“Wherever I have gone with all the sons of Israel, did I speak a word with one of the tribes of Israel, which I commanded to shepherd My people Israel, saying, ‘Why have you not built Me a house of cedar’” (2 Samuel 7:7)?
While building a temple seems a noble gesture, God recognizes David’s ulterior motive. Because David is at a place of settling down in his own life (v.1), he wants God to settle down with him. It was never God’s intention to be domesticated and “provincialized” into a god that accommodates a given regional culture. It’s but the human tendency to reduce the idea of God into something that can be controlled and compartmentalized within one’s self-determined lifestyle. A religion that seeks to confine God to a building; that can be visited once a week, twice a year, or when there are no other plans for the weekend, is far easier than the pursuit of a faith that informs every facet of daily life.