St. John's & Zion Lutheran Churches

The Lord Establishes A Kingdom

Sermon on 2 Samuel 7:8-11, 16

Text: “Now then, tell my servant David, ‘This is what the LORD Almighty says: I took you from the pasture, from tending the flock, and appointed you ruler over my people Israel. 9 I have been with you wherever you have gone, and I have cut off all your enemies from before you. Now I will make your name great, like the names of the greatest men on earth. 10 And I will provide a place for my people Israel and will plant them so that they can have a home of their own and no longer be disturbed. Wicked people will not oppress them anymore, as they did at the beginning 11 and have done ever since the time I appointed leaders over my people Israel. I will also give you rest from all your enemies.
16 Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.’”

You may recall the legendary kingdom of Camelot, the magical kingdom of King Arthur. The people had peace and prosperity. They had happiness that had never been seen before. Even the weather had to obey imperial decree. This special kingdom was established when Arthur pulled the sword Excalibur from a stone. Yet, as quickly as it was established, it also fell apart. Lancelot and King Arthur fought. War and all of the other troubles returned to the kingdom. It all came to an end. Camelot, of course, was an imaginary kingdom. This morning we are going to talk about a very real kingdom. This morning we see that THE LORD ESTABLISHES A KINGDOM. We will see 1. How This Kingdom Was Established. 2. The Great Blessings That Are Ours As Subjects Of This Kingdom and 3. This Kingdom Will Last Forever.

The chapters prior to our text give us the account of David’s rise to power. It also tells of his many conquests, as he gained more land for his kingdom. When David’s kingdom was at peace, he brought the ark of the covenant to Jerusalem. Now, David wanted to build a permanent resting place for the ark. It is the Lord’s reply that serves as the basis for our sermon text.

The Lord, speaking through the prophet Nathan, reminded David that for all of the years since the exodus from Egypt, he had not asked anyone to build a permanent place for the ark. Yet, while David was denied the lesser blessing of building a temple, the Lord promised a greater blessing. The Lord told David that a kingdom would be established.

As we go through our text, we must keep one thing in mind. The Lord is speaking of two kingdoms. First of all, he speaks about David’s kingdom. He makes promises that deal directly with David’s life and kingdom. Yet, this is not the full extent of God’s promise. God is also making a Messianic prophecy to David. Just as God would establish a kingdom for David’s Son, the Messiah. When Gabriel announced Jesus’ birth to Mary, Gabriel said that he would sit on the throne of his father, David. As we go through our text, we will see two kingdoms: David’s temporary kingdom and Jesus’ eternal kingdom.

David’s kingdom was established by the Lord. He was reminded of this, as Nathan recounts the past. He said, “I have cut off all your enemies from before you.” (Verse 9) We might think of Goliath, who thought he could easily dispatch David. With the Lord’s help, Goliath was killed. King Saul tried many times to kill David, but God kept him safe every time.

David was also reminded that “I took you from the pasture, from tending the flock, and appointed you ruler over my people Israel.” (Verse 8) When we first meet David, he is out tending the flocks of his father, Jesse, near Bethlehem. He was an ordinary shepherd. If you would have picked a person to be the next king of Israel, David probably would not have been at the top of your list. However, the Lord could look into David’s heart. The Lord chose this simple shepherd to be the ruler of Israel. He guided his life, protected him and helped him. Because of the Lord, David’s kingdom was established.

The Lord also established a kingdom for David’s Son, the Messiah. This was also part of the prophecy to David. There are some similarities between the two. Just as David went from a simple shepherd to being the king of Israel, Jesus went from a lowly existence to be ruler of all. He was not born in a great palace. He was born in a stable. He did not grow up in the capital. He grew up in a small town. Yet, this lowly man was the Son of God. It is he to whom every knee should bow. Jesus, the lowly Son of Mary, would be called King of all.

There was a difference in the way that the two kingdoms were established. While David was delivered from the hand of his enemies, Jesus was not. Jesus suffered and died at the hands of his enemies. They killed him by nailing him to a cross. However, that is not the end of the story. If Jesus had remained in the grave, there would be no reason for us being here today. However, Jesus rose from the dead. He showed himself to be alive time and again. Even though Jesus was handed over to his enemies, he triumphed over them. All of their evil plans amounted to nothing!

Why did Jesus go through all of this to establish his kingdom? After all, as the Son of God, everything is in his power. The reason Jesus did this is because you and I are sinners. We break God’s law many times every day. God tells us to put him first place in our lives. Yet, do we always do so? Do other people or other things get in the way? What about our work obligations or our social obligations? Do we get so involved in the various activities of our lives that God gets crowded into a small corner of our lives, if he gets any room at all?

