SERMON TITLE: God’s Chosen King (pt2)
TEXT: 2 Samuel - 7:1-16 (ESV)
SPEAKER: Josh Hanson
Watch the sermon here
Take notes here
As always it’s a joy to be with all of you this weekend at Gateway Church. And there’s one thing I want you to know — and this is true if you’re worshiping with us for the first time or are joining us at our North Main Campus — I want you to know that God loves you and that I love you too.
We’re continuing our Finding Jesus series this weekend. This is a series where I introduce you to a book of the Bible that you may or may not be familiar with. I’ll give you an overview of the book — followed by a closer look at a particular section of it. And then — and this is what I hope will be most helpful — each week I’ll show you how to find Jesus. I’ll show you how to find the one story the whole Bible is telling — the story of Jesus. Because the whole Bible is ultimately pointing us to him.
And in this iteration of our Finding Jesus series — we’re looking at the books referred to as the history section of the Old Testament. What these books have in common is that they cover historical events in the life of God’s people. Some of the books cover hundreds of years while others cover a brief period of time — but — together — they tell the history of God’s people. And — today — we’ll be looking at the book of Second Samuel. So if you have your Bible, please turn with me to Second Samuel chapter seven.
In previous weeks we’ve looked at Joshua, Judges, Ruth, and First Samuel. And in the coming weeks we’ll look at First and Second Kings, and First and Second Chronicles. And I hope that you’ll grow to know and love these books and spend time in them — finding Jesus — and the joy that’s found only in him.
BACKGROUND OF SECOND SAMUEL
So let’s take some time to get our bearings in the book of Second Samuel — and I hope you’ll see that this is a book you’ll want to go read for yourself.
Now — I mentioned this last week — when we looked at First Samuel — but the first thing you should know about Second Samuel is that it — and First Samuel — are really one book. They’re split into two parts due to them originally being written on scrolls — which were much more limited in length than the books we’re used to reading. And — the content of our two books — was written on two separate scrolls. And that’s why we have a First and Second Samuel in our Bibles.
Last week I also mentioned how the historical books — which we’re covering in this series — pick up where the books of Moses end. God’s people — after being rescued out of Egypt — are led by Moses to the border of the Promised Land. They sent spies into the land to check out their new home — but the majority of the spies gave a report that caused alarm resulting in the Israelites distrusting God. So — instead of entering into the Promised Land — an entire generation wanders in the wilderness for forty years until they all die.
Moses — along with Joshua and Caleb — the two spies who trusted in God’s faithfulness — arrive at the border of the Promised Land again — with the next generation of Israelites — however Moses’ time on earth had come to an end. This is when God appoints Joshua to be the leader of the Israelites and — under his leadership — the Israelites conquer the Promised Land — which we saw in the book named after Joshua earlier in this series.
After Joshua — there’s a brief period where the people faithfully serve and worship the One true God — but then — in the book of Judges — we read about the people turning their backs on God. They commit apostasy over and over again. Yet God — demonstrating his love and faithfulness to his people — raised up judges — various men and women — who act as saviors for the people — delivering them from the consequences of their rebellion — as they lead the people back to faith in God.
And — it’s during the time of the judges — that the story of Ruth takes place. A love story of an outsider welcomed into God’s family. And the book of Ruth ends by telling us that the son born to her — would have a descendant who would be king of God’s people. Which echoes back to the book of Judges and a recurring phrase in the book — “in those days there was no king in Israel.” And the two books of Samuel record the transition between the time of the judges to the time of the monarchy.
Samuel — who the books are named after — is a prophet called by God to anoint the first king of Israel — whose name is Saul— we meet him in First Samuel. Things don’t go well for Saul and he ends up dying in battle at the end of First Samuel — his death is repeated in the opening of our book. Yet — this tragic ending for Saul began much earlier — for while he was still king — God had removed his anointing from Saul due to his refusal to repent of his sin. God tells Samuel to go to the house of Jesse to anoint Israel’s next king — whose name is David.
