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Sunday, September 9, 2018

“100 years Later: America’s Most Christian President”

II Samuel 23:5-7

David here appears to be talking about opposites.  David initially speaks as one who has been favored by the Lord.  God dwells in David’s house.  Dave is the recipient of God’s everlasting covenant, a covenant that goes all the way back to Abraham (Gen. 15:1-6)   David here is not saying (as he suggested earlier) that God’s favor is a reward for his good deeds (II Sam. 22:21).  However he is emphasizing the fact of his having been chosen by God and indeed anointed as king.  He asks the rhetorical question, “Will he not cause to prosper all my help and my desires?”

David then changes to talk about the godless.  They in turn “are all like thorns that are thrown away.”  David then adds that “the are entirely consumed in fire on the spot.”  This of course is a symbolic statement.  The wicked do not perish in the act of evil or injustice.  Yet this is their final outcome as Psalm 73 stresses so clearly.

In reality both these descriptions apply to David as we have seen.  There is what we can call a dialectic that runs throughout scripture.  This is a logical term that refers to dealing with opposites.  This is at the base of much Biblical revelation.  We constantly see what appear to be logical contradictions but which are still true.  God is three persons in one being.  Jesus is fully human and fully divine.  We are all of us even as believers in Christ a mixture of flesh and spirit, rebellion and righteousness.

David is a supreme example of these tensions.  He is the man after God’s own heart.  He is the ancestor of the Messiah who will be known as “son of David.”  At the same time he falls into grievous sin.  Yet he repents.  As the prophet Nathan points out in II Samuel 12 he is both just and unjust.  This applies to each of us as well.  We are simultaneously sinners and saints.

Therefore our hope is never in ourselves.  God and God alone is the rock of our salvation (II Sam. 22:47).

Gracious and loving God I thank you that you are both just and merciful.  Lead me to follow your ways.  I pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.