In 2 Samuel 7 David wanted to build the Lord a temple. He was living in a nice place, so he wanted to give God a worthy temple. You know, like every other god of every other nation.
But Yahweh isn’t like every other God. He refused David’s request. He promised to allow David’s successor the opportunity, but he makes it clear all along this was not his request. God didn’t need the shrine.
In refusing David he makes something clear that serves as a reminder: We can’t make God’s name great.
We can boast in the Lord. We can praise the name of the Lord. We can tell others of his great name. But we can’t make his name great.
God alone makes HIS name great.
To demonstrate his power, and his utter lack of need for a national temple, he tells David to give up the idea, but Yahweh would instead make David’s name great.
It is a good idea to remember WHO is God. We quite simply can NOT “do things” for God to make his name great. He doesn’t require us to make something extravagant for him so that “finally” his name is recognized. Then, in his wonderful power and mercy, he turns around and does something FOR US instead.
This is the difference in our God. He does not demand what we need to do to “make him great.” He instead pours out his mercy and when our name is “made great,” we realize something very humbling: it’s not us.