This King’s Dynasty Will Last Forever

God’s faithfulness and grace will be with the Son, the One who comes from above.

The sayings of our mouth and the meditation of our heart.

Ps 19:14 – Let the sayings of my mouth, And the meditation of my heart, Be for a pleasing thing before Thee, O Jehovah, my rock, and my redeemer! (YLT)

What do the sayings of your mouth and the meditation of your heart reveal about who you think you are? Are they in agreement with the words of the Lord God and the meditation of his heart?

Meditating and resting.

Do you have a regular practice of meditating on God’s Word and resting in his promises? This is a vital part of the sanctification process, a separation and surrendering to the will of God for you.

Sanctification.

Sanctification is not an attainment, it is the state into which God, in grace, calls sinful people, and in which they begin their course as Christians, followers of Christ. It is a separation to God; it is the relationship with God to which their sole title is the death of Christ. Sanctification is God’s will, his purpose in calling sinful people by the gospel, and must be learned from God as he teaches it by his Word. It must be pursued by the believer, earnestly and undeviatingly, for the holy character is built up little by little, as the result of obedience to the Word of God, and following the example of Christ, in the power of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the Agent in sanctification. The sanctification of the Spirit is associated with the choice of God; it is a Divine act preceding the acceptance of the Gospel by the individual.1

Lectio Divina.

I encourage you to practice Lectio Divina – taking in just a small bite of Scripture each day, and chewing on it all day, all week, all month, all year, all life long, giving Holy Spirit time and access to the deep recesses of your heart to cleanse and nourish your soul as you grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (1 Pet 3:18).

“Lectio Divina”, a Latin term, means “divine reading” and describes a way of reading the Scriptures whereby we gradually let go of our own agenda and open ourselves to what God wants to say to us. …the stages…

lectio (reading)… meditatio (reflection)… oratio (response)… contemplatio (rest), where we… simply rest in the Word of God. We listen at the deepest level of our being to God who speaks within us with a still small voice. As we listen, we are gradually transformed from within… The movement of the prayer is towards silence… The practice of Lectio Divina as a way of praying the Scriptures has been a fruitful source of growing in relationship with Christ for many centuries and in our own day is being rediscovered by many individuals and groups. The Word of God is alive and active and will transform each of us if we open ourselves to receive what God wants to give us.2

Lectio.

Reading. Read the Word of God slowly and reflectively so that it sinks into you.

2 Chron 13:5 – Ought you not to know that the Lord God of Israel gave the kingship over Israel forever to David and his sons by a covenant of salt? (ESV)

Meditatio.

Reflection. Think about the text and ruminate upon it so that you take from it what God wants to give you.

2 Chron 13:5 – Ought you not to know that the Lord God of Israel gave the kingship over Israel forever to David and his sons by a covenant of salt? (ESV)

Who or what is king in your life? How do you know?

Does God’s choice of king over Israel effect you? How do you know?

All the nations of the earth shall be blessed.

Gen 22:18 – and in your offspring [Abraham] shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.” (ESV)

The promises were made to one offspring.

Gal 3:16 – Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, “And to offsprings,” referring to many, but referring to one, “And to your offspring,” who is Christ. (ESV)

A sure thing determined by God’s decision.

Rom 9:3-18 – If there were any way I could be cursed by the Messiah so they [Israel] could be blessed by him, I’d do it in a minute. They’re my family. I grew up with them. They had everything going for them — family, glory, covenants, revelation, worship, promises, to say nothing of being the race that produced the Messiah, the Christ, who is God over everything, always. Oh, yes!

Don’t suppose for a moment, though, that God’s Word has malfunctioned in some way or other. The problem goes back a long way. From the outset, not all Israelites of the flesh were Israelites of the spirit.  It wasn’t Abraham’s sperm that gave identity here, but God’s promise. Remember how it was put: “Your family will be defined by Isaac”? That means that Israelite identity was never racially determined by sexual transmission, but it was God-determined by promise. Remember that promise, “When I come back next year at this time, Sarah will have a son”?

