Scripture Reading: 2 Samuel 7:1-14a
Now when the king was settled in his house, and the Lord had given him rest from all his enemies around him, the king said to the prophet Nathan, ‘See now, I am living in a house of cedar, but the ark of God stays in a tent.’ Nathan said to the king, ‘Go, do all that you have in mind; for the Lord is with you.’ But that same night the word of the Lord came to Nathan: Go and tell my servant David: Thus says the Lord: Are you the one to build me a house to live in? –2 Samuel 7:1-5
We bandy about discussions on the will of God and following the will of God as if it were a tangible reality, if we could just figure it out we would be like God or, I fear, we might feel we are God. In many instances today dedicated Christians end up disagreeing, mightily sometimes, on exactly what the will of God is.
The phrase is not used specifically in the Hebrew Bible, appears only twice in the gospels, and 15 more times in the remainder of the New Testament. The word “will” is derived from the Greek thélēma (from 2309 /thélō, “to desire, wish”) – properly, a desire (wish), often referring to God’s “preferred-will,” i.e. His “best-offer” to people which can be accepted or rejected.*
Rather than being a fixed reality as if carved in stone never to be changed, the relationship Nathan displays in our scripture today is more one of pondered dialogue with God, dynamic in nature, and understanding of the need for humans to seek and act on God’s good counsel to shape and target our own wills into productive outcomes.
I have been described as a strong willed persons and believe me that can be considered both a good thing and a bad thing. David was a strong willed persons. His tenacity led the Israelites into many years of prosperity and peace; his lust led him into adultery and murder.
As followers of Christ we are not only called to discern the way of God for ourselves but working together to be the Body of Christ in the world today discerning God’s desire for all God’s children and working diligently to make it a reality. We must find ways to bridge the gaps among us and work toward productive outcomes.
Prayer: God we thank you for sharing your desires with us. Help us to learn you love enabling us to live in your ways. Amen.