2 Samuel 7 is one of the most important chapters in the life of David – and the entire Bible. In this message, Timothy “TA” Ateek teaches through a story that begins with David’s plans and culminates with God showing His plans to be far greater than anything David could’ve imagined.
Salvation is Here | Luke 1:26-38
Confidence in Our Great Shepherd | Psalm 23
Leaving a Legacy | 1 Chronicles 28-29
When Life Is Painful | 2 Samuel 15-18
What to Do When Stuck in Life | Psalm 40
How God Rescues Us From Sin | 2 Samuel 12
How to Stop Sinning | 2 Samuel 11
Your Confidence, Treasure, and Counsel | Psalm 16
Does God Really Love Me? | 2 Samuel 9
God’s Better Plans | 2 Samuel 7:1-17
What's The Meaning of Life? | 2 Samuel 6
Living in God’s Will | 2 Samuel 5
Trusting God When Wronged (and Trusting God When Wrong) | 1 Samuel 24
Dealing with Other’s Success | 1 Samuel 18:1-16
God and Goliath | 1 Samuel 17:37-47
Syncing Up With God’s Plans | 1 Samuel 16:1-23
This is the most important chapter in the life of David. But we can go a step further. This is actually one of the most important chapters in the Old Testament and even in the entire Bible. Did you know that? Have you ever heard of 2 Samuel 7 being one of the most important chapters in the Bible?
Why this chapter is important:
Good morning, Watermark. How are we doing today? It's so great to be with you today. I hope all is well. If this is your first time ever to Watermark, I'm so glad you made it. Thanks for trusting us with your Sunday morning. I hope this place feels like home very quickly for you.
A few years ago, it was a Thursday night, and on Friday, my oldest, Noah, was going to have a birthday. My wife was out for the evening with friends, but she had told me earlier that week and earlier that day that we were going to need to decorate the house for Noah's birthday. With Kat being out that night with friends, I took it upon myself to decorate.
I felt great about it. I was like, "This is a moment. I am going to amaze my wife. I'm going to serve her. She's going to come home from being out with friends. She's going to be tired. She's not going to want to decorate, but she's going to feel a need to. She's going to walk in, and it's all going to be done." But I had no clue where any decorations were.
I didn't really have a vision for where things were going to go, decoration-wise, but I knew we had a drawer in our house with a bunch of random old decorations. I was like, "If Kat were here, that's probably where she would go." So I went and opened up the drawer, and there was one streamer. I was like, "I guess that's the color streamer we're going to have." So I cut some uneven strips and hung them unevenly from the doorframe, and I was like, "It'll work."
Then I found the Harry Potter "Happy Birthday" banner we had used the previous year, and I was like, "I think this'll do too." So I put that up. I found some balloons that were random colors and didn't match the streamers or the banner, but I was like, "They're balloons. You have balloons on birthdays." So I inflated some of them halfway and hung them up. When I looked at what I had accomplished, it didn't look great, but I felt great. You know what I'm saying? It was like, "Hey, I accomplished something tonight."
So, my wife came home, and she looked confused, but the right thing to do was to encourage her husband, so she was super encouraging. She told me how great of a job I did, and then she very gently informed me that she had actually bought all new decorations for Noah. She had actually gone to the store and bought Avengers-themed decorations. She had a brand-new Avengers banner because Noah was into Avengers at the time. There were actually Avengers balloons that matched the Avengers banner, and then there were different color streamers that matched the banner and the balloons.
Then my wife went to work. It was like an episode of Fixer Upper. Honestly, there was the "before" scene, and then there was the "after" scene. I will tell you that Noah, if he doesn't realize it, should be very thankful that my wife intervened, because the reality is I stepped into that evening with my own plans, and in that moment, I did what I thought would be amazing. In the end, Kat stepped in, and she was like, "This is really cute, but I have plans that are so much greater than this." In the end, the result was something that, honestly, I couldn't have fathomed for that night and that birthday.
