Receiving Heart


Sermon, Sunday July 22.

Pentecost 8B, Series: After God’s own heart. Final

Receiving Heart

2 Samuel 7:1-16

16 Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever. ’”

“Less is more”. This is an old music saying. It is used by people in orchestra, choirs and bands. I think it originally came from the Jazz music tradition, where musicians can get a bit too busy and can overplay their instrument to the point that the music gets close to a cacophony!

“Less is more”, means that if each person plays their part, simply, skillfully and with sensitivity to overall sound of the orchestra or band, the overall sound is balanced, open and beautiful. I as an individual become less so that the music is more.   

”Less is More”, can also be applied to being a person after God’s own heart. God  always is more and has more for us, and so, we can be and do less – in fact, we need to do less and so that God is more in our family, workplace and friendship circle.

This is what David learned…

David is now undisputed king going about task of building a nation – government, buildings, worship centre, taxation, education etc….. He is in the business of establishing his kingdom as king.

It is totally expected that David would now ask God if he is the one to build a temple for the Lord in the new capital city, Jerusalem. This would be a fitting thing to do, since the Ark of the Covenant which he has had brought to the city (as we heard last week) is still in a tent. 

Building a temple is the obvious thing to do. It would be a sign of permanence and stability for the nation and fitting for the Lord’s name and for the faithful worship of the Lord with all the furniture, sacrificial system and living out of the Law. The temple would say to a nation that the worship of the Lord is at the centre of the nation’s life and mission – a very good message! 

But David will see that in being a person after God’s own heart, “Less is More”!

David is bowled over by what response the Lord gives to his right and good request to build a dwelling place for the Lord – a temple. God tells David he has a much bigger plan! David wants to build a house for the Lord. The Lord says he will give David an everlasting global kingdom! David is building a kingdom and a building for God’s presence to be. The Lord is building an eternal, global and even cosmic community! 

16 Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me[b]; your throne will be established forever. ’”

David learns that for a person after God’s own heart, God is more and we are less! He is also learning that because God always has more for us than we can imagine or even dare to ask for, we actually need to be and to do less. Why? So God can be more.

2 Samuel 7 is right up there in terms of status and importance with other BIG Old Testament moments. This promise of an everlasting kingdom in the family of David is right up there with Genesis 1: creation of people, Genesis 3; our fall,; Genesis 12, the promise of land, name, mission and population to Abraham……

David gets what any self-respecting national leader would desire but never get– a guaranteed future in God’s blessing for eternity! What a gift! David and his descendents are now an everlasting kingdom that will never fade, be destroyed or come to end!

Can you think of a time when you were as humbled and invigorated as David would have been when he was confronted with the BIGNESS and the LOVE of his God in giving him a gift that David would have never even dared to ask for and thought would have been impossible, even for the Lord? 

Can you remember a time when you just had to utter those words, “God is good!” in amazement that he would treat you so well and give you such hope and joy and help – much more than you expected or dared to ask for?

God always has much more for us than we can imagine or ask for. This is what David discovered and what Israel based their life and hope on for the generations after this foundational promise. 

God is always more and he promises to bring more into our lives through the promised New David – the Messiah – Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus always has a bigger picture, more to give, a grander vision, a hopeful plan, a winning way ahead.