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The LORD Builds David’s House

Text: II Samuel 7:1-17
Speaker: Jim Newheiser
Outline: PDF
Date: May 31, 2009

This Sunday we come to one of the most important texts, not just in 2 Samuel, but in the whole Bible. 2 Samuel 7 contains God’s covenant with David which becomes the foundational hope for God’s people for many centuries, culminating in David’s descendant, Jesus.

The passage begins with David seeking to build a house (temple) for the LORD in Jerusalem. The LORD instead declares that He will build David’s house (dynasty) so that David’s descendant will reign over Israel forever.

This passage reminds us that while it is good to seek to honor the LORD, the LORD does not need us. We have to subordinate our dreams (even our plans to serve Him) to His will. In other religions people try to earn God’s favor by what they do. In biblical Christianity, we have to realize that we can only be saved by what God has done for us.

Missions to the Glory of God

Text: Psalm 67:3-5; Matthew 28:18-20
Speaker: Jim Newheiser
Outline: PDF
Date: May 24, 2009

Memorial Day is set aside in our nation’s calendar to remember those who gave their lives to fight our nation’s military battles. While I acknowledge the debt of gratitude we owe to those who fought for our political freedom, the occasion of Memorial Day also brought to my mind those who have given their lives in spiritual warfare – missions in particular. The New Testament tells of the earliest Christian martyrs. There have also been many throughout church history who have died in their quest to bring the liberating gospel of God’s kingdom to the world.

Today we will look at the Word of God to answer the questions:

  1. Why should we send missionaries?
  2. Who should be involved in missions?
  3. What is the work of missions?

David’s Divided Household

Text: II Samuel 6:16, 20-23
Speaker: Jim Newheiser
Outline: PDF
Date: May 17, 2009

David, in his quest to bring the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem, twice experiences tragedy. In his first attempt Uzzah touches the ark and is struck dead. After celebrating the successful entry of the Ark David returns home only to have his wife Michal express her contempt for David’s unrestrained zeal for the LORD.

What happened to David happens to many believers today whose unbelieving relatives look down upon them. Jesus warned that the gospel would divide families. Jesus also experienced the contempt of the world, including His own people.

Sometimes we, like David, will need to overcome our fear of man as we defend our loyalty to Christ. The conflict between David and Michal is also a reminder of the importance of spiritual unity within marriage.

The Joy of Drawing Near to a Holy God

Text: II Samuel 6:12-19
Speaker: Jim Newheiser
Outline: PDF
Date: May 10, 2009

Last week we saw the danger of drawing near to a holy God when Uzzah was struck dead because he dared to touch the ark of the covenant which represents the LORD’s presence among His people. Uzzah died because David and Israel failed to approach the LORD in the way proscribed by His Word. We were reminded that we too must only seek to approach the LORD in the way He has revealed – through Jesus Christ who has removed our pollution by being struck down for us and given us His holiness (John 14:6).

In this week’s text we will see the joy of drawing near to God as David follows God’s law in the manner in which he moves the ark into Jerusalem.

This produces exuberant joyful celebration for David and all of the people. This scene is portrayed in the Psalms as a precursor to the final coming of the LORD’s anointed King into His holy city (Psalm 24). Jesus is the one King who is worthy to ascend the hill of the LORD and to lead His people into the LORD’s holy presence.

The LORD still seeks worshipers who desire to draw near Him in spirit and in truth (John 4:23-24). We, like David, must be careful to worship in the way God has ordained in His Word. The Old Covenant symbols have been fulfilled in Christ. We offer spiritual sacrifices to God through singing His praises, praying, hearing His Word proclaimed, and observing the New Covenant ordinances. We, like David, should worship the LORD with great joy (emotion).

There are two kinds of danger when it comes to emotion: careless enthusiasm and cold orthodoxy. We reformed folks tend to be pretty good at knowing and following the rules. We could learn to grow in our passion for Christ!

The Danger of Drawing Near to a Holy God

Text: II Samuel 6:1-11
Speaker: Jim Newheiser
Outline: PDF
Date: May 3, 2009

John Calvin says of this week’s passage, “We have here a very strange story, that a man attempting to honor God, burning with a good and holy devotion was punished like a criminal. Now this certainly offends our feelings…”

As we reach II Samuel 6, David is approaching his high point as king. He has been crowned as ruler of all Israel. He has captured his capital city, Jerusalem. He has conquered his enemies, the Philistines. David, because of his great passion for the LORD, is not satisfied with his personal success, but desires to see proper worship of the LORD restored to Israel. This requires that the ark of the covenant be brought up from its place of obscurity to Jerusalem where it would signify the LORD’s presence with His people reigning as the true King, reconciling Himself to them through the blood of atonement, and revealing Himself through His law. As the ark is being brought up to Jerusalem there is great joy among the tens of thousands of Israelites who have come out to celebrate and worship.

Then disaster strikes. When the oxen pulling the ark on which the ark is being carried stumble, Uzzah tries to steady the ark with his hand and is struck dead. The party is over! David’s plan seems ruined. He has to deal with his emotions of anger, fear, and despair. He also has to learn that the LORD is holy and that His Word must be carefully obeyed. While it is good to seek the LORD’s presence, we must draw near to God in the way in which He has revealed. Good intentions are not good enough.

If this was a hard text in Calvin’s day, five centuries ago, how much harder is it in 21st century America.

Professing Christians need a much greater sense of the LORD’s holiness in His church, His Word, and His Worship.

We also are called to confront our self-righteous pluralistic culture with the message of God’s holiness and how we can only approach Him through Jesus.

Jesus fulfills what the ark represents. Through Him God is present with us. Though we lack the holiness the LORD requires He reconciles us to God through His blood which enables us to draw near to God.

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