Monday, December 12, 2011

King forever

TODAY'S SPECIAL: 2 Samuel 7:1-17

TO CHEW ON: "And your house and your kingdom shall be established forever before you. Your throne will be established forever." 2 Samuel 7:16

David's desire to build God a stationary house of worship ended in quite a tradeoff. Through Nathan the prophet, God said to David, "...the Lord tells you that He will make you a house" 2 Samuel 7:16.

[House (bayit) can mean a dwelling, a family or a temple. Here God was making a promise to David about the permanence of his family and unendingness of his kingdom (2 Samuel 7:11, 16).]

We know that in the short term David saw his son Solomon succeed him. But David's human line eventually petered out. So we see that this was a promise about something bigger than a mere earthly dynasty. Matthew Henry explains:

"These promises relate to Solomon... but they also relate to Christ, who is often called David and the Son of David. To him God gave all power in heaven and earth with authority to execute judgment. He was to build the gospel Temple, a house for God's name; the spiritual temple of true believers, to be a habitation of God through the Spirit. The establishing of his house, his throne and his kingdom forever can be applied to no other than to Christ and his Kingdom" - Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary.

Note how the Bible bears this out:
  • In Isaiah 9, a passage recognized as a prediction of Christ's coming, Isaiah says: "Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom to order and establish it ... from that time forward, even forever" - Isaiah 9:7.
  • The prophet Daniel's visions are clear about who this everlasting king is: "...And behold One like the Son of Man, Coming with the clouds of heaven!....Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom...His dominion is an everlasting dominion. Which shall not pass away...shall not be destroyed" - Daniel 7:13-14.
  • When the angel Gabriel came to Mary, his announcement reiterated the identity of the baby she was to bear: "He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end" - Luke 1:32-33.
  • John's vision of things still to come underlines the fact that Jesus is this everlasting king: "Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, "The kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!" Revelation 11:15.

This is the King whose birth we celebrate this season. Let's sing with the carollers:

"Who is He that from His throne
Rules through all the world alone?
'Tis the Lord...the King of glory"  (from "Who is He in Yonder Stall" - Benjamin R. Hanby).

"Hark! the herald angels sing,
'Glory to the newborn King...'" (from "Hark! the Herald Angels Sing" by Charles Wesley).

"So bring Him incense gold and myrrh
Come, peasant, king to own Him;
The King of Kings salvation brings,
Let loving hearts enthrone Him" (from "What Child is This" by William C. Dix).

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, King of Kings and Lord of Lords, I pledge my allegiance and loyalty to You again today. I am honoured to be Your subject. Be the King of my heart, my mind, my home, and my life today. Amen.

MORE: Only 13 more sleeps

Advent Calendar - December 12

Christmas Fact:

The popularity of living Nativity scenes gave rise to another custom, recreating the crib scene with figurines...

In the 17th century families began to create their own Nativity scenes. These became more elaborate with time. The art form reached spectacular heights in eighteenth-century Naples Italy. Families competed with each other to produce the most elegant and elaborate crib scenes. These scenes expanded far beyond the manger to include village backdrops, ordinary villagers, ruined Roman temples, angels and even foreigners whom the families thought might have rushed to Bethlehem had they known of the miraculous birth.
Encyclopedia of Christmas p. 408-9

Some nativity scenes - Italy.

Bible Drive-Thru

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