“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.” – 2 Samuel 7:22
This scripture comes from the story of King David. It’s a cool verse, even standing alone, but it is even more interesting when you take the time to read the entire chapter.
David finally gets a break from all the fighting and settles into his palace – his nice, comfortable palace. But he is uneasy. The prophet Nathan is on hand and David says this: “Here I am, living in a house of cedar, while the ark of God remains in a tent” (verse 2).
Nathan responds by saying, essentially, “I hear you, bud. Build something nice for God.”
But God is not interested. And I believe this exchange is important because it goes to this evolving sense of who God is and how – gradually – God’s people are beginning to understand…
Expanding concept of God!
God doesn’t actually live in the ark! God is not limited by time and space! This is a theme that Jesus picks up over in John 4 (21-25), when The Woman at the Well makes a comment about where God hangs out: “Believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem… when true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth… God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”
“There is no one like you, God!” David declares; “You alone are God!”
This is more than just a “my god is better than those other gods” assertion. This is David embracing the truth that while humans set up all sorts of idols and ideas as gods, God by definition is unique and sovereign.
The God we worship, the God who loves each human being with an everlasting love, this God is not containable in an ark, or a tent, or a palace made of cedar… Or, I believe, by ideologies and religious structures codified by human beings.
“David,” Jesus would say – and says to us today, “invite me into the deepest most personal places of your daily struggle. When you love God with all your heart, mind, body, soul, strength, and imagination, and when you love your neighbor in a similar way, then everything else is going to fall into place and it’s no longer about religious law anymore – now it’s about me…”
This is Tuesday morning, sharing a mug of coffee and a verse or scripture – DEREK