2 Samuel 2: Do as You Promised
David’s Prayer: “Then King David went in and sat before the Lord, and he said: “Who am I, Lord God, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far? And as if this were not enough in your sight, O God, You have spoken about the future of the house of your servant. You have looked on me as though I were the most exalted of men, O Lord God. And now Lord, let the promise you have made concerning your servant and his house be established forever. Do as You promised so that it will be established and that your name will be great forever!” I Chronicles 17: 16, 17, 23, 24 (This is the only reference in the Old Testament to sitting as a position for prayer)
David had gone off on his own for 16 months to escape Saul. In doing so, he had put his family, his men and their families in grave danger. He had lived a lie, leading a life of deceit in Gath. God intervened providentially to protect David. Now King Saul is dead. The only obstacle to his taking his anointed position to king is removed. Yet David does not rush ahead, he prays. He inquires of the Lord: Shall I go up to one of the towns of Judah? Go up says the Lord. Where shall I go? To Hebron, the Lord answered. So David went up and with his wives and his men and their families.
David knows God has anointed him king. He knows God will fulfill the purpose He has for David’s life. Now David has learned through experience to wait on the Lord. To ask, seek, and knock. God has a plan for David’s life. He has a plan for our lives also. He has a mapped out your life. David depends on the Word of God revealed to him.
David will not become king of all of Israel at first. He will begin with a small kingdom. Just as our Lord began with a small kingdom on earth, 12 ordinary men, of which one was a traitor. Prayer is such a vital part of our Christian walk. We need to learn how to pray well. And in the prayer Jesus taught us, our prayer was for the purpose of His Kingdom coming. The prayers of God’s saints here on earth are so important we are told to pray always and without ceasing. We are told this is a force which changes the course of events in this world. Prayer puts God in charge of our problems. God shapes the world by prayer.
Here in I Chronicles 17, David places the lever of prayer on the fulcrum of God’s promise. David then pressed down by faith called upon a Holy, Just God to do what He has promised to do. The prayer of faith is based on the written word of God for ‘faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.
The purpose of asking is receiving. The aim of seeking is finding. And the goal of knocking is to arouse attention. We are to cast our cares on Him. We are to unburden ourselves as the Lord Jesus calls to us who are weary and heavy laden to come to Him for rest and take His Yoke upon us. Make known to Him your anxieties, worries, and fears with thanksgiving, and He will respond faithfully by giving us peace which passes understanding.
When David made this request to God to do as He had promised, he was fully persuaded he was asking in accordance with God’s will for him, based on God’s promise to him. This account in Second Samuel looks at David’s triumphs and his troubles. He is a complex character. The story of Israel, of these men like Abner, Joab and Saul’s son, Ish-Bosheth are personalities which we see all around us. People who, some are weak, some strong. Some are jealous and prideful, angry people, unforgiving people. Abner has not gotten over David’s taunts and seeks to keep him from taking the throne. God does not allow overnight successes, does He? He is not the God of “get-rich-quick” plans, nor is He the God of shortcuts.
It seems our prayer life becomes more important to us the more important the decision; the more troublesome the burden. Could it be we came to such a place because we neglected prayer in the trivial, daily matters? Had we become more complacent, more comfortable during those times of “ smooth sailing” that our prayer life was almost thoughtless, much less leading us to desperately seek a promise of assurance from God?
Have you experienced those times of struggles, anguish and sorrow over life’s sudden turns, where a phone call, a diagnosis, a loved one in trouble made you drop to your knees? Have you searched the Scriptures looking for a promise to claim? Then put your finger on a promise from God’s Divine Word and know that the Holy Spirit had given you that promise? It is a wonderful feeling. It is as if God has whispered in you ear; Fear not, I am with you.
These promises, great and precious, are like a cashier’s check. Do you know what a cashier’s check is? It is a check guaranteed by the bank, drawn on the bank’s own funds. These are treated as guaranteed funds because the bank, rather than the purchaser is responsible for paying the amount. You simply present the check and ask for the cash. Such are the promises of God. God has NEVER BROKEN A SINGLE PROMISE. Every promise of God is built on four pillars: His justice, holiness, grace and truth. Now as a reminder, some promises are conditional, meaning there are conditions to be met in order to receive the promise.
