Who Will Build the House?

Pastor's Ponderings IllustrationBible Readings for the day:  Proverbs 19:3-12, 1 Corinthians 1:1-17, 1 Chronicles 16:37-18:17
Meditational Reading: 1 Chronicles 17:3-4, 10b-14
3  But that same night the word of the LORD came to Nathan,
4  “Go and tell my servant David, ‘Thus says the LORD: It is not you who will build me a house to dwell in…
10b  …Moreover, I declare to you that the LORD will build you a house.
11  When your days are fulfilled to walk with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, one of your own sons, and I will establish his kingdom.
12  He shall build a house for me, and I will establish his throne forever.
13  I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son. I will not take my steadfast love from him, as I took it from him who was before you,
14  but I will confirm him in my house and in my kingdom forever, and his throne shall be established forever.'”

David looked at his opulent palace and decided he wanted to build a house, a temple, for the Lord.  It would have been a great and glorious house.  It would be the dwelling place of the Lord, the God of Israel.  David’s intentions were pure and honorable.  He wanted to do something great for the Lord.  He wanted to build the Lord’s house.

But take a look at what the Lord promised David through Nathan the prophet.  David wanted to build the Lord’s house, but the Lord promises that he will build David’s house.  We have to be clear about the facts in this reading.  David wanted to build a physical building, a temple, for the Lord.  The Lord promised that he would build a house, a dynasty, for David, the house of David.

A cursory reading of the meditational verses could leave us with the impression that the Lord fulfilled his promise in Solomon, David’s son, and Solomon’s successors.  But look at the promise which the Lord made:  In verse 14 he would confirm the great king in his house and kingdom forever; he would establish that son’s kingdom forever.  But take a look at Israel’s history; take a look at Judah’s history.  The kingdom of Israel broke apart under David’s grandson, Rehoboam.  It split into the northern kingdom of Israel and the Davidic kingdom of Judah (and Benjamin).  We could go into a blow by blow description of how none of David’s descendants fulfilled the Lord’s promise, but we will just fast forward to 587/586 BC, when the Babylonians conquered Jerusalem for the final time and sent the people into exile.  The Davidic line came to an end.  Did God forget his promise?  Did God fail to keep his promise?

Fast forward some more, fast forward to Jesus, physical descendant of David – through an obscure line of the family, but a physical descendant none-the-less.  Jesus:  Son of God, Son of David, the messiah and savior of Israel and the world came into this world and died on the cross in order to forgive all of our sins.  God the Father raised him to life again on the third day (the first Easter Sunday).  Throughout the gospels Jesus declares that God is his “father.”  At his baptism, God the Father declared that Jesus is his “son” with whom he is well pleased.

God built his house in the person of Jesus, the eternally begotten Son of God who entered this world as the son of David. The Lord did not build a political dynasty that exercises might and power in the world.  The Lord built his house on the work of Jesus:

  • the work of Jesus keeping the Father’s will perfectly (without sin),
  • the work of Jesus submitting to the Father’s will, the Father’s will of the cross,
  • the work of Jesus dying on the cross to forgive our sins totally and completely,
  • the work of Jesus rising from the dead on the third day as proof (God the Father’s proof to us) that our sins are indeed forgiven and we have eternal life with God as a free gift,
  • the work of Jesus’ ascending back to the Father, taking up his eternal throne, the work of Jesus, who will return on the last day to bring all of his follower to be with himself.

Read the following Bible passages and see how God built his promised house for David.

John 2:19-21  Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”  The Jews then said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?”   But he was speaking about the temple of his body.”

1Corinthians 3:16  Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?

1Corinthians 6:19  Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God?

Ephesians 2:19-20   So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20  built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21  in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. 22  In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.

A prayer:  Lord God heavenly Father, you kept your promise to David and raised up the Son and built his house, a house that lasts forever.  We give you thanks that, through faith in your Son, we will live with you forever.  We pray in the name of your Son, Jesus our Savior.  Amen.

Should you wish to access Pastor Kerner’s sermon archive, you can do so at https://gslcsuffield.wordpress.com/2010/12/08/sermon-archive-2010-2011/

Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 585 South St. (Route 75), Suffield CT 06078 USA  http://www.gslcsuffield.com  Should you wish to support this ministry, you can mail a check to the church.

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One Response to “Who Will Build the House?”

  1. Adeline Wolcott Says:

    Sweet blog! I found it while browsing on Yahoo News.
    Do you have any suggestions on how to get listed in Yahoo News?
    I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there! Cheers

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