building a house for God’s name

2 Samuel 7:1-14a

For Sunday, July 19, 2009
Proper 11
Have you ever wondered whether in view of what other people are living in your house might be too nice?  This was the dilemma King David was facing in 2 Sam. 7, only the neighbor he was worried about was none other than God Himself.  “Here I am living in a palace of cedar, while the ark of God remains in a tent.”   Ah, sorry God, little oversight here, but I think we can rectify this.  
God’s response is to chuckle.  “Ah David, what makes you think you can build me a house?  I didn’t need a nice house to deliver your nation from Egypt.  Did I ever request a house?  No, you aren’t going to build me a house, but I am going to build you one far grander than anything of which you can conceive.”
The house of which God is speaking is of course not a physical house, estate, or palace, but rather a grand plan to reconcile the whole world to Himself.  “The Lord declares to you that the Lord himself will establish a house for you . . .  I will raise up your offspring to succeed you.”  “Ah,” thinks David, “I will have a son who will succeed me.  Wonderful.”   Well . . . yes, there was Solomon but he was only a foreshadowing of another son to come, and God intended to  “establish the throne of his kingdom forever (v. 13).”    
Did Solomon build a house for God’s name?  Well… yes, he built a grand temple.  But that temple was destroyed, so that couldn’t be the house that would last forever.  Then to what in the world could God have been referring?  
One place that provides an answer is the Book of Hebrews which makes clear that the house to which God is referring is neither earthly tabernacle nor temple, but rather “a greater and more perfect tabernacle (house) that is not man-made, that is to say, not a part of this creation” (Heb. 9:11).  “Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people . . . and to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him (Heb. 9:27).”  
Are you waiting for him?  Then you are already living in the house built for God’s name.  Rejoice.

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