The story of David is remarkable. In the life of David we see a perfect depiction of the grace of God.
As a young shepherd boy from Bethlehem, he was anointed to be the next king of Israel. The Lord guided his steps through perilous dangers and great tests of faith and exalted him to the throne of Israel. However, more than the thrill of victory and the praise of men, David delighted in the Lord. In fact, God calls him a man after his own heart (1 Samuel 13:14).
As David successfully reigned over Israel, his heart again turned to the Lord and the tabernacle at which the Israelites worshipped. He desired to build a grand temple that would provide a physical reminder of the greatness of his God. The Lord came to Nathan the prophet and told David that the temple would not be his to build, but that God would use his descendant, Solomon, to complete this work. David’s desire to honor God, however, was not discarded. The Lord rejoiced over David’s love and promised to establish his throne through his descendants forever. At this revelation, David humbles himself before God and utters, “who am I… that You have brought me this far?”(2 Samuel 7:18)
The significance of God’s promise to David is often overlooked because of our cultural differences. We live in a republic and have only a vague concept of a being under a monarchy. The Lord promised David an eternal dynasty, a succession of rulers belonging to the same family spanning generations. As one surveys the great dynasties of ancient history, only one reigns to this day. The English throne lost its true power to Parliament and the ancient dynasties of China and Russia were replaced by communist regimes. Yet, the throne of David is still inhabited. Fourteen generations after David, his dynasty appeared to be extinguished by the Babylonian captivity. Another thirteen generations passed and the heir of David was a simple carpenter by the name of Joseph. However, Joseph’s wife Mary carried in her womb the Son of God who would become by birth the heir of David’s throne. Awestruck shepherds from Bethlehem attended the child’s birth, a reminder of David’s lowly beginnings. Like David, Father God carried Jesus through many difficulties and trials, even death on the cross. Like David, He raised Him up, placing Him on the throne of David where He reigns until His enemies shall be made His footstool. God kept His promise to David and eternally established his throne. God has amazing grace for the lowly. 1 Peter 5:6 reminds us, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.” May we be reminded this Christmas that we are in the hands of a mighty God who loves us all.