Who Am I, Lord?

INTRODUCTION: David spoke to Nathan about his desire to build a temple for the ark of God, but Nathan was directed by the LORD to tell David that he would not be permitted to build it. The LORD said he had taken David from being a shepherd and brought him to the point of being king over Israel. The LORD would settle his own people in the place he would choose and they would never need to move again because of enemies. . The LORD did say that David's descendent would build a temple, and his throne would be everlasting. David was overwhelmed by the grace extended to him by the LORD and he offered a prayer of praise and thanksgiving.

NOTE: All Bible passages are taken from the American King James Version.


A - DAVID BEGAN HIS PRAYER TO THE LORD GOD

2 Samuel 7 "18 Then went king David in, and sat before the LORD, and he said, Who am I, O Lord GOD? and what is my house, that you have brought me till now? 19 And this was yet a small thing in your sight, O Lord GOD; but you have spoken also of your servant's house for a great while to come. And is this the manner of man, O Lord GOD? 20 And what can David say more to you? for you, Lord GOD, know your servant. 21 For your word's sake, and according to your own heart, have you done all these great things, to make your servant know them."

COMMENTS: After David heard the message from the LORD through Nathan, he went apparently to the tent of the ark of God there in Jerusalem, and sat before the LORD to pray. As he spoke his prayer he used the direct address of Lord God four times. In humility he said he had no special merit in himself, nor did his family, that would give the Lord reason to bring him to the position he now had. And David said all he had already gained as the servant of the Lord was a small thing compared with what the Lord had spoken about his family for a great while to come. Because David did not believe that he had earned the blessings he said "is this the manner of man?" Men would more likely consider a long history of wealth and power before they would bestow respect and honor to someone. In the parallel passage in 2 Chronicles 17 the translated phrase is "have regarded me according to the estate of a man of high degree, O Lord God."

David acknowledged that the Lord God knew all about him and he referred to himself as little more than a servant. The wonderful things he has been told were not for him alone, but to confirm the Lord's word, and to perform what was in the heart of the Lord. It has been a blessing for David that these great things have been made known to him. In the difficulties and destruction in Jerusalem in later years, men sought the mercy of the Lord to magnify his name because they trusted in his mercy and truth. Psalm 79 "9 Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of your name: and deliver us, and purge away our sins, for your name's sake. 10 Why should the heathen say, Where is their God? let him be known among the heathen in our sight by the revenging of the blood of your servants which is shed. 11 Let the sighing of the prisoner come before you; according to the greatness of your power preserve you those that are appointed to die; 12 And render to our neighbors sevenfold into their bosom their reproach, with which they have reproached you, O Lord. 13 So we your people and sheep of your pasture will give you thanks for ever: we will show forth your praise to all generations." This next psalm is even more specific in stating that all glory should go to the LORD. Psalm 115 "1 Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to your name give glory, for your mercy, and for your truth's sake. 2 Why should the heathen say, Where is now their God? 3 But our God is in the heavens: he has done whatever he has pleased."

B - ISRAEL REDEEMED BY THE ONLY TRUE GOD

2 Samuel 7 "22 Why you are great, O LORD God: for there is none like you, neither is there any God beside you, according to all that we have heard with our ears. 23 And what one nation in the earth is like your people, even like Israel, whom God went to redeem for a people to himself, and to make him a name, and to do for you great things and terrible, for your land, before your people, which you redeemed to you from Egypt, from the nations and their gods? 24 For you have confirmed to yourself your people Israel to be a people to you for ever: and you, LORD, are become their God."

COMMENTS: David praised the LORD for his greatness and that there is none like him because there is no other god, and these truths had been taught in Israel for many generations. There is no other nation like Israel which God had redeemed from bondage in Egypt to remove them from the gods of all other nations. The many wonderful things he performed for his people and their land would magnify his name among all other nations. David applied the promises he had heard from Nathan about his family to be inclusive for Israel to be the people of God forever.

Israel had their founding history recorded in the books of Moses and this next passage shows why David, with the teaching in Israel, could have such a strong foundation of faith in the LORD . Deuteronomy 4 "30 When you are in tribulation, and all these things are come on you, even in the latter days, if you turn to the LORD your God, and shall be obedient to his voice; 31 (For the LORD your God is a merciful God;) he will not forsake you, neither destroy you, nor forget the covenant of your fathers which he swore to them. 32 For ask now of the days that are past, which were before you, since the day that God created man on the earth, and ask from the one side of heaven to the other, whether there has been any such thing as this great thing is, or has been heard like it? 33 Did ever people hear the voice of God speaking out of the middle of the fire, as you have heard, and live? 34 Or has God assayed to go and take him a nation from the middle of another nation, by temptations, by signs, and by wonders, and by war, and by a mighty hand, and by a stretched out arm, and by great terrors, according to all that the LORD your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes? 35 To you it was showed, that you might know that the LORD he is God; there is none else beside him. 36 Out of heaven he made you to hear his voice, that he might instruct you: and on earth he showed you his great fire; and you heard his words out of the middle of the fire. 37 And because he loved your fathers, therefore he chose their seed after them, and brought you out in his sight with his mighty power out of Egypt; 38 To drive out nations from before you greater and mightier than you are, to bring you in, to give you their land for an inheritance, as it is this day. 39 Know therefore this day, and consider it in your heart, that the LORD he is God in heaven above, and on the earth beneath: there is none else."

