Lectionary: 2 Samuel 7:1-14a; Psalm 89:20-37; Jeremiah 23:1-6; Psalm 23; Ephesians 2:11-22; Mark 6:30-34, 53-56
One of the common themes of these lectionary readings is that God is in and over everything. Yes, we have control of our lives, that’s part of what freedom is, but God is the highest wisdom and authority.
After the king was settled in his palace and the Lord had given him rest from all his enemies around him, he said to Nathan the prophet, “Here I am, living in a house of cedar, while the ark of God remains in a tent.”
Nathan replied to the king, “Whatever you have in mind, go ahead and do it, for the Lord is with you.”
But that night the word of the Lord came to Nathan, saying:
“Go and tell my servant David, ‘This is what the Lord says: Are you the one to build me a house to dwell in? I have not dwelt in a house from the day I brought the Israelites up out of Egypt to this day. I have been moving from place to place with a tent as my dwelling. Wherever I have moved with all the Israelites, did I ever say to any of their rulers whom I commanded to shepherdmy people Israel, “Why have you not built me a house of cedar?”’
“Now then, tell my servant David, ‘This is what the Lord Almighty says: I took you from the pasture, from tending the flock, and appointed you ruler over my people Israel. I have been with you wherever you have gone, and I have cut off all your enemies from before you. Now I will make your name great, like the names of the greatest men on earth. And I will provide a place for my people Israel and will plant them so that they can have a home of their own and no longer be disturbed. Wicked people will not oppress them anymore, as they did at the beginning and have done ever since the time I appointed leaders over my people Israel. I will also give you rest from all your enemies.
“‘The Lord declares to you that the Lord himself will establish a house for you: When your days are over and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, your own flesh and blood, and I will establish his kingdom. He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be his father, and he will be my son.”
This is a fascinating reading. King David is lounging on his balcony one day, looking out over the city of Jerusalem and suddenly realizes that he has spent years building his empire and an extravagant palace for himself but he hasn’t given any thought to building a house for God.
God’s response to this through Nathan the prophet is to say, “I’m God. I don’t need a house. Never have needed a house. Didn’t ask for a house. Don’t live in a house.”
God goes on to basically thank David for his help and to let him know that he (God) will put someone in place to build a new kind of house for him to inhabit in the future. We now understand it to be a prophecy about Jesus and the church of believers. This would spring from God’s ultimate desire for his Spirit to live with people and in people wherever they are.
Do I remember that God is in all and above all circumstances?
Do I live in the comfort that while I am micro-sighted, God is macro-visioned?
Because I trust His goodness, I will make small choices each day to rest in His presence with me, beginning today with _____.
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
May it be so.