Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Worship the Promise Keeping God

The Rev. Dr. Rick Lobs

Generally speaking, we humans view historical events as isolated proceedings. In fact all in space and time is connected, and is graciously superintended by the Creator God. This management is called "Providence."

In 2 Samuel we read about David. Behind the passage are these facts about David: he was a shepherd, catapulted into prominence by his killing of Goliath, was a court musician for (crazy) King Saul, became an outlaw and guerrilla warrior, became king of Judah and later King of all Israel, captured Jerusalem from indigenous inhabitants, brought the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem, built himself a very nice house of cedar in Jerusalem.

Having all that in his curriculum vitae he desired to build a house for the Lord - which is to say a Temple in which to house the Ark of the Covenant. Nathan the court prophet first approved the building of the house for the Lord - but later reversed his approval at God's prompting.

Nathan then says something quite cryptic to King David. "The LORD declares to you that the LORD himself will establish a house for you ... Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever." 2 Samuel 7:11, 16.

David will not be the one to build a house for God. But God would build a house for David, that is a dynasty. As if that is not enough, the Lord God promised David that David's kingdom and throne will be eternally established. Wow!

In times of adversity Israel would prayerfully remind God of His promise. For example we read this in Psalm 132:11: "The LORD swore an oath to David, a sure oath he will not revoke: "One of your own descendants I will place on your throne."

The notion of the messiah being in the lineage of David was deeply, very deeply, ingrained in the consciousness of Israel.

Now let's jump about one thousand years. By any measure, that's a long time. We read in Luke 1, that a messenger, Gabriel, is sent from God to a girl in the backwater town of Nazareth - her name is Mary. Gabriel communicated a disturbing and yet, amazing word. Consider.

"...the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob's descendants forever; his kingdom will never end."

The promise Mary had heard all her life about David and the messiah was going to be fulfilled through her. How amazing is that?

Mary answered. "May your word to me be fulfilled."

We learn much from the juxtaposition of these inspired texts.

We learn that prayer is sometimes answered in a different time reference than we might wish. In this case one thousand years. Let that be an example and comfort to you if you have been praying for someone or a situation for a long long time.

We learn that events are not accidental but are guided by God's gracious providence.

The passages remind us of the importance of the "house", lineage or dynasty, God built for David. Was it not Jesus in the book of Revelation that said of Himself, "I am the root and offspring of David." (NIV) "I am both the source of David and the heir to his throne." (TLT) Revelation 22:16. All this through Mary, the blessed mother.

The important truth, the overarching truth to note is that we worship a promise keeping God.

1 comment:

Alice C. Linsley said...

The Akkadian form of the name or title David was Da-odu. Among the originally Nilotic Yoruba the names is Daw-odu. Da means ruler and Odu refers to Edom. David had Edomite blood. He was a descendant of the Horite rulers. Seir, the Horite is named in Genesis 36 and is a contemporary of Esau the Elder. It was to the ancestors of these Horite rulers that God first made the promise in Eden of a Son -the "Seed" of the Woman - who would crush the serpent's head (Gen. 3:15). Our God keeps His promises and His promises are the only solid ground upon which to stand.