No Wonder It’s Called “Amazing” Grace!
By Matthew Black, Pastor
Text: 2 Samuel 7
Date: Sunday, April 26, 2009, 7pm
Series: Life of David
Tabernacle Baptist Church
7020 Barrington Road
Hanover Park, Illinois 60133
Introduction: Open your Bibles to 2 Samuel 7. The title of our message tonight is “No Wonder it’s Called ‘Amazing’ Grace”. Grace is God’s unmerited favor to someone. Biblically and theologically, man is unfit to dwell in heaven with God. God is holy, righteous and just. Man is sinful, rebellious, and is described as God’s enemy, even called at enmity or “hostile” to God. Yet God loves to snatch brands from the burning and use them for His glory.
We see this in the life of David. In 2 Samuel 7, we see how David wants to serve God by building Him a temple, but God wants to do something much greater having David build a building. God wants to build a heritage through David. And God in His grace wants to build a heritage through you!
I. The Proof of God’s Grace. David went from living in cave, to a house of cedar, and now he wants to build a house for God. We read in verses 1-3, “And it came to pass, when the king sat in his house, and the LORD had given him rest round about from all his enemies; 2 That the king said unto Nathan the prophet, See now, I dwell in an house of cedar, but the ark of God dwelleth within curtains. 3 And Nathan said to the king, Go, do all that is in thine heart; for the LORD is with thee.”
What we see in David is an innate desire to serve God. Now that he has returned the ark of the covenant back to Jerusalem, he wants to transfer it from the Tent it is in (the Tabernacle) and build the Temple for it. More than 400 years before this, when Israel was in the wilderness, God commanded Moses to build a tent of meeting according to a specific pattern (Exodus 25:8-9).
One of the evidences of salvation is that God Himself dwells in you. David wanted to build a Temple for the Lord, but David was already the Lord’s habitation.
Because God dwells in us, He changes our desires. Most kings want to build a bigger palace. Most want to make their own name great. God wants to establish Jerusalem as a permanent worship center. He may not know God’s will perfectly, but he wants God’s perfect will. That’s David’s desire. David’s motives were good because his heart was changed. Matthew 7:17, 20, “Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.”
A. It was a good desire. 2 Chronicles 6:7-9, “Now it was in the heart of David my father to build an house for the name of the LORD God of Israel. 8 But the LORD said to David my father, Forasmuch as it was in thine heart to build an house for my name, thou didst well in that it was in thine heart: 9 Notwithstanding thou shalt not build the house; but thy son which shall come forth out of thy loins, he shall build the house for my name.”
David did well God says. He had a good desire. David put it this way in Psalm 37:4, “Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” David’s ultimate goal was not a Temple, but simply to please God. Though David would not be allowed to build the Temple, we are going to see that God give him something greater than a temporary Temple. David would have an everlasting throne because Jesus Christ would come through his loins. David’s one consuming desire was to please and honor and glorify God.
When your heart is changed and Christ lives in you, the consuming desire of your life is to please God. Arelius Augustine said, “Love God and do what you want”. David wanted to build God a Temple. It was a good desire.
B. It was also a gracious, not a selfish desire. Look at verse 2, David said, “I dwell in an house of cedar, but the ark of God dwelleth within curtains”. David saw the blessings of his life, and he was moved to give sacrificially to God. David did not ask to get something from God, he asked God if He could give something to Him. The regenerated heart wants to give all to God. Being saved is costly. If your soul is united with God’s, you will count everything else in this world as dung compared to the surpassing excellence of Jesus’ name.
C. It was a guided desire. Even though David’s motives were right, he took his desires to God’s prophet Nathan. We don’t have prophets today, but we do have the Word of God. That’s always a wise thing to do when you come to a great vision you want accomplish. Go to the Word of God! Prayer and godly counsel are also very necessary in every godly decision. When God saves us, He puts within us a desire to do His will. We have to weigh everything we do with the Word of God. Our ultimate counselor is the Lord himself. He is our Shepherd, our Counselor, and our Comforter.
God is about to tell David that there is something much more important than a physical building that will represent the dwelling place of God.
§ So we saw the Proof of God’s Grace. David’s heart’s desire was to please and honor God by building a Temple for the ark of the covenant. Every true Christian has “pleasing God” as the central desire of his life! Pleasing God is an addiction for the Christian.