Now most of First Samuel revolves around Saul chasing after David — trying multiple times to kill him. Saul’s jealous of David — he realizes that God has anointed David to replace him as king — so he wants David dead. But — since I’ve already spoiled it for you — Saul doesn’t get his wish — David lives — and Saul dies at the end of First Samuel — which leads us to the content of Second Samuel.
OVERVIEW OF SECOND SAMUEL
Things are great — beyond great, really — for the first ten chapters of Second Samuel. Saul’s no longer king and — what’s evident in the first ten chapters — is that David is blessed by God. Everything David does seems to be the best possible decision — he seems incapable of making mistakes — he’s nearly — dare I say it — the ideal king. But then chapter eleven happens — do you know what happens in chapter eleven? We come to the story of David and Bathsheba — which I mentioned briefly last week.
David makes some absolutely horrible decisions at this time in his life. He sees a married woman — he’s married himself, by the way — desires this married woman — has sex with her — and from this adulterous affair — Bathsheba becomes pregnant. Now — her husband’s been away fighting on David’s behalf in his army — so David’s in trouble — and he tries to cover things up. He summons Uriah — Bathsheba’s husband — back from the front lines hoping he’ll spend some “special time” with his wife to cover up that she’s already pregnant. But Uriah is a noble man — an honorable man — a man who says...
2 Samuel 11:11 (NLT)
11 “The Ark and the armies of Israel and Judah are living in tents, and Joab and my master’s men are camping in the open fields. How could I go home to wine and dine and sleep with my wife? I swear that I would never do such a thing.”
And — for such an God-honoring stance — David has Uriah murdered in battle. He sends Uriah back out to the front lines with a note instructing the man in charge to put Uriah in a situation in which he will certainly be killed. And that’s exactly what happens.
Yet the depths of David’s depravity have not yet reached rock bottom. After Uriah’s death he takes Bathsheba to be his wife — probably thinking something like “all's well that ends well.” Well he wasn’t fooling God.
2 Samuel 12:1–20 (NLT)
1 So the Lord sent Nathan the prophet to tell David this story: “There were two men in a certain town. One was rich, and one was poor. 2 The rich man owned a great many sheep and cattle. 3 The poor man owned nothing but one little lamb he had bought. He raised that little lamb, and it grew up with his children. It ate from the man’s own plate and drank from his cup. He cuddled it in his arms like a baby daughter. 4 One day a guest arrived at the home of the rich man. But instead of killing an animal from his own flock or herd, he took the poor man’s lamb and killed it and prepared it for his guest.” 5 David was furious. “As surely as the Lord lives,” he vowed, “any man who would do such a thing deserves to die! 6 He must repay four lambs to the poor man for the one he stole and for having no pity.” 7 Then Nathan said to David, “You are that man! The Lord, the God of Israel, says: I anointed you king of Israel and saved you from the power of Saul. 8 I gave you your master’s house and his wives and the kingdoms of Israel and Judah. And if that had not been enough, I would have given you much, much more. 9 Why, then, have you despised the word of the Lord and done this horrible deed? For you have murdered Uriah the Hittite with the sword of the Ammonites and stolen his wife. 10 From this time on, your family will live by the sword because you have despised me by taking Uriah’s wife to be your own. 11 “This is what the Lord says: Because of what you have done, I will cause your own household to rebel against you. I will give your wives to another man before your very eyes, and he will go to bed with them in public view. 12 You did it secretly, but I will make this happen to you openly in the sight of all Israel.” 13 Then David confessed to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” Nathan replied, “Yes, but the Lord has forgiven you, and you won’t die for this sin. 14 Nevertheless, because you have shown utter contempt for the word of the Lord by doing this, your child will die.” 15 After Nathan returned to his home, the Lord sent a deadly illness to the child of David and Uriah’s wife. 16 David begged God to spare the child. He went without food and lay all night on the bare ground. 17 The elders of his household pleaded with him to get up and eat with them, but he refused. 18 Then on the seventh day the child died. David’s advisers were afraid to tell him. “He wouldn’t listen to reason while the child was ill,” they said. “What drastic thing will he do when we tell him the child is dead?” 19 When David saw them whispering, he realized what had happened. “Is the child dead?” he asked. “Yes,” they replied, “he is dead.” 20 Then David got up from the ground, washed himself, put on lotions, and changed his clothes. He went to the Tabernacle and worshiped the Lord. After that, he returned to the palace and was served food and ate.
