Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Mystery Jerusalem Rising Ch 8 | The Covenant of David – God’s vision of the body politic

Israel’s first king, Saul, fell short of pleasing God. With the exception of the affair with the witch of Endor, Saul avoided engaging in idolatry (1 Sam 28:4-25).

Saul made two major mistakes as king. The result of these mistakes was that he was rejected from being king. These mistakes revealed that Saul was extremely self-willed. He wanted to do God’s will on his own terms, and it didn’t work.

One of these mistakes was that he made unauthorized sacrifices (1 Sam 13:9-14). Samuel promptly rebuked him, saying “Thou hast done foolishly: thou hast not kept the commandment of the Lord thy God, which he commanded thee: for now would the Lord have established thy kingdom upon Israel for ever. But now thy kingdom shall not continue: the Lord hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the Lord hath commanded him to be captain over his people, because thou hast not kept that which the Lord commanded thee”(vs 13-14). Saul lost the opportunity for a dynasty, because his heart sought self-will rather God’s heart. The Lord then sought out a man who truly was seeking God’s heart.

When Samuel spoke of the “man after his own[God’s] heart,” he was referring to David. The system of judges was an epic fail because the people, and for the most part the judges, did not have God’s heart. The kingdom would also fall short because most of the kings would seek their own self interests rather than God’s interests. The only answer for effective governance of God’s people is for both the government and the governed to seek God’s heart. God found in David such a man and made a covenant with him.

Because David sought God’s heart, it bothered his conscience that he had a fine mansion made of cedar, while the Presence of God dwelt in a tent. He decided to build for God a fine mansion, but God had greater plans.

“And it came to pass, when the king sat in his house, and the Lord had given him rest round about from all his enemies; That the king said unto Nathan the prophet, See now, I dwell in an house of cedar, but the ark of God dwelleth within curtains.And Nathan said to the king, Go, do all that is in thine heart; for the Lord is with thee.

And it came to pass that night, that the word of the Lord came unto Nathan, saying, Go and tell my servant David, Thus saith the Lord, Shalt thou build me an house for me to dwell in? Whereas I have not dwelt in any house since the time that I brought up the children of Israel out of Egypt, even to this day, but have walked in a tent and in a tabernacle. In all the places wherein I have walked with all the children of Israel spake I a word with any of the tribes of Israel, whom I commanded to feed my people Israel, saying, Why build ye not me an house of cedar?

Now therefore so shalt thou say unto my servant David, Thus saith the Lord of hosts, I took thee from the sheepcote, from following the sheep, to be ruler over my people, over Israel: And I was with thee whithersoever thou wentest, and have cut off all thine enemies out of thy sight, and have made thee a great name, like unto the name of the great men that are in the earth. Moreover I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more; neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them any more, as beforetime, And as since the time that I commanded judges to be over my people Israel, and have caused thee to rest from all thine enemies. Also the Lordtelleth thee that he will make thee an house.

And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever. I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men: But my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee. And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever.”  -
2 Samuel 7:1-16

There are three key features to this passage. David’s throne was to be an everlasting throne (key#1). If his children disobey, then they would be chastised with stripes, indicating there would be times when the throne of David would be in exile as God’s judgment (key#2). The covenant, however, was unbreakable: God would never take His love away from David, and therefore the throne of David would never be destroyed.

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