“… Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.’”
Nathan reported to David all the words of this entire revelation.
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? 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!
“What more can David say to you? For you know your servant, Sovereign Lord. For the sake of your word and according to your will, you have done this great thing and made it known to your servant.
“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. 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? You have established your people Israel as your very own forever, and you, Lord, have become their God.
“And now, Lord God, keep forever the promise you have made concerning your servant and his house. Do as you promised, so that your name will be great forever. Then people will say, ‘The Lord Almighty is God over Israel!’ And the house of your servant David will be established in your sight.
“Lord Almighty, God of Israel, you have revealed this to your servant, saying, ‘I will build a house for you.’ So your servant has found courage to pray this prayer to you. Sovereign Lord, you are God! Your covenant is trustworthy, and you have promised these good things to your servant. Now be pleased to bless the house of your servant, that it may continue forever in your sight; for you, Sovereign Lord, have spoken, and with your blessing the house of your servant will be blessed forever.”
- 2 Samuel 7:16-29
“While working on the Student Bible my colleague and I made a selection of great prayers of the Bible, which can be read in a two-week period, one prayer per day. Some are intimate and private while others were delivered in a very public setting. Each gives an actual example of a person talking to God about an important matter and teaches something unique about prayer:”
- Philip Yancey, Prayer: Does it Make Any Difference?
I will be intermittently away from the keyboard for much of many of the days for about two weeks. I had been praying about what I could write during this period, or for this period. I try to stay a few days ahead in my writing, but with my cataract surgeries, and – confession time a little laziness – along with the heavy doctor visit schedule, I was writing my posts just in time. (Pardon the typos, if there were any. Really my biggest problem is changing verb tense, at will, throughout paragraphs, and within a sentence as Yancey does in the quote, but homonyms and blatant typos do exist after several reviews.) I had just read Yancey’s book, and I thought of his list of prayers. The chapter on Prayers in the Bible had started with the Lord’s prayer, gone to the Psalms as a whole, and included a general discussion on the prayers of Paul in his various letters. Then Yancey lists fourteen prayers after the paragraph above. The thought of this list struck me. Then when I re-read the page in the book, the words ‘two-week period’ struck me. Rather than the Holy Spirit striking me out with a third strike, I decided to write a few ideas – maybe some really short posts – for each prayer. I will copy the Yancey quote and this paragraph for each of the fourteen, so if you read every day, you can skip this with the remaining parts.
The thing that jumps out at first is David’s humility. When a mere boy, he killed Goliath. He led an army killing many Philistines, although the song of the crowd saying that he had killed 10,000s may have been an exaggeration, an exaggeration that King Saul did not like. David took the army band that was loyal to him and essentially became the king of Judah, fighting with the Philistines and against them while evading King Saul. David was savvy to war and to politics. Yet, David was loyal to King Saul. King Saul was God’s anointed, and even though David had been anointed, he remained loyal to Saul. He lamented when Saul and Jonathan were killed. Then, they finally accepted him as king over all Israel. The very next chapter, after becoming the unified king of Israel, David captures Jerusalem. He now has a home for himself and his kingdom, but God is ‘still in a tent.’
At this point, early in David’s reign as king of Israel, God establishes a covenant with David. If David’s heirs worship God, they will remain on the throne forever. But more importantly, Solomon will build the temple.
This prayer, in my opinion, illustrates why David was the ‘man after God’s own heart.’ Who was David, a mere shepherd boy? Why would his family line make any difference at all? Why should he be honored in such a way by God?
David had his moments of indiscretion, with Bathsheba being the most notorious, but the problems that he had with his sons was partially his fault – a non-hands-on Dad.
But David proved to not be arrogant. He was indeed a meek man, deferring the credit to God in victory and accepting the blame in defeat. Ben Nelson of Another Red Letter Day posted Meek Defined a few days ago. He mentions examples of Moses and Jesus, but I think you can include David.
In this prayer above, we see a meek man accepting the role as king, but he defers that kingly title back to God as the entire prayer is a song of praise to God – thus being, himself humbled before almighty God.
Maybe the next time that we have a laundry list of things that we want God to ‘take care of’, we should look toward this prayer. We should praise God and humble ourselves. We may have little time for anything else, but God knew what was on our laundry list before we wrote it down; so if we don’t have time for that, He knows anyway.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.