The reason I tell you that is because this morning, as we step back into the life of David, we're actually stepping into the most important chapter in David's life. This is actually the climax of David's career. In this chapter, we're going to see the same thing play out that played out on that Thursday night a few years ago. David is going to start out the chapter bringing his own plans to the table, and then God is going to gently come in and say, "David, I love you, and that's really sweet and really cute, but I've got plans for you that you can't even begin to fathom."
David is going to experience a monumental trade-up in God's plans. What I hope happens is, as God unpacks his much better plans for David, you would find yourself being invited into God's greater plans for you. I hope you and I might experience a trade-up when it comes to plans. For example, this morning, I don't know what your plans were in coming to church today. I don't know what you hope is accomplished here. Some of you guys are here to just check a box or you're here because you were dragged here.
My hope is that you're going to experience this monumental trade-up, that you're going to leave saying, "I met with God today." I wonder how many of us are so inward-focused on our plans and what are plans are for today or this week or this year that we aren't synced up at all with God's plans for our day or our week or our year. We don't have any clue what God is wanting to do in our little world, and we definitely have no clue what God is doing at work throughout the world. This is going to be an invitation to you into something greater.
So, if you have a Bible, turn with me to the most important chapter in David's life. It's found in 2 Samuel, chapter 7. As you're turning there, here's what I want you to realize. This isn't just the most important chapter in David's life; this is actually one of the most important chapters in the entire Old Testament, and it's actually one of the most important chapters in your entire Bible. Did you know that?
Have you ever heard someone say, "If there's any chapter you'd better know, let it be 2 Samuel, chapter 7"? Is that floating around these days? Are y'all getting in your Bible studies, and you're like, "Well, of course, there's 2 Samuel, chapter 7, right?" This chapter isn't even on the majority of people's radars, yet it truly is…
This is not just my opinion. Listen to what Robert Bergen, who has written what a wide amount of people believe is the best commentary on 1 and 2 Samuel, says about this chapter. He essentially says, "The Lord's words recorded here arguably play the single-most significant role of any Scripture found in the Old Testament in shaping the Christian understanding of Jesus." That's how significant this chapter is.
This chapter unpacks what in theological circles is known as the Davidic covenant. There are different covenants in the Bible, and the Davidic covenant is one of them. That word covenant doesn't show up anywhere in this chapter, yet there are other chapters that are referencing what is happening in this chapter to let us know this is one of the significant covenants in the Bible.
Here's why I think this talk is going to be helpful for today. If you're sitting there wondering, "Do I want to listen or do I not want to listen?" let me just tell you a few reasons I would encourage you to tune in. First, this talk is going to help you make a lot more sense of your Bible. I don't know if the Bible feels for you like a random assembling of various stories or different passages, so you just kind of jump from passage to passage, but you don't see how they all fit together.
This chapter is basically the key. It's like looking at the picture of a puzzle on the box and then holding all of the pieces. This chapter helps you know what the puzzle actually looks like and how it fits together. So, if you're not familiar with the Bible, or if you've been a Christian for a while, but you can't really unpack if someone were to ask you, "What is the Bible about?" let me tell you.
The Bible is about God bringing his kingdom to the earth. It is about God having a people in a place to enjoy his presence under his rule. I mean, that is what God is working from Genesis to Revelation. It is about bringing his kingdom to the earth, and this talk is going to help you make sense of God wanting a people and a place enjoying his presence under his rule.
If you know that sentence, then as you walk through the Old Testament, you're going to be like, "Oh! I get it." Then you're going to step into the New Testament, and you're going to be like, "Makes sense." You're going to get to Revelation and say, "I see. What I saw in the picture on the box I now see before me."
The second reason I would encourage you to listen is that this passage in the Old Testament is going to do an incredible job of stressing the significance of Jesus Christ. So, if you're here today, and you're not a Christian…you don't have a relationship with Jesus, and you wonder why Watermark makes a big deal of Jesus instead of just trying to help us to become better people…it's going to become clear why we believe Jesus is at the center of everything.
Then, finally, I hope this talk will help you trade up your plans to God's perfect and greater plans. So, here we go. Enough explanation setup. Second Samuel, chapter 7. Verses 1-3 are going to kind of set the scene for us. This is David going to the decoration drawer and pulling stuff out.