David accepts the judgment of God upon him for his sin — he receives the consequences for his rebellion. Though he first tried to cover things up — when called out by Nathan for his sin — he didn’t bow up and dig in his heels — he accepts God’s rebuke through Nathan and turns from his sin and turns back to God — David repents. This is why he worships God in response to his child’s death which — I know — seems rather strange. In his response of worship — we see that David holds no animosity towards God for the death of his son. We may wonder why it’s good or right for the innocent child to die — but David — the father of the child — doesn’t wonder if it’s good or right. He accepts God’s judgment as good and right and just and we know this because of his response — he worships God.
David — a man after God’s own heart — stumbles — and stumbles royally. His fall is great — yet he receives God’s discipline for his rebellion — proving that he is — indeed — a man after God’s own heart. How do you respond to God’s discipline in your life? What’s your response when someone points out sin in your life? And — I know, I know — they didn’t follow the manual on what to say, how to say it, and so on — so — really — your sin isn’t the problem — how they pointed it out to you is the problem — but it isn’t! For the man or woman whose heart is after God will receive God’s discipline — even through others — and turn back to him — and worship him regardless of the consequences of their sin. What is your response to God’s discipline in your life?
The consequences for David’s sin continue through the next eight or so chapters — all that Nathan said will happen does happen. But — then — in chapter nineteen — David is restored. Redemption happens — again — for the people of God. David’s restoration — in fact — both foreshadows and echoes the fall and restoration of the people of God as a nation. From what we saw in the book of Judges to what we’ll see at later points in their history — God’s people will fail, will rebel, will sin in grotesque ways — and yet God will draw them back to him, redeeming, rescuing, and restoring them because he is always faithful — and he always keeps his promises to his people.
And — with that as our overview of the book — hopefully you’ve had time to find 2nd Samuel chapter seven — we’ll begin in verse one. And — for context — this takes place in the time when David is flourishing as king.
2 Samuel 7:1–16 (ESV)
1 Now when the king lived in his house and the Lord had given him rest from all his surrounding 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.” 4 But 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? 6 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 for my dwelling. 7 In 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?” ’ 8 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. 9 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. 10 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, 11 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. 12 When 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. 13 He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 14 I 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, 15 but my steadfast love will not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away from before you. 16 And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me. Your throne shall be established forever.’ ”
OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD
For those of us who’ve been following Jesus for some time — and if you’re newer to the Christian faith or are still trying to figure out what you believe — let me tell you — what I’m about to say will eventually be an obstacle you will face — at some point in our Christian journey we start to get things backwards. What do I mean? Well — like David — in the beginning of our chapter — we start to make what we do for God the point of our relationship with him — instead of what he has and is doing for us being the point of our relationship.
The chapter begins with David making an observation: “I live in a house and the ark of God — which represents the presence of God — lives in a tent.” And this — rightly so — seems off. So David consults with Nathan — the man who will later confront David about his sin with Bathsheba — and Nathan does something that I find interesting because it makes him relatable. After David tells Nathan his concern, Nathan tells him to follow his heart — he even adds “for the Lord is with you.” But — later that night — God speaks to Nathan and corrects him. “I don’t need David to build me a house — David needs me to establish his house.”
So how does this make Nathan relatable? Well apparently Nathan spoke on behalf of God before he sought the will of God. What David said to him seemed like a no-brainer — but it wasn’t the will of God. And how easy it is for us to do this in our relationship with God. Where a decision seems like a no-brainer — even God honoring — nothing more than “following our heart” — and yet — we fail to do the most important step in making our decision: seeking God’s will. Going to him in prayer. Opening up his Word to see if he’s already spoken on the matter. Allowing him to show us how we’re confusing our role in our relationship with him — like believing what’s most important in our relationship is what we do for God — and that’s not true! What’s most important is what God has done for us.
