Sermon for the Fourth Sunday in Advent based on Second Samuel 7:1-11, 16 (Luke 1:26-38)
Dear ones gathered in the house of God: grace, mercy, and peace to you from God the Father and our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.
David wanted to build a house for God. He lived in a palace, while God’s house was a tent – the tabernacle that Moses had first built after God had rescued His people from slavery in Egypt.
Since God had brought His people into the promised land and they had settled there, and since they had peace because God had given them victory over their surrounding enemies, David thought it would be a good time and a good thing to build a permanent house for God. Nathan the prophet agreed with David, also thinking it a good and noble task.
God, however, had other plans. David would not make a house for God; God would make a house for David – a house and a kingdom made sure before God, and a throne that will be established forever.
God reminded David that he was not king by his own strength or might or wisdom. God had chosen David when he was but a shepherd boy. God anointed him king over His people and defeated all of his enemies before him. The victories of God’s people were God’s doing, not a result of the might of man. The kingdom of Israel existed because God brought it about and sustained it with His might.
What makes this clearest of all, is God’s promise to David that his kingdom and throne will be established forever. No earthly kingdom or throne remains forever. In fact, there is no kingdom of Israel today. There is no earthly king on the throne of David.
God’s promises to David were not concerning an earthly kingdom or throne, nor an earthly king. Yes, the King would be a descendant of David, and thus a man, but not an earthly king with an earthly kingdom.
From the time of David onward, the most common association of the promised Messiah in the Psalms and Prophets is with David, and this is echoed in the New Testament. The promised Saviour is called the Seed of David (2 Sam. 7:12), a reminder of the promise God made to Adam and Eve concerning the Seed that would crush the serpent’s head. The Messiah is called the Son of David (Matt. 1:1), because He is the lineage of David. He is called the righteous branch for David (Jer. 23:5). He is called the root of Jesse and a shoot from the stump of Jesse (Is. 11:1, 10), Jesse being David’s father. So connected is the Saviour to David, that often the prophecies concerning the Christ simply call Him David. For instance, Ezekiel 34, hundreds of years after the time of David, says, “I will rescue my flock; they shall no longer be a prey. And I will judge between sheep and sheep. And I will set up over them one shepherd, my servant David, and He shall feed them: He shall feed them and be their shepherd.” (vv. 22-23)
David prefigures Christ, an earthly shepherd foreshadowing the Good Shepherd (Jn. 10). David was the chosen king, God’s anointed, an anticipation of God’s anointed, the King of Glory (Ps. 24). As God brought victory to His people over their enemies and gave them rest through David, so God through Christ has brought us victory over our enemies and given us rest.
Jesus even baffles His opponents with Psalm 110, where David writes, “The Lord said to my Lord, sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.” His opponents could not understand how the Son of David could also be David’s Lord, because they did not comprehend that the Son of David is not only a man, but also God (Matt. 22:41-46; Luke 20:41-44).
And what was it that the angel Gabriel said to Mary, in announcing that she would conceive and bear a son? He said, concerning her baby, “He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to Him the throne of His father David, and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.” (Luke 1:32-33)
Gabriel thus announced to Mary that the promises that God made to David are now being fulfilled in her womb. There was no throne of David on earth; the people of Israel were under Roman rule and had no king. The Israelites had been cut down like a tree, but the shoot from the stump of Jesse was in Mary’s womb. New life emerging in the midst of death. The eternal King of Glory, who sits on an eternal throne, would be born to Mary.
This King was not just another David. David sinned and brought misery on himself and his kingdom. The Son of David never sinned, but walked the path of the Lord with every step He took. Misery was brought on Him by us and our sins. He willingly took our misery on Himself to save us from it.
Jesus, the King of Glory, has brought us victory over our enemies and given us rest. Sin, death, and the devil lie defeated and powerless to do us harm. The Son of David has brought us into His Kingdom through the waters of Holy Baptism, and because His Kingdom is an eternal Kingdom, we will live forever with our glorious King in His eternal joy. Amen.
The peace of God which surpasses all understanding will keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.