TODAY’S READING FROM THE OLD TESTAMENT- 2 SAM 7:1-8:18
Even Nathan, the prophet, sometimes gets it wrong. He speaks what he thinks best based upon what he knows. When David tells him that he wants to build a house for the Lord (a permanent fixture for the Ark of the covenant), Nathan says, “Go for it.” (2 Samuel 7:3).
Then the Word of the Lord comes to Nathan, saying in effect, “Hold your horses. When did I ever say, ‘Why have you never built me a house of cedar?'” (2 Samuel 7:7)
Notice what the Lord does say:
I HAVE not dwelt in a house (7:6).
I HAVE been moving from place to place (7:7).
I HAVE been with you wherever you have gone (7:9a).
I HAVE cut off your enemies (7:9b).
I WILL make your name great (7:9c).
I WILL provide a place for my people Israel so they can have a home of their own and no longer be disturbed (7:10).
I WILL also give you rest from all your enemies (7:11).
I WILL establish a house for you (7:11).
Then we have a significant Messianic promise known as the Davidic covenant:
2 Samuel 7:12-16 12 “When your days are complete and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your descendant after you, who will come forth from you, 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 a father to him and he will be a son to Me; when he commits iniquity, I will correct him with the rod of men and the strokes of the sons of men, 15 but My lovingkindness shall not depart from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you. 16 Your house and your kingdom shall endure before Me forever; your throne shall be established forever.”‘”
God did not want David to build the temple. That assignment would be given to his son (Solomon). (This would foreshadow the fact that a spiritual house made of living stones would be built by the Greater Son of David, Jesus Christ).
The fact that God rejected David’s request that he himself would build a temple does not mean that God rejected David. He had something greater for David than the prestige of building the temple. God promised to build a dynasty from David, a kingdom that would reign eternally.
David’s earthly dynasty ended four centuries after this promise was given, but Jesus of Nazareth is a direct descendant of David. The Lord Jesus is the ultimate fulfillment of the Davidic covenant promise. The Apostle Peter declares this fact in his first sermon on the Day of Pentecost.
Acts 2:22-36 22 “Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know— 23 this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death. 24 “But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power. 25 “For David says of Him, ‘I SAW THE LORD ALWAYS IN MY PRESENCE; FOR HE IS AT MY RIGHT HAND, SO THAT I WILL NOT BE SHAKEN. 26 ‘THEREFORE MY HEART WAS GLAD AND MY TONGUE EXULTED; MOREOVER, MY FLESH ALSO WILL LIVE IN HOPE; 27 BECAUSE YOU WILL NOT ABANDON MY SOUL TO HADES, NOR ALLOW YOUR HOLY ONE TO UNDERGO DECAY. 28 ‘YOU HAVE MADE KNOWN TO ME THE WAYS OF LIFE; YOU WILL MAKE ME FULL OF GLADNESS WITH YOUR PRESENCE.‘ 29 “Brethren, I may confidently say to you regarding the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. 30 “And so, because he was a prophet and knew that GOD HAD SWORN TO HIM WITH AN OATH TO SEAT ONE OF HIS DESCENDANTS ON HIS THRONE, 31 he looked ahead and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that HE WAS NEITHER ABANDONED TO HADES, NOR DID His flesh SUFFER DECAY. 32 “This Jesus God raised up again, to which we are all witnesses. 33 “Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear. 34 “For it was not David who ascended into heaven, but he himself says: ‘THE LORD SAID TO MY LORD, “SIT AT MY RIGHT HAND, 35 UNTIL I MAKE YOUR ENEMIES A FOOTSTOOL FOR YOUR FEET.”‘ 36 “Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ—this Jesus whom you crucified.”
David’s response to this covenant promise is one of worship and praise. “Who am I?” (7:18) “What more can I say?” (7:20) “How great You are, Sovereign Lord!” (7:22) This also emboldens David to make a prayer request:
2 Samuel 7:29 29 “Now therefore, may it please You to bless the house of Your servant, that it may continue forever before You. For You, O Lord GOD, have spoken; and with Your blessing may the house of Your servant be blessed forever.”
In Chapter 8, we have the record of David subduing his enemies: The Philistines, Moabites (the descendants of Lot who lived East of the Dead Sea), Hadadezer, the king of Zobah, and the Arameans.
David’s defeat of the King of Zobah fulfilled the promise given to Abraham that Israel would control the land as far north as the Euphrates River.
Genesis 15:18 18 On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your descendants I have given this land, From the river of Egypt as far as the great river, the river Euphrates:
At this time, we see that David is accumulating precious metals (silver, gold, and bronze).
David would collect the materials that would eventually be used by Solomon when he became king (1 Kings 5-7).
David reigned over all Israel. For a season, it would be a united kingdom.
2 Samuel 8:15 15 So David reigned over all Israel; and David administered justice and righteousness for all his people.
TODAY’S READING FROM THE NEW TESTAMENT – JOHN 14:15-31
One of the signs of having the new life (conversion, regeneration by the Holy Spirit- Romans 8:9) is that we will have ‘new loves.’ We will love the Lord above all. We will love our neighbor as ourselves. We will love as He loves (John 13:34). We will love what He loves (the church- Ephesians 5:25; 1 John 3:14). We will love the lost and seek to win them to Christ (Luke 19:10). We also have this promise- that we will love and keep His commands (John 14:15).
In the Upper Room Discourse, Jesus repeatedly talks about what He will give His disciples as a result of His going to the cross to propitiate God’s justice. He promises to be with us, (14:16) to be in us, (14:17) adopt us, (14:18), show Himself to us when the world cannot see Him, (14:19) and keep us alive in Him forever (14:19-20). He will do this all by the Holy Spirit, the Promised Counselor (the PARAKLETE- literally- one called alongside to help’).
