A couple of days ago, the One-Year “Old Testament” section for the day had a longer passage from 2 Samuel. That is where the One-Year focuses in on for a great deal during this part of the year, and it takes a good long while to read through the whole story presented in Samuel. Anyway, when the devotional readings “arrived” at 2 Samuel 7, I was immediately drawn to God’s Promise through the prophet Nathan — and David’s response. In 2 Samuel 7, David expresses his desire to create a place to house the Ark of God, as he feels it is wrong that he lives in a beautiful palace, but God “lives” in a tent.
God’s response (through Nathan) can be summed up as: “Thanks, but no thanks; I’m going to build you a house.” It’s more than that, clearly — God gives David this massive promise that no one had ever heard before, that was special and personal. There wasn’t exactly a precedent for it, either! David does not just say “Oh, that’s neat” and move on. He immediately goes to sit before the Lord and worship.
He is stunned and amazed that God had promised him, a human being, a house and dynasty that would last “forever”. That his son would build a magnificent Temple that God would choose to bear and represent His Name. David takes everything Nathan says, all the words God gave to his friend, and praises God. He then boldly prays that God do this huge thing. It isn’t vanity or “un-Biblical” to pray this boldly — David does it because God said it would happen!
“Now, O Lord God, the word which You have spoken concerning Your servant and concerning his house, establish it forever and do as You have said.”
This isn’t at all telling God what to do; it is hearing a promise that lines up with the mercy and generosity of God, with the principles of promise, blessing, and favor in the Scriptures David had access to, and agreeing with God in boldness. He said it, so I can ask Him to do it! There would be points in David’s life where this Promise might seem like wishful thinking. Outside observers, even others who worshiped the Lord as He did, might wonder if what he heard even applied anymore.
But even in these ugly situations, many of them happening as a direct result of David’s actions, we know God’s promise remained. Solomon DID build the temple, David’s line continued through generations (even through sin and sad circumstances), and God DID put an eternal king on David’s throne. I am going to be as bold as David was in his prayer.
There’s plenty of reason, today, to see God’s Promise in the midst of chaos. There have been many recent circumstances and travesties that have occurred, worth mourning and expressing anger. There are reasons for people to fight for their rights with honor and gentility. But there has also been plenty of good news.
There is a massively significant example in the news, even today. It may go temporarily unnoticed, with all that is happening. At first, it may seem a little silly sounding, but hear me out. The launch has been postponed a few days, but this week will mark the first time since 2011 that America has launched astronauts from our own soil up into the atmosphere and beyond our world. A private company has partnered with NASA and is finally going through with the launch after all the money raised, tests launched, and failures learned from. In the midst of anxiety, the radiance of genuine human innovation and optimism is literally about to burst from the planet and leap into the sky beyond. Not so silly, now!
It’s just a rocket, but think about what it means for the development of life-changing and life-bettering technology. Think about what it means for national pride and unity, and more important — hope! For the first time in nearly a decade, a bright hint of a future of regular human space travel is back on the table. Right in the depths of nonsense, God works through the minds of brilliant humans who endure and make a great thing. In the middle of the constant barrage of worry-warts, God says: “Get ready to look up!”
Keep listening, and keep looking.
There may be sadness and anger around you, but it is temporary.
There may appear to be a short delay, but that is only because He wants the weather to be absolutely perfect.
The Lord will do as He has said. I would even be bold enough to suggest that this upcoming example of human innovation and joy affords us the chance to offer God the response of King David:
“Now, O Lord God, the word which You have spoken concerning Your servant and concerning his house, establish it forever and do as You have said.” (2 Samuel 7:25)