The most important thing for Christians to do – especially when we find ourselves continuing to sin – is not to do, but to be; to be “in the Spirit” – that is, to belong to God through Christ and submit to his rule. Pleasing God is the work he does in us by his Spirit, as his Spirit leads us and confirms that we are God’s children and heirs, and enables us to call him “Father”.
The unthinkable is distressingly real: Christians continue helplessly to sin. But our continued acceptance by God is not secured by trying harder to be good, but in the same way that we were made acceptable to God in the first place: through faith in the sin-bearing sacrifice of God’s Son in our place. Therefore there is now no condemnation, not for those who try harder, but for those who are in Christ Jesus.
In the sermon King David demonstrates how to be successful as a king in Israel by obeying God fully. He humbly and lavishly celebrates the presence of God as he brings the ark into the new capital of Israel. Yet it is God who will bless David through his promise to build his “house” into an everlasting kingship bringing blessing to his people. David’s ensuing strength, wisdom and justice give prompt testimony to the faithfulness of God’s promises.
In this sermon we hear about how Judah lays claim to David as their king while Saul’s crafty former general promotes his own puppet king. Through brutal blood lusting battles, betrayal, murder and revenge, opportunists swirl around David. This is contrasted against David’s honourable actions as he becomes more and more powerful because the Lord almighty was with him.
In the historical book of 2 Samuel from the Old Testament in the Bible, we enter the world of King David as he ascends to the throne of Israel as God’s chosen King. We see both his wisdom and foolishness, his pride and his humility, his amazing strength and hopeless weaknesses. We see a truly human leader who desperately needs the God who is with him.
This sermon shows that amidst the distress of Israel’s defeat and the death of their king, David does not seek to profit from the death of Saul his enemy. Rather, David’s public lament shows the depths of his love for Jonathan and respect for God’s anointed. We see David more concerned for the honour of Israel than his for his own honour, giving us hope of a good and humble king.