God’s Word is not only a map for our life, directions for living, but also a personal letter to each of us. “Remember your word to your servant, for it has given me hope.” (Psalm 119: 49) Spurgeon wrote, “Will You now disappoint the hope You Yourself have brought forth in me?”
WALKING BY FAITH
We are commanded to walk by faith and not by sight. Often our feelings and emotions are mistakenly substituted for faith. Troubles are not be counted as misfortunes but rather as a part of our necessary discipline. This leads often to our wrong action. Now most of us in times of trouble want to take action. However the walk of faith begins from a position of rest. Notice in this prayer David went in and sat before the Lord. Can you visualize this scene? Entering in the throne room of heaven to sit before the Lord to receive counsel from Him.
Paul wants the eyes of our understanding to be opened. When we got saved we entered into the finished work of Christ at Calvary. Ephesians 1 tells us Christ was raised up and seated at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms, and Ephesians 2: 6, tells us we are raised up and seated in Him in the heavenly realms. Just as Mary sat at the feet of Jesus to take in His teaching, while Martha worked and worried in the kitchen and was distracted. Jesus said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen the better and it will not be taken away from her.” *This does not mean work is not important, but it must be done in order. The Christian life and experience begins NOT with walking but by sitting down, resting in the finished work of Christ. The one thing which is most important is the secret of deliverance from sin is not in doing something, but to rest in what God has done. Remember what the people ask Jesus in John 6? What must we do to work the works of God? Jesus replied, “This is the work to do- believe in the One He has sent.” We are continuously learning. So with each new truth God wants us to learn and appropriate, we must sit at His feet and listen to Him. Have you made a mess of a thing, by trying to fix it yourself? Come to Him. Sit as His feet. Discover by His divine promises He has given you everything you need for life and godliness. Do not be distracted and worried by many things- do the ONE thing which is necessary, go in and sit before Him and listen to Him.
Do you see what David had done? He had walked off on his own. He had, like Martha, been distracted, worried about many things. There was only one thing needed, to listen to the Lord. We were saved to serve. But how were we saved? “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of ourselves, it is a gift of God, not of works, lest we should boast” (Ephesians 2: 8&9). God did all the work. David knew he could not defeat Goliath, ‘the Lord delivered Goliath in his hands.’ (I Samuel 17)
Look at the order: Ephesian 2: 6- we are seated in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2: 8& 9 remind us Jesus did it all, it was not of my works, but HIS FINISHED WORK AT CALVARY. It was when Jesus cried, it is finished the Father, said, “Come all is ready.” Now Ephesians 2: 10 tells us: “We are His workmanship, created Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” This is God’s divine order. God knows what you were created to be, for He created you.
HOW THEN DO WE WALK IN FAITH? “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think according to the power within us.” (Ephesians 3: 20) Therein lies the secret- is the power in us. This is power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at the right hand of God in the heavenly places. We are then told to walk wisely, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Do not be wise, but understand what is the will of God is. And do not be drunk with wine in which is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit. (Ephesians 5)
Being filled with the Spirit, clear about the will of God, requires time spent in meditation on His Word, sitting before Him and receiving His instructions and then knowing His will. When we do this, we can, like David, sit before God and pray ‘do as you promised to do.’
Paul then tells us when we have seen by faith we are seated in Christ. We can then walk in faith. From our rest in Him. Casting all our cares upon Him, Peter tells us, because our adversary goes about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour.
King Saul and his army outnumbered David; they were seeking to devour him and his men. Casting our cares upon Him is how He exalts us as we humble ourselves and sit at his feet. Only those who sit at His feet can walk by faith. And only those who sit can stand. To stand is a position of strength and victory. The word “stand” implies the ground disputed by the enemy is God’s. I am His. David knows whom he has believed and he is fully persuaded his God is the one and only true God, God Almighty who will deliver him from the enemy.
David will continue to have battles. He will make mistakes and fall in sin. He will stumble but not be utterly cast down, because the Lord holds him with his right hand.
Our weapons described in Ephesians 6 are mainly defensive weapons. We are told we are more than conquerors. Our Lord Jesus is the Commander of the Armies of Heaven. He has given us His victory to hold. So we stand in the full armor of God. Our armor is primarily defensive. We have two offensive weapons. The Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God and prayer. And when combined, we can say to God Almighty: Do as You Promised. The battle is Yours. �: