Second Sunday in Advent, December 4, 2022
Reader: “May the house of your servant David”
Response: “continue before you forever.”
Scripture: 2 Samuel 7:25-26
“And now, O Lord God, I am your servant; do as you have promised concerning me and my family. Confirm it as a promise that will last forever. And may your name be honored forever so that everyone will say, ‘The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is God over Israel!’ And may the house of your servant David continue before you forever.
“Look, I am coming soon, bringing my reward with me to repay all people according to their deeds. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.”
Blessed are those who wash their robes. They will be permitted to enter through the gates of the city and eat the fruit from the tree of life. Outside the city are the dogs—the sorcerers, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idol worshipers, and all who love to live a lie.
“I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this message for the churches. I am both the source of David and the heir to his throne. I am the bright morning star.”
At first glance these two passages may seem an odd pairing. You may wish to read this whole passage in 2 Samuel(v.18-29). A quick review: David is part of a long line of prophecies foretelling that the Messiah would come through the tribe of Judah, David’s tribe. (Matthew makes this point in his gospel.) This pericope is the passage from 2 Samuel where David learns from Nathan that his throne would continue forever! Did you notice the similarity of David’s response in hearing the news of an eternal kingship to that of Mary when she learned from Gabriel that she would be the mother of the Messiah? (“I am your servant. Do as you have promised.”) We see two pliable humble hearts in response to God’s directive.
Think about it, for a throne to exist eternally, one of David’s heirs would have to live forever. There is no end to “forever.” When an overwhelmed David prayed, “We have never heard of another God like you,” he was not overstating. He was surrounded by hundreds of pagan gods.
John, writing roughly a thousand years later in his Revelation, picks up this idea when he quotes Jesus’ own words: “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.” We are familiar with the Greek letters being the first and last of the Greek alphabet. The Hebrew expression would be the aleph and the tau, used to mean the entirety of a thing. The threefold statements of Jesus here commencing with an “I am” (think Moses at Mt. Sinai) declare that he is Lord of all history from its inception to its conclusion and the whole of everything in between. Jesus is the beginning and the end, the King from the tribe of Judah, whose reign is eternal. This King defeated death, the only way a King could be eternal. He is the fulfillment of the promise to David, the promise of the restoration of God’s eternal kingdom on earth. “The bright and morning star” is another name for the Messiah.
Sometimes we read a phrase in the Bible without thinking through its significance only to discover that a thousand or two thousand years later, God fulfilled exactly what he promised in Jesus Christ. When you read Scripture, go slowly, noticing every little phrase. God was very careful about what he said. Some of the things he said have yet to happen. It behooves us to pay attention to details. What do you notice today that is eternal in nature?
Music: “Once in Royal David’s City” Libera DO NOT MISS THIS
Who am I, O Sovereign Lord, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far? What more can I say to you? You know what your servant is really like. How great you are, O Sovereign Lord! There is no one like you. We have never even heard of another God like you! And now, O Lord God, I am your servant; do as you have promised concerning me and my family. And may your name be honored forever so that everyone will say, “The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is God.” This I pray in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, one God, throughout all ages, Amen. ―adapted from King David