The king said to Nathan the prophet, “See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells in a tent.” 2 Samuel 7:2
David had a comfortable life. He lived in a comfortable home that had been built for him by Hiram the king of Tyre, who sent the best cedar wood, along with carpenters and masons (2 Sam. 5:11).
David looks at how much has been spent on his own comfort, and then he looks at what he has given to God. He says to himself, “I’ve been investing a great deal in myself and in my own comfort; it’s time I used the resources God has given to me and invested in the work of God.”
The process David goes through of comparing the comfort of his own life with the work of God that is yet to be done in the world is exactly right. This was the argument used by the prophet Haggai when God’s people returned to Jerusalem after the exile in the time of Nehemiah: “Is it a time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, while this house [God’s house] lies in ruins?” (Hag. 1:4). God has called us to advance the work of his kingdom in the world.
Can your conscience live with what you give to God in the light of what you spend on yourself? That is a right concern. David couldn’t live with it: “God has given me significant resources, and it is time for me to use them in a way that will honor him.”
Consider how much you have already invested in your own comfort, and how you could further invest your resources in the work of God’s kingdom.