Summary: Prayer Warriors, Pt. 1
COME AS YOU ARE (2 SAMUEL 7)
A Fortune magazine argues that even the most accomplished people need around ten years of hard work before becoming world-class, a pattern so well-established researchers call it the ten-year rule. The ten-year rule represents a very rough estimate and most researchers regard it as a minimum, not an average. In many fields (music, literature) elite performers need 20 0r 30 years’ experience before hitting their zenith. (“What It Takes to Be Great,” Fortune 10/30/06)
Though hard work is the trait all top stars have in common, age is the wild card, especially when people are at their age of peak performance in their field:
Track and field record breakers – 25 years old
Major league baseball maps – 27 years old
Chemists – 35 years old
Economists – 36 years old
Great inventions – 39 years old
Economists -56 years old
Philosopher – 64 years old
Source: David W. Galenson, Benjamin F. Jones, Harvey C. Lehman (“What It Takes to Be Great,” Fortune 10/30/06)
King David had fought countless wars, defeated his surrounding enemies and brought genuine stability to Israel (v 1). Peace was at an optimum, things were quiet in battle and the nations left Israel alone. At that time, David wanted to build a temple. He deemed that the ark of God should be stationed somewhere and in something more stable, more permanent and more magnificent. The place of worship should be more than a hanging curtain, a moving object, or a traveling box. Although his request was rejected, his prayer was accepted because he came to God as he was, stripped of all pretension and accomplishments.
When are you in your prime? How would you be different and not be different? More importantly, what kind of relationship would you have with God in your success?
Praise the Lord for His Greatness
18 Then King David went in and sat before the LORD, and he said: “Who am I, O Sovereign LORD, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far? (2 Sam 7:18)
Upon news that Jimmy Carter had won the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize, people in the media rushed to Plains, Georgia, a population of more than 600, to interview the former president of the United States, who was one of 150 candidates for the top prize. Other U.S. Presidents who received the award were Theodore Roosevelt (1906) and Woodrow Wilson (1919), but Carter was the only former president to receive it. Woodrow Wilson, the last president to win the prize, won it more than eighty years ago.
At a press conference for the reporters that invaded the small town to congratulate and interview Carter for winning the US$1 million grand prize, the indifferent ex-president said, “After this crowd leaves, I’ll be riding back downtown on my bicycle. It didn’t change my life when I became a state senator, or governor, or president or a defeated candidate for re-election, and I don’t think this will change my life, either. My roots are too deep here to be changed, and I’m too old.” (USA Today 10/14/02 “A day in the life of America’s plainspoken man of peace.”)
Once David was by himself, he bowed his heart and knees to God. At his finest hour David did not see himself a high and mighty king, but considered himself first and foremost God’s servant. David was formerly a shepherd of sheep. He rose from obscurity to opportunity. He was an ordinary shepherd boy who went from tracking sheep, numbering and raising them to ruling men (v 8). God said, “I took you from the pasture and from following the flock to be ruler over my people Israel.” David was a shepherd, a farmhand and a breeder. There was nothing special, spectacular or stable about his job. He was an extraordinary and deserving king in the eyes of the world, but he was just an ordinary and dispensable servant in the eyes of God. In fact, David’s fondest name for himself was the title “your servant.” Nine times David called himself that in the chapter (vv 20, 21, 25, 26, 27, 27, 28, 29, 29). Including 2 Sam 7 but excluding Psalms, David had addressed himself before God as “your servant” an astonishing 13 times throughout his life (1 Sam 3:10-11, 2 Sam 24:10), more than any individual in the Bible.
The highest accolade God can give anyone is to call him or her “His servant.” The phrase “my servant David” was a tremendous testimony to what God thought of him and how highly God thought of him. Besides David, Moses and Job were the other individuals who received this highest honor. The Hebrew phrase “my servant David” or “David my servant” occurs an astonishing 19 times (2 Sam 3:18, 7:5, 7:8, 1 Kings 11:32, 36, 11:38, 14:8, 2 Kings 19:34, 20:6, 1 Chron 17:7, Isa 37:35, Jer 33:21, 33:22, 33:26, Ezek 34:23, 34:24, 37:24, 37:25) in the Bible, a record for any “my servant” references. The two next highest “my servant” references were ascribed to Moses (Num 12:7, 8, Josh 1:2, 7, 2 Kings 21:8, Mal 4:4) and Job (Job 1:8, 2:3, 42:7-8), occurring six times each.