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DAY 2: THE GLORY OF THE LORD ACCORDING TO GOD THE FATHER 

အဖခမည်းတော်၏အဆိုအရ သခင်ဘုရား၏ ဘုန်းတန်ခိုးတော်

Myanmar | 2 Samuel 7 and Psalm 2

Blessed are all who take refuge in him.

– Psalm 2:12b

In some countries, such as the UK, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, and Brunei, people are able to understand what it means to be ruled by a king or queen, but people from most countries today find it challenging to appreciate the blessing of royalty and their rule. Despite its theological importance in Scripture, the kingship theme does not attract many preachers in Myanmar. Perhaps our memories are marred by unpopular colonial rule or current rulers. Another issue could be that most Christians come from ethnic minorities who once were ruled by local chiefs without the absolute power of a king. A concentration of power in one person sounds terrifying, so it is difficult to visualise a benevolent and just king. Yet, whatever our history or political system, we all long for someone with the power and the goodness to rule justly and set things to right.

The King Promised

Psalm 2 and 2 Samuel 7 both elicit longing for an ideal king. Most biblical scholars understand Psalms 2, 18, 20, 21, 45, 72, 89, 101, 110, 132 and 144 as royal psalms, depicting different aspects of the promised and longed–for Davidic king in ancient Israel and demonstrating the theological importance of the kingship theme. Psalm 2, specifically, is a poem for the awaited king’s coronation and a proclamation of his absolute authority. Because of its high hopes, it may have been used to enthrone the kings in ancient Israel, and it is one of the most quoted passages in the New Testament.

The events portrayed in 2 Samuel 7 are understood by most scholars as the “theological summit” not only of the Samuel corpus but also of the Old Testament. David wanted to upgrade the portable tent shrine of the Lord to a permanent “house” of cedar, an impressive temple. In response to his modest proposal, Yahweh announces that he will build a dynastic “house” for David instead. King David appears to be sincerely uncomfortable living in a cedared palace while the Lord’s dwelling remains a skin tent. And David might have had another concern: temple building for their gods was typical for kings of his time. However, the message of God through the prophet Nathan makes it clear that Yahweh was more interested in his presence dwelling in a human being’s faithful rule than in a magnificent building. Nathan, making a pun, declares that the “house” would be the dynasty of kings from David to his descendants “forever.”

The King Yet Awaited

Yet Scripture also shows us that no king or ruler lives up to the ideal. The Bible does not draw a veil over the wickedness of humans, even over God’s chosen kings. In a strict sense, the Davidic kingdom ceased to exist after the death of Solomon (cf. 1 Kings 11:31–38). No Judahite monarch satisfied the hope of that ideal seed of David on the eternal throne. All earthly kings have failed. Therefore, along with the psalmists, we must keep looking for the true Davidic King who will demonstrate the ideals presented in these texts.

The King Arrived

Who, then, is that ideal King? Who installs him? It is Yahweh who is enthroned in the heavens (Psalm 2:4) who has crowned his anointed (Mashiach in Hebrew or, in Greek, His christos) on Zion (Psalm 2:2, 6). This cosmic King, the Father, makes the nations His son’s inheritance and the end of the earth his possession (Psalm 2:7–8) and invites all kings and rulers of the earth to be wise by submitting (Psalm 2:10–11) because

no rebellion or plot against Yahweh’s anointed will succeed (Psalm 2:1–3). This worldwide dominion stems from the cosmic King, not from the King’s earthly military victories. God, the Father, gives His Davidic son the right to rule forever (2 Samuel 7:13), promising the anointed that He will not withdraw His steadfast love (hesed) from him (2 Samuel 7:15). Nathan, the court chaplain, hails the new monarch not just as the son of David but actually as the son of God (2 Samuel 2:14).

The New Testament writers do not mince words but understand that all aspects of the messianic expectations are fulfilled in Jesus the Christ. Ultimately, the righteous and just ruler has arrived. Remember that God the Father glorifies His Son and demands complete allegiance to Him as the true King (Psalm 2:11; Luke 9:35). It will be wise and better for us all to be quick in taking refuge in Him.


Ronald Laldinsuah
REV DR RONALD LALDINSUAH
Yangon, Myanmar

The Reverend Dr Ronald Laldinsuah is a Langham Scholar who currently serves as the Academic Dean at Myanmar Evangelical Graduate School of Theology (MEGST) in Yangon, Myanmar.

To read more Advent Devotionals from the Global Church, please click here

 

The Reverend Dr Ronald Laldinsuah is a Langham Scholar who currently serves as the Academic Dean at Myanmar Evangelical Graduate School of Theology (MEGST) in Yangon, Myanmar.

To read more Advent Devotionals from the Global Church, please click here