“Now when the king was settled in his house, and the LORD had given him rest from all his enemies around him, the king said to the prophet Nathan, “See now, I am living in a house of cedar, but the ark of God stays in a tent.” Nathan said to the king, “Go, do all that you have in mind; for the LORD is with you.” (II Samuel 7:1 -3)
Nathan told King David that the Lord is with him. We read over and over that King David was a man after God’s own heart – meaning, we assume, that David acted as the Lord God wanted him too. Except when he did not. But I am not going in that direction. So read further.
“But that same night the word of the LORD came to Nathan:
Go and tell my servant David: Thus says the LORD: Are you the one to build me a house to live in? I have not lived in a house since the day I brought up the people of Israel from Egypt to this day, but I have been moving about in a tent and a tabernacle. Wherever I have moved about among all the people of Israel, did I ever speak a word with any of the tribal leaders of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, saying, “Why have you not built me a house of cedar?”
Now therefore thus you shall say to my servant David: Thus says the LORD of hosts: I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep to be prince over my people Israel; and I have been with you wherever you went, and have cut off all your enemies from before you; and I will make for you a great name, like the name of the great ones of the earth. And I will appoint a place for my people Israel and will plant them, so that they may live in their own place, and be disturbed no more; and evildoers shall afflict them no more, as formerly, from the time that I appointed judges over my people Israel; and I will give you rest from all your enemies. Moreover the LORD declares to you that the LORD will make you a house.” (Verses 4 – 11)
Sometimes, sometimes – beloved reader – prophets do not get it right. Nathan assumed what King David was going to say, mainly that he wanted to build a permanent house for the Lord and for the Ark of the Covenant that King David had brought into the city from where it had been and from its temporary resting place. Nathan assumed that King David was so closely akin to the Lord God’s heart that King David knew what the Lord would want. As I said, that was not always the case. But, the thrust of my remarks are not based on King David but on Nathan.
Even the prophets of God do not always get it right. Consider, the Lord of Hosts was to have said that the people of Israel would have a home where they are not disturbed and where “evildoers shall afflict them no more”. But that was not the case either! It could be that Israel (as a whole) broke faith with the Lord, as David did a time or two, and that is why the kingdom of Israel, and then Judah, was brought under the control of “foreign” nations. And if David’s enemies were subdued, knew enemies arose – within his own household even! Does that sound like rest? So, let us consider the last few verses.
“When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come forth from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be a father to him, and he shall be a son to me.” (Verses 12 – 14a)
Now, conventional wisdom says that this meant Solomon. Considering that Solomon asked for wisdom to govern the Lord’s people of Israel. And that Solomon did build the temple in Jerusalem. But, Solomon’s kingdom did not last forever either; or more precisely, those kings that came after him did not keep the nation under faithful obedience to the Lord. So, what if what was meant (if I can put myself in the place of biblical commentators) was Jesus Christ? Christ who was in human lineage down from King David to Joseph. Christ whose throne was and is established forever. Christ who called the Lord God “Abba Father” and whom the Lord God called “Son of God.” And I am not (and here I am a little surprised) the only “biblical commentator” who has put forth such an idea. I am, however, left a little speechless. That is, what else can be said after an eminent biblical commentator has agreed with you. Biblical prophecy is not for the fainthearted, so maybe I should not say much more!
What I can say, beloved reader, is read scripture for yourself. Think deeply on it. Inquire of the Spirit for guidance and illumination. Consult with others. And then proceed as you heart, soul, and spirit inform you. Selah!
Syndicated from Pondering From the Pacific