Bible Insights

David’s Song of Praise

Psalm 165 from Beyond Psalm 150

King David secures his throne, and the Almighty blesses him with peace. David desires to build a temple for Yahweh. At first the prophet Nathan agrees, but that night God reveals his perspective to his spokesman.

David is not to build the temple because he is a warrior and has shed blood (1 Chronicles 28:3). Instead, the task will fall to one of David’s descendants.

Nathan reveals God’s instructions to David, and the king accepts the prophet’s disappointing words. David sits before God and prays this psalm to the Almighty.

This psalm (similar to 1 Chronicles 17:16–27) appears in paragraph form and lacks the stanza formatting we’re used to seeing in the book of Psalms.

Nevertheless, the text still sounds like a psalm.

Who am I, Lord Yahweh, and what is my house, that you have brought me this far? This was yet a small thing in your eyes, Lord Yahweh; but you have spoken also of your servant’s house for a great while to come; and this among men, Lord Yahweh! What more can David say to you? For you know your servant, Lord Yahweh. For your word’s sake, and according to your own heart, you have worked all this greatness, to make your servant know it. Therefore you are great, Yahweh God. For there is no one like you, neither is there any God besides you, according to all that we have heard with our ears. What one nation in the earth is like your people, even like Israel, whom God went to redeem to himself for a people, and to make himself a name, and to do great things for you, and awesome things for your land, before your people, whom you redeemed to yourself out of Egypt, from the nations and their gods? You established for yourself your people Israel to be your people forever; and you, Yahweh, became their God. Now, Yahweh God, the word that you have spoken concerning your servant, and concerning his house, confirm it forever, and do as you have spoken. Let your name be magnified forever, saying, ‘Yahweh of Armies is God over Israel; and the house of your servant David will be established before you.’ For you, Yahweh of Armies, the God of Israel, have revealed to your servant, saying, ‘I will build you a house.’ Therefore your servant has found in his heart to pray this prayer to you.

Now, O Lord Yahweh, you are God, and your words are truth, and you have promised this good thing to your servant. Now therefore let it please you to bless the house of your servant, that it may continue forever before you; for you, Lord Yahweh, have spoken it. Let the house of your servant be blessed forever with your blessing.

2 Samuel 7:18–29 (WEB)

Reflection on David’s Song of Praise

David was surely disappointed when God prohibited him from building a temple. Yet instead of being upset and responding bitterly, David instead praises Yahweh for his provisions and asks for continued favor.

How do we respond to disappointment? Do we complain to the Almighty or see the good that he has done and praise him for his character? May our character reflect our Creator’s.

Explore the other psalms—sacred songs of praise, petition, and lament—scattered throughout the Bible in Peter’s book Beyond Psalm 150.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.

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