• Introduction: It may not be one of those portions of scripture in 2Sa ch#7 that you think of when you think of Christmas.¬† And yet, there are some key portions of today‚Äôs OT reading from which there are many cross-references to the Christmas story.¬† 2Sa 7:1-16 starts out with King David wanting to build a temple for the Lord.¬†However, God responds by telling David he is *not* to build a temple for God, but instead God will build a house for David that will never come to an end.¬† Integral to this statement by God is an unconditional covenant made to David about his offspring I repeat from v16 of our text - 16His house and His kingdom shall be faithful in My presence forever; and His throne is straightened forever.
    • I will be referring to the bulletin insert that‚Äôs on blue paper throughout this message.
      • On one side is an outline of today‚Äôs message.¬† ‚ÄėSorry in advance about the 10pt font, but we needed to get everything on one side.¬†‚ėĻ
      • On the obverse side of the outline is an alternate translation of 2Sa 7:1-16.¬† I took this translation from the Orthodox Study Bible, which translates the Greek Septuagint into English instead of using the Masoretic Text manuscript.¬† I present this alternative, because I think it is clearer on the Christology of the message given to King David from God through Nathan the prophet.¬† The Masoretic Text seems to slant the message more toward Solomon as the seed of David.¬† If we only look at Solomon as the fulfillment of 2Sa ch#7, we miss the true covenant God gave to David and really even to us in 2020.
  • Let us Pray:¬† Lord, You gave to us the benefit of an unconditional covenant to King David that from David‚Äôs own body will come a King whose reign will endure forever.¬† We can take confidence in this covenant just like all the other covenants and promises You have made.¬† We celebrate the first coming of this seed of David is who came to us in that stable some 2000yrs ago.¬† We also look forward to His return in glory!¬† Send Your Spirit to keep reminding us of Your faithfulness to us though we have not been faithful.¬† Keep the hope alive in us that we are Your own and will live with You in Your Son‚Äôs kingdom forever.¬† We entrust this petition to Your Son Jesus who also is the seed of David, who reigns with You Holy Lord God, Heavenly Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.¬† Amen.
  • Background:¬†2Sa¬†ch#7 starts out with David looking around and seeing he has a house and security, he becomes motivated to build a temple for the Lord.¬† It didn‚Äôt seem right to David to be sitting comfortably in his house, while the ark of the covenant sat outside in a tent.¬† Nathan the prophet encourages David to plan to build a house for the Lord.¬†It didn‚Äôt take long for the Lord to correct Nathan on his error in encouraging David to build a temple.¬† God said to Nathan later that night, ‚ÄúGo and tell My servant David, ‚ÄėThus says the Lord: ‚ÄúDo not build a house for Me to dwell in. To this day, I have not dwelt in a house since the time I brought the sons of Israel up from Egypt, and I walked among you in a temporary place of lodging and in a tent, wherever I went with all of Israel.‚ÄĚ‚Äô‚ÄĚ
    • Okay, so the message is clear, Nathan needs to go back to David and give him the bad news.¬†As they say on TV - But wait; there‚Äôs more!¬† And this is one of those examples of when God says ‚Äúno‚ÄĚ to a plan we have, only because He has something even better in mind.¬† God doesn‚Äôt want David to build Him a house.¬† That doesn‚Äôt mean there won‚Äôt ever be a temple to come and worship the Lord.¬† We see this in v13 of our text - 13He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish his throne forever.¬†The ‚Äúhe‚ÄĚ is in reference to the seed of David.¬† To be the seed of anyone means to be an offspring of that someone.¬† What the Lord had in mind instead for David is a promise that an offspring of David will build the house of David (royal dynasty) (v11) which will last forever (v16).¬† That is what we glean from the following - 12And it shall come about, when your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will raise up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will prepare his kingdom. ¬†14I will be a father to him, and he shall be to Me a son. And if he commits iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men and with the blows of the sons of men. 15But I will not take My mercy from him, as I took it from those whom I withdrew from My presence. 16And his house will be made sure, and his kingdom shall be forever.‚ÄĚ ‚Äô ‚ÄĚ
    • This promise made by God to David was not the start of the nation of Israel.¬† God was actually building Israel ever since the days of Abraham.¬†We conclude this from a covenant God gave to Abraham in Gen 15:18 - 18¬†On that day the¬†Lord¬†made a covenant with Abram, saying, ‚ÄúTo your¬†descendants I have given this land, From¬†the river of Egypt as far as the great river, the river Euphrates:.¬†That covenant was made with Abram, later renamed Abraham, about 1200yrs before David.¬† It would take four generations, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, the Joseph to get to be 75 people in number.¬† In only four more generations after the sons of Jacob settled in Egypt, the family would depart from Egypt for the Promised Land with about 2,000,000 men, women, and children.¬† We are 3,000yrs after David, and it may look like the Abraham Covenant was fulfilled and has waned, but the Promised Land still has not been fulfilled completely in the context of these covenants as of 2020.
