A Word From Grace: Monday Edition - What We Can Do For God

So far in our reflection on 1 & 2 Samuel, we’ve followed the broken road of David’s journey toward becoming Israel’s king. Though anointed by God for the job, David spent years on the run from his predecessor (Saul) who was intent on killing him. When we come to 2 Samuel 7, we find David finally on the throne. The Philistines, who had been a constant threat, had now been soundly defeated. The ark of the covenant (which represented the presence of God) had been brought to Israel’s capital city after years of being hidden away. Israel was finally at peace under the rule of God’s chosen king.
With his own rule and the state of the nation secured, David turned his attention to the house of Lord. Since the time of the exodus, the ark of the covenant had been housed in a tent. David wanted to build a glorious temple. This was common custom for near-eastern kings of that time. The building of a temple for your god was a symbolic means by which a king further established his own rule and authority. Basically, it was saying, “I’m the king and my god has my back.”
In a surprising plot-twist, God says no. Why would God say no? Surely, a huge temple declaring his power and glory to the world would be a good thing! While there’s truth in that, by saying no, God sent a clear message to David, Israel, and to us today about who it is that establishes kingdoms. This is made clear by what God says next, “Thus says the Lord of hosts, I took you from the pasture… that you should be prince over my people and I have been with you wherever you went and I have cut off all your enemies from before you and I will make for you a great name… and I will appoint a place for my people Israel” (2 Sam. 7:8-10, emphasis mine). God goes on to promise to David an everlasting kingdom, “And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me. Your throne shall be established forever” (2 Sam. 7:16). Last week, we saw that Jesus is the final and eternal heir of David, fulfilling God’s promise.
It’s easy to get caught up in all of the great things we think we can do for God, but this passage reminds of what Jesus himself said in John 15, “apart from me, you can do nothing.” Now, you may be thinking, “great… thanks for the encouragement, Pastor Sean,” but I really want you to see the good news in this: God hasn’t recruited you to be his employee, but has invited you to be a citizen of the Kingdom he’s building right here on Earth. A Kingdom on Earth where things are like they are in heaven. A Kingdom that defeats evil. A Kingdom that redeems brokenness. A Kingdom of light that will never be overthrown. Not only that, but King Jesus delegates authority to his people, so that we can be stewards of the Kingdom (extending its borders and inviting others to join us as citizen-stewards).
Application - I find David’s response to God here to be captivating, “Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my house, that you have brought me thus far?” (2 Sam. 7:18). For application this week, I want to encourage you to take some time to reflect and thank God for where he has brought you thus far, particularly for his invitation to you (of all people) to become a citizen of his Kingdom. Secondly, I’d encourage you to look forward as well, thanking God that you get to be part of his eternal Kingdom when it comes in fullness.

With you in Christ,
Pastor Sean

Sean's Picks

Biblehub.com is a great tool for personal Bible study. It gives you free access to a number of commentaries; you can read the text in many different translations and languages; and possibly coolest of all, you can click on “Hebrew” or “Greek” to see the original language, definitions and cross-references. This brings the words of scripture alive in a whole new way!

Last week, I introduced you to Skye Jethani. This week, I want to share with you a message he gave several years ago that shows us how life with God can free us from fear. Check it out below:

Missions Spotlight: Jennifer Marmolejos (YoungLife)

- We prayed to the Lord of the harvest to provide Wildlife leaders and He did! (Matthew 9:35-38)

- For our leaders: That they grow in their relationship with Jesus and hold onto His promises as their high school and college school year drastically changes during this time of social distancing.
HS TEAM: Christine, Annika, John, Ben and I.
MS TEAM: Cianna, Santino, Jared, Molly, Brianna, Grace, Emily and Natalia.
- For me as I trust the Lord’s guidance and wisdom for what ministry will look like these next weeks or months. Also, to remain positive and hopeful in the unknown.
- For my Mom and brother, Cristian, protection over their health.
There are daily changes we see taking place in society at the moment but let us remain confident that God never changes.

"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever" - Hebrews 13:8

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