SCRIPTURE: II Samuel 7:18-29
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In our culture today, it seems as though one of the hardest things for us to do is to slow down and be still for any length of time. From the time we get out of bed in the morning to the time we turn in at night, we are always busy and always on the go. Many of us rush from one destination to another, running errands, fulfilling job duties, catching up with friends, and handling family issues. Even during "down time" when we should be relaxing, our fingers fly over handheld devices. While we are sitting in the recliner or laying in bed, we are surfing the web, checking e-mail, video chatting, and collaborating with co-workers on job projects. We find it nearly impossible to just be still.
In our passage for today, I want us to notice how King David goes into the Tabernacle and takes the time to "sit before the Lord."
Just to give you the background of this occasion: earlier in II Samuel 7, the Bible tells us that David is sitting in his newly built palace talking to Nathan the prophet. While they are talking, David says, "See now, I dwell in an house of cedar, but the ark of God dwelleth within curtains." He then expresses his desire to build a Temple for the Ark of God to reside in. Nathan understandably encourages him to do this. However, later, God speaks to Nathan and tells him that He will allow David's son to build the Temple and not David. However, God tells Nathan what we now call the "Davidic covenant" in which He promises that the House of David would be established forever as the ruling house of Israel.
After Nathan brings him this message from God, King David is overwhelmed by the grace and mercy that God has shown to him, and he goes to the Tabernacle and the Bible tells us that he "sat before the Lord."
Today, I want us to consider the fact that there are times when we need to leave our normal duties and get alone with God. We, too, need to sit before the Lord. Notice with me, very briefly, today how David sat before the Lord.
1. First of all, David sat before the Lord with humility. Listen to the first words that David prays when He goes in before the Lord: "Who am I, O Lord God? and what is my house, that thou hast brought me hitherto?"
We all know that David was not a perfect man. He made his share of mistakes. But one thing we can say about David was that he was a humble man. He knew his place when it came to his relationship with God. He knew that it was God who had raised him up from being an obscure shepherd boy to a national hero in Israel. He knew that it was God who had brought him from being a hunted fugitive to the throne of Israel.
Andrew Murray once said, "Here is the path to the higher life: down, lower down! Just as water always seeks and fills the lowest place, so the moment God finds men abased and empty, His glory and power flow in to exalt and to bless."
The reason why God blessed David so much and raised him so high in life is because he was so humble.
When you go before the Lord, make sure you go in humility. Humble yourself before the awesome might and power of God. Realize that you are nothing compared to Him. Rid yourself of every vestige of self-importance and sit in silence and humility before God.
2. Secondly, notice that David sat before the Lord with a worshipful heart. Notice David's words about God in verse 22 of his prayer: "Wherefore thou art great, O Lord God: for there is none like thee, neither is there any God beside thee, according to all that we have heard with our ears."
For David, God's glory was paramount. We see this concern for God's glory even as a young man when he faced Goliath. The young David was outraged that his countrymen would stand by and let a heathen giant defy the armies of the living God. He was concerned about God's name and God's glory.
Even in II Samuel 7, our passage for today, David's prayer reflects his worshipful heart. After God had promised to bless him and bring glory to him and his family by making them the permanent royal house of Israel, David turns all the praise and glory back to God -- the rightful recipient of it.
John Piper said that "Worship is a way of gladly reflecting back to God the radiance of His worth." This is what David does as he sits before the Lord in the Tabernacle.
3. Thirdly, notice that David sat before the Lord submissively. Look at David's words in verse 29: "Therefore now let it please thee to bless the house of thy servant, that it may continue for ever before thee: for thou, O Lord God, hast spoken it: and with thy blessing let the house of thy servant be blessed for ever."
David's attitude is, "Lord, whatever You want to do, let it be done."
We must remember that God had just rejected David's plan to build a Temple. Unlike King Saul, whom David replaced, David does not become stubborn and try to do whatever he wants just because he is the king.
David had a good desire to build a temple for God. But, in God's eyes, a good desire is not enough. God demands obedience above all else. When God tells Nathan to inform David that he would not be building the temple, David has the right response. He does not bow up. He does not try to do things his way. Instead, he sits still before the Lord and submits to God's will -- and God blesses him immensely because of it.
A.W. Tozer said, "The degree of blessing enjoyed by any man will correspond exactly with the completeness of God's victory over him. "
Have you given God the victory over your life? Is He in control? Have you submitted to Him? If you want to be blessed by God and if you want God to answer your prayers, you must submit to His will and His plan for your life.
In closing my friend, I want to encourage you to take some time every day to just sit before the Lord. Do as David did and get alone with God. Go before God with a spirit of humility realizing that you are nothing without Him. Go before God with a worshipful heart -- giving all the glory and praise to Him. And go before God submissively -- ready to obey His will.
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Now, if you are with us today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, your first prayer needs to be what we call the Sinner's Prayer. Please understand that you are a sinner, just as I am, and that you have broken God's laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God." Please understand that because of your sins, you deserve permanent punishment in hell. Romans 6:23 says "the wages of sin is death..." This is both physical death and spiritual death in hell. That is the bad news.
The good news is found in John 3:16 which says, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! I want to congratulate you on doing the most important thing in life and that is receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read "What To Do After You Enter Through the Door". Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, "I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture."
God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in twenty-three foreign countries. He is the author of sixteen books. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry which publishes a monthly magazine called The Torch Leader. He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts, The Prayer Motivator Devotional and the Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel's Report and the Second Coming Watch Update. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor's degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, and a Master's degree in Religion from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica for twenty-five years. God has blessed their union with seven children. Find out more at www.danielwhyte3.com. Follow Daniel Whyte III on Twitter @prophetdaniel3.