Wednesday, 23 April 2014

(114) April 24: 2 Samuel 7-9 & Luke 19:1-28

Ask God to open your mind, heart and will to understand, delight in and obey what you read.

To discover:­­
As you read note what God pomises David.

To ponder:
David’s kingdom is now properly established. “Settled” in his palace and “resting” from his enemies, his thoughts turn to constructing a “house” (ie. temple) for God. Nathan’s initial encouragement however seems misplaced. It is immediately followed by a message from God through him for David: He is not “the one” to build such a house. Indeed, God has never even suggested he wanted one. Rather God promises to establish “a house” (ie. dynasty) for David! Once more he promises David greatness, rest from his enemies, and a secure home for his people. He then adds that he will establish the kingdom of David’s offspring, who will be the one to build a “house” for God’s name, be a “son” to God, be punished when he does wrong, yet always be loved. This clearly refers to Solomon. But the promise looks further, repeating that the throne of David and this offspring will be established “forever.”
            This is known as the Davidic covenant. It looks to the subsequent history of Israel’s kings, explaining their fate when they turn from God. It also shows that the title “son of God” is first and foremost one that points to an individual being God’s king. Of course, it is fulfilled in the person of Christ, the true Son of God according to both his humanity and divinity.
            David’s response is to “sit before the LORD,” probably in the tent where the ark was, marvelling that God would do this for him. However he affirms God has ultimately done it for the sake of his “word” and “will,” presumably with respect to Abraham. He then recounts God’s deeds for Israel, praying God would fulfil his promise to David so that his (God’s) “name would be great for ever.” Here David seems to see that it is through his dynasty that God would ensure the greatness of his people, and by consequence, ensure that his (God’s) own greatness is always acknowledged. On the basis of God’s trustworthy word, David therefore asks for his blessing.
            God’s fulfilment of this promise is immediately seen in the record of how the LORD “gave David victory where he went” - victories in which David receives tribute which he dedicates to the LORD, and by which David becomes “famous” and so great. The specific victories fulfil Balaam’s prophecy of a ruler from Jacob who would conquer the Moabites, Edomites and Amalekites (Num 24v17-24). However, the prophecy is not fully fulfilled, looking to its completion by David’s offspring, ultimately the Lord Jesus.
            With the record of David’s officials, his reign is to the fore, with the stress on it being “just” and “right” for “all his people” (8v15-18). This is supremely seen in David honouring his promise to Jonathan to remember his household “even when” the LORD had cut of David’s enemies as he now had (1 Sam 20v15). The narrative dramatises his finding of Mephibosheth, who as a “cripple” David could so easily have despised. Instead, setting aside any threat favouring Saul’s grandson (and his son) might have meant to his throne, David gives him “all” Saul’s land which he commands the household of Saul’s servant Ziba to farm, to “provide for” Mephibosheth. David even has Mephibosheth “always” eat at his table, “like one of the king’s sons.” So just as David marvelled at God’s grace, Mephibosheth marvels at David’s. This shows David is being a righteous king, imaging God as Adam should have, and modelling how we should be towards all, irrespective of the cost to us. It also looks to Christ having the despised of this world eat at his table as princes of his kingdom. With Mephibosheth and David, we should marvel, saying “who am I” that in Christ, God should do this for me.

Praying it home:
Thank God for the immense grace shown you even though you are so unworthy of it. Pray that he would continue to bless and establish his church in Christ so that he himself would be forever honoured.

Thinking further: David as Priest and King
At this point the promise to Abraham seems almost fulfilled. God’s people (Israel) are now securely resting in God’s place (Canaan), under a God righteous ruler (David) and therefore with both his law and someone to properly administer it, under God’s rule too. It seems God purpose of having a people know and image him in the world is within grasp. However, as hinted at in the covenant God made with David, from this point we will see that even the best of Israel’s kings are not righteous enough to bring this about. An even greater king than David is needed.

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