Many centuries after David, the promises of the LORD had not been negated by the failures of his people. Isaiah 48 "10 Behold, I have refined you, but not with silver; I have chosen you in the furnace of affliction. 11 For my own sake, even for my own sake, will I do it: for how should my name be polluted? and I will not give my glory to another. 12 Listen to me, O Jacob and Israel, my called; I am he; I am the first, I also am the last. 13 My hand also has laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand has spanned the heavens: when I call to them, they stand up together." Through the guidance of the Holy Spirit the prophet Micah wrote of the mercy and cleansing of sin by the LORD because he remains faithful as David had also understood. Micah 7 "18 Who is a God like to you, that pardons iniquity, and passes by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retains not his anger for ever, because he delights in mercy. 19 He will turn again, he will have compassion on us; he will subdue our iniquities; and you will cast all their sins into the depths of the sea. 20 You will perform the truth to Jacob, and the mercy to Abraham, which you have sworn to our fathers from the days of old."

C - LET THE TRUTH OF YOUR WORD BLESS YOUR SERVANT FOREVER

2 Samuel 7 "25 And now, O LORD God, the word that you have spoken concerning your servant, and concerning his house, establish it for ever, and do as you have said. 26 And let your name be magnified for ever, saying, The LORD of hosts is the God over Israel: and let the house of your servant David be established before you. 27 For you, O LORD of hosts, God of Israel, have revealed to your servant, saying, I will build you an house: therefore has your servant found in his heart to pray this prayer to you. 28 And now, O Lord GOD, you are that God, and your words be true, and you have promised this goodness to your servant: 29 Therefore now let it please you to bless the house of your servant, that it may continue for ever before you: for you, O Lord GOD, have spoken it: and with your blessing let the house of your servant be blessed for ever."

COMMENTS: David knew how easily men can fail to serve the LORD, so he began to earnestly petition God to establish his family line forever because the promises of God are faithful. David wanted the name of God to be magnified forever with it being said that the LORD of hosts is the God over Israel and that the house of his servant David would be established before him. David said he found it in his heart to pray this prayer because the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, had revealed to his servant David that he will build him a house. As David continued in his prayer, the repetition he used seems to be indicative of just how much David was overwhelmed by the role he has been given in the unfolding plan of God's mercy and grace. David began to summarize as he said now Lord GOD, you are that God, and your words be true, and you have promised this goodness to your servant: therefore now let it please you to bless the house of your servant, that it may continue for ever before you: for you, O Lord GOD, have spoken it: and with your blessing let the house of your servant be blessed for ever. David prayed with heartfelt thankfulness for the blessings from God, but he wanted the LORD to receive all the glory.

Many centuries before David lived Jacob had spoken words of prophecy about the descendents of Judah which included David. Genesis 49 "8 Judah, you are he whom your brothers shall praise: your hand shall be in the neck of your enemies; your father's children shall bow down before you. 9 Judah is a lion's whelp: from the prey, my son, you are gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up? 10 The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and to him shall the gathering of the people be." The New Testament confirms that Jesus is a descendent of David as the LORD had promised. Matthew 1 "1 The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham." The fulfillment of prophecies about the Christ was very puzzling to the experts in the scriptures even when Jesus was before them. Matthew 22 "41 While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, 42 Saying, What think you of Christ? whose son is he? They say to him, The son of David. 43 He said to them, How then does David in spirit call him Lord, saying, 44 The LORD said to my Lord, Sit you on my right hand, till I make your enemies your footstool? 45 If David then call him Lord, how is he his son? 46 And no man was able to answer him a word, neither dared any man from that day forth ask him any more questions." We now have more revealed truth than David had if we believe that Jesus is the eternal son of David and Son of God who died to establish life forever for those who are saved. 1 Corinthians 1 "18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but to us which are saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. 20 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe." David's prayer may have seemed foolish after all of Israel went into captivity and the line of kings ceased. But the King of kings and LORD of lords has always been, and forever will be, on his throne!

--- REFLECTIONS IN PRAYER ---

Lord, I thank you for the record of this prayer David offered to you after you had revealed to him the special plan for his descendent. Whenever I enter your presence in prayer, Lord, I want to first remember in my heart that you alone have given me by mercy and grace the privilege to commune with you. Through your word you have revealed from the beginning of time your faithfulness to give your grace to those who call upon your name. David surely would have been even more overwhelmed by your promise if he had been able to realize that his descendent would be Lord and King over him. The promise of everlasting life after the death of the body was not as clear before Jesus walked among men to die for their sins and then to be risen to the everlasting throne of God in heaven. But you have called me to be part of your kingdom in a time with completed scripture to provide a firm foundation of faith for those who believe. I deserve your grace even far less than King David, but I know that your strength is made perfect in the weakness of man, and all glory is yours through those you have chosen for your kingdom. Renew my heart, Lord, so I will genuinely agree with Jacob when I say that I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies, and of all the truth which you have shown to me as one of your servants. Amen and amen.

Published 20 June 2015