God’s mercy and grace produce genuine worship

king-davidLast week during our Connect Group at Southern Calvert Baptist Church, we took a look at the contrast between King Saul and David. King Saul was a man who trusted in himself. The prophet Jeremiah teaches that a man who trusts in himself is like a bush planted in the desert on top of a rock that is covered in salt. The results are catastrophic. King Saul’s life was one disaster after another. The Lord allowed King Saul to rule for over 40 years as punishment to the children of Israel because they rebelled against the Lord and asked for a king so that they could be just like the pagans. David, the future King of Israel was a man who trusted in the Lord. The prophet Jeremiah also teaches that a man who trusts in the Lord is like tree planted next to the water, with roots that extend deep and tap into the underground water supply. Even when drought comes, the tree continues to produce fruit. David lived a fruitful life for the Lord. God allows us to choose our actions but, He has already announced the consequences of those actions.

In this lesson, we are going to examine how the mercy and grace of the Lord shown to David produced genuine worship in David’s life. What drives your worship? Is your worship driven by emotions and feelings? Let’s discover what drives David’s worship as we study II Samuel 7. As we study II Samuel 7, we are going to dig into some prophecy. Keep in mind when studying prophecy, sometimes the prophet may be talking about immediate, future events as well as distant future events all in the same verse. It is very important to keep this in mind. As an example, Isaiah 61:1-2 is read by Jesus Christ when He teaches in the synagogue of His hometown. If you look of Isaiah 61:1-2, you will notice a different in what is written and what Jesus read.

1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, Because the LORD has anointed me To bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted , To proclaim liberty to captives And freedom to prisoners;
2 To proclaim the favorable year of the LORD And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn, (Isaiah 61)

Now, take a look at what Luke relates to us about what Jesus actually read.

18 “THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS UPON ME, BECAUSE HE ANOINTED ME TO PREACH THE GOSPEL TO THE POOR. HE HAS SENT ME TO PROCLAIM RELEASE TO THE CAPTIVES, AND RECOVERY OF SIGHT TO THE BLIND, TO SET FREE THOSE WHO ARE OPPRESSED,
19 TO PROCLAIM THE FAVORABLE YEAR OF THE LORD.” (Luke 4)

Did you notice the difference? Jesus did not read all of Isaiah 61:2. Why? Because only part of verse 2 deals with the First Advent of the Messiah. The second part of verse 2 deals with the Second Advent of the Messiah. Isaiah did not understand this. He is writing about 2 different events all in the same verse. Jesus clears this up for us by not reading the second half of the verse. It was not going to happen at His First Coming. These events were going to happen at His Second Coming. The exact same thing is going to happen with Nathan the prophet in II Samuel 7. Some of the descriptions that he gives will be for an immediate future, happening in the life of King Solomon. But, much of the descriptions given are events that are going to happen at the Second Coming of the Messiah. This means that not only were they future for David, they are also future for us as well. We have only experienced one Advent of the Messiah so far in human history.

I. Past Grace shown to David

In order to lead David to a state of worship, the Lord first recounts all the ways that He has already shown mercy and grace to David. It’s important to learn to reflect on the past, especially on the ways that you have experienced the mercy and grace of God. It is easy for us to forget. God constantly reminds His people in the Old Testament to remember His ways with them so that they will not forget and so that they can teach these things to their children. It is good to sit and reflect on all the ways that the Lord has shown His mercy and grace to you over the years.

8 “Now therefore, thus you shall say to My servant David, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts, “I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, to be ruler over My people Israel.
9 “I have been with you wherever you have gone and have cut off all your enemies from before you; and I will make you a great name, like the names of the great men who are on the earth. (II Samuel 7)

There are several things that the Lord reminds David about in his own life that are applicable to us today:

  1. Don’t forget where you came from.
  2. Prosper with the same attitude that you had when you struggled.
    • teachable spirit
    • servant’s heart
    • respectful attitude
  3. The blessings of experiencing God’s mercy and grace are seen in the personal relationship that you have with the Lord and not in the material blessings that come your way.
  4. You have a platform to glorify God, not promote yourself and your brand.

