v 16 Your house and your kingdom will continue before me for all time, and your throne will be secure forever.
Here is the promise Ethan celebrated in yesterday’s reading from Psalm 89. It must have seemed an unlikely promise to David when Nathan passed on what God has said to him. So much so that David’s initial reaction in v 20 is totally understandable. ‘What more can I say to you? You know what your servant is really like ‘ WHAT? ME? You know the kind of person I am – surely you don’t mean me! This is a ‘No ifs and buts’ promise; there are no harsh conditions to be fulfilled, no get-out clauses on God’s part, and no time limits set on its fulfilment. It is plain and straightforward; your kingdom will continue before me for all time, and your throne will be secure forever.
The ongoing history of Israel however seems to shout that God let them down time and time again. The Babylonians destroyed Jerusalem and hauled the people into captivity as slaves; a Greek culture almost destroyed Judaism and the re-built temple was again plundered with idols erected in it; the Romans incorporated it into their Empire and Jerusalem was again flattened; a militant Islamic culture colonised the land; the Crusades … and so you could go on right to the present day. Any thinking person is bound to call into question what God meant by this promise. The Growth Group meetings this week will give plenty of opportunities to reflect on this passage.