.  What a gargantuan vision this shepherd-turned-king had!

Now, let’s read further.  Did God honor David’s desire? Well… Yes, but God’s reply had a some twist in it. To build the temple was left for his son to do; not in David’s reign. The Lord honored the humble king’s desire, but He had plans beyond what the king could think of.

Nonetheless, David was floored by God’s answer.  Then, this was the king’s response to God in his prayer:

Then King David went in and sat before the LORD and said, “Who am I, O Lord GOD, and what is my house, that you have brought me thus far?  And yet this was a small thing in your eyes, O Lord GOD. You have spoken also of your servant’s house for a great while to come, and this is instruction for mankind, O Lord GOD! (2 Sam. 7:18-19)

A holy discontent coupled with a grateful heart.  This is a powerful combination of humility made manifest in David’s life.

With all the great things that have happened to King David, he could have chosen to be a little lax.  But he was committed to do more for the Lord!  With God’s unlikely response to such desire, he could have chosen to react rebelliously.  Yet, he submitted… and his heart could not contain the joy he found in God!

At times, life’s victories can easily put our guards down.  For some people, they become complacent.  Others, they even forget to acknowledge God.  With all the good intent fused in every prayer that we hope the Lord would grant, we can subliminally bear a grudge when things don’t turn as anticipated.  But in this passage, David’s attitude was both noteworthy and praiseworthy.

An amazing concoction of holy discontentment and gratefulness were found in David, the man after God’s own heart.  Thus, by God’s grace, I pray that the same elements of humility could be found in your heart and mine too.

Reflection Questions:

  1. Based on this text, what can you say about David’s attitude towards God?
  2. Now, what was his attitude towards victory?
  3. How do you respond whenever God answers your prayers in an unexpected manner?
  4. Drawing from David’s example, how can you cultivate a grateful heart?
  5. What are the “baby steps” that you can take to act on the vision that God has placed in your heart to do?

2 thoughts on “A Holy Discontent and a Grateful Heart

  1. David was thankful though God may not have given him his desires. His motives were purely for the service of the Lord, yet he submitted himself to God’s plans. This simply tells us that winning or losing, we have to be thankful. God has better plans for us. Our purpose may be pure and noble but God has His own way of dealing with things. Thus, we have to be thankful to God in the simplest of things. In order for us to have that grateful heart that David had, we have to start small. Thank God in the little victories and loses that we encounter each day. This way, we can really be thankful when big decisions and big loses come our way.

    Thanks tsong, for sharing this post. I really needed this message and here you are a messenger of God hitting me where I needed it most. I hope you don’t mind if I still call you tsong. Old habits die hard tol! 😛 Hope we could meet up soon! 🙂

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