I hope this day finds you and your family well. I invite you to take a few moments with me to read and reflect upon today’s scripture selection — and to carry these thoughts with you into your day.
Today’s Scripture: 2 Samuel 7:18-29
18 Then King David went in and sat before the Lord, and said, “Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my house, that you have brought me thus far? 19 And yet this was a small thing in your eyes, O Lord God; you have spoken also of your servant’s house for a great while to come. May this be instruction for the people, O Lord God! 20 And what more can David say to you? For you know your servant, O Lord God! 21 Because of your promise, and according to your own heart, you have wrought all this greatness, so that your servant may know it. 22 Therefore you are great, O Lord God; for there is no one like you, and there is no God besides you, according to all that we have heard with our ears. 23 Who is like your people, like Israel? Is there another nation on earth whose God went to redeem it as a people, and to make a name for himself, doing great and awesome things for them, by driving out before his people nations and their gods? 24 And you established your people Israel for yourself to be your people forever; and you, O Lord, became their God. 25 And now, O Lord God, as for the word that you have spoken concerning your servant and concerning his house, confirm it forever; do as you have promised. 26 Thus your name will be magnified forever in the saying, ‘The Lord of hosts is God over Israel’; and the house of your servant David will be established before you. 27 For you, O Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, have made this revelation to your servant, saying, ‘I will build you a house’; therefore your servant has found courage to pray this prayer to you. 28 And now, O Lord God, you are God, and your words are true, and you have promised this good thing to your servant; 29 now therefore may it please you to bless the house of your servant, so that it may continue forever before you; for you, O Lord God, have spoken, and with your blessing shall the house of your servant be blessed forever.”
Tim’s Devotional Reflection for Today
The Hebrew Scriptures consider David to be the greatest of the kings. We see in this scripture passage a couple of the reasons why his leadership is exemplary. For one thing, he prayed and he prayed honestly and earnestly. Secondly, David was humble before God. The beginning of his prayer shows that: “Who am I, O Lord GOD, and what is my house, that you have brought me thus far?”
The Hebrew scriptures are brutally honest about David, as well. He is a complicated figure with tremendous successes and moments of great faithfulness and significant failures and shortcomings, as well.
One of the marks of a great leader is the willingness to own up to one’s own shortcomings and failures. Psalm 51 is David’s prayer of confession after his greatest failure that had a cascading effect on the lives of many others. Here are some of the words of that psalm of confession:
Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy
blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
and cleanse me from my sin….
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and put a new and right spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from your presence,
and do not take your holy spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and sustain in me a willing spirit.
The last words of David in 2 Samuel 23 point to another characteristic of a truly great leader:
One who rules over people justly,
ruling in the fear of God,
is like the light of morning,
like the sun rising on a cloudless morning,
gleaming from the rain on the grassy land.
It’s not just leaders whom God calls to this level of righteous living. God calls us all. The words of Micah capture that call succinctly: “What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” Living in this way is also “like the light of morning, like the sun rising on a cloudless morning.”
Our world needs that light and you and I can reflect it.
Hymn: “I Want to Walk as a Child of the Light” by Kathleen Thomerson (1966)
I want to walk as a child of the light
I want to follow Jesus
God set the stars to give light to the world
The star of my life is Jesus
In Him there is no darkness at all
The night and the day are both alike
The Lamb is the light of the city of God
Shine in my heart Lord Jesus
I want to see the brightness of God
I want to look at Jesus
Clear Sun of righteousness shine on my path
And show me the way to the Father (Chorus)
I’m looking for the coming of Christ
I want to follow Jesus
When we have run with patience the race
We shall know the joy of Jesus (Chorus)
Thank you for sharing this moment of your day with me, with God, and with these reflections on a portion of scripture. I hope you will carry these with you throughout your day and night.
Grace and Peace,
Dr. Tim Bruster