Friday, December 18th, 2020
God’s Covenant With David
2 Samuel 7:1-16
“Now when the king was settled in his house, and the Lord had given him rest from all his enemies around him, the king said to the prophet Nathan, “See now, I am living in a house of cedar, but the ark of God stays in a tent.” Nathan said to the king, “Go, do all that you have in mind; for the Lord is with you.” But that same night the word of the Lord came to Nathan: Go and tell my servant David: Thus says the Lord: Are you the one to build me a house to live in? I 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 and a tabernacle. Wherever I have moved about among all the people of Israel, did I ever speak a word with any of the tribal leaders of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, saying, “Why have you not built me a house of cedar?” 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 to be prince over my people Israel; 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. And I will appoint a place for my people Israel and will plant them, so that they may live in their own place, and be disturbed no more; and evildoers shall afflict them no more, as formerly, from 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. When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come forth from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be a father to him, and he shall be a son to me. When he commits iniquity, I will punish him with a rod such as mortals use, with blows inflicted by human beings. But I will not take my steadfast love from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away from before you. Your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me; your throne shall be established forever.”
Our story and devotional today is about a commonality between the House of David and the Witch Witch’s castle in Narnia. Both would eventually erode and fall apart. When speaking of the “House” and the “castle” out thoughts may lead us to a physical building, stone or wooden. The castle, was cold and made from ice, just like everything else in Narnia was frozen. And, what happens to ice when the sun shines upon it (?), it melts and breaks apart. And although David’s House was a real concrete place, what God meant was that David and all of Israel are a house and a throne for God(self). As we celebrate Advent, Jesus’ birth, Jesus became the house. In Jewish history, the Temple was called God’s house and even today many refer to the church as God’s house, both are true. As we discussed yesterday, Jesus when praying at the Passover referred to his body as the new Temple.
“The Jews then said to him, “What sign can you show us for doing this?” Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” The Jews then said, “This temple has been under construction for forty-six years, and will you raise it up in three days?” But he was speaking of the temple of his body. After he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this; and they believed the scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.”
Paul writes this in the New Testament, 1 Corinthians 3:16, “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?” Another example is in John 15:4, “Abide in me as I abide in you.” Jesus said these words and was referencing that each of us is a house for God.
C.S.Lewis quotes George MacDonald in his book, “Mere Christianity” and it sums up and explains in great detail how God is truly abiding with and in us. Beautifully stated, in my humble opinion. *See reference below.
Switching back to our story “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” I believe the children were able to see what Narnia once was and could be again, from the stories/prophecies told by Mr. & Mrs. Beaver and Mr. Tumnus. The children joined Team Aslan. We too, have a choice of which team we want to represent, Team God/Jesus/Holy Spirit or the other team that has already proven unworthy and untrustworthy by falling from Heaven.
Questions for Reflection:
• Churches are meant to be safe and inviting places to encounter and deepen our relationships with God. How is your church living out it’s ministry as a house for God and God’s people? How could you play more of a role in that ministry?
— I am saddened by the empty churches since the COVID-19 pandemic is still soaring around the world. People are suffering, suffering from disconnectedness with friends and family and their communities of faith. I see first hand families that are suffering from depression and isolation. I continue to financially support my church but connection is difficult, we are all suffering, ministers and congregants alike. Prayer helps and knowing that God is always near is good for the soul but honestly, nothing changes a persons like a strong handshake, a full body hug, the touch of someone’s hand. These are the things that I miss and yearn for; as I know others do as well. I am deeply concerned for myself, my friends, my family, my colleagues, my church, my job, my financial future, the direction our country may be heading towards. I have more good days than bad, so I try not to beat myself up too much when I’m feeling down and more importantly, I try to be mindful of others having a not so good day. This is the time when we all need more patience , more understanding and more KINDNESS!
• Using the quotation from C.S.Lewis/George MacDonald, reflect on ways that God is building you into a palace for God(self)?
— I am reminded that God is merciful, slow to anger, full of love, eternal life, living, and everlasting.
*C.S.Lewis, Mere Christianity, 205.