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When David reflected in peace, he reflected about his love for God and God's house. He reflected about his love for people and his covenant friends. It brought David peace. Jesus said you can hang all of life, all the prophets said, and all the law said on those two things. Upon what do you reflect?
Peace and Reflection - By Pastor Delbert Young (Sermon notes) (Listen sermon audio mp3)
2 Samuel 5:11-12; 7:1-3; 1 Timothy 3:15; Hebrews 3:6; 1 Peter 2:5; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 1 Chronicles 22:3-5; 2 Samuel 9:1; 1 Samuel 20:15-16; 9:1, 3-4, 6-7
2 Samuel 5:11-12 Now Hiram king of Tyre sent messengers to David, along with cedar logs and carpenters and stonemasons, and they built a palace for David. And DAVID KNEW THAT THE LORD HAD ESTABLISHED HIM AS KING OVER ISRAEL and had exalted his kingdom for the sake of his people Israel.
2 Samuel 7:1-3 After the king was settled in his palace and THE LORD HAD GIVEN HIM REST from all his enemies around him, he said to Nathan the prophet, "Here I am, living in a palace of cedar, while the ark of GOD REMAINS IN A TENT."
It was a time of rest for David. Life couldn't be better. The smell of new lumber (cedar) and fresh paint soothed David. David had a new home. If you ever had one you know how good it feels. There were no giants defying David, no Saul pursuing David, the enemies were subdued, the children were playing quietly, and the wife (wives in David's case) is at peace.
Isn't it great how there are times when the Lord gives us peace from everything? I wonder sometimes if we realize, it is the Lord who gives us peace, or something of our own construction bringing us peace. We don't realize if the Lord didn't want us to have peace, we would not have peace. We sit back in the recliner and relax, not because we are exhausted, but because life is good. These moments are welcomed interludes of life given to enjoy and REFLECT. It's interesting to take a look at what the man after God's own heart reflected on when everything was at peace. What do you reflect on in your timesof peace? We will compare and see how our hearts align with the heart of David.
David reflected about how wonderful the Lord had been to him. Do you do this? I do. From time to time when things are peaceful, in my prayer and communion times, I hear myself saying, "Thank you Jesus for everything you have done for me." I go down the list of everything thanking Jesus.
David lived in a mansion, but thought about how the Lord's presence – Ark of the Covenant – was outside in a tent. David had an awesome, man after God's own heart thought, "Lord, you have so blessed me, but how are you doing? I live in a mansion, but you representative presence is in a tent." This isn't as it should be.
The scriptures refer to the "tent" as the Tabernacle of David (Isa 16:5; Amo 9:11; Act 15:16). David wanted to build a beautiful temple in the Lord's honor. I think we all relate to that somewhat. We appreciate a beautiful place to worship. We want to be proud of the church we attend. You wouldn't be proud of telling people you went to a tent every week to worship. David said, "It's not right for me to have all this, but say our God is in that tent. We say we have a great God above all gods, but we put his presence in a tent. The other nations mock our God."
In the natural, people want a nice home and a nice church facility. However, many only want to attend and not support the upkeep of the facility.
Concerning our own bodies, the temple of the Holy Spirit (1Co 6:19), I watch people take their bodies to the gym to keep it in shape and they feed it well (often too well), but neglect their spiritual exercise and spiritual food.
Then there is spiritual advancement. We should desire to grow in our knowledge of God and spiritual awareness from a tent to a temple. OUR LIVES SHOULD REFLECT THE TEMPLE OF GOD, NOT THE TENT OF GOD.
David wanted a temple and began to run what he wanted to build for God by people. Initially, everyone was for it, but the Lord spoke to Nathan the prophet.
2 Samuel 7:5, 12-13 "Go and tell my servant David, 'This is what the LORD says: Are you the one to build me a house to dwell in? …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.
We look back from today to David and I know exactly what that meant.
1 Timothy 3:15 …you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in GOD'S HOUSEHOLD, WHICH IS THE CHURCH OF THE LIVING GOD, the pillar and foundation of the truth.
Hebrews 3:6 But Christ is faithful as a son over GOD'S HOUSE. AND WE ARE HIS HOUSE…
1 Peter 2:5 you also, like living stones, are being BUILT INTO A SPIRITUAL HOUSE…
1 Corinthians 3:16 Don't you know that YOU YOURSELVES ARE GOD'S TEMPLE and that God's Spirit lives in you?
Jesus is the son of God and THE SON OF DAVID (about 15 references in New Testament alone) who built the house and kingdom that would never end. You are the temple of God. You are the church. You are the pillar and foundation of the truth built by David's offspring, Jesus Christ.
