Today’s overall reading: 2 SAMUEL 5:1-3; 1 CHRONICLES 11:1-3; 1 CHRONICLES 12:23-40; 2 SAMUEL 5:17-25; 1 CHRONICLES 14:8-17; 2 SAMUEL 5:6-10; 1 CHRONICLES 11:4-9; 1 CHRONICLES 3:4; 2 SAMUEL 5:13; 2 SAMUEL 5:4-5; 2 SAMUEL 5:11-12; 1 CHRONICLES 14:1-2; 1 CHRONICLES 13:1-5; 2 SAMUEL 6:1-11; 1 CHRONICLES 13:6-14
Reading ties to today’s post: 1 SAMUEL 16; 2 SAMUEL 5:1-3
We Often Fail to Fulfill Our Promises
As a parent of two teenagers I can remember many promises I have made over the last 18 years. Some of the promises I was able to keep, in others I failed miserably. But, with each promise, my intent was always sincere – I am your father and I promise I will do what I say.
When my fiver year old son asked if I would let him drive the car one day – it was easy “Son, I promise you will drive my car one day.” When my daughter asked for me to promise to bring her back something from my next business trip – it was easy to say “Of course I will, what do you think you want?” Other times I would make promises to play catch in the yard or cook a lasagna together. The problem is this, I did not always remember to fulfill my promises. Something else would come up. I would be tired after a long day at work. Sometimes, I simply forgot. Unfortunately, I might have blown more promises than I fulfilled.
Writing about disappointing children with broken promises reminds me of a singer-songwriter classic by Harry Chapin – “Cat’s in the Cradle” It is a bitter-sweet story of how a father makes promises to his son as he grows up. Unfortunately, they are promises that are not fulfilled. Promises broken. Until one day the father realizes that the son is now a man. The father misses the son and wants to spend time with him, but the son now makes promises that are unfulfilled. The father realizes that the son has grown up to be just like him. If you need to cleanse your eyes with a flood of tears, try to find a chance to listen to the song (or read the lyrics in the link above).
But God Fulfills His Promises
After the sins of Saul the Lord wanted to choose a new King for Israel. The Lord sent Samuel to anoint the new King. . Last week we read in 1 Samuel 16 that Samuel was sent to Bethlehem to anoint the next King of Israel.
From 1 Samuel 16 (NIV)
1 The LORD said to Samuel, “How long will you mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and be on your way; I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king.”
5 Samuel replied, “Yes, in peace; I have come to sacrifice to the LORD. Consecrate yourselves and come to the sacrifice with me.” Then he consecrated Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice.
11 So he asked Jesse, “Are these all the sons you have?”
“There is still the youngest,” Jesse answered, “but he is tending the sheep.”
Samuel said, “Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives.”
12 So he sent and had him brought in. He was ruddy, with a fine appearance and handsome features.
Then the LORD said, “Rise and anoint him; he is the one.”
13 So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the LORD came upon David in power. Samuel then went to Ramah.
David was given this promise by God that he would be the King of Israel when he was a young man.
After this incredible anointing by Samuel David had a very interesting road to the throne of Israel. Over the next 10 years many things would happen until he became king.
- He fought and beat Goliath
- He fights great battles for Israel “Saul has killed his hundreds, David has killed his thousands.”
- He served in the courts of King Saul
- He becomes close friends with the King’s son, Jonathon.
- King Saul tries to kill David several times.
- David flees for his life.
- King Saul kills the priests of Nob for helping David.
- David flees to the cave of Adullum.
- Twice David spares the life of King Saul.
- David and his band of men fight the enemies of Israel while living with the Philistines
- David and his men fight the Philistines.
- King Saul is killed in battle and his son Ish-Bosheth claims the throne.
- David is made king of Judah.
- Civil war breaks out, Abner joins David.
- Abner and Ish-Bosheth are murdered, the civil war ends.
A lot of main and suffering and misery happen during those years. Much time was spent fleeing for his life. Much time was spent in the dark cave of Adullum. Many times it seemed that God would never fulfill his promise to David. David could easily have shouted out “How could I possible be the chosen king?”
But the God of David, you and I is a Heavenly Father who fulfills promises.
II SAMUEL 5 (NLT)
1 All the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron and said, “We are your own flesh and blood. 2 In the past, while Saul was king over us, you were the one who led Israel on their military campaigns. And the LORD said to you, ‘You will shepherd my people Israel, and you will become their ruler.’ ”
3 When all the elders of Israel had come to King David at Hebron, the king made a compact with them at Hebron before the LORD, and they anointed David king over Israel.
4 David was thirty years old when he became king, and he reigned forty years. 5 In Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months, and in Jerusalem he reigned over all Israel and Judah thirty-three years.
With our Father in heaven, we have a father who fulfills His promises. He never tires, He never works too late, He never misses plane connections. He does not tire from a week on the road. He never forgets. He never makes promises that He can not fulfill. He is faithful and just. He will do it according to His plan, according to His timing, according to His will. He may do it the way we think He should do it or He may not. He is God and we are not. Our Heavenly Father fulfills His promises.
God promised the Nation of Israel a Savior, a perfect Redeemer more than a 1000 years before Jesus was born on earth. God fulfilled His promise. (read Matthew 1 or Luke 2)
Jesus promised that one day He would return to gather His people. (Read Matthew 24)
Let’s be thankful that we have a heavenly father that can make promises and keep them.