This is just one example of the many sins that we commit. Remember that God does not look the other way when sin is committed. He promises to punish any who sin, even once, with an eternity of punishment in hell. That is what you and I deserved. In addition, there is no way that we can change this verdict in our own. So, there we sit in our sins.

However, may God be praised eternally. He did something about it. He sent his Son into the world. Jesus kept all of the law perfectly in our place. When he suffered and died, it was to pay for our sins. Because he rose from the dead, we are assured that all of our sins were paid for in full. Now, when God looks at us, he sees us as perfect. Because of Jesus, we look forward to an eternity in heaven.

How do we become subjects of this kingdom? When people of this world are born in a country, they are citizens of that country. We, also, were born into the kingdom of Christ. For most of us, that happened at our Baptism. We were born again and become citizens of Christ’s kingdom. Just as we did nothing about where we were born, we had nothing to do with being born again. That was the work of the Holy Spirit, who created that life-giving faith in our hearts. We thank God for making us a part of his kingdom.

When Camelot was established, its citizens enjoyed great benefits. They had unheard of wealth and prosperity and peace. The fame of Camelot spread throughout Europe. While Arthur was king, his subjects had great blessings. It all hinged on the fact that Arthur was king. The Lord also promised great blessings in the kingdom he would establish.

We see this in the kingdom he established for David. The Lord promised rest from his enemies. Just as God had kept David safe from many enemies, God continued to keep David and his kingdom safe. This is not to say that there were not wars or even attempted rebellions, such as under David’s own son Absalom. Yet, God kept David safe. God was with David and allowed him to expand the borders of the country. God gave the blessings of security to David and his subjects.

God also promised a great name for David and his descendants. David was the leader of one of the dominant powers of the time. His son, Solomon’s, fame was even more far-reaching. Royalty came from afar to seek out his wisdom. Under the reign of Solomon, the power and fame of Israel spread throughout the Mediterrean region. God greatly blessed the kingdom that he established for David.

God also promises great blessings for the citizens of Christ’s kingdom. We have rest from our enemy, Satan. For example, no longer can he accuse us of sin. Because of Jesus’ work, we have been forgiven. Scowl as he might, he is powerless to do anything to us. Even the bad things that are allowed to enter our lives must all work out for our benefit, because we are God’s children. We also have the blessing of knowing that our King will take care of us. We also enjoy the privilege of being known as Christians. Because of the work of Jesus and what it means to our present and our eternity, we gladly identify ourselves as belonging to him. Another great blessing that we have not yet enjoyed is eternal life. We know this is ours because of our conquering King. Many blessings are ours because we are members of this kingdom.

King Arthur’s subjects had many blessings, but they came to an end. When Arthur and Lancelot fought, the blessings that Arthur’s reign had brought came to a crashing halt. They disappeared like the morning fog. What about the blessings that we enjoy as members of Christ’s kingdom? Will they come to an end? Will this kingdom also come to an end?

Here we see a marked difference between David’s kingdom and Christ’s. David’s kingdom was temporary. Already at the time of his grandson, 5/6 of his kingdom seceded. Eventually this part of the kingdom would be conquered by the Assyrians, never to be heard from again. Even the part that was left to David’s descendants, was conquered time and again and never again enjoyed the peace and prosperity that she did when David was king. David’s kingdom came to an end.

This is not the case with the kingdom of David’s Son, Jesus Christ. Just as Jesus is the Son of God and thus eternal, so also his kingdom. This kingdom is different. It does not have political borders or a physical throne. Jesus Christ is ruling in heaven right now, and we know that one day, we will be there with him, enjoying all of the blessings of peace and security and joy that he has won for us. We will, finally, be able to serve our King in a way that he deserves to be served. We will praise our King for all eternity.

Yet, we also know that Jesus Christ is reigning right now. He rules in the hearts of his believers with his Word. He reminds again and again of all that he has done for us. He also rules the world and controls its events for the benefit of his believers. This is not just on the international scene, but also in each of our lives. Our King will protect us. Our King will provide for us. Because Jesus is our King, we can live each day in peace and joy. His kingdom will not end.

Camelot is, at best a legend. It is not real. The kingdom of Jesus is very real. We are his subjects. He does everything for us. We have peace, such as subjects of any nation on this earth can never know. We thank God for making us his subjects. We want to serve him with our entire lives, thanking him for all that he has done for us. We praise our God for loving us so much that he would establish a kingdom for us, with Jesus Christ, David’s greater Son, as our King. Amen.