Friday, February 28, 2014

An international Sunday school lesson commentary
For Sunday March 2, 2014

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(GOD blesses those who serve HIM)
(2 Samuel 7)

In the Greek there are two words that are used for “covenant”. One of those words is “suntheke” (soon-tha-kay), and it is used only in the secular Greek. It is defined as “an agreement between two or more equal parties or entities, on equal terms” (e.g. marriage, bond, business agreement etc.).
However, in the New Testament Greek, the word that is always used for “covenant” is “diatheke” (dee-ath-ay-kay), and it is an agreement that is actually along the lines of a “devised will”. In other words, only one party can draw up the terms, and the other party can either accept or reject those terms, or “inheritance” that is offered. The other party cannot change any of the terms in that covenant, he or she only has the right or option to walk away if they do not agree. In fact, that is the way it is with the Holy Bible, GOD’s Will, or covenant with us, we can either accept it totally, or reject it totally, but we can’t change any of the terms within it to suit our own purposes.
The choice of this word by the authors of GOD is understandable, because we as human beings, cannot enter into an equal partnership, or be on equal terms with GOD. We are only able to make a voluntary decision to accept, or reject HIS offer, and cannot alter, or change HIS terms in any way. In the biblical application, the word “covenant” is always used in this sense, the spirit of “diatheke”, even in the Old Testament.
In 2 Samuel, chapter 7, verses 8-16, we see just such a covenant being offered by GOD, to David, through the prophet Nathan, as a bond between himself and GOD. With the exception of the covenant ushered in by CHRIST, that saved all mankind, through HIS vicarious sacrifice, this is undoubtedly the greatest covenant GOD ever made with a man. It is important however, to note that the Abrahamic Covenant, Davidic Covenant, and the Covenant ushered in by our LORD and SAVIOR, JESUS CHRIST, are all spiritually connected, as they each, ultimately, manifest the “Prevailing Will of GOD” upon man’s destiny, step by step.
In 2 Samuel 7:1-2, after David had settled comfortably in his “palace of cedar” in Jerusalem, and there was peace throughout the land of Israel, his thoughts turned to the notion of building a permanent home for the “Ark of the Covenant of the LORD”. He was no doubt feeling very beholding to GOD for all the blessings HE had showered upon him for so many years. He desired to use those blessings to serve GOD in return for HIS divine goodness.
Here David summons the Prophet Nathan to consult with him on the matter and Nathan tells him that, “since the LORD is with you, go ahead and do what you have in mind”. However, that same night, the LORD spoke to Nathan, probably in a dream, and told him, in effect, that David was not to build HIM a house. Instead, GOD would build a house for David. It was to be a house that would be a royal house, one that consisted of a dynasty of kings that would culminate in the birth, and life on earth, of our LORD and SAVIOR, JESUS CHRIST, the ULTIMATE MESSENGER, ULTIMATE PRIEST, and ULTIMATE KING.
The LORD also promised that this dynasty would originate with David and would never end. This Kingdom, and its Throne, would be permanent, and the son of David, HIS SON, would reign forever upon it. Actually, this great promise had already been echoed by the ancient prophets over the years, and is actually fulfilled in JESUS CHRIST, and is only a prelude to the “Eternal Kingdom” yet to come.
In response to this unprecedented offer from GOD, all David could do is fall down to his knees and praise the ALMIGHTY GOD of creation. This story serves to show us that, the GOD WHO has been faithful in our yesterdays is, also, the same GOD WHO will be with us in our tomorrows.
The phrase “SOVEREIGN LORD” is used no less than 7 times in David’s “prayer of praise” (2 Samuel 7:18-29), and it means, quite literally, “YAHWEH ELOHIM”, or “YAHWEH GOD. Seven is GOD’s perfect number, and it represents “completeness”, or “perfection” in the Biblical sense. This prayer mirrors David’s “complete and perfect” reverence for GOD, which he had stored in his heart, from the time he was a child working in the field, as a shepherd to his father’s sheep. He had a long history of service to GOD, and GOD always remembers those who serve HIM long, and serve HIM well.
There is one other thing about this passage that I think is worth noting, because it seems to occur so frequently, throughout David’s life, and, once again it occurs here (2 Samuel 7:25-29). David seems to always ask for what he already knew GOD wanted to give him, and some might view this as an act of unbelief, or lack of faith in GOD’s promises, however, that is not so.
Remember, asking for what we know GOD already wants to give us cannot always be looked upon as an “act of unbelief”. It has to also be viewed as an “expression of dependence on GOD” and “confidence in GOD” to deliver our needs in all situations, and I promise you, GOD, WHO is kardiognostes (kar-di-o-nos-tace), “a heart knower”, really does know the difference.

A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander

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