Lesson 5 -- fourth quarter 2004
October 3, 2004
© Copyright 2004, Christian Light Publications
Probing Your Own Heart
How do you respond to God's plans when they differ from yours?
What are God's purposes in allowing you to know what you know?
Building on Some Foundational Concepts
God is hampered by our unavailability.
Moses asked, "Who am I?" -- and eventually succeeded in provoking God to wrath. Yet in today's text we see David posing the same question -- but to the glory of God. What a difference the state of heart makes! Moses was resisting the will of God; David was confirming it. With his question, Moses was challenging the wisdom and judgment of God. With his question, David was submitting to that wisdom and judgment. So you see, "Who am I" can be an acceptable question -- if it comes from an available heart.
God is unhindered by our insignificance.
David acknowledged the social insignificance of his paternal family. Furthermore, he recognized his own insignificance within that family. And he expressed both of those points in the context of "Who am I and why have You done this?". Then he makes this statement: "And this was yet a small thing in thy sight, O Lord GOD" (2 Samuel 7:19). Our insignificance is a small thing to God, if we humbly are aware of our own smallness, for then He can use us!
Some of God's doings need no further explanation than He Himself.
"And is this the manner of man, O Lord GOD? [...] For thy word's sake, and according to thine own heart, hast thou done all these great things" (2 Samuel 7:19,21).
We must take the opportunity to confirm the will and ways of God.
As the Almighty Sovereign One, God didn't need David's confirmations (2 Samuel 7:25,27,29), but surely He was blessed by them.
Questions and Responses
Are the Jews God's people even under the New Covenant?
Second Samuel 7:24 and similar passages make this very clear: "For thou hast confirmed to thyself thy people Israel to be a people unto thee for ever." We should be extremely reluctant to say God didn't mean forever when that is precisely what He said.
On the other hand, even in the Old Testament God made just as clear that people, by their deeds and lives, could cut themselves off from this promise. Thus, even the eternal destiny of Old Covenant Israelites was determined by individual choice. There was no more room for unconditional eternal security then than there is now.
Now consider what God has to say on this subject through Paul's letter to the Galatians: "For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. There is neither Jew nor Greek...for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise. Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise" (3:26,28,29; 4:28).
So, are Jews still God's people? He claimed Abraham's seed as His special treasure forever. That claim has both its physical and spiritual dimensions. I don't believe we'll know the full extent of God's answer to the question until He chooses. In the meantime, the real issue is this: Am I a child of promise?
Wasn't David overly bold in claiming God's promises?
We have no record that God thought so!
Conversely, do we have any record of God rebuking or punishing people who did not claim His promises? We most certainly do, the Israelite initial refusal to enter Canaan being an outstanding one.
Still, a caution is essential here: Claiming a promise must not be confused with demanding a promise be fulfilled. Asking God to do as He has said (2 Samuel 7:25) has to include acceptance of His timing and methods. Even in claiming and asking we must maintain a submissive spirit to His will: "Therefore now let it please thee to..." (2 Samuel 7:29).
What glimpses into David's "after God" heart do we see here?
"The LORD hath sought him a man after his own heart" (1 Samuel 13:1). This could mean one (or both) of two things. God found in David a man who followed the heart of God. God found in David a heart like His own. So what does this passage reveal about God's character in David?
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