"Now when the king lived in his house and the Lord had given him rest from all his surrounding enemies, the king said to Nathan the prophet…" He was basically the nation's pastor. "'See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells in a tent.' And Nathan said to the king, 'Go, do all that is in your heart, for the Lord is with you.'"
Just understand what's happening right now. David is the most successful king on the planet. God has given him rest from all of his enemies. God has given him victory after victory. But one of the things I love that we see here about David is that even in the midst of a bunch of success, his heart is still tuned toward God. If you're a very successful person in this room, can the same be said about you? Even in the midst of all of your success, is your heart still tuned toward God?
What do we see David saying? David, in the midst of a season of ease, feels very uneasy about one thing. What is it? It's the fact that he lives in a really nice house, and he's looking around, and the ark of the covenant, the ark of God, which signifies the presence of God, is housed in a tent. He doesn't feel right about that, so it is his desire to build a house for God.
God is very quickly going to respond to David, and he's basically going to say, "David, I really appreciate how you've tried to decorate, but I have much better plans. That's really generous that you want to build me a house, but I actually have better plans to build you a house." What's going to happen is God is going to respond. Don't miss this. What we are reading here is God's longest recorded monologue since the days of Moses. It has been roughly 400 years since we have seen God talk this much. That shows you how significant this passage is.
As we look at what God says, there are going to be four keys to understanding God's better plans. I'll just tell you from now what these four things are. If you want to understand, if you want to step into God's better plans, if you want to experience a trade-up, then you need to get synced up with God's presence, God's place, God's promises, and God's power. That's what we're going to see in this passage.
This is God coming back to David, saying, "David, I love you so much, and that's really cute that you found the random drawer of decorations. I'm so proud of you. That's so incredibly sweet. But, David, let me ask you something. Have I ever asked you to build me a house? Have I actually asked any of the leaders of the nation of Israel at any point to build me a house?" His point is "David, if I wanted a house, I would have asked for a house."
So, it's good for us to ask the question…Why hasn't God asked for a permanent house? Well, look back at the beginning of verse 7, because that's the clue. God says, "In all places where I have moved with all the people of Israel…" God is saying, "Look. The reason I never asked for a house is I needed to be nimble. I needed to be able to be on the move. Why? Because my people have been on the move, and I am a God who is committed to being present with my people. How could I settle down when my people have been unsettled? That doesn't make sense."
What God is reminding David of is the fact that all of his plans are always accomplished by him being present with his people. If you want to understand your Bible, then you need to tap into the fact that from Genesis to Revelation, the presence of God is a key thing throughout all of Scripture. You open up to Genesis, chapters 1-3, and what do you find Adam and Eve experiencing? You see them living in the garden of Eden with God. God is present with them.
You go throughout Genesis. God is with Abraham. He is with Issac. He is with Jacob. He is with Joseph. Then you get to Exodus, and God leads the nation of Israel out of slavery to Egypt. Then how does God lead them? He leads them by a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. Why? Because he is trying to communicate to his people, "I am here. I am with you."
They establish the tabernacle, and the presence of God fills the tabernacle. Solomon is going to actually build a temple for God, and the presence of God fills the tabernacle. But right before that, look at what it says. God is communicating to David, "Look. David, understand I've always been committed to being present with my people." Now God is communicating to David, "If anyone should know that, David, it's you." Look at verse 8.
"Now, therefore, thus you shall say to my servant David, 'Thus says the Lord of hosts, I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, that you should be prince over my people Israel. And I have been with you wherever you went and have cut off all your enemies from before you.'"
So, God comes to David and is like, "Yeah, I was with Adam and Eve. I was with the nation of Israel, and, David, I'm with you." Then you see Solomon build the temple. Fast-forward to the New Testament. Jesus is called Immanuel, which means God with us. Jesus conquers sin and death through his death, burial, and resurrection. He ascends into heaven, and he sends the Spirit, which is now God in us.
Then you fast-forward to Revelation 21, and you see the dwelling place of God is with man. It's no longer God with his people in a garden. The garden has been transformed into a city, the New Jerusalem, and God is with his people. If you want to tap into God's greater plans, if you want to experience a trade-up, if you want to experience more joy and purpose in your life, then the best thing you can do is begin to realize that God is here.
