(No) “Small Thing”

Reflection on 2 Samuel 7:22

How great you are, Sovereign Lord! There is no one like you, and there is no God but you, as we have heard with our own ears.

This is the outpouring of David’s heart in the face of God’s generous blessing to a man who was once a lowly shepherd boy.

He says to God, “Who am I, O Lord GOD, and what is my house [family], that you have brought me this far?” (v.18). Who is David?—He’s the King! The greatest man in Israel, the nation of God’s chosen people. If anyone could bring their status, position, pride, or deservedness before God, it was David. But instead David is extremely humble, knowing that everything he has is from God (not of himself) and completely undeserved. David says this same thing about all of mankind in his psalm: “What is mere man that you pay any attention to him, human beings that that you even care about them?” (Psalm 8:4, my paraphrase)

Is this how you approach God? Is this the stance you take when God blesses you, or do you barely notice, taking it for granted and believing you deserve to experience good and blessing? What about in times of suffering? Do you come to God angry for withholding the easy, pleasurable life you believe you are entitled to? Or do you recognize that every good thing you’ve ever tasted in this life is already a blessing far beyond what we could lay claim on?

It’s not a matter of pretending to feel what we do not, of faking humility, hiding anger, giving up on deeply desiring the life in Eden we were created for, or being ashamed of struggling. It’s about a trajectory of transformed attitude when we see God for who He really is and ourselves through His eyes.

David continues, “And yet this was a small thing in your eyes, O LORD God.” (v.19) What was this ‘small thing’? Read verses 4-17 (then the entire New Testament). Basically, it was a promise from God that because of David’s desire to honour Him by building Him a “house” (instead of David being in a palace and God dwelling in just a tent—the tabernacle) that God would make for David a great name (✅), make a place for Israel (this was off and on, but ✅), rest for David from enemies (✅), and moreover (here’s the biggie) that “your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before Me” (v.16). Wow! I mean sometimes “forever” is hyperbole, but it’s still bound to be pretty long. And as big as this is for David, he knows it’s actually small and simple for his great, Sovereign, and only true God.

But what David didn’t realize at the time was all this “forever” kingdom of his lineage entailed. First, it wasn’t hyperbole—it is really forever, eternal. Second, it’s actually about the promised Messiah, and how David will be his kingly ancestor. It’s about Jesus. Jesus is our forever king and so much more than that! And what an unimaginable blessing that God’s promise to David is fulfilled in the Messiah’s eternal kingship & reign.

And we (those belonging to Jesus) are part of that, and we know it. We are Sons and Daughters of the Most High God, coheirs with Christ in His coming Kingdom. And “we will also reign with Him” (2 Timothy 2:12). Our salvation in Christ and the in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit are the guarantee we have of this sure promise of eternal blessing made to us by God. How much more are we, lowly sinners-made-saints, to worship God for His great goodness toward us!

How great You are, Sovereign Lord, there is no one like You!

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