Wednesday, October 7, 2009

10/6- 2 Samuel 7:1-16 Jesus descended from David

(Michelangelo's David closeup- Forence, Italy)
Devotional using scripture, quote from John Calvin and thoughts for the day each day- on the 500th anniversary of Calvin's birth.

10/7- 2 Samuel 7:1-16
1 After the king was settled in his palace and the LORD had given him rest from all his enemies around him, 2 he said to Nathan the prophet, "Here I am, living in a house of cedar, while the ark of God remains in a tent." 3 Nathan replied to the king, "Whatever you have in mind, go ahead and do it, for the LORD is with you." 4 But that night the word of the LORD came to Nathan, saying:
5 "Go and tell my servant David, 'This is what the LORD says: Are you the one to build me a house to dwell in? 6 I have not dwelt in a house from the day I brought the Israelites up out of Egypt to this day. I have been moving from place to place with a tent as my dwelling. 7 Wherever I have moved with all the Israelites, did I ever say to any of their rulers whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, "Why have you not built me a house of cedar?" '
8 "Now then, tell my servant David, 'This is what the LORD Almighty says: I took you from the pasture, from tending the flock, and appointed you ruler over my people Israel. 9 I have been with you wherever you have gone, and I have cut off all your enemies from before you. Now I will make your name great, like the names of the greatest men on earth. 10 And I will provide a place for my people Israel and will plant them so that they can have a home of their own and no longer be disturbed. Wicked people will not oppress them anymore, as they did at the beginning 11 and have done ever since the time I appointed leaders over my people Israel. I will also give you rest from all your enemies.
" 'The LORD declares to you that the LORD himself will establish a house for you: 12 When your days are over and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, who will come from your own body, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 14 I will be his father, and he will be my son. When he does wrong, I will punish him with a rod wielded by human beings, with floggings inflicted by human hands. 15 But my love will never be taken away from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you. 16 Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.' "

Calvin (Inst. II.13.3): Our opponents both foolishly and wickedly entangle in allegories those testimonies wherein Christ is called the seed of Abraham and the fruit of David’s loins. For if the term “seed” had been allegorically intended, Paul
surely would not have remained silent about this when he affirmed, clearly and unfiguratively, that there are not many redeemers among the children of Abraham, but only one, Christ [Galatians 3:16]. Of the same stuff is their pretense that Christ was called “son of David” only because he had been promised and at last was revealed in his own time [Romans 1:3]. For when Paul named him “Son of David,” and then immediately added “according to the flesh,” he surely designates his human nature by this. Thus in the ninth chapter, after calling Christ “blessed God,” he asserts separately that he descended from the Jews “according to the flesh” [Romans 9:5]. Now, if he had not truly been begotten of the seed of David, what will be the point of this expression that he is “the fruit of her womb” [cf. Luke 1:42]? What is this promise, “From your loins will descend one who will remain upon your throne” [cf. Psalm 132:11 p.; also, 2 Samuel 7:12; Acts 2:30]? Now they sophistically disport themselves over Matthew’s version of the genealogy of Christ. Matthew does not list Mary’s ancestors, but Joseph’s [Matthew 1:16]. Still, because he is mentioning something well known at the time, he considers it sufficient to show that Joseph sprang from the seed of David, since it was clear enough that Mary came from the same family. Luke emphasizes this even more, teaching that the salvation provided by Christ is common to all mankind. For Christ, the Author of salvation, was begotten of Adam, the common father of us all [Luke 3:38]. I admit that one can gather from the genealogy that Christ was the son of David solely in so far as he was begotten of the virgin. But in order to disguise their error — to prove that Christ took his body out of nothing — the new Marcionites too haughtily contend that women are “without seed.” Thus they overturn the principles of nature…he differentiates this wonderful manner of generation from the common sort in stating that through her Christ was begotten of the seed of David. In the same way that Isaac was begotten of Abraham, Solomon of David, Joseph of Jacob, Christ is said to have been begotten of his mother. For the Evangelist so arranges the order of his words. Meaning to prove that Christ took his origin from David, he was satisfied with this one thing: Christ was begotten of Mary. From this it follows that he took it as generally acknowledged that Mary was related to Joseph.

Thought: The great promise to David was that he would always have a descendant on the throne. God would build him a house (lineage), because he sought to build God a house (temple). That is a promise for us, in that Christ is not only our prophet and priest, but also our king. Calvin believed that Joseph was descended from David and his genealogy is found in Matthew, while Calvin believe Luke held Mary’s genealogy. Traditional scholars point out that the last of the Hasmonean kings (Maccabean rulers- descended from David) ended during the time of Jesus. Josephus claimed Herod the Great had Hasmonean (Davidic) blood. Agrippa II was the last ruler to have Davidic blood and he was born 27 A.D. just a few years before Jesus’ death. The last brief independent rule of the Davidic line occurred about 40 years (a generation) before Jesus’ birth by Hyrcanus who was released from Roman tribute by Julius Caesar. Less than a generation after Jesus’ death the Romans tried to exterminate the Jews and destroyed the nation (70 A.D. under Agrippa II’s rule). The point is that the promise of a Davidic line was fulfilled in Jesus. His reign, as he put it, was not over a physical kingdom (as some of the zealots- possibly Judas wanted), but a spiritual kingdom that would last until eternity. Those who believe in him are a part of that invisible kingdom- the invisible church.

Prayer: Thank you for your reign over us, Lord. Thank you that you are on the eternal throne that no one can take away. You are the King of kings who fulfills the promises you make to your people.

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