Day 74—Smallifying God—“Royal Music” 2 Samuel 5:1 – 7:29
March 15, 2021, 8:45 AM

Day 74—Smallifying God—“Royal Music” 2 Samuel 5:1 – 7:29

King David is finally established. The City of Jerusalem (ironically it means City of Peace) has been established as the House of David, and David is king over both the northern and southern kingdoms, uniting them under his leadership. David finally becomes brve enough to bring in the Ark of the Covenant, which firmly establishes Jerusalem as the center for worship, as the place where God dwells with his people.

David has a moment of rest from all his conquests and battles, and as we will soon see after this, idle time is not always a good thing for David. In this case, he decides to build the LORD a house, a place to keep the Ark that has permanence. But God prevents him from doing so (see 1 Chronicles 28: 2-3 later in the OT: ‘You may not build a house for my name, for you are a man of war and have shed blood”). But God has great promises and plans for David, despite the fact that David is not chosen to build the LORD His house, and God makes a covenant with David that far surpasses any physical house we can imagine, because God gives David a permanent dynasty in the spiritual history of both Jews and Christians.

The LORD’s promises:
I will make you a great name
I will appoint a permanent place for the Israelites
I will give you rest from your enemies
I will make YOU a house forevermore (establishing the kingdom of David)

David’s response is the richest part of this reading today because it allows us to see into David’s heart as he prays before God.

  • David prays with humility: “Who am I LORD?” (1 Sam 7:18)
  • David recognizes that the God of Israel is great, and that there is only ONE God : “Therefore you are great, O LORD God; for there is no one like you, and there is no God besides you.”
  • David recognizes and agrees to God’s will being done: “Do as you have promised,”
  • David recognizes God’s sovereignty: “You established your people Israel for yourself to be your people forever; and you, O LORD, became their God.”

For me, David’s prayer wakes me up. We know that for all David’s flaws, he remains a man of deep faith throughout his life. Obviously I’m not a king, but God has made numerous promises to me that God continues to keep. Am I paying attention? Am I spending time in prayer being aware of the blessings I have been given? Do I even know who God really is?

What I mean by the last phrase is this: I am guilty of ‘smallifying’ God. Yes, I made up that word, but it makes sense to me. Rather than being aware of the magnitude, the majesty, the grace, the mercy, the blessings of God, I focus on me, my stuff—you know, kind of like the Hebrew people in the desert whining about not having vegetables when God has just saved their entire people group!

I get it. It’s human to notice the small things in our lives that need to be fixed. But we, too, are houses of God. We, too, have been established by God for worship, for blessing and for honor. When was the last time you were aware of the greatness of God? Have you ever been aware that the Creator of the entire universe bends down to bring blessings, to bring love, to ensure that we know God is present with us? Are you aware today that you carry with you the presence of the Holy Spirit, and that where you go, God is?

In the gospel of Luke, I read a phrase very early on in my ministry that has stayed with me. In Luke 10, Jesus sends out the seventy-two in pairs to do ministry and it says this: “He [Jesus] sent them into every town and place where he himself intended to go.” I was stunned. I understood for the first time that WE—that you and I—are the way that Jesus arrives in all the towns and places where he intends to go. Emmanuel—God is with us.

That awareness has changed me, and I now address God differently in my prayers. So I’ll quickly share those. In the context of other Christians, I address my prayers to each member of the Trinity by saying “Heavenly Father, Blessed Son and Holy Spirit…” because I don’t want to forget any part of who God is. And another prayer opening is one I learned from one of our Wednesday Bible Studies that reminds me who God is and what God has done. This is a Jewish prayer opening that creates awareness as I am about to pray about the bigness, the generosity and the blessing of God in the world: “Blessed are you, O LORD, God of the universe, who has made all good things…” Notice I tell God that I am aware of who God is first, then I bring God my questions, worries and needs after that.

Jews pray multiple times a day, and in specific ways. Here are some of the ways they address God as they begin their prayer time. This is a list for children, but I am still a child in prayer:

Blessed are you, Lord our God, King of the Universe, who created the fruit of the vine.(This is said before drinking wine--just saying...)

Blessed are you, Lord our God, King of the Universe, who created the light of fire. (This is said before lighting candles)

Blessed are you, Lord our God, King of the Universe, who brings forth bread from the earth.(This is said before eating bread)

Blessed are you, Lord our God, King of the Universe, who created the fruit of the trees.(This is said before eating fruit)

Blessed are you, Lord our God, King of the Universe, who made creation.(This is said  on seeing lightning, a high mountain or a great desert)

Blessed are you, Lord our God, King of the Universe, who made the sea.(This is said  on seeing the sea)

David’s prayer seemed to encompass awe, gratitude and deep awareness of God’s presence in his own life. May we be so blessed as so that we become more aware of this in our own lives as we continue to read God’s Word, and as we remain a part of God’s Story.
 

Be blessed and be a blessing to others,
ML

 

 

 

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