II. Secondly, we see the Power of God’s grace. When you come to know Christ, He becomes not only your Saviour but your LORD. You put yourself under a new POWER. He’s the King and Sovereign of your heart. He tells us what we should do, and we do it. Today, if God wants to speak to us and tell us what to do, He uses the Bible. It wasn’t always that way long ago. In the Old Testament God would often speak to people directly through prophets.
Remember David wants to build a Temple for God, and Nathan went to see if God would give David permission. Look at verse 4, “And it came to pass that night, that the word of the LORD came unto Nathan, saying, 5 Go and tell my servant David, Thus saith the LORD, Shalt thou build me an house for me to dwell in? 6 Whereas I have not dwelt in any house since the time that I brought up the children of Israel out of Egypt, even to this day, but have walked in a tent and in a tabernacle. 7 In all the places wherein I have walked with all the children of Israel spake I a word with any of the tribes of Israel, whom I commanded to feed my people Israel, saying, Why build ye not me an house of cedar?” Simply put, God never asked to live in a Temple. He never asked anyone to build Him a Temple. In other words, God graciously and lovingly said “No” to David.
A. Let’s talk about God’s ideas vs. our ideas. Many times we have the perfect plan for our lives. We know just how our life should go, and all we need is God’s approval. God is not required to rubber stamp all of our desires. He alone is all wise. He knows all the possible outcomes of our plans. Many times He graciously keeps us from having what we want. We read in Isaiah 55:8-9, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” God may tell you “NO” in your life about something, but it is not without a cause. Always when God says “NO” to a great desire of a Christian, we have to trust God that He has something better for us. Now what we deem “better” may not be what God deems better. We may not understand until we get to glory. Even the apostle, who had been to the third heaven to see God said, “now we see through a glass, darkly” (1 Corinthians 13:12).
B. Application: Perhaps there have been times when you have offered yourself unconditionally to God, and things did not work out as you had planned. Always remember that your vision of how God wants to use you is not God’s vision of how He wants to use you. If you offered yourself to God, He can guide your life any way He wants to. He is our authority. He is Lord of Lords to us and King of Kings. For me to live is Christ! Can you say that whatever God wants to do with your life, you are ok with that? David wanted to build God a Temple. It was a noble thing. God told him “no”.
Incidentally, before David dies, preparation for construction of the Temple begins through his son Solomon. David at that time reveals why he was not allow to build the Temple. It was really a testimony thing. David was a man of war, and had utterly destroyed his enemies. God wanted a man of peace to build his Temple. 1 Chronicles 22:8, “But the word of the LORD came to me, saying, Thou hast shed blood abundantly, and hast made great wars: thou shalt not build an house unto my name, because thou hast shed much blood upon the earth in my sight”.
III. Thirdly, I want you to see the Promises of God’s grace.
A. Remember all the past promises of God to you. He will never break His word.
1. You were a shepherd, and I kept my promise to you to make you king. Verse 8, “Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I took thee from the sheepcote, from following the sheep, to be ruler over my people, over Israel”.
2. Your name was despised among your enemies, and I kept my promise to make your name great. Verse 9, “And I was with thee whithersoever thou wentest, and have cut off all thine enemies out of thy sight, and have made thee a great name, like unto the name of the great men that are in the earth.
B. Listen to God’s future promises!
1. David’s Dwelling would be established. This would not be simply his house of cedar, but the entire nation of Israel. Verses 10-11a, “Moreover I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more; neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them any more, as beforetime, 11 And as since the time that I commanded judges to be over my people Israel, and have caused thee to rest from all thine enemies.”
2. David’s human Dynasty would be established. David wants to build God a house, but instead God builds a house for David—a dynasty! Verses 11b-12 record the Davidic Covenant, “Also the LORD telleth thee that he will make thee an house. 12 And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom.” God would bring Solomon through David, and the Davidic dynasty would be established in Israel.
