Monday, April 28, 2014

"The heritage of those who know the LORD God Almighty!"

Day #122:  Daily Bible Reading Plan - April 29th

Scripture Reading:  II Samuel 5 - 9 ...

If you asked most young people today, or older people for that matter, "What is your heritage?" ... how many, or how few would be able to answer.  Those who are older might respond by talking about their forefathers or their nationality or their possessions.  But what all of those things have in common is that they have in view only the things of this world.  That is the "normal" definition of the word, "heritage," but God gives us a much deeper, spiritual meaning in His Word.  A heritage is something that is passed on from generation to generation.  So how can spiritual things be "passed on?"

When David became King of Israel after Saul's death God said to him, "The LORD declares to you that the LORD Himself will establish a house for you.  When your days are over and you rest with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, who will come from your own body, 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. ... Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before Me; your throne will be established forever" (7:11-13,16).  How can a spiritual heritage be passed on?  Did you notice that it is GOD who says, "I will" do this.  As parents and as the Church, God has given us responsibilities and things to do, yet ultimately it is the grace and power of God that passes on a spiritual heritage.  It is His grace and Spirit for which we must always pray.

David was a man chosen by God and blessed by God.  It was certainly not because David was righteous or because he obeyed God perfectly, but because of God's grace to him and HIS power at work in and through David.  As God had chosen Abraham out of all the people on the earth and had made His Covenant of Grace with him, that through FAITH "it would be credited to him as righteousness," (Genesis 15:6) so God chose David, from the line of Abraham, to be king over Israel and to be the one from whom the Savior would come.  All that was happening pointed forward to what God would yet do to fulfill the promise He had made in the Garden of Eden when He cursed the serpent and said, "I will put enmity between you and the woman and between her Seed and yours.  He will crush your head and you will strike His heel" (Genesis 3:15).

God blessed David and gave him victory over all his enemies and he became more and more powerful. He revealed his heart when he desired to bring the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem and to build a house for the Name of God.  The incident with Uzzah reveals again the holiness of God.  It was a reminder to the people that God cannot be approached and that disobedience to God ultimately brings death.  Uzzah may have meant well, but the Ark was to be carried by men and it was not to be touched.  All these things point to Jesus and the necessity of a sacrifice for sin that allows those who believe to come into the presence of the one true God, the LORD Almighty!

In his prayer David reveals his humility before the LORD.  He was arguably the most powerful man in the world at this time in history, but he gave all the credit to God.  "For the sake of Your Word and according to Your will, You have done this great thing and made it known to Your servant. ...  You have established Your people Israel as Your very own forever and You, O LORD, have become their God" (7:21, 24).  David desired the honor of God and he understood that all that he had was a gracious gift from Him.  We read that "David reigned over all Israel, doing what was just and right for all his people" (8:15).  Even in the case of Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan, David revealed the heart of God at work within him as he showed kindness to him far beyond what most would have done in his circumstances.  David was a powerful king, yet he had a heart for God and God described HIM as a man after His own heart (I Samuel 13:14).

David, however, was a fallible human being, a sinner like you and me.  But God doesn't forget His promises and He doesn't change His plans because of the failures of men.  David is listed in the genealogy of Jesus (Matthew 1:6) to show that God was keeping His promise.  And in an amazing bit of grace, it was Solomon, the son of David and Bathsheba, who would succeed David and through whom the temple would be built and the kingdom of David established.  It is a comfort to know that God can and does use sinners who humble themselves before Him, who confess their sins and repent, turning from them, and who have FAITH in Him ... God uses people like you and me to do great things for Him every day.

As we have noted before, when the angels announced Jesus' birth to the shepherds they said, "He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High.  The Lord God will give him the throne of his father, DAVID, and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever; HIS kingdom will never end" (Luke 1:32-33).  When people read only the New Testament they miss the foundational piece of the glorious heritage that belongs to those who are the people of God today - those from every people, tribe, nation and tongue who put their faith in Jesus, the Christ, the Son of Abraham, the Son of David, the Son of God.  Jesus is the fulfillment of all of God's promises and through Him God makes those who believe the "temple of the Holy Spirit" (I Corinthians 6:19).

Our heritage as believers is nothing less than the eternal kingdom of God.  Our heritage is a gift of God and it is received by faith through the work of God's Spirit within us.  ALL the glory goes to the God of salvation, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of Israel, the God of David and Solomon and the God of all who draw near to Him through faith in Jesus, the Christ, the Son of the Living God. KNOWING that such a heritage is ours leads to a life lived with Him and for Him.  The fear of death is removed by the death and resurrection of Jesus and life has new meaning because we know that we are here for HIM, to testify to His name and to be instruments in His hands to build His CHURCH by proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  How blessed are we to have such a heritage from the LORD, our God!!

"O LORD, You are our heritage, our portion, the desire of our hearts.  You have shown me Your love and revealed Yourself to Me through Your Word.  Your Spirit, the same Spirit who was at work in David, has given me new birth and new life.  I am in awe of You and I rejoice in Your love and grace in Christ Jesus, my Savior and my Lord.  I give You praise and thanks in Jesus' name, Amen"

No comments:

Post a Comment