Everyone has experienced that sinking feeling in the pit of their stomach when their expectations were not met. It is called disappointment. It gets even worse if it’s caused by something you cannot go back and change. It’s an emotion that can lead to rage, apathy, or some of both. Rage and apathy typically bring our productivity to a halt.
A Biblical Example
King David (1035 – 970 B.C.) was the second king of the ancient United Kingdom of Israel. His lineage can be traced directly to Jesus Himself. He was a simple shepherd, known for his passion for God. David would reign for 40 years in one of the highest and most prosperous periods in Israel’s history. The Bible presents David as a model king, but as kings went, he was as sinful as most other kings. Yes, he was devoted to God and would eventually become repentant. As a king, David had a deep desire to bring the Ark of the Covenant into his city and place it in a permanent building. It would be a legacy for him and a tribute to God. At that time, the Ark was still housed in a tent.
Let’s step back a moment and understand how king David got to this point in history. King David had elected to stay in his palace instead of being with his army. It would be these circumstances that caused Dave to notice a beautiful married woman, named Bathsheba. In his lust, he arranges to have her husband Uriah die in battle to cover up her pregnancy from his affair. In his desperation, King David forgot that God sees and knows everything. God sends the Prophet Nathan, the Prophet Samuel’s successor, to expose David’s sin (2 Samuel 12:5). Hence, this begins a close relationship between Nathan and David.
(2 Samuel 7:2-12) 1NIV New International Version Translations – “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. 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 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: 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.’”
Fast forward a few years, and king David is talking to Nathan about building the temple (see Scripture above). Nathan’s advice is that it sounds like a great idea. But Nathan is given a message from God that is different. God’s plan is:
(1 Chronicles 28:2-3) – “King David rose to his feet and said: “Listen to me, my fellow Israelites, my people. I had it in my heart to build a house as a place of rest for the ark of the covenant of the Lord, for the footstool of our God, and I made plans to build it. But God said to me, ‘You are not to build a house for my Name, because you are a warrior and have shed blood.”
David’s initial zeal for God and ethical integrity paved the way for his early fame and fortune. David was not suitable to be the one to build God’s temple because he was a man of war and blood. That task would be placed in the hands of his son, Solomon. Hence, David would receive a disappointing judgment from God.
(1 Chronicles 29:1-5) – “Then King David said to the whole assembly: ‘My son Solomon, the one whom God has chosen, is young and inexperienced. The task is great because this palatial structure is not for man but for the Lord God. With all my resources I have provided for the temple of my God—gold for the gold work, silver for the silver, bronze for the bronze, iron for the iron and wood for the wood, as well as onyx for the settings, turquoise, stones of various colors, and all kinds of fine stone and marble—all of these in large quantities. Besides, in my devotion to the temple of my God I now give my personal treasures of gold and silver for the temple of my God, over and above everything I have provided for this holy temple: 4 three thousand talents of gold (gold of Ophir) and seven thousand talents of refined silver, for the overlaying of the walls of the buildings, for the gold work and the silver work, and for all the work to be done by the craftsmen. Now, who is willing to consecrate themselves to the Lord today?”
To say the least, the king is disappointed for sure! He is the king; doesn’t that mean anything? David, however, doesn’t get angry, there is no rage and there is no apathy. David doesn’t decide on strategies to cause Solomon to fail at what will be a legacy-building project. David immediately decides that he will use his personal wealth to acquire and stage all the materials that his son, Solomon, will need. David doesn’t stop there. He uses his example of generosity toward God to influence the leaders of Israel. All the people also give generously. Note, however, that David wanted them to do this willingly for God, not under duress or pressure from him. As the staging of the materials reaches completion, David reaches out to God in Prayer (1 Chronicles 29:10-13). His prayer acknowledges God’s greatness, the source of all power and wealth, the true ruler of all things, and thanks, God.
David reminds us that everything belongs to God anyway. What we have comes from God! Our time here on earth is short. Knowing the task of leadership, David not only gave his son the materials and resources but gives him the complete design. There is no jealousy here! David includes plans for the portico of the temple, its buildings, its storerooms, its upper parts, its inner rooms, and the place of atonement. The plans include the courts of the temple of the Lord and all the surrounding rooms, for the treasuries of the temple of God, and for the treasuries for the dedicated things to be stored there. Finally, David gave Solomon instructions for the divisions of the priests and Levites, and for all the work of serving in the temple of the Lord, as well as for all the articles to be used in its service. King David took his disappointment and used it to set up his son, the next leader, for success. That is the way God would like us to handle our disappointments. Interesting perspective, isn’t it?
- After a contentious election, how do you see all parties behave?
- Ideas to Explore: Do you see cooperation? Do you see humility in defeat? Do you see humility in victory? Do you see a joint focus on the success from the people’s and God’s perspective? Does the victor get the “spoils?”
- Did you know that the 2022 U.S. elections spent 9.3 Billion dollars!2 https://www.opensecrets.org/news/2022/09/2022-midterm-election-spending-on-track-to-top-9-3-billion/
- Ideas to Explore: What other uses could some of those funds go toward if we were united with common goals and had a more reasonable process? Are politicians buying their elections?
- What are your goals now that this election season is over?
- Ideas to Explore: How can we help our children? How can we help the unborn? How can we help those in need? What goals do you see?
- If you are disappointed in our nation’s choices, do you have a survival plan?
- How to we help, how do we protect those who are vulnerable?
- Did you see God in our political process anywhere?
- Ideas to Explore: Why is God so hard to see in our world? Shouldn’t God be part of it?
- Who were the beneficiaries of king David’s generosity?
- Ideas to Explore: God, the people, Solomon, David himself, maybe the world?
- 1NIV New International Version Translations