There's something I've seen play out in different comedy shows. Maybe you've seen this in one of your favorite sitcoms, whatever it might be. I always love it when it happens. It feels kind of subtle, but I always love it when you see people talking about someone else, and they're saying awkward things about that person, and then the camera angle zooms out, and that person is sitting right there. That person is like, "Guys, I'm right here." Like, "This is uncomfortable. It's awkward." Just watch for it now. You will see it take place.
When that camera angle zooms out, it's so great when that person is like, "I'm literally sitting right here." I wonder, if we were able to kind of rewind the tape in different parts of our lives, or even today, if it would be comical how we plan or how we stress, yet God is right here. I just wonder if there would be a tape of us working our plans. It's like, "I'm going to start a company, grow it, make a ton of money, retire early, and get the second home in the mountains to spend the summer to avoid the 110-degree weather, and then I'm going to cruise into eternity."
I just wonder if the camera angle zooms out, and God is like, "You know, I'm right here, and that's not what's going to happen." Or like, "You know what? We're going to have two kids, one boy and one girl, because we want one of each, and we're going to have them two years apart so they can be best friends. We don't want to be in the baby phase forever. When they grow up, they're both going to be amazing, they're both going to go to Texas A&M, and they're both going to get married to amazing people and have amazing kids so we can be amazing grandparents."
I wonder if the camera angle just zoomed out, and God is like, "Nope. That's not going to happen. That's not how it's going to be at all." Or we stress. Just fill in this blank. "I just don't know how…" What? "I don't know how I can live with this person the rest of my life." (Let's talk about it afterward. Re|engage is for you.) "I just don't know how my kid is ever going to turn the corner toward flourishing." "I don't know how we're going to make it financially." "I don't know how I'm ever going to meet someone and get married."
I just wonder, if the camera angle were to zoom out, if God would be like, "I'm standing right here. Like, I'm here." So many of us miss what God is doing in our lives and what he wants to do. It all requires an awareness of his presence. Some of us need to transition from thinking that God is there to God is here. I just want to encourage you. Tomorrow morning, when you wake up, imagine that God is actually… He's not just in your room. If you know Jesus Christ, he's inside of you, and he has every intention of having an active leadership in your life.
Remember what I said at the beginning. If you want to understand the Bible, just understand that it is God bringing his kingdom to the earth. It is about God having a people in a place, enjoying his presence under his rule. God has always valued having a place for his people. Adam and Eve were placed into the garden to enjoy God's presence. God brought the nation of Israel out of slavery to Egypt and placed them in the land of Canaan.
Yet they failed. Adam and Eve failed to enjoy the rule of God in the place he had provided for them. The nation of Israel failed to enjoy the rule of God in the land of Canaan that he had provided for them, yet God hasn't abandoned his plan to have his people in a place. Listen to what we find at the very end of the Bible in Revelation 21. Listen to what it says. John gets a vision.
"Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband." There's the place. "And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, 'Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people…'"
So, you have a people in a place, enjoying the presence of God. And what does it say? "…and God himself will be with them as their God." That's the rule of God. They will be under his rule. Verse 4: "He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away." There's the rest God had promised to David during his time that now God's people will experience for all of eternity.
So, when I talk about understanding God's place, what I'm talking about is not getting too comfortable here and beginning to long for our true home. Paul says that our citizenship is in heaven. A couple of weeks ago, I took my middle son on a father/son trip to San Diego. I was trying to do the trip as cheaply as I could. I had a few free nights at a hotel brand, so I got online and found a hotel where I could use our free nights.
Well, we showed up to that hotel. You need to know I'm a diva when it comes to traveling. I am. For me, traveling is about where you stay and where you eat. We pulled into this hotel, and I was automatically like, "Ew! This is not going to go well." It was a shady part of town. I knew that because there were a lot of inappropriate businesses that were very close by to this hotel. We walked into the lobby, and the woman behind the counter certainly had COVID, no doubt. I was like, "I don't know if we're going to make it. I don't know if I'm going to make it."