I mean it seems like this is what the chapter is trying to make obvious to us. Just look at what God’s Word tells us in the message God tells Nathan to give to David.
Verse 8 - I chose you to be king.
Verse 9 - I have been with you wherever you have gone.
Verse 9 - I have fought for you.
Verse 9 - I will make your name great.
Verse 10 - I will provide for my people.
Verses 10 and 11 - I will protect my people.
Verse 11 - I will continue your lineage.
Verse 11 - I will give you rest from your enemies
Verse 12 - I will raise up your offspring and establish his kingdom.
Verse 14 - I will be a father to him.
Verse 14 - I will discipline him.
Verse 15 - My love will not depart from him.
Verse 16 - Your house, and throne, and kingdom shall be established forever.
The I, I, I’s and my, my, my’s are all God, God, God. This is all about what he’s done and is doing for David — promises God has made to David that are undeserved! Promises God makes even while knowing that Bathsheba and Uriah are in David’s not too distant future. This is God’s grace on display — his undeserved favor and blessing to men and women like you and me.
Yet — what we’re also reading here — is what’s known as God’s covenant with David. Meaning — this is a special promise that God is making. This is a covenant promise that continues the story of God’s faithfulness to his people as seen in the covenant he made with Noah — I will never again flood the earth — and Abraham — that he’s going to be the father of a great nation and through his descendants all families of the earth will be blessed — and the Mosaic covenant — that God’s people are to be “a holy kingdom, in distinction from the offspring of the serpent” — and the covenant that will come later in the history of God’s people — the New Covenant.
Jeremiah 31:31–34 (NLT)
31 “The day is coming,” says the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and Judah. 32 This covenant will not be like the one I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand and brought them out of the land of Egypt. They broke that covenant, though I loved them as a husband loves his wife,” says the Lord. 33 “But this is the new covenant I will make with the people of Israel after those days,” says the Lord. “I will put my instructions deep within them, and I will write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. 34 And they will not need to teach their neighbors, nor will they need to teach their relatives, saying, ‘You should know the Lord.’ For everyone, from the least to the greatest, will know me already,” says the Lord. “And I will forgive their wickedness, and I will never again remember their sins.”
And all of these covenants are the fulfillment of the eternal covenant the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit made with each other in eternity past. Their plan to accomplish our salvation — a plan made before God spoke all things into existence. This is what is called the covenant of redemption.
But the covenant of our text — the Davidic covenant — is the covenant indicating that the king of Israel is to stand as a representative for all of God’s people. The king is called to obey God and to lead the people in obedience of all of God’s commands. And — though king after king will fail to do this — including David — in this covenant God promises that one day a King will come — from the line of David — who will fulfill all of the obligations of God’s people — obligations we’ve all failed to accomplish — as he — this promised King — obeys God as our representative.
FINDING JESUS: THE KING’S COVENANT FAITHFULNESS
Ever since the garden — instead of obedience — we’ve chosen to rebel and disobey God. We’ve never kept our end of the covenants — we’re the ones who’ve broken our promises to God — he’s never broken his promises to us. And — what becomes the ultimate twist in God’s story is that these covenants all find their fulfillment — not in our obedience — but in Christ’s obedience. This is why we must remember that our relationship with God isn’t primarily based on what we do for him — but is based primarily on what he has done for us.
You see nearly all religions are based on some sort of works — some kind of obligation that must be fulfilled in order to appease the god or gods of that religion. And what makes Christianity unique isn’t that we believe differently in this regard — we do believe that there are obligations that must be fulfilled — there is a standard that must be met — there is a promise that must be kept in order for a person to have a right standing with God. What’s unique about Christianity is that we believe that everyone’s failed to fulfill our end of the covenant. You and me — we’re all promise-breakers — so why would we ever let our relationship with God be based primarily on what we do for him — that’s a recipe for disaster!
