“I had it in my heart to build a house for the Name of the LORD my God. But this word of the LORD came to me: You are not to build a house for my Name.” — 1 Chr 22:7-8
God was pleased with David’s desire, but it was not David’s work to build a temple. His part was to conquer the country, and gather materials for the house. Sometimes the things we purpose to do–we are not permitted to accomplish. They belong to some other worker who is to come after us, and are not part of our mission at all.
There are many people called to do preparatory work. A man goes to the West, and clears off a piece of ground, building a crude log hut. His son succeeds him, and in the midst of broad, rich acres erects a palatial home. The father’s work was just as important in its place, though not so conspicuous, as the son’s. One set of men make the excavations for a building, and then put in the foundations. For weeks they toil underground; and then another set of men come, the walls rise up, and the magnificent building attracts all eyes. The foundation work is buried out of sight, but who will say that it is less important than the splendid walls that tower above the street?
But for what David did, Solomon never could have built the temple. It is the same in all life. To each one God allots a place and a part; and if we do that which God gives us to do, he asks nothing more.