Denial to David

In 1 Chronicles 22: 7-8 we read that the Lord denied David the right to build a house unto his name because, and I quote: "You have shed blood abundantly and have made great wars: you shall not build a house unto my name because you have shed much blood upon the earth in my sight." If we read Chronicles, it is evident that David had the support and encouragement of the Lord to wage his wars against the enemies of Israel. Is this denial then not a contradiction....? Your insight, please. Thank you.

David definitely did have “the support and encouragement of the Lord to wage his wars against the enemies of Israel.”  Scripture tells us that David “became more and more powerful, because the LORD God Almighty was with him” (2 Samuel 5:10).  When David wondered about waging war against the Philistines, the LORD assured him:  “Go, for I will surely hand the Philistines over to you” (2 Samuel 5:19).

When David first proposed the building of the temple, the prophet Nathan personally endorsed that idea.  Then, the Lord gave Nathan a message to relay to King David.  That message informed David that his offspring, and not he, would build that house for the Lord.  While that news may have been disappointing to David, the Lord had other—good—news for the king:  the Lord would build another kind of house for David.  From David would come a line of kings, including most importantly the Messiah, Jesus Christ, the King of kings.

So were the Lord’s dealings with David contradictory in any way, as you asked?  Not at all.  David carried out his role in protecting Israel from its enemies.  That role involved war and bloodshed.  When it came time to build the temple, the Lord decreed that it was more fitting that a man of peace, and not a man of war, be the one to oversee the building of the temple—a structure that proclaimed peace with God through the sacrifices that pointed to the Messiah and through the ministry of God’s word.  (Solomon’s name is related to the Hebrew word for “peace.”)

Rather than seeing the Lord’s actions as contradictory or inconsistent, we recognize what the psalmist did:  “Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him” (Psalm 115:3).   The Lord had one role for David and another role for Solomon.  Both roles were important and were given by the Lord.