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From Second Samuel chapter seven, we read, Now it came to pass when the king was dwelling in his house, and the LORD had given him rest from all his enemies all around, that the king said to Nathan the prophet, ‘See how I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells inside tent curtains. (2 Samuel 7:1-2)

Edgar Allen Poe wrote a short story which is considered a classic in the field of literature. It was titled, “The Tell-Tale Heart.” It is a gruesome tale of deception and madness and murder. The narrator of the story is a man who carries out a horrific plan to snuff out an old man with whom he lives — an old man that, because of a particular eye condition, gets under the man’s skin in a most disturbing way.

Eventually, the man (the narrator) kills the old man and buries him in his house, under the floorboards. When the police, who are called by a neighbor who heard a loud scream, come to the man’s house to inquire about the noise, the narrator sets down with them.  In the process, he sets his chair directly over the floorboards under which the old man’s body lies. While the men talk the narrator begins to hear a heartbeat, one that he is sure the visiting police officers also hear. The heartbeat grows louder and louder until the man can stand it no more. Surely the officers hear it also.  So he confesses his evil deed and reveals where the proof of his deed is . . . under the floorboards.

Conviction of the Heart

The “tell-tale heart” weighed upon the conscious of its murderer’s heart with a beat that only he could hear. It shook him to the point that his own heart, and the evil within it, was justly exposed.

The heart . . . that from which flows good and evil. In the case of Poe’s fictional character, his heart was set on doing evil and the “tell-tale heart” of his victim exposed that.

I suggest there is a revealing of a “tell-tale heart” in the text of 2 Samuel 7: 1-2.  It suggests a “heart condition” of which we should take special note. For in his comfort, while “dwelling in his house . . . a house of cedar,” King David’s heart was telling him he needed to do something great for His God. David had his heart set on God!

An Example For Us

Do we not know well what the Scriptures tell us about King David:  David . . . a man after My own heart . . .  (Acts 13:22)

Here, in this Scripture from 2 Samuel, there is enlightenment about David and what he dwelt on when sitting in his grand “house of cedar.” His heart was turned toward His God and what he could do for Him. In the silence of his “dwelling”, the heart of David beat for God!

That begs the question to you and I. In our dwellings, both large and small, but which our God has so graciously provided for us.  Are our hearts, like David’s, devoted to our God and are we focused on what we can do for Him? Or, are we more taken in by the plethora of distractions that fill our dwelling places? And, do we find that if we bother to look, our hearts and our minds are really far from our God?

Are we able to say that we sit in the silence of our dwellings and that our thoughts are on the One we say we love with all of our heart?

It is most interesting how a passage of Scripture can be so convicting when one takes the time to stop and meditate upon it. Second Samuel 2:1-2 is a biblical description of a “tell-tale” heart that, in this case, is the heart of a man “after” God’s “own heart.”  It reveals the heart of a man focused on God.  Hopefully, these verses cause us to pause and examine ourselves.

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