Text: 2 Samuel 7
Main Point: Jesus is the perfect and soon returning King.
Merry Christmas! Why are we so tired?
I propose to you that we are weary because we want to be king or we are weary because we want a king. I am convinced that a two-year-old does not sleep for 12+ hours because her body is growing rapidly. No, a two-year-old sleeps so much because it is hard work bossing people around all day. It is terribly draining spending your days forcing people to do what you want them to do. This is true for two-year-olds and ten-year-olds and forty-year-olds and eighty-year-olds. It is hard work trying to be king and it is hard work trying to act like a king. It will wear you out trying to keep the family together. You will lose sleep if, like a king, you think you must protect everyone and teach everyone and provide for everyone. Trying to be strong will crush you. We are weary because we want to be king.
And we are weary because we want a king. We want a person to take care of us. We want a person to fight our battles and provide our bread and make us safe and give us good things. The problem is humans make terrible kings. Instead of kings taking care of us, kings expect us to take care of them. We end up fighting their battles. We provide their bread. We make them safe and we give them good things. The overarching story of kings and presidents and pastors is they are all failures.
The answer to our weariness is the covenant with David. In the promise made to David we find a better king. In the fulfillment of the promises we gain a king who is fully God and fully man. Jesus is the perfect, reigning, and soon returning King. Let’s read the Word and find hope. Let’s read the word and learn what we should be looking forward to.
Read 1 Samuel 8:1-9
Like the Israelites,
I. We are weary because we want a king
Now let’s consider why we want a king
- Israel wanted to be like the world (1 Samuel 8:5)
It is our nature to want safety, stability, and security
Even an anarchist wants a leader to bring about his/her own version of safety, stability, and security. We want a champion who will care for us but no mere human can do this
- Israel rejected God as their king (1 Samuel 8:7)
Isn’t that verse shocking? They would rather have a king like the world than have the King of the world. They traded the infinite and holy God for a finite and sinful man. Notice the brokenness of humanity- we want that which will harm us.
This is the serpent’s sin and marks all those who follow him. Adam and Eve rejected God as their king. Listen to how all of humanity follows their lead (Romans 1:19-23).
It is absolute foolishness to think a mortal man can care for us and protect us and provide for us like the eternal God. It is absolute foolishness to think we can reject God and reject the consequences of this decision.
- Israel tried to reject the consequences (1 Samuel 8:19-20)
Viewed from the outside, it is insanity to think a person can reject God’s good ways AND gain good by it. It’s like thinking you can start a fire by throwing water on the wood. We want to be able to reject God and his ways and we want to have joyful lives, productive work, and healthy families. Listen to what is promised to those who reject God.
We are all disobedient children who want to be king. In judgment, God gives us what we want. God gives us terrible king. One of the consequences of rejecting God as king is we are given terribly selfish kings. Read 1 Samuel 8:10-18.
We are weary because we want to be king and we are weary because in judgment God gives us terrible kings. Here is our hope.
II. We have hope because of a better King
Here is the big picture
- The covenants are fulfilled through a king (2 Samuel 7:8-16)
God will give David a great name, just as he promised Abraham (2 Sam 7:9; Gen 12:2). God will give David the land, just as he promised Abraham (2 Sam 7:10; Gen 12:1; 15:18). God will give David offspring, just as he promised Abraham (2 Sam 7:12; Gen 12:2). God promised his presence to David, just as he promised Abraham (2 Sam 7:13; Gen 17:7). God promised forever rule to David, just as he did to Abraham (2 Sam 7:13, 16; Gen 12:2; 49:10). God will give David rest, just as he promised Israel (2 Sam 7:11; Ex 32:12-17).
