God’s Promise to David (3)
David’s Prayer: 2 Samuel 7:18-24
What will be King David’s response to this gracious, eternal promise from the LORD God? Could there be a more clear case for self-congratulation and boasting than had David at this point in time? After all, the LORD God had purposefully chosen him to be king, and had shown His favor across the years of struggle necessary to reach this point. And David himself had, through his wisdom and prowess, overcome all his enemies, both internal and external to the nation.
David had participated in banditry and bloody combat, with easily thousands of human deaths either directly or indirectly caused by his actions. At this point might not a person with this on his conscience be overwhelmingly tempted to respond in self-justification? That is, to turn God’s blessing to his own purposes, to absolve himself of guilt.
And yet, this is how King David actually did begin his prayerful response.
18 Then King David went in and sat before the Lord, and he said:
“Who am I, Sovereign Lord, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far? 19 And as if this were not enough in your sight, Sovereign Lord, you have also spoken about the future of the house of your servant—and this decree, Sovereign Lord, is for a mere human!
20 “What more can David say to you? For you know your servant, Sovereign Lord. 21 For the sake of your word and according to your will, you have done this great thing and made it known to your servant.
22 “How great you are, Sovereign Lord! There is no one like you, and there is no God but you, as we have heard with our own ears. 23 And who is like your people Israel—the one nation on earth that God went out to redeem as a people for himself, and to make a name for himself, and to perform great and awesome wonders by driving out nations and their gods from before your people, whom you redeemed from Egypt? 24 You have established your people Israel as your very own forever, and you, Lord, have become their God.
I must ask, in this current time of Facebook/Twitter/Instagram (et al.) self-promotion, self-congratulation, self-absorption; can there be anything more foreign than this beginning of King David’s prayer? No. For this elect soul, this victor over all adversity and adversaries, this bloodied warrior points always and only away from himself and towards the LORD God.
However, there’s a deeper problem that prevents many contemporary people from giving David an open-minded hearing. That being David is the exact opposite of everything that they believe to comprise morality. In the view of many David is a far closer to (if not actually being) a war criminal than to a man after God’s own heart. Thus, the fact that Holy Scripture lifts up this particular man can actually undermine their confidence. In the next post I will directly address this difficult issue.
For today let’s, as Christians, be clear on the fundamental point. Regardless of our own feelings, knowledge and opinions, David’s story is in the Word of God. We do not judge it, nor does our personal sense of morality supersede it. God has placed it in His Word for our benefit. Yes, we should first seek guidance from the Holy Spirit in prayer and then use all of our God-given gifts to properly interpret and apply it to our life and times. But, we Christians must stand with David, a God-chosen pillar of our faith in saying.
“Who am I, Sovereign Lord, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far?”
Humility, thankfulness, and submission to an external, eternal sovereign LORD God…
30It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”
(1 Corinthians 1:30,31, NIV)