Useful Bible Studies > 2 Samuel Commentary > chapter 7

Why did God’s house continue to be a tent?

2 Samuel 7:7

Several hundred years had passed since Israel’s people wandered through the desert. There, they lived in tents, and God’s house was also a special tent called the tabernacle. When God gave them their own country, they soon built houses for themselves in it. However, God’s house was still a tent.

Probably, David thought that Israel’s people had neglected an important duty in this matter. For most of this time, Israel had no king who could organise the work. However, even then, there were people who had authority in Israel. There were the leaders who we read about in the Book of Judges. There were also the tribes, the family groups in Israel; and God had given their leaders the responsibility to look after Israel’s people.

Israel’s people had often neglected their responsibilities to God. However, they had no duty to do something that God had not told them to do. God had never directed any of Israel’s leaders to build a temple, a permanent house of God, for him. David wanted to build a great and impressive temple to give honour to God - but God had not directed him to do that. Until God gave that order, God’s house in Israel should still be a tent.

God wanted the construction of his temple to happen during a time of peace in Israel. David had to fight many wars to overcome Israel’s enemies before that time of peace came (1 Chronicles 28:3). When, at last, peace came, God directed Solomon, David’s son, to build the first temple in Jerusalem.

Next part: God promises to make David's name great (2 Samuel 7:8-9)


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