December 20,21 – 2008
2 Samuel 7:8-16
4th Sunday in Advent
Pastor Don Sutton
2 Samuel 7:8-16
“Now then, tell my servant David, ‘This is what the LORD Almighty says: I took you from the pasture and from following the flock to be ruler over my people Israel. 9) I have been with you wherever you have gone, and I have cut off all your enemies from before you. Now I will make your name great, like the names of the greatest men of the earth. 10) And I will provide a place for my people Israel and will plant them so that they can have a home of their own and no longer be disturbed. Wicked people will not oppress them anymore, as they did at the beginning 11) and have done ever since the time I appointed leaders over my people Israel. I will also give you rest from all your enemies. ” ‘The LORD declares to you that the LORD himself will establish a house for you: 12) When your days are over and you rest with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, who will come from your own body, and I will establish his kingdom. 13) He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 14) I will be his father, and he will be my son. When he does wrong, I will punish him with the rod of men, with floggings inflicted by men. 15) But my love will never be taken away from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you. 16) Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.’ “
A fairly substantial snowfall…Winds of 15 to 30 miles per hour with gusts up to 40 miles per hour. Temperatures dropping to the teens below zero … a blizzard watch and blizzard conditions.
You probably read or heard reports on these weather conditions. What was your reaction? Maybe, “Best place to be in weather like that is safe at home?” Today we think about being safe at home. Based on 2 Samuel 7:8-16 we focus on being “SAFE IN THE HOUSE OF DAVID.” As we do we will focus on 1) in an everlasting kingdom and 2) with an everlasting king.
1. In an Everlasting Kingdom
As God spoke to his servant David, David literally was settled safely in his new house. King David has moved into his new palace in the new capitol of his kingdom. Hiram, king of Tyre, had helped him build the palace providing cedar logs, carpenters and stonemasons. You can bet the palace was nice with the beautiful masonry as well as the look and smell of cedar.
Not only was David’s new home nice, but the conditions in David’s kingdom were peaceful. God’s Word tells us, “After the king was settled in his palace and the Lord had given him rest from all his enemies around him ….” It’s interesting that prior to this time David seemed to be in constant turmoil fighting wars against his nation’s enemies, watching out for the threats of king Saul who at times wanted to kill David, and even running and hiding from the king like a hunted wild animal.
David recognized God’s wonderful blessing and wanted to bless God in return. He said to the prophet Nathan, “’Here I am, living in a palace of cedar, while the ark of God remains in a tent.’ Nathan replied to the king, ‘Whatever you have in mind, do it, for the Lord is with you.” David must have thought, “Great. I’m going to build the best house I can for the Lord. What a blessing for me and for God!”
What a lesson there is for us in this! God is blesses us with so much, in so many ways, and so faithfully. Are any of us hungry this morning? If so, it’s not because of the lack of food but rather the neglect of breakfast? Were any of us out in the cold last night? Did any of us have a problem finding warm clothes to wear today? Maybe we had to dig to the back of the closet or the drawer for the wools stuff or the “longies,” but we have clothes. Then think of the faith we have, the forgiveness we enjoy, the eternal life that’s ours, the presence of God and his power put to work in our behalf. We are blessed! But do we seek to bless God back, living for him, worshipping him and supporting the ministry of the gospel? David serves as a wonderful example of blessing God in response to his blessing us.
God’s response to David was “NO!” Why? God didn’t want a temple built at that time. While God fills the whole universe, he adequately made his presence known with the tent-like tabernacle the Jews had used for over 400 years. God said that if he had wanted the temple built, he would have said so. Besides, as 1 Chronicles 28 reveals, when God would decide to have a temple built, he would have someone other than a warrior like David to build the temple. So David wanted God to bless David with the privilege of building God a temple, but that was not the Lord’s plan. God had another blessing for David.
It’s interesting, isn’t it, how we may have plans, but our plans are not God’s plans? So God displaces our plans and replaces them with his. But that’s what we pray for when we pray, “Your will be done.”
While God didn’t will that David build a temple, God planned to bless David in other ways – “Now then, tell my servant David, ‘This is what the Lord Almighty says: I took you from the pasture and from following the flock to be ruler over my people Israel. I have been with you wherever you have gone, and I have cut off all your enemies from behind you. Now I will make your name great, like the names of the greatest men on the earth. And I will provide a place for my people Israel and plant them so that they can have a home of their own and no longer be disturbed. Wicked people will not oppress them anymore, as they did at the beginning and have done ever since the time I appointed leaders over my people Israel. I will give you rest from all your enemies (v.8-11).’”
