King David was a man who pursued God’s heart. God anointed him from being a shepherd to becoming the king of God’s people. David fought Goliath the giant and gained tremendous victory for God. He brought the Ark of the Covenant into Jerusalem and made it the spiritual capital of God’s people. As king, David gained victory over all the enemies around them.
David also showed his great humanity by a tremendous moral failure with Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah, and then had him murdered. But he repented of his sins and asked the Lord to have mercy upon him. From this time forward, his house was filled with chaos. Yet David is still remembered as a wonderful, powerful king in the history of God’s people.
Today I want us to understand the connection between King David and God’s promise of a Messiah, a future King who would establish God’s Kingdom forever. That was Israel’s hope. The words of II Samuel 7 are the seedbed of the messianic expectation.
Hope is a precious commodity. Hal Lindsay once wrote, “Men can live forty days without food, about three days without water, about eight minutes without air, but not one second without hope.” We need hope as we live our lives.
We use the word hope differently though. We might say I hope our favorite baseball team wins the game. Or I hope I catch fish when I go to the lake. We might say, I hope it stops raining, or I hope for good weather for my crops that are growing. I hope the price of corn goes up. I might look at my body and say, I hope I lose 20 lbs. I hope we have pie for dessert with supper or I hope the stock market goes up.
We may move from mundane hope to more profound things like, I hope North Korea denuclearizes, I hope the political leaders of the world find a way to make peace. I hope we can alleviate hunger. I hope we can break systemic poverty. The trouble is, when we use hope – either in the mundane or profound – we really have no direct control to our wishful thinking.
Biblical hope is different. It is based on the character, the historic faithfulness, and the promises of God Himself. Here is what Jeremiah said in Lamentations 3: “This I recall to mind. Therefore, I have hope. The Lord’s lovingkindness has never run out. God’s mercy never fails. Great is God’s faithfulness.” The character of God, the promise of God, the historic faithfulness of God is the reason we, as God’s people, have hope.
Talking about hope with this backdrop, let’s dig out the precious nuggets of promise God made to King David and his people in II Samuel 7. The Messiah literally was the Anointed One, the Deliverer, the Ruler, the Son of God who would come into the world to rescue God’s people. The Savior.
First, God promised that David and God’s people, Israel, would be His people forever. They would belong to Him as His chosen people. It gave them their identity. Yahweh was their Father, and they were His people. They had security in the promise.
Second, God promised His power would give them victory over all their enemies. They would dominate, reign over all the other nations, and God would be a mighty warrior fighting on their behalf.
Third, God promises to usher in an age of peace, of shalom, rest from their enemies and beautiful harmony for God’s people.
Fourth, God promised to provide them a place for their own. They would receive a land where they would be planted and rooted to live their lives. This is why Israel to this day remembers God’s promise that the land of Israel will be theirs.
Fifth, God promised prosperity and great blessings would flow to them.
Sixth, the kingdom God promised will be forever. They’ll be living the high life. ♪Happy days are here again♬ This is the stuff dreams are made of!
Seventh, God’s promise was unconditional as a covenant. His power would fulfill the promise.
All of this was tied to the coming of the future Messiah. A king. After King David died, when a future king would be crowned on coronation day, the people would ask, Is this THE ONE? The Messiah?
Fast forward now to the person of Jesus. Jesus is the Word made flesh, the fulfillment and embodiment of God’s promise. When Gabriel visited the Virgin Mary in Luke chapter 1, he echoed many of the same themes from II Samuel 7. I will give your Son the throne of His father, David. He will reign over the house of Jacob, and this child’s kingdom will have no end. The Holy Spirit will impregnate you so that the child born to you will be Son of God. No word that God promises is impossible. Hear all those same promises resonating and being lifted up for the people again in the birth of the child born to Mary.
Mary’s faith response needs to be ours. God, let it happen to me just as You have promised. My response is a humility willing to serve in obedience and trust in the Lord.
When Jesus was born, it says in Luke chapter 2 that He was born of the house and lineage of David. It was Luke’s way of saying, The Messiah is here! The Messiah is here! God is establishing His kingdom!
Isn’t it interesting that, when Jesus was baptized and entered into public ministry, the first words recorded by Jesus are, “The kingdom of God is here.” Yet the people of Israel did not recognize Jesus as Messiah. He was a king who washed feet. He was one who hung out with sinners and people on the margins. He rejected their attempt to crown Him as an earthly king. He meekly surrendered to His enemies, and ultimately was nailed to a cross and died. The Messiah was not to enter into the promised power of God by dying on the cross, was He? Jesus simply didn’t fit the mold. He was a crucified Messiah. It was the ultimate oxymoron.
Jesus was a scandal, a stumbling block. He was totally impossible to comprehend because kings do not die in order to gain the reign over the people of God. Yet He was just the king we needed, not only for His time but for all time.
The cross was the cruelest form of execution during the Roman Empire. It was used primarily for the most dangerous of criminals and for slaves. Crucifixion was actually a deterrent. It was a form of torture and public humiliation. For the Jews, according to Deuteronomy 21, “Cursed is the one who hangs on the tree.”
Yet the nugget of truth for us is that Jesus is just the King we needed, because He became sin for us. In the name of Jesus our King, we become the righteousness of God by faith in Jesus Christ. That’s why, when you and I look at Jesus, we need to say, Jesus is my King. Jesus is my Messiah. Jesus is my Savior. Jesus is the Son of God. Jesus is my Lord. Jesus as King promised that all who believe in His name would have the authority and power to become the children of God. We belong to Jesus and an eternal kingdom.
Second, Jesus is just the King we need because He always used His power to serve His people, even sacrificially, in love. We have become the beneficiaries of Jesus as a servant King.
Third, Jesus is my King because He is the deliverer who took the punishment for my sins and my failures. Jesus lifted the burden of all my wrong and guilt and shame from my shoulders when His blood spilled out as the pure and holy Son of God. We now have the promise that all our sins are forgiven.
Fourth, Jesus is just the King we need because He makes peace between us and God. He reconciles us not only into an okay status with God, but also into a relationship of love with the One who created us.
Fifth, Jesus is just the King we need because He restores our soul. He heals all our brokenness and gives us a new beginning into a new future.
Sixth, Jesus is the One through whom every blessing in the heavenly places is granted to us in His name.
Seventh, Jesus has prepared a place for us in heaven, and He promises to come again and receive us to Himself, that where He is, we may be also (John 14:1-3). In Revelation 3:20 Jesus said, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone . . . opens the door, I will come in . . .” Jesus not only provides us a place in His kingdom in glory and eternity, He also makes our hearts His place to dwell, His home.
Jesus is just the King I need because He gives eternal life forever to all who believe. This means not only a length of life that is forever, but also a quality of life that is perfect. We will experience no sorrow, no sickness, no pain, no more tears. When we breathe our last breath in this world and awaken to the other side, we will open our eyes to gaze upon the glory of the face of Jesus Christ.
So today I hope you’ll say it with me – Jesus, you are my Messiah. You are my crucified King. You are my risen Lord. I will trust in you. Amen.
Pastor Lee Laaveg