O give thanks unto the Lord for He is good, His mercy endures forever (1 Chr 16:34). Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church - Winnipeg, MB
Based on 2 Samuel 7:1-11, 16
Preached on Dec. 21, 2014 - Advent 4
Fellow baptized saints, a man sat in his home looking around at all the blessings the LORD had showered upon him. He saw that he had peace, that no one was out to get him or his family. He saw that he had God's favor, that the LORD was the One working this out in his life. He saw that he had everything he wanted, and there was nothing else he felt he needed. The man's name was David - King David.
Do you know - how much God intends to bless you? I know, its kind of an odd question. But do you think you would have a pretty good idea when you had received His full blessing? We like to think we would. King David certainly thought so. He was sitting around in his palace one day with the prophet Nathan, and he thought - yep - I have everything God intends for me to have - a big palace - peace in the land - and rest from all my enemies. Surely this is it. Surely this is the fulfillment of God's plan. Nope. David was wrong. Nathan the prophet, who had agreed with him, was wrong. And you and I are wrong.
We like to think that we know what is good. That we are a good judge of things. We like to sit in our proverbial palace, on our proverbial throne and tell ourselves we know a blessing when we see one, that somewhere in our heart we know how God works. But we do not.
God has clearly revealed His blessings in His Word. He has told us plainly what is good. And what does the heart of man do with those things God has given? It pushes them aside and tries to make its own blessings.
Think about it. Marriage. We try not to enter it. We try our best to get out of it. And we've even changed the definition of it. Marriage is much more a burden than a blessing in our eyes.
Or how about children? We spend more time trying not to have them, than we do trying to have them. We kill them if they are inconvenient. And we tell ourselves we're not ready for them. Children are much more of a burden than a blessing in our eyes.
And how about our elders? We'll only obey them when we agree with them. We try to limit our time with them. And even this we do more out of obligation than genuine desire. Our elders are much more of a burden than a blessing in our eyes.
The blessings of God are burdens to us because the heart of man is concerned with only one thing. Itself. If I think its good, then its good. It has never been about what God says. Even from the fall in the garden, it has been about what we think God should have said.
And David was no different. In the moment the LORD finally gave him rest here on earth. In the very moment his heart was able to pause and consider all the blessings of the LORD, David pushed them aside and tried to make blessings of his own. The LORD had not told him to build a temple, but David thought a temple was what God should have. He would make God a house. It even sounds like a good idea to us. But what do we know? What does David know? What does the prophet Nathan even know?
Do you know - how much God intends to bless you? No, because it is so much more than you would ever ask for. It is so much more than you can even imagine. It is so much more than your sinful heart can understand. Only the Word of God is able to deliver such blessing, and that is where you must live.
What did you think David? That I was done? That you would build me a house to dwell in? I'm just getting started. I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, that you should be prince over my people Israel. And I have been with you wherever you went and have cut off all your enemies from before you. Now I will make your name great, like the names of the great ones of the earth. And I will appoint a place for my people Israel and will plant them, so that they may dwell in their own place and be disturbed no more. But more than that - more than that David - you will not make me a house - I will make you a house, and your house and your kingdom and your throne shall be established forever. You can barely conceive of it David, but a virgin shall conceive Me and I shall come and take your throne in the flesh myself. And it will be from everlasting to everlasting, the source of righteousness in the midst of my people.
You will not build me a temple, because I'm going make my own body my temple - a temple that I will destroy yet raise again in three days - a temple I will feed to my people that I may dwell in them, and make their bodies my temple. David, there is so much more.
In the fullness of time, the greater Son of David came, and while David has a name with the great ones of the earth, Jesus has the Name that is above every other name. Jesus shares the divine Name with the Father and the Spirit. And even as Israel for a time, dwelt in safety under David, now wherever Jesus is found on this earth in His Word and Sacrament, there God's people gather and are rooted and centered in Him - here Jesus declares to you "You are forgiven, of pushing my blessings away, of trying to take my throne, of all your sinful desires. I forgive you all your sins." Even as you look forward to the day when the new heavens and the new earth shall become your place of safety forever.
Now the Son of David shepherds us, and, with the authority He has from God because He died for our sins and rose from the dead, He protects us from our enemies, from fear, and from anything that could separate us from the love of God that He has brought into the world.
And on the Last Day, that Son of David will reign in the flesh over all creation, and there will be nothing else. Perhaps God's people will still be unable to comprehend the breadth and length and height and depth of Christ's love and His indescribable blessings, but we will be with Him face-to-face, and there will be no more obstacles, for we shall see Him as He is. This is the promise of God's Word. This is what He says to you. This message is where all the blessings of God live. So when you look around at all the blessings your LORD has showered upon you, hold tight to His merciful promise, because He's just getting started. In Jesus' name, Amen.
Rev. Cameron Schnarr