Over the years I have written several "book" or "booklets" and many, many, many newsletter and bulletin articles. Because the book market seeks writings to meet specific needs at specific times, my material has never been accepted. I have a tendency to write what is on my mind and so I am left with self publishing. So, with the encouragement from my wife and others, I am beginning this blog in order to put my "ramblings" "out there"! I hope you enjoy!
Please note that while my intentions are to use good grammar, because of the way in which some of the material presented here is presented (orally) the grammar and syntax might not always be the best English. Also note that good theology is not always presented in the best English so there may be times when the proper grammar rules are purposely broken.
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
The Covenant to David - Lent Mid-week 5 - March 13, 2013 - Text: 2 Sam. 7:1-17
Our text for this evening is second Samuel seven, verses one through seventeen: “1Now when the king lived in his house and the Lord had given him rest from all his surrounding enemies, 2the king said to Nathan the prophet, “See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells in a tent.” 3And Nathan said to the king, “Go, do all that is in your heart, for the Lord is with you.” 4But that same night the word of the Lord came to Nathan, 5“Go and tell my servant David, ‘Thus says the Lord: Would you build me a house to dwell in? 6I have not lived in a house since the day I brought up the people of Israel from Egypt to this day, but I have been moving about in a tent for my dwelling. 7In all places where I have moved with all the people of Israel, did I speak a word with any of the judges of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, saying, “Why have you not built me a house of cedar?”’ 8Now, therefore, thus you shall say to my servant David, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, that you should be prince over my people Israel. 9And I have been with you wherever you went and have cut off all your enemies from before you. And I will make for you a great name, like the name of the great ones of the earth. 10And I will appoint a place for my people Israel and will plant them, so that they may dwell in their own place and be disturbed no more. And violent men shall afflict them no more, as formerly, 11from the time that I appointed judges over my people Israel. And I will give you rest from all your enemies. Moreover, the Lord declares to you that the Lord will make you a house. 12When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. 13He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 14I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son. When he commits iniquity, I will discipline him with the rod of men, with the stripes of the sons of men, 15but my steadfast love will not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away from before you. 16And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me. Your throne shall be established forever.’” 17In accordance with all these words, and in accordance with all this vision, Nathan spoke to David.” This is our text.
This year during the season of Lent and Easter we are following the thread of God’s promise to send a Savior for all people (one covenant, not two). We began in the Garden of Eden when God first made His promise to send a Savior to Adam and Eve, before there was a Jew or Gentile. We continued with the reiteration of the covenant and the announcement of its fulfillment being narrowed, that is that the Savior of all nations would be born through the line of Abram whose name was later changed to Abraham. We followed as the covenant was reiterated and continued through the line of Abraham’s son, Isaac and last week through Isaac’s son, Jacob. This week we move ahead to God’s reiterating His promise to King David.
Again we want to have a bit of review of history, with the reminder as someone once said, if we forget our history we are doomed to repeat it. Anyway, we continue to be reminded that God first made His covenant to send a Savior to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, immediately after they disobeyed Him, eating the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil and bringing sin into the world and God’s curse on the world. And God’s promise to send a Savior to take the curse of the world upon Himself.
Later in history, after the great flood, after the disbursement of cultures around the world by mixing the languages of the people at the tower of Babel, when the time was right, God reiterated His covenant to send a Messiah, a Savior and with His reiteration of the covenant He narrowed down the family line through whom He would fulfill His covenant, that is He reiterated His covenant to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
As history continued to unfold, as God provided for His people, Israel, by moving them to Egypt, and as Israel became enslaved in Egypt, God again reiterated His covenant. He did this by calling Moses to lead Israel out of Egypt and also by calling judges and even kings to rule and govern His people.
After Israel’s first King, Saul, failed miserably, God chose David to be His king. It was God who chose David. God chose David and said, “Now, therefore, thus you shall say to my servant David, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, that you should be prince over my people Israel” (v. 8). These words remind us that this is God’s covenant and that He is the one doing the making of the covenant.
