Nathan's Mistake
2 Samuel 7:8-17
Now therefore so shall you say to my servant David, Thus said the LORD of hosts, I took you from the sheepcote…

David's proposal was so generous and so religious that the prophet Nathan didn't have a question that its prompting was from the Lord. He was ready to bid the king God-speed, without a doubt as to the propriety of the thing proposed. But the sequel showed that David's plan didn't have the Lord's approval. Nor was this the last time that a man of God made a mistake in supposing that because a proposition was a religious one it necessarily had the Lord's approval. A young man comes to his pastor, and says that he has decided to give up everything else and study for the ministry. It doesn't follow that the minister ought to say, "Go, do all that is in thine heart; for the Lord is with thee." It is still a question whether this well-intentioned proposal is really of the Lord. So again, it may be, when a man comes with a proposition as to the use of his property, in establishing a local fund for the support of the ministry, in founding another college, or in building a new hospital. To show a religious purpose is one thing. To be sure that that purpose has the Lord's approval, or that just as it is it deserves the approval of the Lord's ministers, is quite another thing. Other men of God need to learn caution from the experience of Nathan.

(H. C. Trumbull.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Now therefore so shalt thou say unto my servant David, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I took thee from the sheepcote, from following the sheep, to be ruler over my people, over Israel:

WEB: Now therefore you shall tell my servant David this, 'Thus says Yahweh of Armies, "I took you from the sheep pen, from following the sheep, that you should be prince over my people, over Israel.

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