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Advent Devotional, December 14th

2 Samuel 7:1–11, 16

King David wants to build a house (temple) for God (7:5), but God says “no”

through the prophet Nathan. Why no? Because God will build a house (royal

dynasty) for David (7:11, 16). The word play is clever, and it works in both

Hebrew and English.

The promise to David that his dynasty would last forever did not materialize in

an earthly political sense. It ended in 586 B.C.E. with the Babylonian conquest

of Jerusalem. But expectations for the Messiah (the son of David) grew over

the next four centuries. Accordingly, as in next Sunday’s gospel reading,

the angel Gabriel promises Mary that her son will inherit “the throne of his

ancestor David” (Luke 1:32).

The promise of God to David has been fulfilled. Jesus, as Messiah, is the Son

of David, and his kingdom is an everlasting one. The title was revitalized

and renewed with the coming of Jesus on the scene. Rather than that of a

militaristic or nationalistic leader, his reign is that of a shepherd-king, the

suffering and merciful king, and it embraces all.

God, your promises are sure, even if they are fulfilled in surprising ways. Help us ever

to rely on all the promises you have given to us, especially that you have bound us to

yourself in love through the ministry of Jesus, Son of David. Amen.

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