Summary: What do you do when God says “No”? How do you feel when God says “no”? Are you happy? Do reject His suggestion and try to find your own way?
The Game of Thrones- Israel’s Experience with Human Kings”
“When God Says No”
What do you do when God says “No”? How do you feel when God says “no”? Are you happy? Do reject His suggestion and try to find your own way?
In Scotland a family by the name of Clark had a dream: husband and wife with their nine children wanted to emigrate to the United States. To make that dream a reality, they struggled, scrimped, and saved. Finally they managed to accumulate enough money and obtain all the paperwork they needed to take the trip and begin a new life in a new land.
Ship reservations were made and the family was ecstatic. Then, as often happens, tragedy struck. Seven days before they were to leave the youngest of the children, a little boy, was bitten by a dog. The bite wasn’t serious; the doctor stitched the lad up in no time at all. The tragedy was the doctor also had to hang a yellow sign on the Clark’s front door. The yellow signed warned everybody to stay away: there was a possibility, a very small chance, that the boy had contracted rabies from the bite of the unknown dog. Their ship was to sail in one week, the family was quarantined for two. They would have to stay behind as their ship, and their dreams, sailed into the sunset.
The father, outraged at what he felt was the unjust, unfair hand that he had been dealt, went down to the pier to stare as the ship set out. Furious at God, frustrated with his son; he cried and he cursed. He stomped home in a foul mood. He stayed that way, too. Then only a few days after his vessel had left port he got word that on April 15th the very ship which was to have brought them to a new life, had been sunk. The Titanic had gone down. As it disappeared, it had taken with it the lives of over 1,500 passengers. Hearing that news, Mr. Clark’s attitude was instantly transformed. Excitedly, enthusiastically, eagerly, he hugged his son. Plainly, powerfully, and prayerfully, he thanked his God. Their lives had been spared.
Sometimes God says “No” to our dreams and to our plans. When He does, it is not to defeat us or to discourage us. He does it because He has something far better than we could have ever imagined planned for us. The Apostle Paul and his companions wanted to take the Gospel to other parts of modern day Turkey, but God said “no”. In answer to prayer God sent Paul across the sea to Greece and Lydia became the first Christian in the city of Philippi.
Fifteen years ago I had spent 25 years of wonderful ministry in another place. I said to myself… This is good. I plan to retire here in this place. The church was healthy. The ministry and school were successful. God said, “no”.
So I came to this place. God had other plans. His promises are true. “In all things God works good for those who love Him.”
This event described for us in II Samuel describes what were possibly the best days in the life of King David. He was the King of Israel. His nation was united and at peace. David was enjoying a time of rest, after all the problems that he had been forced to endure. For David, these days were a time to meditate and reflect on the blessings and the grace of God.
David has just completed the construction of his palace. He looks out and sees the ark of the Lord, housed in a tent, and then begins to wonder. . . He wanted to build God a permanent dwelling place. A plan begins to formulate in his mind. Why not build a house for God, a temple? So David calls his friend and confidant, Nathan the prophet, and outlines his intentions. Nathan hastily consents, thinking that David's plans for such a “house” will be pleasing to God.
But that night, Nathan is corrected by God, and he has to return to David with his revised prophetic evaluation. Through Nathan, God speaks to David. It is as though God were looking down at the blueprints which David had drawn up for God's “house”. II Samuel 7. (read)
I think David shows us what we are supposed to do when God looks at our dream and says “No, that is not My plan for your life.” David’s response was one of humility and prayerful acceptance. (read 11 Samuel 7:18ff)
Our text contains what theologians have come to call the Davidic Covenant, one of the great covenants of the Bible. We will see that God had other plans. A promise is made to David that matches the promise to Abraham. One of your descendants will be the Messiah, The Savior… who will remove Adam’s curse which has brought death to humanity. You and I know…. Jumping 100 years into the future that an angel told Mary the Messiah’s name would be Jesus. Thirty years after his birth Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem, and passing though the town of Jericho a blind man calls out… Jesus, Son of David… have mercy… He was given his sight.