God told David that he would make David’s name great. God did. How many people are known, remembered, and renowned 3000 years later? David is. God gave him such a name. But God also would give him a “house,” a kingdom. This would be a place where David would experience peace and a place where his people would have prosperity and safety – a physical kingdom, a kind of physical house.
But this would symbolize a greater house, a greater kingdom that God was establishing for David – an everlasting kingdom. God told David – “Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.”
This is a kingdom in which you and I and every true believer lives and dwells in this kingdom. This is a kingdom where her citizens are not immune to sickness or invulnerable to hardship. Citizens of this kingdom struggle to stretch paychecks to cover expenses. They struggle with the influence of sin that infiltrates their lives through the media and society that gets a buy-in from their sinful nature. People physically die and before that, they often physically digress in this kingdom.
Yet, this is a kingdom, this house of David, where we are safe – safe with the love and peace of God in us, the power of God at work for us, and the protection of God over us. In this house we are safe from the curse of sin we deserve. While the devil may tempt us, he cannot snatch us out of God’s hand because God holds us safe in his powerful hands. This is a house, a kingdom that is everlasting.
An ancient history scholar observed that here were 74 distinct ancient civilizations and the average life of each civilization was 349 years. The longest was the Aksumite Empire of Ethopia that lasted 1100 years followed by the Vedic period of India that lasted a thousand years. Only the house of David is eternal. And that means that we all have an eternal future – life that is everlasting. This is not everlasting hum-drum, everlasting hardship or everlasting hope that tomorrow will be better. This is everlasting happiness and everlasting joy and everlasting peace. This is because in this kingdom with an everlasting king.
2. With an Everlasting King
Nathan the prophet announced to David a blessing that God had stored in his bag of best blessings. “The Lord declares to you that the Lord himself will establish a house for you: When your days are over and you rest with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, who will come from your own body, and I will establish his kingdom. He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be his father, and he will be my son. When he does wrong, I will punish him with the rod of men. But my love will never be taken away from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed before you. Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.’”(v.11-16)
This promise of blessing has an intermediate or partial fulfillment, and an ultimate fulfillment. The intermediate fulfillment is that David’s son Solomon would succeed him as king. He would rule over a kingdom with fame that spread through the world. Solomon would build a magnificent temple for God. When Solomon sinned, marrying pagan wives and worshipping pagan gods, God would punish Solomon allowing his kingdom to split. Yet, through Solomon David’s dynasty would continue for a long time in Judah, the southern part of Israel. Even though God chastised his people, God would not forsake them.
This was a blessing that God thought best for David.
But there was an ultimate fulfillment for David. This would come in David’s descendent Jesus. As to his divine nature Jesus is the son of God; as to his human nature, of the house and line of David. He would build a house for God’s name, not a temple like that which Solomon built, but a human temple – the temple of all true believers. God’s Son, Jesus, never did wrong. He had no sin of his own. But he had plenty of sin to take care of – our sin with which we were born and that of which we are guilty every day – doubt concerning God’s love and faithfulness, complaints about God’s timing or his allowance of trouble in our lives, our wanting to take God’s place and be able to bless and be blessed as we want. Jesus had no sin of his own but he took ours and that of all people. As Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us so that in him we might become the righteousness of God (2Cor.5:21).” Jesus even fulfilled the statement, “When he does wrong, I will punish him, with floggings inflicted with men (v.15).” God punished Jesus with more than the floggings of men. He punished him with separation from God and death that we deserved. But God never withdrew his love, but rather raised Jesus from the dead. So Jesus has established the throne and kingdom of David as he has removed the curse of sin, overcome death and devil, and now lives and rules eternally.
Isaiah prophesied, “Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom … forever (9:7).” The angel Gabriel told Mary that the son to be born to her would sit on the throne of David and rule over the house of Jacob, and his kingdom would never end (Luke 1:32,33)
As a result of this ultimate blessing of David, we are blessed. We have a Savior. Our sins are forgiven and this forgiveness is our through faith. We have a living Lord who loves us and rules over all things for our good, blessing us with the best. We are part of an everlasting kingdom and enjoy everlasting life, partially now but fully in eternity. Amen. DRS