Further Reflection on 2 Samuel 7

2 Samuel 7
9th Sunday after Pentecost – August 13, 2017 (pm)

  • Without a doubt one of the key themes of 1&2 Samuel is the magnification of God’s glory by the achievement of His purpose and plan even through dreadfully fallen people.
    • The odds are stacked against God’s plan from the beginning as we meet a corrupt and apathetic priest, Eli, who is blind and bloated on the sacrifices of God’s people.
    • And the picture doesn’t brighten at all as we meet Saul, the paranoid and self-preoccupied king whom the people wanted to rule over them.
    • Then there are periodic windows into the unsettling shortcomings even of the Lord’s anointed, David, (the) man after his own heart (1Sa.13:14).
  • But if this is one of the key themes, surely we’re supposed to learn from it, as we spotlighted this morning, that this God is worthy of our worship and obedience even when we don’t fully understand what He’s doing, or when it’s unpleasant to us.
    • That’s why these stories are in our Bible! Rom.154 For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hopewe might be strengthened to press on in obedience looking forward to the Lord’s return—His completed plan.
    • Speaking of the exodus, Paul wrote: 1Co.106 Now these things took place as examples for us, that we might not desire evil as they did.
  • One of the things we see about this God from this morning’s text is that He’s not a God Who is shaped according to the noblest imaginings of His people.
    • He is a God Who does what He pleases! And what pleases Him often confuses us, even though it’s simply His perfect holiness being put on display.
      • When Uzzah touched the ark, for instance, and was struck dead in the midst of Israel’s celebration at the ark’s return, we’re shown what God is like. And we can clearly see He’s not a God we would design ourselves (Davis 75).
    • He is a God Who has relationship with His children. They don’t engage with Him by formal rules and regulations, but in dynamic, real-life, real-time, relational obedience and service.
      And this is our main lesson about Him this evening.
      • This is what we see when, for instance, Samuel said to Saul: 1Sa.1522 … Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams. Now, sacrifice is (obedience)! But, we can offer sacrifices with a hard heart, as Saul was doing.
      • We saw this principle illustrated in this morning’s text when David inquired of the Lord (2Sa.5:23) about how to proceed when 2Sa.522 … the Philistines came up yet again and spread out in the Valley of Rephaim. He was given different instruction. The first time 2Sa.519 … the Lord said…, “Go up, for I will certainly give the Philistines into your hand.” But the second time 2Sa.523 … he said, “You shall not go up; go around to the rear, and come against them opposite the balsam trees. This is not a God we serve by following rules and regulations! This is a God we serve in dynamic relationship, honoring the principles of His Word, applied in today’s situations.
      •  We also see this same principle illustrated in a different scenario at the opening of 2Sa.7. 71 Now when the king lived in his house and the Lord had given him rest from all his surround-ing enemies, 2 the king said to Nathan the prophet, “See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells in a tent.” 3 And Nathan said to the king, “Go, do all that is in your heart for the Lord is with you.” And surely that was true. We see it explicitly stated back in 510. But that doesn’t mean David will always do the same thing in similar situations, like we just saw with attacking the Philistines. And it also doesn’t mean that every good thing David may want to do for God is preapproved by God, as here.
        • David’s instinct is good. And Nathan’s affirmation is well-intended. But they didn’t ask God about their plans! And He’s not a God we serve in any way we choose. Rather, He’s a God Who expects His children to seek Him for direction and enabling in each and every circumstance in their lives.
        • Sure, there are things we know are always wrong, and others we know are always right. The Ten Commandments set those out pretty clearly, as do the other imperatives of Scripture. But when it comes to seeking direction, and pursuing the Lord’s will, ask, and He will answer, just as He’s promised!
  • This is the view of God we get in the books of Samuel. This is the view of God we get in 2Sa.7. He is a God Who has a plan.
    He involves His people in achieving that plan. Yet, He will achieve His plan even if people work against Him, knowingly or unknowingly. But He has a plan!
    • It’s a plan that will magnify His glory.
    • It’s a plan the will achieve the good of His people.
    • And it’s a plan we gain appreciation for as we encounter especially the covenant-making passages in His Word, like 2Sa.7, where we’re shown a bit of the big picture and get a glimpse of the awesome expanse of His wisdom and knowledge and understanding and intentions!
    • So, His is a plan that is worthy of our allegiance. And our allegiance is displayed at very least as we acknowledge Him in our own plans and purposes, and as we submit our plans and purposes to Him for His approval, guidance, and direction.
  • David was utterly overwhelmed as He was introduced to God’s plan for an eternal kingship over His people. In part that was because David was such a central figure in God’s plan. But I believe it was even more because of the simple yet immense scope of God’s plan, even apart from David’s own role in it.
    • The evening before, building a house for God had seemed so grand! I bet David barely slept that night when Nathan was hearing from God—dreaming up possibilities, making plans!
    • But when presented with God’s plan, he said: 2Sa.725 … O Lord God, confirm forever the word that you have spoken concerning your servant and concerning his house, and do as you have spoken.
  • So, what is your response to God’s plan revealed? Are you more committed to His or your own? Does your commitment show inyour willing obedience to His revealed Word, and in your seeking of His real-time guidance and direction in all areas of your life?
    • His is the plan that is most aimed at His glory.
    • His is the plan that best achieves our good.
    • His is the plan that best redirects the sinful short-sightedness of our own plans and purposes, and helps us find our fullest satisfaction in Him, just as David clearly did here (2Sa.7:18-29).