Fourth Sunday of Advent
If we go all the way back to 1 Samuel 1, we will read a familiar story. It is very much like the story of Sari in Genesis. Hannah was one of two wives. The other wife had many children, but Hannah had none. She prayed in the Tabernacle that God would give her a child. The child was named Samuel.
Samuel was dedicated to the Lord and served the prophet, Eli, until God called Samuel to replace Eli. Samuel became a great leader of his people until God agreed to select a king to be their ruler. God told Samuel to anoint Saul.
For centuries, the Chosen Ones of God had followed the lead of prophets and judges, always chosen by God as the need arose. For Saul to be the first king was a big deal.
That is the background for today’s readings regarding David. Saul had gone off the rails, so God chose David to replace him. They struggled for some time until Saul committed suicide. David then spent time defending the nation from their neighbors.
At the start of chapter 7, David could relax in his new palace, secure in the knowledge that he had taken care of all the threats to the kingdom.
David decided to build a Temple for God to replace the tents of the Tabernacle. But God said no. It seems a strange response to the king who would be the forerunner of the Messiah.
Yet, that is the very reason for saying no. David was to represent the Messiah, not the Temple. Look at the words of God starting in verse 12 of the chapter.
When your days are over and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, your own flesh and blood, and I will establish his kingdom. He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be his father, and he will be my son. When he does wrong, I will punish him with a rod wielded by men, with floggings inflicted by human hands. But my love will never be taken away from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you. Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever. NIV
A thousand years later, another baby born in Bethlehem would lay claim to the throne.
Read my earlier comments on this theme here.
Be righteous and do good.