As King David continues a prayer to God in 2 Samuel 7:18-29, he (David) remembers to do something that it is easy to forget:
“How great you are, Sovereign LORD! There is no one like you, and there is no God but you, as we have heard with our own ears.
2 Samuel 7:22 NIV
Both here, and in the next couple of verses, David remembers – and states – a number of great things that God did. These acts of God bring glory: not to David, but to God. The Hebrew people, especially when they were slaves in Egypt, weren’t particularly famous or mighty. However, God (just as He had promised) brought them out of Egypt through His own power (not theirs), and taught them at Mt. Sinai what it meant to be His people. They weren’t somehow good enough to be His people. He chose them, freed them, and then taught them what this meant.
There’s this lie going around in some people’s minds that they need to “shape up” in order to get back into God’s good graces. As you may already know, sin doesn’t work that way: once we’re separated from God because of sin, being “better” isn’t going to cover it. Even today, God chose us, freed us from our sins, and then – through the process called sanctification – He helps us become more like we should have been in the first place. Good works from Christians are the result of their salvation, not the cause.
Let’s return to David’s prayer:
“And now, LORD God, keep forever the promise you have made concerning your servant and his house. Do as you promised, so that your name will be great forever. Then people will say, ‘The LORD Almighty is God over Israel!’ And the house of your servant David will be established in your sight.
2 Samuel 7:25-26 NIV
Do you think that it’s strange for people (whether David, or us) to remind God to keep His promises? Doesn’t that seem a little contradictory to what we know about God’s perfect faithfulness?
Still, I think that there is validity in doing so. While God doesn’t need to be reminded, we often do. And, even though God knows what is on our hearts before we say or think anything, He still commands us to pray, so even if we don’t always understand exactly our role in asking God for things, it’s still the right thing to do.
Matthew Henry summarized David’s statements here as:
“[Great things] are indeed too great for me to beg, but not too great for thee to give.”
Again, David reiterates that God’s keeping His promises is for God’s glory, not David’s. After all, David isn’t going to be around (at least, not in his mortal body) when some of God’s promises to him are fulfilled. Still, God will continue to keep His promises, and I’m pretty sure that David had the faith to know that, too.
So, keep reminders of God’s faithfulness front and center in your mind. There is plenty of noise trying to drown that out, so it will take some work. God’s blessings and His fulfilled promises are all around us, though, if we will only look. Still, there are dark times when we are tempted to forget. As we look for God’s blessings and remember His faithfulness, may we give Him all the glory as we discover and remember them.
From Sunday School Lesson for June 6, 2021
- The Lookout, June 2021, © 2021 Christian Standard Media.
- Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
- Matthew Henry Commentary on the Whole Bible (Complete). Matthew Henry. 1706, via BibleGateway.com.