Advent Devotional | December 3, 2020
“When your days are over and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, your own flesh and blood, and I will establish his kingdom. He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.” 2 Samuel 7:12–13
“At most, you will live a hundred years on earth, but you will spend forever in eternity.” – Rick Warren, Pastor & Author
To say that “nothing lasts forever” would not be entirely accurate. As I write this, it feels like the cloud of COVID-19 has hung in the sky for a very long time. Forever means “for all future time.” Consider what David thought when God said, “I will establish the throne of [your offspring’s] kingdom forever.” God’s promise rightfully inspired confidence. So why did Israel become kingless in just a few hundred years after this promise? How come David’s offspring’s throne was sat on by someone else?
The promised throne is not earthly. At least, not the earth as we know it now. In this way, it was unexpected. If God had been making a promise to David that an earthly throne would be forever, God would not have exiled Israel, and a rightful heir would occupy David’s throne right now. But Israel sinned, and God used Assyria and Babylon to bring the people low, removing their kings. Brokenness and sin led Israel away from an established earthly kingdom, but not the promised heavenly one.
The point is this: God is not interested in seeing a broken system go on forever. Living permanently in a broken world is not appealing to us, nor is it planned by God. Instead, He sent Jesus to be the start of something entirely new. Revelation talks about it as a “new heavens and new earth” (Rev. 21:1). Advent should remind us that God sent the expected heir of David promised to Israel. Praise God for the unexpected way in which He came into this world. Live in the hope that what God started with Jesus will someday be fulfilled through a beautiful, unbroken eternity.
Pastor Dave Mergens