If you want to know who really loves the Lord, it is not discernible by the way they feel or what they have experienced, but by the course of action, they take. They will obey His commands (14:21). Those who obey Him will have a greater revelation of Who He Is (14:21).
The Holy Spirit is the Resident Teacher in the life of the believer. He witnesses to the truth of the written Word. He reminds us of what God has done and what God has said in Christ (14:26). He ministers peace to our innermost being.
Then Jesus says, “My peace I give unto you.” (This speaks of subjective peace- peace of heart and mind. It is the peace of His abiding presence within, by virtue of the Holy Spirit abiding.)
DO NOT LET YOUR HEARTS BE TROUBLED. This gives us a hint that our own hearts and minds are prone to being anxious. But because of the promises of God and the Holy Spirit’s presence, we are not to let our hearts be troubled.
As Jesus goes to the cross, Jesus can say that there is no ally of the devil abiding in Him. There is nothing in Jesus’ nature that would find Satan’s lies attractive.
John 14:30 30 “The ruler (prince) of the world is coming, and he has nothing in Me.”
We cannot say the same because we still have the influences of the unregenerate nature within. But the Apostle John has these words to assure the believer:
1 John 4:4 4 Greater is He who is in you, than he who is in the world.
TODAY’S READING FROM THE BOOK OF PSALMS- PSALMS 119:33-48
Today we read the next two sections of eight verses in Psalm 119. Each verse in verses 33-40 begins with the letter— ‘Hey,’ and each verse in verses 41-48 begins with the letter ‘waw.’
‘Hey’ (pronounced ‘hay’) is the fifth letter of the Hebrew alphabet, an ‘aspirate.’ This is the ‘breathing letter’ that was to be as inserted as the fifth letter in ‘Abram’s’ name, so ‘Abram’ became’ AbraHam’, and ‘Sarai’ became ‘SaraH. The breath of the Life-Giving Spirit impacted Abram and Sarai in their old age and enabled them to experience God’s grace- God doing for them what they could not do for themselves.
Think of how God’s grace has breathed the life of His Spirit in you and enabled you to be taught (119:33). His life in you enables you to understand (v.34), to obey (v.35), to be directed, to find delight in His Word, and turn your heart away from vain pursuits for selfish gain.
The Psalmist recognizes his vulnerability and asks to be given help to give attention to divine impulses rather than the deceitful impulses of his own corrupt nature.
Psalm 119:37 37 Turn away my eyes from looking at vanity, and revive me in Your ways.
He recognizes the value of the Word in producing greater reverence (v.38), deeper convictions (v.39), and personal revival (v.40)
The sixth letter of the alphabet –’Waw’ or ‘Vav’- starts each of verses 41-48.
The Psalmist loves the Word and recognizes that it is trustworthy, revealing the plan of salvation (v.41) and giving him wisdom in dealing with his enemies (v.42). He once again knows his vulnerability and that he sometimes forgets the Word and needs to stay alert and wait for a clear understanding of what God is requiring of him (v.43). He resolves to delight in the Word and keep it continually (v.44, 47). Once again, we hear of the liberation that comes when we believe the truth of God’s Word. The truth will make you free.
Psalm 119:45 45 And I will walk at liberty, For I seek Your precepts.
He resolves not to fear men or be ashamed of God’s Word, but boldly speak God’s truth before kings! (v. 46).
TODAY’S READING FROM THE BOOK OF PROVERBS
Proverbs 15:33 33 The fear of the LORD is the instruction for wisdom, and before honor comes humility.
When we humble ourselves before God, give proper reverence to His Word, esteeming His counsel above all, He will exalt us in good time.
PRAY FOR THE NATIONS
Evangelical Christians are few. (1.0% across all confession) split between many denominations and confessions. They demonstrate high levels of commitment and are a younger population than France’s average. Growth is steady, and a new congregation is planted almost every week. Pentecostals and charismatics are the fastest growing. This is all in the face of strong secularizing trends in public life.
Nearly 50 million French people have no real link to the Christian church.
Pray for the many urban areas where evangelical presence is proportionately low. Inner-city Paris, Nantes, Nancy, and other cities need many more congregations planted.
The Loire Valley and Brittany, Picardy, and Centre regions are particularly lacking in evangelical congregations.
The Basques in the southwest are virtually without an evangelical witness in their language; they are suspicious of outside influences and allegedly quite disinterested in spiritual things.
The island of Corsica, the birthplace of Napoleon, is quite closed to outside influences. In the population of 290,000, there are perhaps 300 evangelical believers.
Islam is now the second religion of France. Growth is largely through immigration and a higher birth rate, but there are an estimated 150,000 converts to Islam, mostly via marriage.
The Bible is alien to most French people. Less than 10% own a Bible, and 80% have never even handled one. Yet. Bible sales are at an all-time high, spurred by the spiritual hunger evident among many and the availability of inexpensive ($2) Bibles in supermarkets and secular bookstores.
PRAYER: Thank You, Father, for sending Your Son, who is the Promised Son of David, Who is coming to establish His kingdom in righteousness. Even now, we experience Your kingdom rule in our hearts- not only a right standing before You through His perfect work of redemption on the cross; but also His righteousness, peace, and joy in us, through the ministry of the Holy Spirit. He has made peace for us by shedding His blood as a perfect atoning sacrifice for our souls on the cross. But He has also imparted peace to us through the ministry of the Spirit. We have peace of heart and mind. We thank You that Greater is He that is in us than He that is in the world.
We pray for the ministry of Your Word in France. Send laborers into the harvest field. Turn hearts and draw them to Your Son. We ask this in His Name, the Matchless Name of Jesus.