And that’s not the only time. To Rebecca, also, a promise was made that took priority over genetics. When she became pregnant by our one-of-a-kind ancestor, Isaac, and her babies were still innocent in the womb — incapable of good or bad — she received a special assurance from God. What God did in this case made it perfectly plain that his purpose is not a hit-or-miss thing dependent on what we do or don’t do, but a sure thing determined by his decision, flowing steadily from his initiative. God told Rebecca, “The firstborn of your twins will take second place.” Later that was turned into a stark epigram: “I loved Jacob; I hated Esau.”

Is that grounds for complaining that God is unfair? Not so fast, please. God told Moses, “I’m in charge of mercy. I’m in charge of compassion.” Compassion doesn’t originate in our bleeding hearts or moral sweat, but in God’s mercy. The same point was made when God said to Pharaoh, “I picked you as a bit player in this drama of my salvation power.” All we’re saying is that God has the first word, initiating the action in which we play our part for good or ill. (MSG)

Hate: of relative preference for one thing over another.3

It seems that we humans detest being dependent upon God’s mercy.

2 Chron 13:5 – Ought you not to know that the Lord God of Israel gave the kingship over Israel forever to David and his sons by a covenant of salt? (ESV)

What word or phrase stirs you? Take some time to murmur and mumble the word/s, taking a kind of pleasure in making the sounds and getting the feel of the meaning. Take in what God wants to give you that will make you more yourself, created in his image and likeness.4

The Lord God of Israel gave the kingship over Israel forever to David and his sons.

God won’t withdraw his grace.

Ps 89:19-37 – There was a time when you spoke in a vision; you declared to your loyal [prophets], “I have given help to a warrior, I have raised up someone chosen from the people. I have found David my servant and anointed him with my holy oil. My hand will always be with him, and my arm will give him strength. No enemy will outwit him, no wicked man overcome him. I will crush his foes before him and strike down those who hate him. My faithfulness and grace will be with him; through my name his power will grow. I will put his hand on the sea and his right hand on the rivers. He will call to me, ‘You are my father, my God, the Rock of my salvation.’ I will give him the position of firstborn, the highest of the kings of the earth. I will keep my grace for him forever, and in my covenant be faithful with him. I will establish his dynasty forever, and his throne as long as the heavens last.

“If his descendants abandon my Torah and fail to live by my rulings, if they profane my regulations and don’t obey my mitzvot [commandments], I will punish their disobedience with the rod and their guilt with lashes. But I won’t withdraw my grace from him or be false to my faithfulness. I will not profane my covenant or change what my lips have spoken. I have sworn by my holiness once and for all; I will not lie to David — his dynasty will last forever, his throne like the sun before me. It will be established forever, like the moon, which remains a faithful witness in the sky.” (Selah) (CJB)

Note all the things that God himself has done and all the commitments God himself makes to his chosen one in this passage.

I won’t withdraw my grace from him, the Son, the One who comes from above.
I won’t be false to my faithfulness.
My faithfulness and grace will be with him, the Son, the One who comes from above.
Through my name his power will grow.
He will call to me, “You are my father, my God, the Rock of my salvation.”

My faithfulness and grace will be with him, the Son, the One who comes from above.
I will establish his dynasty forever.
If his descendants abandon my Law and fail to live by my rulings
I will punish their disobedience with the rod and their guilt with lashes.
But I won’t withdraw my grace from him, the Son, the One who comes from above.
I won’t be false to my faithfulness.
I will not profane my covenant or change what my lips have spoken.
My faithfulness and grace will be with him, the Son, the One who comes from above.

Who is this one that God has raised and anointed, given the position of firstborn, made the highest of the kings of the earth, and established his dynasty forever?

How will God follow through on his promise?

The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.

Isa 9:6-7 – For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this. (ESV)

Because he lived a selfless, obedient life and died a selfless, obedient death.

Phil 2:6-11 – He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death — and the worst kind of death at that: a crucifixion.