We should reflect on these same truths in our own lives. God has brought us all from somewhere in our lives. We struggled at one time and times of prosperity will come. Our attitudes must not change during the times of prosperity. Our relationship with God must be our focus, not the things that He does for us. As He gives us more and more of a platform, we must always seek to glorify Him as we did in the beginning. Being reminded of the past helps us remain grounded in the present. Please take some time to reflect today on the mercy and grace of God in your life. It will change your day. It will also probably change your attitude. If taken seriously enough, it will also change you.

II. Future Grace shown to David

As we live in the present, remembering the past, it is also important to reflect on the future. This is the next thing that the Lord teaches David, and us by extension. God promises future mercy and grace to David and the key is, will David choose to believe the Promises of God or not? In verses 10-16, the Lord is going to reveal prophecy, some of which is immediate future for David and other parts of it will be distant future for David. We have to pay attention to the details to be able to determine which is which.

10 “I will also appoint a place for My people Israel and will plant them, that they may live in their own place and not be disturbed again, nor will the wicked afflict them any more as formerly,
11 even from the day that I commanded judges to be over My people Israel; and I will give you rest from all your enemies. The LORD also declares to you that the LORD will make a house for you.
12 “When your days are complete and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your descendant after you, who will come forth from you, and I will establish his kingdom.
13 “He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. (II Samuel 7)

This is a two-fold prophecy. David’s son, King Solomon, is going to rule over the kingdom during a time of peace and prosperity like no other time in the history of Israel. But, this time of peace and prosperity is not eternal. There is also a future kingdom of God, on the earth, in Israel where the people will have complete rest. David will die and be resurrected before this event takes place. The descendant that is coming from the lineage of David is the Messiah, Jesus Christ. He will lead the future kingdom and it will endure forever. King Solomon’s kingdom will not endure forever.

14 “I will be a father to him and he will be a son to Me; when he commits iniquity, I will correct him with the rod of men and the strokes of the sons of men,
15 but My lovingkindness shall not depart from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you. (II Samuel 7)

In verses 14-15, the Lord makes reference to the earthly kingdom of King Solomon. God is going to extend His mercy and grace to King Solomon the same way that He did to David. King Solomon will make mistakes but the Lord will deal kindly with him based on His relationship with David. As we can see, the Lord not only reminded David of His past mercy and grace, He also reminds David of His future mercy and grace. This helps ground David in the present. How is David going to respond to this? It can be summed up in one word, WORSHIP.

III. David’s genuine worship

The English word “worship” comes from a combination of two the Old English words “worth” and “ship”. It literally means worthy because of the high quality. God deserves our worship because of who He is. He is worthy and worship means that we acknowledge His worth. This is how David responds to the mercy and grace of God. David’s worship is seen in verses 18-29.

The first thing that David does is acknowledge the mercy and grace of God. He is grateful for what the Lord has done. The next revelation that David has is that God acts based on His own perfect character and not on the merits of mankind. Because of this, God is worthy of our worship. David is also familiar with the works of the Lord in human history. The good works of the Lord lead David to worship. David knows whom he worships.

“Now therefore, O LORD God, the word that You have spoken concerning Your servant and his house, confirm it forever, and do as You have spoken, (II Samuel 7:25)

David’s worship is rooted in his knowledge and understanding of the Word of God. This is what drives David’s worship. Does the Word of God drive your worship?

“Now, O Lord GOD, You are God, and Your words are truth, and You have promised this good thing to Your servant. (II Samuel 7:28)

David had knowledge and understanding of the Word of God and now, he must act based on that knowledge and understanding. Will he trust the Promises of future grace or not? David chose to worship God by trusting in His promises of future grace. Do you worship God by acting based on His Word? Obedience to the Word of God is worship in its purest form.

May the Lord help us learn to evaluate the past and trust in the future as we live daily in the present to worship the Lord!

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