Is that a rhetorical question?

In Sunday’s Old Testament reading (Samuel), David has a moment of humility.  He realizes that he’s got a house but God (or at least the Ark) is in a tent, so he asks Nathan about building a house for God.  Nathan says (not checking with God first) “go ahead.”

Nathan is God’s prophet, his job is to tell people the will of God.  David is someone who gets called (by God) a man after God’s own heart.  We’ve got good people, acting with the best of intentions. 

But when Nathan checks in with God, he finds out that God has something very different in mind. The key to understanding the reading?  God’s question isn’t really a question. 

And one take away from God’s rhetorical question is that (on their own) good people, acting with the best of intentions, can still get it wrong.  More on this tomorrow.