We went up to the room, and, honestly, I started getting online to see if there were other hotels we could go to, because I was longing for something different. That's what we should feel on earth. We should feel a certain level of discomfort. We should be completely clear that this place is not our home, and if we had the option, we wouldn't want to stay here forever. There is sickness. There is crime. There is devastation. There is heartache.
So, just as I began to look for other hotels, there should be something in us that is longing to be some other place. Yet there are times where Kat and I have traveled, and we've stayed in some nice hotels where it's like, "I kind of don't want to leave, because this is pretty great." Beware of getting so comfortable here that you don't want to go home. That is a scary place to be.
I was talking with a friend this week who lost a loved one, and that loved one had been faithful to walk with the Lord all of his life. At the end of his life, what did his family find him saying? "I'm ready to go home." That's where you want to be. God has a place that he will take us to one day. So, if you want to trade up to better plans, just make sure you're not too comfortable here.
When we read in verse 9 that God wants to make David's name great, that's actually not a new promise. That's actually the continuation of a promise that shows up all the way back in the first book of the Bible in the twelfth chapter. Listen to what God says to Abraham back in chapter 12, verse 2, of Genesis. "And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed."
That is such an important verse in your entire Bible. Here's what is happening. God promised Abraham that he would make him a great nation. We know that nation to be the nation of Israel in the Old Testament. He promised to make Abraham's name great. Here's what that means. It would be through Abraham that all of the nations of the earth would be blessed. Yet we show up to 2 Samuel 7, and the reason this chapter is so important is that God now tells David, "I will make your name great."
What is happening is the promises God made to Abraham to make him a great name and that all of the nations of the earth would be blessed through him are being funneled down, specifically, through David and through his descendants. God is going to accomplish his promises to Abraham to bless all of the nations of the earth through him and his descendants. He's going to accomplish that now, focusing it in on David and his descendants.
So, now we get to verses 11-16. I'm going to read them all at once because I want you to see all of the promises God makes. You see several times where God uses the wording I will. Follow along with me. These are massive promises that shape the rest of the Bible. Verse 11:
"Moreover, the Lord declares to you that the Lord will make you a house. When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.
I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son. When he commits iniquity, I will discipline him with the rod of men, with the stripes of the sons of men, but my steadfast love will not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away from before you. And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me. Your throne shall be established forever."
We're going to unpack it, but I want you to see this is God making a bunch of promises to David. I want you to notice the humor here. The chapter started with David saying, "God, I'm going to build you a house," and God was like, "You're really not going to do that. Instead, I'm going to build you a house." But God isn't talking about a physical building. David actually already had one of those.
We find out what type of house God is talking about in verse 12. God says, "When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom." When God talks about building a house for David, he's talking about building a dynasty for David.
What God is promising here is he's going to fill David's household with kings. That's going to become important. Don't miss that. This is God coming home and saying, "I actually went to the store and bought a bunch of Avengers decorations, and it's going to be far better than anything you could pull together." What I want you to see is that God's plans aren't going to be accomplished by David doing something for God but by God doing something for David.
Then in verse 13, he says, "He…" He's referring to Solomon, David's son, who would be the next king. "He shall build a house for my name…" Solomon is actually going to build a permanent house for God, but it's always going to come on God's timing. Look at what he says. "…and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever."
Make sure you're following along. The promise here from God to David is he's going to build him a dynasty. Kings are going to come from his household. This dynasty will never end. It will be through David's children that God's rule and reign are expressed on the earth forever and ever. That is interesting, because if you know how things play out in the Old Testament, things for the nation of Israel unravel pretty quickly.
With David's son Solomon, it's through Solomon that the nation actually gets split. Then you have two books in our Bible, 1 and 2 Kings, which are basically tales of kings who came from David failing one after another. It's really interesting, because then Israel gets exiled from the land and has no king. So, it would appear that the kingdom God promised to David and to his descendants has vanished, but God actually knows this is going to happen, so he provides commentary in advance.
