Daily Readings & Thought for July 22nd. “ … FOR A GREAT WHILE TO COME”
Today’s readings.. (2 Samuel 7), (Jeremiah 12), (Matthew 23)
Today’s reading in 2 Samuel 7 is one that many know well: it is one of the most significant in the Old Testament. King David has reached the pinnacle of his life, his love for God and his relationship with God has reached its highest point. It suddenly comes into his mind that he should build a Temple for the LORD where he can be permanently worshipped.
The prophet Nathan tells him to go ahead, “do all that is in your heart” [v.3], but “the same night the word of the LORD comes to Nathan” [v.4] and among the many things he is told to tell David is “I have been with you wherever you went and have cut off your enemies from before you. And will make of you a great name … “ [v.9]
Then there is a remarkable promise, “Moreover the LORD declares to you that the LORD will make you a house. When your days are fulfilled … I will raise up your offspring after you … and I will establish his kingdom … and I will establish the throne of his kingdom for ever.” [v.11-13]. There is a short term and a long term, indeed, an everlasting promise in these words from God. Solomon fulfils the short term promise of a son and he is also the one to build the physical house, the Temple in Jerusalem.
David is overwhelmed by the long term vision that is opened up to his mind. He “went in and sat before the LORD (in the tabernacle) and says, “Who am I , O Lord GOD, and what is my house, that you have brought me thus far? And yet this was a small thing in your eyes, O Lord GOD. You have spoken also of your servant’s house for a great while to come … you have brought about this greatness, to make your servant know it.” [v.19,21]
We notice that the first words in the Gospel of Matthew are “The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David … “ As with David, God was with the Lord Jesus wherever he went. Remember his personal prayer, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me …” [John 11 v.41,42] Those who belong to Christ and truly live with that realization have the same blessing, “so that we might live through him.” [1 John 4 v.9] and he will be with us wherever we go! Would that make us sometimes, maybe often, feel uncomfortable in the things we think? We say? We do? Let’s develop a really positive attitude every day. so that we each truly “live through him.”
The Greek word translated “through” has no direct English equivalent, but we noticed it occurs in our chapter in Matthew. It is translated as “sake” – but look at its’ context! “There will be great tribulation … and if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved, But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.” [ch. 24 v.21,22] This means – that through, or because of, there still exists a faithful remnant God will act – and then “as the lightning comes … so will be the coming of the Son of Man,” [v.27] May we truly “live through him” realizing time of the “great while to come” is almost upon us.