    • In 2Sa ch#7, God committed to build David‚Äôs royal house so that the promise to Abraham to offspring having peace may be fulfilled - 10And I will appoint a place for My people Israel and will plant them so that they may dwell in a place of their own and be anxious no more. No more shall the sons of wickedness humiliate them, as they have done since the beginning, 11since the days I appointed judges over My people Israel, and I shall give you rest from all your enemies. Await the Lord to tell you when to build Him a house. ¬†To have anything get built, there needs to be times of peace.¬† No major building projects take place when there is war when everyone is either a soldier or supporting a soldier.¬† That peace had finally come to the Israelites under King David around a 1000BC.
      • The promise of vv10-11 is almost like a reaffirmation of the Abrahamic Covenant I just noted.¬† I gave some dates and numbers above to provide a perspective on the covenant to Abraham and the covenant made to David in our text for today.¬† These covenants are unconditional like the one given to Noah - 11¬†I establish My covenant with you; and all flesh shall¬†never again be eliminated by the waters of a flood,¬†nor shall there again be a flood to destroy the earth.‚Ä̬† There has *never* been a cataclysmic flood since Noah.¬† That flood occurred around 5,000yrs ago.¬† No flood has come close to even covering an entire decently-sized country or state.
      • God‚Äôs covenant with Abraham regarding the Promised Land will be for Abraham‚Äôs children. ¬†God was specific to Abraham with details about his direct descendants in Gen 15:13-16 - 13¬†Then¬†God¬†said to Abram, ‚ÄúKnow for certain that¬†your¬†descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs,¬†where¬†they will be enslaved and oppressed for¬†four hundred years.¬†14¬†But I will also judge the nation whom they will serve, and afterward they will come out¬†with¬†many possessions.¬†15¬†As for you,¬†you shall go to your fathers in peace; you will be buried at a good old age.¬†16¬†Then in¬†the fourth generation they will return here, for¬†the wrongdoing of the Amorite is not yet complete.‚ÄĚ
        • However, the Apostle Paul made clear by inspiration that all who believe in Jesus are Abraham‚Äôs children ‚Äď 16¬†For this reason¬†it is¬†by faith, in order that¬†it may be¬†in accordance with¬†grace, so that the promise will be guaranteed to¬†all the¬†descendants, not only to¬†those who are of the Law, but also to¬†those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is¬†the father of us all,¬† (Rom 4:16)
      • These three covenants we‚Äôve just covered along with all other covenants God has given throughout His word *will* take place! We have our confidence the Lord‚Äôs word will accomplish all that was promised as recorded by the prophet Isaiah - 11¬†So will My¬†word be which goes out of My mouth; It will¬†not return to Me empty without¬†accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding¬†in the purpose¬†for which I sent it. (Isa 55:11)
  • Analysis:¬†The unconditional covenant God made with David is ultimately fulfilled in the kingship of Christ, who was born of the tribe of Judah and the house and lineage of David.
    • We can confirm this from the Gospel reading for today.¬† Recall from the visitation of the angel Gabriel to the virgin Mary, as Gabriel is explaining to Mary the purpose of the child she will bear - 32¬†He will be great and will be called the Son of¬†the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him¬†the throne of His father David;¬†33¬†and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever,¬†and His kingdom will have no end.‚ÄĚ (Luke 1:32-33)¬† Can you imagine being Mary and hearing this message from someone who just showed up from out of nowhere?¬† We later learn from the Gospels both Joseph and Mary were devout Jews and followed the Law of the Lord.¬† They were most likely familiar with the covenants God made with their forefathers, Noah, Abraham, and David.¬† This unborn child Mary was about to conceive will be given the throne of David and reign forever.¬† The child will be the Messiah all Israel was awaiting!¬† Mary wondered how this would happen since she hadn‚Äôt had relations with any man at that point.¬† However, I would imagine she also wondered how a mortal man born of a mortal woman would somehow reign forever.
      • The baby Jesus to whom Mary would give birth has both divine and human natures.¬† Jesus had to become of the same flesh and blood that we have so He could share in our humanity as well as be God.¬† God the Father would not have been able to accept the perfect sacrifice Jesus made for our sins had Jesus not been a member of the human race.¬† There had to be payment for the sins all of us committed, and that payment needed to be from someone of the human race.¬† The Apostle Paul wrote about Jesus our Savior being - 2¬†which He¬†promised beforehand through His¬†prophets [of God] in the holy Scriptures,¬†3¬†concerning His Son, who was born¬†of a¬†descendant of David¬†according to the flesh,¬†4¬†who was declared¬†the Son of God with power according to the¬†Spirit of holiness¬†by the resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord‚Ķ¬† (Rom 1:2-4)¬† Paul is making clear right at the start of the Book of Romans Jesus is man of the seed of David and Jesus is God.
    • The only potentially troublesome verse of our text for today is 2Sa 7:14.¬† When I read v14 from the ESV, it comes off as implying Jesus, the ultimate Seed of David, will do wrong.¬† Let me read from the ESV again -¬† 14¬†I will be a father to him and he will be a son to Me;¬†when he does wrong, I will discipline him with a rod of men and with strokes of sons of mankind‚Ķ¬† Now let me read from v14 as found in your bulletin insert ‚Äď 14I will be a father to him, and he shall be to Me a son. And if he commits iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men and with the blows of the sons of men.