Listen to what he says in verse 14. Stay with me here. "I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son. When he commits iniquity, I will discipline him with the rod of men, with the stripes of the sons of men…" What's God saying? He's like, "Look. Here's my plan. My plan, David, is that kings are going to come from you. In fact, my rule throughout the earth is actually going to be expressed through your line.
At the same time, there are going to be a bunch of kings who come from you who are going to fail, and they're not going to obey the laws I require them to follow. I refuse to be held hostage by other people's failures. I don't need kings who refuse to follow me to be the people I use to accomplish my purposes. So, when kings who come from you fail, David, I'm going to discipline them."
Verse 15: "…but my steadfast love will not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away from before you." You remember Saul was the first king ever of the nation of Israel. He was the first and last person to be on the throne from his family over all of the nation of Israel. Other people cropped up at times, but in terms of being God's king, Saul was the first and only from him. God is saying, "That won't happen with your line, David. My checed love, my steadfast love…"
Paul Miller describes checed love as love without an exit strategy. God is saying, "From your line will come the King through which my rule and reign will be established throughout the earth." Then verses 16 and 17 sum things up. "'And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me. Your throne shall be established forever.' In accordance with all these words, and in accordance with all this vision, Nathan spoke to David."
So, here's what we're seeing. Make sure you don't miss what I'm telling you. In this passage, God promises that kings are going to come through David and God is going to accomplish his purposes on the earth through David's line. God's plans rest on a king from David's line. Now, let's just zoom out and look at all of Scripture. If you want to understand the Bible, understand the word kingdom.
Remember, we said that the story of the Bible is about God bringing his kingdom to the earth. You see in Genesis, when God creates the world, God is the King of the universe, yet God has every intention of expressing his rule on the earth through human beings. So, he comes to Adam and Eve and says, "Be fruitful. Multiply. Fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the earth." He's trying to establish his rule on the earth through Adam and Eve.
But what happened to Adam and Eve? They failed. So, God comes to a man named Abraham in Genesis 12, and then Genesis 17, and what does he tell Abraham? He says, "Kings are going to come from you." Yet we go hundreds of years, and the nation of Israel doesn't have a king. Then we get to 1 Samuel, and the nation of Israel asks for a king, but they don't ask for a king because they want God's rule in their midst; they ask for a king because they want to be like all of the other nations. So God gives them Saul. And what happens with Saul? Saul fails.
Then God provides David. David is the greatest king the nation of Israel saw, yet he was an imperfect king. David failed to be the king God truly required. Then from David, the rest of the Old Testament is just story after story of king failing after another king failing. So, what does God do? He exiles his people, and it seems like the kingdom has disappeared.
You get to the end of the Old Testament, and it seems as if God's plans have unraveled, that he was incapable of accomplishing all that he promised, yet you turn the page to the New Testament, and what are the first words you read? Matthew 1:1. Don't miss it. "The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham." See, Jesus is the Son of David that history has been waiting for. All of God's plans have been pointing toward him. Why? Because Jesus is the obedient and everlasting King from David's line.
Hebrews 1:8 says, "But of the Son [Jesus] …" Here's what God says. God says of Jesus, "Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom." It's saying Jesus is the King who rules with uprightness. He's the one who has perfectly fulfilled and obeyed God's laws. He did what no other king from David's line could do.
Here's what that shows us. It shows us that God is a promise maker and a promise keeper, that God always accomplishes everything he promises. Yet if you want to trade up to better plans, you might need to identify why you tend to get frustrated with God. I just want you to think about it. When was the last time you were frustrated with God, and why were you frustrated with him? I think our tendency is to get frustrated at God for breaking promises he never actually made.
I think about not too long ago. One of my sons was having a tough season at school. It was a very tough season at school, and there was one day in particular that he really needed to go and thrive at school. I remember that morning I was praying, "God, if there was ever a day, just one day, with a few hours where it's a great day, let it be today," and it ended up being the worst day he had had all season. I remember being mad at God.
I was like, "God, that would have been so easy for you to do. We're talking about a few hours. We're just talking about you saying the word, and it's a good day." Yet God had never promised me that it would be a good day. My tendency is to get frustrated at God for promises he never made. So, one of the best things you can do if you want to trade up is to major in the promises that God has actually made.