3. David’s Divine Son would establish his kingdom for ever.
a. The Divine King is referenced. Verse 13 gives reference far beyond any human descendent who would ever sit on a throne in Jerusalem. Verses 13-14, “He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever. 14 I will be his father, and he shall be my son.” This is ultimately referring to the Lord Jesus Christ, which we see in Hebrews 1:5, “For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?”
b. Disobedient kings are referenced. Obviously, verse 14b is not referring to Christ but to disobedient kings that would come through the line of David. We read in verse 14b, “If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men”. Yet there is a promise in verse 15, “But my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee. 16 And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever. 17 According to all these words, and according to all this vision, so did Nathan speak unto David.
IV. The Perplexity of God’s grace in your heart. It’s so amazing you can hardly believe it. Look at verse 18, “Then went king David in, and sat before the LORD, and he said, Who am I, O Lord GOD? and what is my house, that thou hast brought me hitherto?” After reading these very words, John Newton, the former slave trader who was now a preacher, penned these words for a message on the same subject: “Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a WRETCH like me!”
Illustration: Don’t you feel like David? He was just a shepherd boy, minding his own business tending sheep, when God literally snatched him out of the field, and Samuel anointed him to be king.
What was David’s response? What ought you to do in light of God’s amazing grace?
A. He proclaimed God’s greatness, verse 19, “And this was yet a small thing in thy sight, O Lord GOD; but thou hast spoken also of thy servant’s house for a great while to come. And is this the manner of man, O Lord GOD?” In other words, this is NOT the manner of men. This is something ONLY GOD CAN DO.
1. God’s Wisdom is great. Verse 20, “And what can David say more unto thee? for thou, Lord GOD, knowest thy servant”. It’s true that God knows everyone of us. He loves us with an everlasting love, and He has chosen to use us! His amazing grace has touched our hearts and melted us and molded us.
2. God’s Word is great. Verse 21, “For thy word’s sake, and according to thine own heart, hast thou done all these great things, to make thy servant know them.” God didn’t give us his grace because of us. He blessed us because of Himself! Listen to the words of Ezekiel 20:44, “And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have wrought with you for my name‘s sake, not according to your wicked ways, nor according to your corrupt doings, O ye house of Israel, saith the Lord GOD.” God doesn’t give us heaven because we deserve it. He gives us heaven because He is good!! His Word promises mercy and grace to sinners!
3. God’s Worship ought to be great. There is none like Him! Verse 22, “Wherefore thou art great, O LORD God: for there is none like thee, neither is there any God beside thee, according to all that we have heard with our ears.” The redeemed will sing a song in Revelation 5:9. We will sing “a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation”. Every tongue, tribe and nation will sing of God’s amazing grace!
4. God’s Willingness to use us is great. God is willing to use the most unlikely of candidates! He uses shepherd boys! He uses an unknown country like Israel. Verse 23, “And what one nation in the earth is like thy people, even like Israel, whom God went to redeem for a people to himself, and to make him a name, and to do for you great things and terrible, for thy land, before thy people, which thou redeemedst to thee from Egypt, from the nations and their gods? 24 For thou hast confirmed to thyself thy people Israel to be a people unto thee for ever: and thou, LORD, art become their God.” The only thing special about Israel or any one of us is that God’s fingerprints are all over us! God’s grace is amazing! God is willing to save others—the most unworthy. Proclaim His willingness to save to all nations!
B. David praised God’s goodness.
1. David counted all of God’s blessings. Verse 25-27, “And now, O LORD God, the word that thou hast spoken concerning thy servant, and concerning his house, establish it for ever, and do as thou hast said. 26 And let thy name be magnified for ever, saying, The LORD of hosts is the God over Israel: and let the house of thy servant David be established before thee. 27 For thou, O LORD of hosts, God of Israel, hast revealed to thy servant, saying, I will build thee an house: therefore hath thy servant found in his heart to pray this prayer unto thee.”
Application: Don’t you know that God has been good to you? He has done you good when you deserved his chastening.
2. David expected God’s blessings. Verses 28-29, “And now, O Lord GOD, thou art that God, and thy words be true, and thou hast promised this goodness unto thy servant: 29 Therefore now let it please thee to bless the house of thy servant, that it may continue for ever before thee: for thou, O Lord GOD, hast spoken it: and with thy blessing let the house of thy servant be blessed for ever.”
Application: If you are God’s child, God is going to do you good.
Romans 8:28-30, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.”
He goes on to say in verse 32, “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?”
147 Amazing Grace