King David and Women’s Ordination

In 2 Samuel, chpater 7 we read that the Lord gave King David rest from all his surrounding enemies. David thought this would be a perfect opportunity to build a temple for the Lord since, “I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells in a tent.” (v. 2)

Nathan the prophet tells David, “What a good idea, God is with you, go for it!” (a rough paraphrase of v. 3) The same night God comes to Nathan and says first, of all, I never asked for a temple, second, I’ve been blessing David his whole life and will continue to bless him even thought he hasn’t built me a temple, and finally, David is not the one to build the temple for me.

David’s desire to build a temple was certainly a good one. He certainly had the resources and ability to do so. But God chose David’s son Solomon to build the temple. (As God explained later it was because David was a man of war and Soloman would be a man of peace. I Kings 5:3-4)

Solomon was not a better person, in fact, despite his great wisdom, after he completed the building of God’s temple his foreign wives convinced him to build sacred places to honor their foreign gods.

To me, this relates to women’s ordination. The desire to be an ordained pastor is certainly noble. No one denies that women have the abilities needed to do the job. Some women would even be more qualified for the job than men.

But God has decided to limit the office of the holy ministry to men. (I Timothy 3:1-7, I Corinthians 14:33-34) We, like David, would do well to accept God’s will. After David is told of God’s decision he does not complain, instead he launches into a lengthy prayer of praise to God for his greatness (vs. 18-29).

David also started making extensive preparations for the eventual building of the temple. (I Chronicles 22 & I Kings 7:51) In the same way, those who are not permitted to serve as pastors should do all they can to support the office of the ministry.

And just a little footnote: In verse 6 God says, I have not lived in a house since the day I brought up the people of Israel from Egypt to this day.” This begs the question, Did the Israelites have a temple for their God while they were in Egypt? Or is God just speaking rhetorically here?

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