Nonetheless, the Lord did allow Solomon, David's son, to build a magnificent temple called the Temple of Solomon. Solomon built it, but David wanted it and provided everything for its construction. The Lord just wouldn't allow David to build it.
1 Chronicles 22:3-5 He provided a large amount of iron to make nails for the doors of the gateways and for the fittings, and more bronze than could be weighed… cedar logs than could be counted… David said, "My son Solomon is young and inexperienced, and the house to be built for the LORD should be of great magnificence and fame and splendor in the sight of all the nations. THEREFORE I WILL MAKE PREPARATIONS FOR IT." So David made extensive preparations before his death.
David provided everything down to the nails. The Temple of Solomon was a MAGNIFICENT temple because David desired it, planned for it, and provided for it. Let's make this applicable. Will your children build a temple to God? You can't build it for them. They must build it and much of what they build, is determined by your desire, your plan, and your provision. What about the temples of your grandchildren? What will they build? Your desire, plan, and provision today will greatly determine their magnificence when your days are over and you rest with your fathers.
It was settled. Solomon would build the temple and David would provide for it. David accepted that and didn't push his will through. David's PEACE AND REFLECTION time ended and battles came again. They always do. David was an amazing leader and warrior. There was none like him (Read 2 Samuel 8:1-18). He truly was a remarkable person.
David was at the top. God blessed David beyond David's highest dreams and expectations. Life was better than ever. Who would think the shepherd boy who sang songs and slung rocks at lions and bears would become the warrior/king extraordinaire? It says The LORD gave David victory wherever he went.
When you look at your life, how's life stacking up? Are you experiencing victory wherever you go? Did you think you would have what you have, get to do what you do, and be who you became? I certainly didn't. I look at my life, my family, and what all God has done and I say WOW! Lord, you have given me victory wherever I went.
David entered into another time of PEACE AND REFLECTION. This time he reflected and this time it was about Jonathan, his covenant friend.
2 Samuel 9:1 David asked, "Is there anyone still left of the house of Saul to whom I can show kindness for Jonathan's sake?"
The Lord brought David's old friend to his mind – Jonathan. Times of PEACE AND REFLECTION do that. Jonathan, more than David, knew with surety David would be king. Jonathan was correct. There's David – king, successful beyond measure just as Jonathan said.
You never forget those who once cared for you (past tense as in your past, not past tense as they don't care now.). If you fast reverse your mind through your memory, you will see images of those who cared for you in a true friend way. If you allow it, it's an amazingly surprising moment. You see friends, people you have not connected with for maybe decades. You see smiling faces that cared/care for you and if still alive, they reflect about you exactly as you reflect about them. They think, "I wonder what they do now? I wonder where they are now. I wish I knew if they want to talk to me. I need to find their phone number or e-mail address."
As I wrote this and did my "fast reverse" thing allowing the Lord to take me to a reflection moment, I stopped on an old friend named Durell Purmort… well, old in that I have known him since grammar school. I decided to call him. I've not spoken with him for decades. I can't remember the last time we spoke. We went through grammar school, middle school, high school, and college together. I introduced him to his wife (don't remember exactly how that happened, just know I did.) It was Durell and Delbert – I know, strange names. At one time, he knew me better than anyone and even warned my wife, "Don't marry Delbert." That's how bad I was back then. He was/is a great guy and was a standard for me. He always did what was right – always. I paled to him in righteousness. I took the time to look up his phone number, called him and we talked and talked. I learned he has been very successful, retired for 6 years, has two grandchildren, and he and Terri, his wife, travel a lot. It was a marvelous reconnection for me. We promised to link up soon. It went so well and felt so good that I did it a second time with another "old" friend, Mike McKneely. Again, another great moment of reflection.
David rewound to Jonathan and remembered a promise.
1 Samuel 20:15-16 and do not ever cut off your kindness from my family - not even when the LORD has cut off every one of David's enemies from the face of the earth." So Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David…
When a new king took over, he exterminated all the family of the previous dynasty. This removed a potential of revolt. Jonathan knew David would be king one day and requested of David, "Promise me you will not kill my children!" David promised and here he was 20 years later in PEACE AND REFLECTION.
2 Samuel 9:1 David asked, "Is there anyone still left of the house of Saul to whom I can show kindness for Jonathan's sake?"
Who cared if any of Saul's house remained? David cared. David gave his promise. That's how it works with a man or woman after God's heart. Covenant and promises and friendships are important to God, so, they should be important to us even though promises and covenants are tough.
