There is a story in David’s life that reveals how God uses imperfect people. In fact, God not only uses them, but He will also anoint them.
I am referring to King David’s decision to build a permanent structure, a temple, to house the Ark of the Covenant on which the presence of God rested.
At this point, the Ark was inside a tent in Jerusalem, called the Tabernacle of David, after David had moved it from its original location in the Tabernacle of Moses.
When David realized that while he lived in a palace, the Ark resided inside a tent, he came up with the idea to build a temple.
When he approached the Nathan about the idea, the prophet responded that David should do what was on his heart.
However, that night, God spoke to Nathan in a dream, stating that God never wanted a temple, and was quite content to reside in a tent.
Through this dream, God said that instead of David building a house for God, the Lord would build a house for one of David’s descendants, who would live forever and in turn build a house for God:
11 even from the day that I commanded judges to be over My people Israel; and I will give you rest from all your enemies. The Lord also declares to you that the Lord will make a house for you. 12 When your days are complete and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your descendant after you, who will come forth from you, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. (1 Samuel 7:11-13 NASV)
This was an obvious reference to Christ, who is called the son of David (Matthew 20:30), and the church, which is described as the temple of God (Ephesians 2:20-22).
In the sermon that led to his martyrdom, Stephen made that exact point, stating that God did not desire a physical temple, and implied it was even an insult to suggest that man could build a home for God (Acts 7:46-50). Stephen was stoned shortly after making that statement.
But King David believed Nathan’s prophecy implied that his son Solomon, was the one destined to build the temple and actually gathered all the materials and designs, so all Solomon had to do was start to build.
David said that God even helped in the design of the temple (1 Chronicles 28:19) and at its dedication under Solomon, fire fell down from heaven and the Glory of God was so heavy that the priests could not enter (2 Chronicles 7:1-5).
So if God did not desire a temple, why did God bless David’s decision?
I think it boils down to one simple fact. If God only blessed people who did things perfectly, nothing would be accomplished in the Kingdom of God.
God has chosen to build His kingdom through imperfect men who don’t always get it right.
When preachers speak on Sunday morning, not all of them deliver the perfect message from God, yet the Holy Spirit still anoints.
I will never forget the Sunday morning we had a special guest speaker at our church. It was arguably one of the worst sermons that I have ever heard. It was confusing, poorly thought out, and boringly delivered.
After the service I was thinking exactly those thoughts, when out of the blue someone came up to me, gushing about how God had spoken to him through the sermon.
I needed to hear that.
Simply, God uses and will continue to use imperfect people.