And this truth — that all of us are promise-breakers — would lead us to a place of hopelessness until we realize that what’s also unique about the Christian faith is the belief that it’s not what we do that saves us and sustains our relationship with God. It’s what Jesus has done in our place — the work he’s accomplished for us — that saves and sustains us. This is what makes Christianity distinct from all other religions. It’s Jesus’s promise-keeping that makes us promise-breakers have a right standing with God. It’s his faithfulness to us — not ours to him — not even as his followers — that matters most. Does what we do matter? Absolutely! But not nearly as much as we’d like to think — especially when compared to what Christ has done for us.
Just think of the night when he was betrayed — Jesus celebrated the Passover meal with his disciples. The Passover meal was a celebration of God’s judgment passing over the Israelites who put the blood of a lamb on their doorposts. The Egyptians made no such sacrifice and experienced God’s judgment for their sin — but the blood of the lamb covered the sins of the Israelites — thus God’s judgment passed over them.
And during the Passover meal Jesus...
Luke 22:19–22 (ESV)
19 Took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 20 And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood. 21 But behold, the hand of him who betrays me is with me on the table. 22 For the Son of Man goes as it has been determined, but woe to that man by whom he is betrayed!”
Notice that Jesus says he’s going to have his blood poured out “as it has been determined.” When was this plan determined — this plan that Jesus would shed his blood on the cross — and who determined this plan? The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit made this plan before time began. This is the covenant of redemption being fulfilled. This is the culmination of all of the covenants coming together — for all of the covenants were leading to Jesus and his sacrifice on the cross as our King and Savior.
You see, Jesus is the King promised in the Davidic covenant who stood in the place of his people — fulfilling our end of the covenant. Solomon — David’s son who will become king — like all sinful kings after him — is unable to fulfill the part of the king in God’s covenant with David. And this is why Jesus came from Heaven to earth — to fulfill our part of this covenant. And not just this covenant — just fulfilled our part in all of the covenants because God knew we humans are all promise-breakers — so he graciously kept his and our side of these covenant promises — so that we might be redeemed, saved, and rescued. That’s the extent of God’s love for us — that’s the extent of his love for you and his love for me.
And — now — the question for all of us — Christian or not — is how will we respond to all that Jesus has done for us? Our response does matter — what we do and how we live — does matter. But — like David wanting to build a house for the ark of God — God wants to remind each of us of all that he’s done for us because he loves us. For his love is primary — his love comes first — his love for you is to be the motivation for how you live, why you do what you do, and what you spend your life on. His love is primary — and when it is primary in your and my life — we will live differently — radically different — because God’s love for us and faithfulness to us will be our guide.
So know that God loves you. And he’s demonstrated his love for you in sending his Son — Jesus — the descendant of David — the promised King — who gave his life to secure his people’s freedom from Satan and sin and their victory of death and Hell. Let’s pray together.
Heavenly Father, thank you for your covenant faithfulness to David and to us. Thank you for your divine determination to never stop loving your people. Thank you that your plans always come to pass and for gently correcting us when we mistakenly think we know your will. And — yes — we thank you for your discipline and rebuke when we sin — for your discipline is your mercy towards us — it’s how you draw us back to you in repentance.
Spirit of God, cleanse us of our sins. Sanctify us — make us holy — wash us, we ask. This is the powerful work that you do for the people of God. You make us acceptable in our Heavenly Father’s sight by making us spotless — without a stain or wrinkle. Draw any whose hearts are stained by sins they’ve tried to wash away on their own — draw them to you and your cleansing power — and may they trust that your cleansing work is sufficient.
And — Jesus — you and the work you’ve done on our behalf as the King of kings — is the reason why we can be cleansed of our sins. For it is by your blood that our crimson stains are washed white as snow. It’s by your sacrifice that we’re made holy. It’s by your loving commitment — to fulfill our end of the covenants — that we’re made right with God. No words can express our gratitude to you for all that you’ve done. So we ask that “thank you” would be enough. Jesus, thank you. In your name we pray. Amen.
May you go responding to God’s love for you — remembering all that King Jesus has done for you. Amen.
God loves you. I love you. You are sent.