Because of that obedience, God lifted him high and honored him far beyond anyone or anything, ever, so that all created beings in heaven and on earth — even those long ago dead and buried — will bow in worship before this Jesus Christ, and call out in praise that he is the Master of all, to the glorious honor of God the Father. (MSG)

2 Chron 13:5 – Ought you not to know that the Lord God of Israel gave the kingship over Israel forever to David and his sons by a covenant of salt? (ESV)

Oratio.

Response. Leave your thinking aside and simply let your heart speak to God. This response is inspired by your reflection on the Word of God.

Prayer means yearning for the simple presence of God, for a personal understanding of his word, for knowledge of his will and for capacity to hear and obey him. It is thus something much more than uttering petitions for good things external to our own deepest concerns…

We wish to gain a true evaluation of ourselves and of the world so as to understand the meaning of our life as children of God redeemed from sin and death. We wish to gain a true loving knowledge of God, our Father and Redeemer. We wish to lose ourselves in his love and rest in him. We wish to hear his word and respond to it with our whole being. We wish to know his merciful will and submit to it in its totality. These are the aims and goals of meditation and oratio.5

But it is the spirit in man, the breath of the Almighty, that makes him understand. (Job 32:8 ESV)

Contemplatio.

Rest. Let go of your own ideas, plans and meditations, your holy words and thoughts. Simply rest in the Word of God. Listen at the deepest level of your being to God who speaks within you with a still small voice. As you listen, you are gradually transformed from within. Take what you read in the Word of God into your daily life. The way you live is the test of the authenticity of your prayer.

Christ’s rest is not a rest from work, but in work, “not the rest of inactivity but of the harmonious working of all the faculties and affections—of will, heart, imagination, conscience—because each has found in God the ideal sphere for its satisfaction and development.6

*****

Resources/For deeper study:

1Sanctification: A. Noun. hagiasmos (<START GREEK>a)giasmo/$ <END GREEK>, NT:38), “sanctification,” is used of (a) separation to God, 1 Cor 1:30; 2 Thess 2:13; 1 Peter 1:2; (b) the course of life befitting those so separated, 1 Thess 4:3,4,7; Rom 6:19,22; 1 Tim 2:15; Heb 12:14. “Sanctification is that relationship with God into which men enter by faith in Christ, Acts 26:18; 1 Cor 6:11, and to which their sole title is the death of Christ, Eph 5:25,26; Col 1:22; Heb 10:10,29; 13:12.

“Sanctification is also used in NT of the separation of the believer from evil things and ways. This sanctification is God’s will for the believer, 1 Thess 4:3, and His purpose in calling him by the gospel, v. 7; it must be learned from God, v. 4, as He teaches it by His Word, John 17:17,19, cf. Ps 17:4; 119:9, and it must be pursued by the believer, earnestly and undeviatingly, 1 Tim 2:15; Heb 12:14. For the holy character, hagiosune, 1 Thess 3:13, is not vicarious, i. e., it cannot be transferred or imputed, it is an individual possession, built up, little by little, as the result of obedience to the Word of God, and of following the example of Christ, Matt 11:29; John 13:15; Eph 4:20; Phil 2:5, in the power of the Holy Spirit, Rom 8:13; Eph 3:16.

“The Holy Spirit is the Agent in sanctification, Rom 15:16; 2 Thess 2:13; 1 Peter 1:2; cf. 1 Cor 6:11…. The sanctification of the Spirit is associated with the choice, or election, of God; it is a Divine act preceding the acceptance of the Gospel by the individual.”

From Notes on Thessalonians, by Hogg and Vine, pp. 115, 271.

For synonymous words see HOLINESS.

  1. Verb. hagiazo (<START GREEK>a(gia/zw <END GREEK>, NT:37), “to sanctify,” “is used of (a) the gold adorning the Temple and of the gift laid on the altar, Matt 23:17,19; (b) food, 1 Tim 4:5; (c) the unbelieving spouse of a believer, 1 Cor 7:14; (d) the ceremonial cleansing of the Israelites, Heb 9:13; (e) the Father’s Name, Luke 11:2; (f) the consecration of the Son by the Father, John 10:36; (g) the Lord Jesus devoting Himself to the redemption of His people, John 17:19; (h) the setting apart of the believer for God, Acts 20:32; cf. Rom 15:16; (i) the effect on the believer of the Death of Christ, Heb 10:10, said of God, and 2:11; 13:12, said of the Lord Jesus; (j) the separation of the believer from the world in his behavior — by the Father through the Word, John 17:17,19; (k) the believer who turns away from such things as dishonor God and His gospel, 2 Tim 2:21; (l) the acknowledgment of the Lordship of Christ, 1 Peter 3:15.