What did Scripture promise all the way back in Genesis, chapter 3? It promised that God would crush the Serpent's head. That's Jesus Christ. Jesus actually told us in John 16:33, "In this world you will have trouble." I don't know how else Jesus could have spelled it out. That's as clear as you can say it. "In this world you will have trouble."
"So, what you're telling me is that if I do good, I'm going to get good."
"No. Hello, McFly. In this world…not you might…you will have trouble."
That's the promise, but then there's a promise that goes along with it. "But take heart! I have overcome the world." Jesus tells his friends in John 14, "I go to prepare a place for you, and I will come again and take you to myself so that where I am you may be also." Scripture promises that Christ will come back to judge the living and the dead. He is a promise maker and a promise keeper.
If Jesus is the King of all Kings and the Lord of all Lords… That's what we find in Revelation 19. When Jesus comes back riding on a white horse, what is tattooed on his side? "King of Kings and Lord of Lords."It is promised that the King will come back. So, do you know him as King? I want to close by taking you to the end of the Bible.
This is one of the most beautiful passages in Scripture. The reason I want to finish with this in Revelation, chapter 5, is because we're talking about God's greater plans. If there's any question in your mind if God is sovereign and in control and if God will accomplish all that he planned, all you have to do is look at Revelation, chapter 5.
It's this really interesting scene. The chapter starts with God holding a scroll that is sealed. What happens is you have this angel in heaven who is like, "Who is worthy to take the scroll and break its seals?" The text is clear that no one in heaven or on earth was able to take the scroll and break its seals. Well, what did the scroll represent? What did it contain? It contained the story of redemptive history. It contained the story of all that God is doing from Genesis to Revelation on the earth. It contained how the story will finish.
If someone can't break the seals, then the thought is God's plans will be frustrated. God's plans won't be accomplished on the earth. So, John, the guy who writes Revelation, who's having the vision, begins to weep because there's no one who's able to take the scroll and break its seals. There's no one who can accomplish and bring to fruition God's plans for humanity on the earth.
Then we find this in verse 5. Listen to what it says. Don't miss it. "Then one of the elders said to me, 'Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.'" It's this fascinating picture. This elder is like, "Hey, dude, don't cry. It's actually going to work out. God is going to accomplish all of his purposes." How do you know that? It's because of the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David.
When you think about a lion, the lion is majestic. He symbolizes royalty. Jesus is the King who came from David's line, and what did Jesus do? He displayed himself to be a conquering King. He conquered Satan, sin, and death. Yet how did he conquer? John turns and looks, expecting to see a lion. Verse 6: "Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing at the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders."
The lamb was slain because Jesus died, but the lamb was standing because Jesus Christ rose from the dead, conquering sin and death. So, remember, we said all the way back from the beginning of the Bible, God said through Abraham, now through David, all of the nations of the earth would be blessed. Look at the result.
Revelation 5:9: "And they sang a new song, saying: 'You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom…'" What did God promise David? An everlasting kingdom. "…and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth."
I don't know what it looks like for you to bring out last year's decorations and just do what you think is best, but God is telling you this morning he has all new Avengers stuff. His plans are better than your plans, because for all of eternity, God's people, a people from all nations, will enjoy his presence in his place under his rule. You can be confident that all of his plans will be accomplished successfully. Why? Because the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. Let's pray together.
Lord Jesus, we can have all the confidence in heaven that your plans are better than our plans and you will accomplish everything you have set out to do. We can have complete confidence, Lord, that you will accomplish all that you have promised, and you will do it by your presence, and you will take us to your place, and it has all been done by your power that was expressed in Jesus Christ who was the lion-like Lamb and the lamb-like Lion.
We thank you, Jesus, that you died, you were buried, you rose, and you conquered the grave. God, I pray that Watermark Community Church would be a people this week that sees you, Jesus, as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, that we wouldn't live half-hearted lives, that our lives wouldn't be marked by half-hearted surrender, but there would be full surrender to the King of Kings, that you, Jesus, would have your way and that you would rule in our lives. We pray, Lord, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Amen.