      • The Greek of v14 is different in a way that I think is more accurate, which is why I reprinted an English translation based upon the Septuagint.¬† When reading the version from the ESV, one can get the wrong impression the seed of David will commit sin.¬† It is not an ‚Äúif‚ÄĚ, but a ‚Äúwhen‚ÄĚ he does wrong.¬† There is a difference between these, isn‚Äôt there? ¬†In fact, my rather raw translation of the Greek of v14 sounds like this - ‚Äúand if therefore the unrighteousness comes to him‚ÄĚ.¬† The ‚Äúunrighteousness *comes* to him‚ÄĚ phrase is a whole lot different than the Seed of David committing wrong.
      • Another problem I have is which of any of the Davidic kings can you recall were beaten by men?¬† Does anyone beat a king with a rod, or many blows from the sons of mankind?
        • The only son of David I can think of who was a king and who endure being beaten with a rod and with blows from the sons of mankind is Jesus.¬† He endured beatings from the time He was arrested on that first Maundy Thursday all the way to Golgotha, where He was hung on a cross.
      • The Apostle Paul wrote - 21¬†[God] made [Jesus] who¬†knew no sin¬†to be¬†sin in our behalf, so that we might become the¬†righteousness of God in Him. (2Co 5:21) ¬†Hopefully, you can see why I would want to use a more accurate translation of 2Sa ch#7.¬†The unrighteousness that would come to the Seed of David, would be¬†supplied by you and me and everyone who has ever lived.¬† Jesus didn‚Äôt commit any sin.¬† If He did, then He didn‚Äôt suffer an innocent death on the cross.¬† The blood He shed would not satisfy the sacrifice for sins committed, because it would not have been pure of sin.¬† We are the cause of the unrighteousness that came to Him.
  • Application:¬†If these unconditional covenants have come to pass, shouldn‚Äôt we have confidence that the remaining covenants will also be fulfilled?¬† When the scriptures state there is life after death, and that there are one of two places a soul can wind up, we have reason to believe this is all true.¬†The covenants, promises, and prophecies which have already been fulfilled, testify to the integrity of our Lord and His word.¬† If that is all true then Jesus, who ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty must already be reigning from heaven.
    • The Apostle Paul provided guidance on what we need to do, knowing God‚Äôs word is truth.¬†We should confess Jesus rules in our life.¬† We can do that with words, but sometimes actions speak even louder than words.¬†Let me make this point with reading a portion of 2Co 4:7-11 - 7¬†But we have [the Gospel] ¬†treasure in¬†earthen containers, so that the extraordinary¬†greatness¬†of¬†the power will be of God and not from ourselves;¬†8¬†we are¬†afflicted in every way, but not¬†crushed;¬†perplexed, but not despairing;¬†9¬†persecuted, but not¬†abandoned;¬†struck down, but not destroyed;¬†10¬†always carrying around in the body the dying of Jesus, so that¬†the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.¬† I‚Äôve had the chance to speak with most of you about your thoughts of this Covid crisis, and there is a common theme.¬† Believers in Christ who trust in His word, are not scared of getting sick from the Covid virus like those who do not have the hope we have in Christ.¬† Yes, there are concerns of being in a prolonged illness, and maybe what an extended illness would cost financially, but I‚Äôve heard confessions from you about how you have trust in the Lord to get you through this.¬† People on the outside of this church don‚Äôt have that confidence.¬† Our hope in the Lord comes off as a flippant attitude or a smugness that somehow we are better than others.¬† We aren‚Äôt any better than anyone outside of this church.¬† The difference for believers is our reliance on these words from the Lord we have heard through faith on today and all days leading up to today.¬† Those actions of faith speak louder than words.
  • Conclusion:¬†As we read from¬†v10 of our text, the day is coming when we will get to experience living in the home of our own, no longer being disturbed.¬† We will not have to worry about Covid, because there are no diseases in heaven.¬†We will not have to worry about violence leveled against us, because the violent have no place in heaven.¬† God the Father has appointed to reign forever His Son Jesus, God‚Äôs one and only Son, who is also the Seed of David.¬† Jesus‚Äô house is already made. ¬†His kingdom shall be forever. ¬†These are the last words on your bulletin insert.¬† You may want to pin that up somewhere around where you look frequently to have as a reminder of who really is in charge.¬† Maybe hang it somewhere around the TV so the next time you watch the news, you can refer to Jesus already ruling this very moment.
    • We will live eternally in a place Jesus has prepared for us.¬† Jesus said as much in John 14:2-3 - 2¬†In My Father‚Äôs house are many¬†rooms; if¬†that¬†were not¬†so,¬†I would have told you, because¬†I am going¬†there¬†to prepare a place for you.¬†3¬†And if I go and prepare a place for you,¬†I am coming again and will take you to Myself, so that¬†where I am,¬†there¬†you also will be.¬†
    • What Jesus said in the Gospel of John is most certainly true.¬† And this is just as true as all the other covenants and promises were and are true!¬† As we confessed in the Nicene Creed a moment ago, Jesus will come again with glory to judge both the living and the dead, whose kingdom will have no end. Amen.