The Bible says that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). Likewise, in Malachi 3:6, God says, “For I the Lord do not change...” Therefore, we can trust God’s promises (see also Titus 1:2), but how and when He decides to fulfill His promises are up to Him. As tempting as it may be to impose our thoughts upon God, we must be careful to not assume God will act exactly as we might expect. As the message will reveal today, even when circumstances seem to contradict themselves, God’s promises will not be compromised.
God’s promise to provide an heir for David is one of the great prophesies in Scripture. Although David’s son Solomon was to be a part of the fulfillment (building the house temple for God in 7:13), the grander fulfillment is, obviously, through Jesus. However, most wrongfully assume that Jesus was a descendant of Solomon as well. But per God’s decree, if that happened, God would have to break another of His promises. However, we know Jesus was born, and I am here to tell you today that God kept all of His promises in the process.
A Promise Made (2 Samuel 7:12)
The Bible contains numerous promises from God towards man. But God never makes a promise lightly. Conversely, we often forget promises we make (although we tend not to forget the promises that others make to us). And many times we make promises that we ultimately cannot control. For instance, I remember making a few promises to my children when they were younger only to have to cancel them because I had to work late or go into work on a Saturday.
But what about promises made between us and God? Have you ever made a promise to God? Have you kept it? If not, why not? Oftentimes we make excuses which might make us feel better, but do we truly think our excuses will relieve us from our responsibilities to God? Truthfully, we often forget our promises to God, but God never forgets a promise He has made to us. The problem is that we make assumptions on how and when He will fulfill them. However, He gets to fulfill His promises in His time, not ours, which may mean it will not even be in our lifetimes (consider Hebrews 11). Consider our passage for today.
- David is promised an heir to his throne. (2 Sam 7.12)
- The promise was not to be seen in David’s lifetime. (2 Sam 7.16)
- The promise was not forgotten by Israel (see Matthew 22:41-46)
So God is a promise maker. But everyone makes some sort of promises. So we need to dig deeper to make sure we can trust God to keep the promises He makes.
A Promise Challenged (Jeremiah 22:30)
Have you ever received a promise and then you heard the same promise given to someone else that seems to take away the promise to you? Or instead of receiving it, perhaps you made it. Sometimes these issues can be accidental, but that does not remove the damages. For instance, you might remember a few years ago, we did a musical presentation on a Sunday morning, and then again the next day on Christmas Eve. I told Susan that she should choose the singers for the different songs, but I had already told one person that they could sing a particular song. Well, Susan asked another person without me having told her what I had done. That presented an awkward situation. And I had to apologize, and the situation created a distrust for many months.
But in the situation we will review now, the promise God made to David was threatened because of how the nation of Israel became increasingly corrupt over time (in part because of their wicked kings, with only a few exceptions). First, the kingdom was divided, and later each nation was taken into captivity. It was during that time God made another promise which seemingly undermines His earlier promise to David.
- Jehoiachin was king of Judah when Babylon captured Jerusalem (Jeremiah 22)
- God said no offspring of Jehoiachin (also Coniah, vv. 24, 28) would be king after him.
- Jechoniah (still another name for the same person) is listed in Joseph’s genealogy (Matthew 1:11-12). Jeconiah was a descendant of David through Solomon.
God has now made two promises regarding the future of David’s descendants as king. First, one of David’s descendants would reign on a throne for eternity. Second, God promised that no other kings would ever sit on the throne if they were the descendant of Jehoiachin (Jechoniah).
So, some of your minds are stirring with thoughts. What assumptions are you making about how the story will unfold. We know Jesus is the answer to the eternal king, but isn’t Jesus a descendant of David? And, if Jesus’ father Joseph is a descendant of Jechoniah, then what are we to think?
A Promise Kept
At first glance, we might assume that God has contradicted Himself. That is because we make assumptions and project them upon God. The last king of Judah was a descendent of David, but Jehoichin was not the only descendant of David. God’s promise is that David would have a descendant upon the throne forever, but God did not specify that the King would be from the line of kings which followed David.
- A Descendant from the line of David (2 Samuel 7:12, 16)
- The Son of Joseph – yes, but also the son of Mary (Luke 3:31 reveals Nathan)
- Nathan, the third son born to David in Jerusalem (2 Samuel 5:14; 1 Chronicles 3:5)
Many people know that Solomon was a son of David, but certainly he was not the only one. Many will know the name Absalom. Some many know Amnon. But who is Nathan? (David’s son Nathan is not the same Nathan who served as a prophet at the same time as David.) We don’t know anything about David’s son named Nathan. But God did! And God knew that Nathan would be the line from which Jesus would come. In other words, God would keep His promise to David, and He would also keep His promise (made through Jeremiah) about removing the line of Jehoichin from the throne.
The passage today began with an assumption – not ours, but David’s. David made an assumption that he was to build a house for God; however, God’s plan was the opposite – for God to build a house of David (2 Samuel 7:11). But even with this plan being promised, the fulfillment was not as it may have been expected; rather, the fulfillment was through a forgotten son – forgotten by man, but not by God.
Likewise, we often make assumptions about what God might do. And we often forget promises that God has made to us. But we should never consider that God will fail to keep His promises or that we might be forgotten by God. No record is given that Nathan knew He was someone extraordinarily special. But he was, He was in the lineage of Messiah. He may have been the older brother of Solomon, but it is Solomon who received the accolades. Likewise, many people today feel overlooked and unwanted and, therefore, assume God has no purpose for them. But God knew of Nathan’s purpose 900 or so years before anyone else did, and He has a purpose for you as well. We do not get to choose the how or when God may use us, but we can stand ready, and be faithful knowing He will when He knows the time is right.
The JOURNEY letter for today is: R – REVERE.
We REVERE God because we can trust Him. And we learn to trust Him as we REVERE Him. We can talk of how trustworthy God is, we can sing about His faithfulness, but the question for us is: Do we really trust Him? If not, I would suggest we cannot truly worship Him. How can you trust someone you do not know? How can you worship someone you do not trust? But if we trust Him, we can worship Him greatly. And we learn to REVERE Him more and more...our worship becomes deeper and deeper.
Do you trust God? Not just for your salvation, but for everything that happens every day. I don’t always think that way. There are too many times that I believe that I am in control. I trust God but I am not looking to Him at all times for His guidance. If I am going to truly REVERE Him, then I must trust Him...not just when I feel I need to, but every moment of every day.
LIVE: If we are going to seek to have a heart like God, we must not only know Him, but we must begin to live in the light of that knowledge. That knowledge should include being able to trust Him, and that trust in God should be manifest in every area of our lives in every moment of our lives. This week, ask God to reveal a promise He wants you claim personally.
Maybe it is a to remember a promise from the past – one you made God or one that He made you. Maybe you need to begin to live out that promise no matter how long ago it was made.
Or maybe it is to believe a promise made in Scripture that you find hard to accept.
Whatever promise you need to believe this week, begin today. Don’t assume it is too late for you to begin or begin again. If the promise is from God, it will be made true.