The wife of a cheating husband stays with the marriage. Why? She promised. The husband of a spouse smitten with Alzheimer's watches her live in a fog of forgetfulness and insanity causing misery to him and their family. He daily tends to his spouse. Why? He promised. A rebellious child pushes his/her parents to the limits, but the parents keep loving and helping the child. Why? The parenting promise. Parents of a handicapped or disabled child love and raise the child though they could have aborted. Why? They have a heart for God and keep the righteous promise. Much of life is determined by "the keeping of" or "the breaking of" a promise. David asked, "Is there anyone left of Jonathan?"
2 Samuel 9:3-4 …Ziba answered the king, "There is still a son of Jonathan; he is crippled in both feet." "Where is he?" the king asked. Ziba answered, "He is at the house of Makir son of Ammiel in Lo Debar."
Ziba said, "Well… yes, there is a son of Jonathan, but… uhhh, you are not going to want him around your palace. Both his feet are all crippled and he lives in Lo Debar." Lo Debar means "pastureless." It was a barren place on the other side of the Jordan, or we could say, the other side of the tracks.
It's amazing how people key on physical disabilities and financial status. We all have them, but we love to point out those people we think beneath us. It makes us fell "taller" and "more perfect."
Jonathan's son's name was Mephibosheth (Don't you love these names and feel lucky you don't have to pronounce them). Mephibosheth was five when the Philistines killed his father Jonathan, Grandfather Saul, and two uncles. When Mephibosheth's nurse heard, she picked up Mephibosheth, ran, but fell dropping Mephibosheth and crippling both Mephibosheth's feet for life (2Sa 4:4).
David didn't care if Mephibosheth was crippled. David didn't care if he lived in the low rent housing area. Why? The promise. The promise is bigger than any disability. The promise is bigger than any low rent life. David sent the stretch chariot for Mephibosheth who at this time was about 25 to 30 years of age. Imagine Mephibosheth's shock when someone came running to him saying King David's men are coming! Mephibosheth must have thought, "Oh no! He found me! This is it!"
2 Samuel 9:6-7 When Mephibosheth son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, came to David, he bowed down to pay him honor. David said, "Mephibosheth!" "Your servant," he replied. "Don't be afraid," David said to him, "for I will surely show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will restore to you all the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will always eat at my table."
See the scene. Mephibosheth comes to David on crutches and hobbles down to bow. David said, "Mephibosheth!" Mephibosheth waited for the sword to slice through his neck. David said, "Don't be afraid. I will take care of you." David did exactly that. "Faster than you can say Mephibosheth twice, he gets promoted from Lo Debar to the king's table. …smiling as if he's just won the Jerusalem lottery." Why? The promise.
We need to look at more of the Mephibosheth story. Mephibosheth disappeared from scripture for about 15 years. Fast forwarding David's life, Absalom, one of David's sons, rebels against David with an army forcing David to flee Jerusalem with a few close friends. Ziba told David that Mephibosheth sided with Absalom. Eventually, Absalom was killed and David returned to his throne. Mephibosheth gave David a different story concerning his allying with Absalom. He said Ziba abandoned him and then slandered him to David. "Who's telling the truth, Ziba or Mephibosheth? One is lying. Which one? We don't know. We don't know because David never asks. He never asks, because it doesn't matter. If Mephibosheth tells the truth, he stays. If he lies, he stays. His place in the palace depends, not on his behavior, but on David's promise."
We all come from our personal Lo Debars. We all have our personal lameness. Eve dropped us when she fell. However, God made a covenant promise to Jesus Christ. One day King Jesus sent a messenger to you – a preacher, a friend, a parent, a Sunday School teacher, anyone. King Jesus summoned you and now you can eat at his table of life. Pull up your chair. At the table, your lameness is not seen because it's not important. There you now sit with all the other children – Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Peter, John, even David and, MEPHIBOSHETH. Why are you there? Because you deserved it? No. Earned it? No. Because of your degrees, success, or wealth? No. You are there only because of the promise.
I want to end with this story of promise. My brother-in-law pasted away from cancer. I got to pray with him, have communion with him, and baptize him before he passed. After the diagnosis, for months my sister-in-law fed him, bathed him, changed his clothes, shaved him, and powdered him. She never complained. She stayed with him night and day until the night he passed. Brenda is a promise keeper. How have you and I done with our promises? What are we showing our children and grandchildren about promise keeping? Being a promise keeper is another step to being a man or woman after God's own heart.
When David reflected in peace, he reflected about his love for God and God's house. He reflected about his love for people. Jesus said you can hang all of life, all the prophets said, and all the law said on those two things. Upon what do you reflect?