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Advent Readings: Day 3

For this Advent season we offer you a Bible reading for each day which points to the first coming of the Lord Jesus at Christmas and his return in glory!

2 Samuel 7:8-17

8“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. 9I 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. 10And 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 11and 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: 12When 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. 13He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 14I will be his father, and he will be my son. When he does wrong, I will punish him with a rod wielded by men, with floggings inflicted by human hands. 15But my love will never be taken away from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you. 16Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.’”

17Nathan reported to David all the words of this entire revelation.

A few comments

Leaders lead people. They take them somewhere. Good leaders take people in a good direction; bad leaders take us the wrong way. Throughout the Old Testament we see that when the God’s people have good kings, things go well for everyone, but when they have bad kings, all the people are led astray. The problem is that even the greatest of the kings, David, is unable to provide what the people need. He gets old and dies, so his rule doesn’t last, and as good as he often is, he still sins in a quite shocking way.

But God makes one of those confusing, ambiguous (deliberately!) promises to David in this passage. I mean, who is it about? Solomon his son, or his descendants in general. How can a human throne or human ruler last forever? (verses 13-14) The answer hinted at here and in Ezekiel 34:20-24 is that one who is both God and a descendant of David will come to shepherd his people. But like David, he will be born far away from the splendour of the royal palace…

Point for Prayer

Praise God that for all the failings of human leaders he has come in Jesus to be the leader we need: a king who protects his people by defeating our enemy Satan; a king who provides for his people by giving us forgiveness and eternal life; a king who leads his people by modelling delight-fuelled obedience to God.