“Since every believer is sanctified in Christ Jesus, 1 Cor 1:2, cf. Heb 10:10, a common NT designation of all believers is ‘saints,’ hagioi, i. e., ‘sanctified’ or ‘holy ones.’ Thus sainthood, or sanctification, is not an attainment, it is the state into which God, in grace, calls sinful men, and in which they begin their course as Christians, Col 3:12; Heb 3:1.”

From Notes on Thessalonians, by Hogg and Vine, pp. 113, 114.

(from Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, Copyright © 1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers.)

2https://www.ocarm.org/en/carmelites/what-lectio-divina

3HATE: A. Verb. miseo (<START GREEK>mise/w<END GREEK>, NT:3404), “to hate,” is used especially (a) of malicious and unjustifiable feelings towards others, whether towards the innocent or by mutual animosity, e. g., Matt 10:22; 24:10; Luke 6:22,27; 19:14; John 3:20, of “hating” the light (metaphorically); 7:7; 15:18,19,23,24,25; 3:3; 2:9,11; 3:13,15; 4:20; 18:2, where “hateful” translates the perfect participle passive voice of the verb, lit., “hated,” or “having been hated”; (b) of a right feeling of aversion from what is evil; said of wrongdoing, Rom 7:15; iniquity, Heb 1:9; “the garment (figurative) spotted by the flesh,” Jude 23; “the works of the Nicolaitans,” Rev 2:6 (and v. 15, in some mss.; see the KJV); (c) of relative preference for one thing over another, by way of expressing either aversion from, or disregard for, the claims of one person or thing relatively to those of another, Matt 6:24, and Luke 16:13, as to the impossibility of serving two masters; Luke 14:26, as to the claims of parents relatively to those of Christ; John 12:25, of disregard for one’s life relatively to the claims of Christ; Eph 5:29, negatively, of one’s flesh, i. e. of one’s own, and therefore a man’s wife as one with him.

Note: In 1 John 3:15, he who “hates” his brother is called a murderer; for the sin lies in the inward disposition, of which the act is only the outward expression.

(from Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, Copyright © 1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers.)

4“Meditate (hagah) is a bodily action; it involves murmuring and mumbling words, taking a kind of physical pleasure in making the sounds of the words, getting the feel of the meaning as the syllables are shaped by larynx and tongue and lips. Isaiah used this word “meditate” for the sounds that a lion makes over its prey (Isa 31:4). They purr and growl in pleasurable anticipation of taking in what will make them more themselves, strong, lithe, swift.” From: Peterson, Eugene H. (1991). Answering God: The Psalms As Tools For Prayer (pg 26). New York, NY: HarperCollins.

5Thomas Merton (2014). Contemplative Prayer (pg 45-46). New York, NY: Image Books, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House LLC.

6Rest: anapausis (<START GREEK>a)na/pausi$<END GREEK>, NT:372), “cessation, refreshment, rest” (ana, “up,” pauo, “to make to cease”), the constant word in the Sept. for the Sabbath “rest,” is used in Matt 11:29; here the contrast seems to be to the burdens imposed by the Pharisees. Christ’s “rest” is not a “rest” from work, but in work, “not the rest of inactivity but of the harmonious working of all the faculties and affections — of will, heart, imagination, conscience — because each has found in God the ideal sphere for its satisfaction and development” (J. Patrick, in Hastings’ Bib. Dic.); it occurs also in Matt 12:43; Luke 11:24; Rev 4:8, RV, “(they have no) rest” [KJV, “(they) rest (not)”], where the noun is the object of the verb echo, “to have”; so in 14:11… (from Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, Copyright © 1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers.)

 

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