What I’m saying is, God wants us to read the Bible expecting a king to be the means by which God fulfills all his promises to his people. The question in 2nd Samuel is this: Who will be the king to deliver the promise of God to the people of God? Here’s the hard fact
- The Davidic kings are failures
Let’s start with Solomon. Man, he was doing great. He was king in David’s place. Solomon brought rest and peace to the land. Solomon built the temple, then God’s presence and glory filled the temple. Solomon blessed the nations and the nation of Israel became great under his rule. Everything is awesome, until it isn’t. Solomon turned away from God and lived a Romans 1:19-23 existence. To varying degrees, all the kings of Israel followed Solomon’s lead until the nation ends up kicked out of the land, cursed, and slaves to another nation.
The king, and the kings that follow, fail the nation. This is what humans do, this is what kings do, they fail us. This is what I would do if I was a king. This is what you would do if you were king. Kings fail us, and we fail as kings.
- The hope of a better king
Remember, the Old Testament prophets were writing during the period of the kings and the exile. Listen to the way they preached the hope of a future king.
Isaiah 9:6-7, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.”
Jeremiah 33:14-17, Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah. 15 In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David, and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. 16 In those days Judah will be saved, and Jerusalem will dwell securely. And this is the name by which it will be called: ‘The Lord is our righteousness.’ 17 “For thus says the Lord: David shall never lack a man to sit on the throne of the house of Israel” (23:5-6; 30:8-9).
Ezekiel 34:20-24, “Therefore, thus says the Lord God to them: Behold, I, I myself will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep. 21 Because you push with side and shoulder, and thrust at all the weak with your horns, till you have scattered them abroad, 22 I will rescue my flock; they shall no longer be a prey. And I will judge between sheep and sheep. 23 And I will set up over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he shall feed them: he shall feed them and be their shepherd. 24 And I, the Lord, will be their God, and my servant David shall be prince among them. I am the Lord; I have spoken.”
Hosea 3:5, “Afterward the children of Israel shall return and seek the Lord their God, and David their king, and they shall come in fear to the Lord and to his goodness in the latter days.”
Amos 9:11-12, “In that day I will raise up the booth of David that is fallen and repair its breaches, and raise up its ruins and rebuild it as in the days of old.”
Zechariah 12:10-13:1, “And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy, so that, when they look on me, on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn. 11 On that day the mourning in Jerusalem will be as great as the mourning for Hadad-rimmon in the plain of Megiddo. 12 The land shall mourn, each family by itself: the family of the house of David by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Nathan by itself, and their wives by themselves; 13 the family of the house of Levi by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of the Shimeites by itself, and their wives by themselves; 14 and all the families that are left, each by itself, and their wives by themselves. “On that day there shall be a fountain opened for the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and uncleanness.
No king in Israel was ever able to get even remotely close to accomplishing these wonderful things. Here’s why
- Jesus is the better king
The Gospel writers are loud and clear as they preach Jesus the better king. Jesus is the promised son of David who will rule the nations. (Mt 9:27; 15:22; 20:30-31; 21:9; Mark 10:47-48; 11:10; Luke 1:26-27, 69, 72-73; 2:4; 18:38-39).
Here is one example, the angel’s words to Mary in Luke 1:31-32, “you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”
Peter’s sermon on Pentecost connects the promise to David with the resurrection of Jesus. Listen, “Brothers, I may say to you with confidence about the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants on his throne, he foresaw and spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption. This Jesus God raised up, and of that we are all witnesses” (Acts 2:29-32).
Two more- Romans 1:3-4 and Revelation 5:5
Romans 1:3-4 introduces the gospel, that promise “concerning his son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord.”
When John is weeping for the frustrated future, one of the elders tells him, “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.”
Jesus is the better king because he is perfect and holy and pure. He won’t take your sons and daughters to fuel his selfish desires. Jesus won’t take your money so he can have one more chariot or one more wife. Jesus is the better king because he obeyed the law of Moses. He has nothing to repent of, nothing to regret. Our king cannot be bribed or blackmailed or exposed as a womanizer.