The second part of God’s covenant was the part of a great name. Continuing on in our text, “And I have been with you wherever you went and have cut off all your enemies from before you. And I will make for you a great name, like the name of the great ones of the earth” (v. 9). Again, just as God told Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Moses, and so on down the line, God is making the name of His people, the family through which He will send the Messiah, a great name.
The third part of the covenant was the promise of a land. Continuing on in the text, “And I will appoint a place for my people Israel and will plant them, so that they may dwell in their own place and be disturbed no more. And violent men shall afflict them no more, as formerly” (v. 10). God will bring His chosen people into the promised land, which, here at the time of David, He had already done. And now God’s promise to David is that He will be with His people to occupy the land and be an example nation to all those around.
Next, God promises to David that He will establish his throne, which will be an eternal throne and kingdom, picking up in our text, “He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever” (v. 13). Here in these words God means more than simply an earthly throne. He is speaking of an eternal throne, heaven in other words.
The greatest part of the covenant, which is the part initiated in the Garden of Eden is the part concerning the coming of a Messiah. David’s offspring will include the birth of the Savior for all people. Again and again and again we hear how Jesus is not simply the Savior of some people of some particular ethnic group, but He is the Savior of all people, of all place, of all times, as first stated in the Garden of Eden.
This covenant is God’s covenant. God is the One initiating the covenant. God is the One making the covenant. God is choosing His people. Adam and Eve did not choose God. Noah did not choose God. Abraham did not choose God. Isaac nor Jacob chose God. Moses did not choose God, nor did David. Out of His love, by His grace, God chose them.
The reason God is making the covenant and choosing those necessary for the fulfillment of the covenant is because God is doing this covenant for all nations. Just as God is not divided, but the trinity is in unity, so the covenant is not divided, is not two covenants, but is one. One God, One Creator, One Redeemer, One Sanctifier. For one nation, one world of one group of human beings, even of diverse cultural backgrounds.
What does this mean? Just as it was not Noah, nor Abraham, nor Moses who chose God, nor was it David who chose God, rather it was God who chose David. Certainly we are told that David was a man of God, but more important than David is the fact that it was God who chose Him.
And just as Adam and Eve, Noah, Abraham and the like did not establish a covenant with God, but instead God established His covenant with them, so here it is the Lord who established His covenant through David, an eternal covenant, and an eternal kingdom.
So, even to this day, by God’s grace, through faith given to us, we are a part of the covenant. We are children of Abraham, not by blood but by faith.
We are children of the covenant, by faith He gives to us. We rejoice because Jesus came for us. He came to live the perfect life for all of Israel and for us because they could not nor can we. Jesus came to fulfill all God’s promises and prophecies concerning the coming Messiah perfectly and then He took all the sins of all people, of all places, of all times on Himself and suffered and died paying the price for our sin. All because of His great love for us.
Today it is important that we continue to remember and follow God’s covenant because His covenant is a covenant, not based on human desire, need or work, but based on Jesus and His work of salvation for us. We need that constant reminder of our part in Jesus’ suffering and death. It was not only because of Adam and Eve’s sin, not only because the earth has been cursed, not only because we are conceived and born in sin, but also because of our own actual sins that Jesus had to come and die to pay the price for our sins.
Even before God began creation, He knew what was going to happen. Even before God began creation, He could look through time and He could see us, you and me. Because of His great love for us, for you and for me, He set into motion, not only creation, but also our redemption. Yes, you and I put Jesus on the cross. Yet, He went to the cross willingly because of His great love for us. At our Baptism He put faith in our hearts and made us His children. As we confess our sins and hear His words of absolution, as we hear His Holy Word read and proclaimed, as we partake of His body and blood in His Holy Supper, we are strengthened in our faith, we participate in His life, death and resurrection, and we will be given His robes of righteousness. And all we can do is rejoice and give Him thanks, for Jesus’ sake. Amen.