Expectations of Old

“And your house and your kingdom shall endure before me forever…” 1 Sam. 7:16

David was a simple shepherd boy, the youngest in his family, from the back country around Bethlehem. He was handsome, and talented, and brave; but he was overlooked. Until one day when God sent Samuel to anoint a king for Israel—a man God had chosen for himself, a man after God’s heart. All of David’s brother’s paraded past Samuel first, and none of them were chosen. Then Samuel asked, “Isn’t there another son?”

To which Jesse blithely replied, “Well, yeah…the youngest. He’s out taking care of the sheep.”

But Samuel would not proceed until he was called in. And sure enough, God spoke to Samuel, “This is the one I’ve chosen.” And so begins David’s rise from insignificance to King of Israel taking the nation into it’s golden age.

But from that anointing until David realized his role as king,  were intervening years of disgrace, drama, and grief. And David learned what it meant to wait on God—not on an outcome—on God. He “strengthened himself in the Lord”, “looked to Him for help”, “walked through the valley of the shadow,” without fearing evil, and  found the Lord to be his “light and salvation.” What a journey to the promise of Kingship.

Finally after more than thirty years, the promise of God, signified by the anointing of Samuel came to pass, and David assumed his rightful position as ruler of all Israel. We might think this is where the story ends…and he lived happily ever after…right? Isn’t that how stories go? He waited, he survived, he thrived?  Well yes, and no.  God’s goodness in placing David on the throne of Israel was just the beginning. Yes, David led them into an era of political and economic prosperity. He led them to a place of spiritual revival. David established Israel as a nation to be respected and feared. And all of this was a bountiful blessing of God’s hand in his life. David never forgot that. Even when he faced internal strife and potential civil war, he cried out to God, “But you o Lord, are my glory, the lifter of my head.” David knew the prosperity of Israel was a gift from God. And David knew there was more.

For one day he would die. And the nation of Israel would go on without him. One day his glory would run out in this life. David was mortal. But the God he served is not. So when David decided to leave a legacy to His eternal God, build a temple that would memorialize Him for generations to come, God stepped in with a better plan. He sent Nathan the prophet to fill David in on his own plan. “David, you aren’t going to build a temple for me. That’s not your role. But one of your offspring will.”

Solomon, David’s own son, built a fantastic temple with real gold and silver, and precious stones. It took him years, hundreds of laborers, and carefully planned international trade agreements. But he did it. He fulfilled God’s promise to David…well part of it.  But listen to what else God told David through Nathan. “I will set up your offspring after you…and your house and your kingdom shall endure before me forever.”

One day the Seed of David, would come. He would be established by God Himself, to build a temple, not of human hands, but of human hearts. Not with gold, silver, and precious stones, but with his blood shed as a ransom. Not with international trade agreements, but by the bounty of God’s own Spirit. One day the Seed of David would rule, in power, in justice, in mercy, FOREVER. A kingdom that encompassed more than the tiny nation of Israel.  A kingdom with no end. A kingdom that truly will be “happily ever after.”

David’s expectations were exceeded! His response is appropriate. “And now, O Lord God, You are God, and Your words are true, and You have promised this goodness to Your servant.  Now therefore, let it please You to bless the house of Your servant, that it may continue before You forever; for You, O Lord God, have spoken it, and with Your blessing let the house of Your servant be blessed forever.”

God’s plan is always more than we can imagine. His glory is always brighter. His beauty more fare. His mercy farther reaching. Our expectations will always be exceeded, in His kingdom, of which there will be no end.

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