Jesus is the better king because he conquered sin and death by sacrificing himself and then he rose again. Nothing and no one can defeat our king. This king is right now, reigning until he has put all his enemies under his feet (1 Cor 15:25). The last enemy that is teetering on the edge of destruction is death. Our king has the power to defeat death itself.
So, why do we have hope?
- We have hope because of Jesus the better king
Let’s apply this hope to our two sources of weariness: we want to be king and we want a king. I struggle wanting to be the king of my castle. I want my wife and kids and rodents to do what I want them to do when I want them to do it. I’m the king of the castle. I expect my subjects, I mean my children, to be fully formed, contributing, and pleasant adults at the age of 2. They should gladly serve me. I expect this because I am the king and my wish is your command. I want my way in my family, in my marriage, on my street, and in my work. To put it plainly, seeing that I am the king, I expect to be served. Since I expect to be served, the most frustrating thing that can happen is for me to have to serve others. We are all born this way, demanding to be served, demanding to be recognized as king.
Listen to what the only true King says, “My glory I give to no other” (Is 42:8). God tolerates no other kings because the job of king is outside our paygrade. We make terrible kings! Think on this: the reason we are frustrated having to do so much for others is we are sinful and instead of wanting to serve, we want to be king. This week, our frustration with our families and neighbors will scream out, “See, you’d make a horrible king. You’d be just like king Saul.”
Here’s the gospel way. King Jesus has purchased us rebels and forgiven us and made us members of his kingdom. Since Jesus is King that makes us stewards. Under the care of the King, we are entrusted with the property of the King. That body is not your own, it was bought with a price, what you do with King Jesus’ body matters. That house, those children, those friends, that spouse, those parents, those in-laws, those presents, and all the rest do not belong to you. All that we are and all that we have belongs to king Jesus. He gave it all to us to use with joy, for his glory, and for the good of others.
This week think about what it would look like to act like King Jesus. How can you use the stuff under your tree, in your closet, and in your garage to do good? Wrap a towel around your waist and serve. Wash the clothes and the dishes and the kids and the dog and the car. The office of king has already been filled by a guy who is way more capable than you. And he invites you to come and share his reign by joyfully serving his people.
What about those who want a king? What about those who watch Fox news more than they watch the clouds? We have been reading 2 Chronicles this week. The resounding theme is every king failed his people. Some were worse than others, some were better than others, but all were failures. Our day is no different. Now, we should desire faithful leaders and we should be thankful for every good thing leaders do. However, as Christians we have 6000 years of documented history of good guys doing bad things. Our hope is not in the White House. Our hope is coming riding on a white horse.
III. We anticipate the return of our King
In our Bible reading this week, we will read Revelation chapters 14-20. This week, as we remember the first coming of Christ, we anticipate the second coming of Christ. Slow down on Friday and use your imagination as you read Revelation 19. We don’t see a helpless babe in Revelation 19, we see a bridegroom on a white horse leading an army. This bridegroom is our king and he destroys every authority that rises against him. On Saturday you will read Revelation 20, all the nations are gathered before his throne and death and hades are condemned. On Sunday you will read Revelation 21 and the glorious promise of a new heaven, a new earth, and a new Jerusalem. This is where we are headed. We are headed to a new creation where sin and death and sickness and sadness are not allowed.
We are headed to a new creation ruled by a new and better Adam. We are headed to a new creation that will have no need for an ark or a rainbow. We will be gathered together as a great nation because God promised Abraham this would happen. We will be righteous and pure, made holy by Christ, and there will be no need for the law. In our holy city there will be a throne and on that throne will sit the promised Son of David who is Christ the Lord.
This week, be thankful for good food and good friends and good gifts but do not set your hopes on them. They will all fail you. Be thankful for the good in this world, but set your hope on the world to come. Lift up your eyes. Fight to see passed the momentary joys and monumental disappointments. A better world with a better king is coming. God our Father has promised it.
In Revelation 22:20 we read, “He who testifies to these things says, ‘Surely I am coming soon.’ We say, ‘Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!’” Let’s pray that together.