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Date:         Tue, 12 Sep 1995 10:06:39 +0200
Reply-To: Christian explanation of the Scriptures to Israel 
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From: Teus Benschop 
Subject:      The Scriptures opened, 48
To: Multiple recipients of list CHR-EXP 

1. Deuteronomy 27:26 - Cursed is the transgressor
2. 2 Samuel 7        - The prophecy of Nathan, part 3/3

1.  Deuteronomy 27:26 - Cursed is the transgressor

Reading: Deut.26:1-29:8

Deuteronomy 27:26
    Cursed  be  he  that confirmeth not the words of this  law  to  do
    them. And all the people shall say, Amen.

The  meaning of this verse is, that he, who not confirms the words  of
the  law  by  doing  them,  will be cursed. This  being  cursed,  when
forsaking  the  whole  law, is the opposite  of  being  blessed,  when
keeping the law. Some verses further you will find this blessing: "And
all  these  blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee,  if  thou
shalt  hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God." (Deuteronomy 28:2)
He, who rejects the law, will be cursed. And all the people shall say,
"Amen".  That  is, they all will confirm it. They all  confirm,  that,
when they forsake the law, they will be cursed.
     The  law  has to do with God's will. It is His will, that  we  do
what   is   written   in  the  law.  God  is  very   holy,   nay,   He
HehddddDCDsssdddddddjasdooousadosHe is the Holiness itself.  Also  His
law  ought  to be kept perfectly. Not one yod of it will fall  at  the
ground. The law is not a rule, which asks not more of us, then we  can
perform. The law is not to be winked at. It is the expression of God's
will,  not  the  description of what we are able  to  do.  It  is  the
original law, which was already in force before the fall of the  first
man. God's will changes not; so His will was the same, both before and
after the fall of Adam. He gave commandments, such as, do this, and do
that  not. And, all what you do, do it with your whole heart. The  law
then  is  holy,  and good. All who confirm not the words  of  it,  are
     There  is no man, who does the law. We all transgress, as Solomon
said:  "If they sin against thee, (for [there is] no man that  sinneth
not,)" (1 Kings 8:46) Nobody does the law. However, many think they do
the  law,  since  they have made the law powerless.  They  have  first
deprived  the  law of its original power and holiness, and  then  they
think to keep that powerless one. But the real law, nobody keeps.
     Since  nobody  keeps  the rule of God, nor  is  able  to  do  so,
everybody  lies  under the curse, as is written: "Cursed  be  he  that
confirmeth not the words of this law to do them." Can we be freed from
that  curse?  Yes,  we can. Moses said: "Who will keep  the  law  will
live".  So, one might think that keeping the law is the way  to  life.
But,  as  we  have already seen, this way is shut up. For, nobody  can
keep the law, as Solomon said. Keeping the law was originally a way to
life,  but after the fall of Adam, this way is made impossible through
the weakness of our flesh. Keeping the law is still a way to life, but
nobody can go on that way. There was One, who walked on this way.  And
that was Jesus Christ, Who kept the whole law. He walked on the way of
righteousness.  Not  a defective righteousness, but  a  complete  one.
Jesus  had  no sins, and fulfilled the whole law. But for  us,  sinful
people,  the  way of life through the law is shut up  for  always  and
ever.  Only  he,  who is found in Christ, shares in His righteousness.
His  way  to  life lies in Christ. Through faith in  Him,  one  is  in
Christ,  and  is counted righteous in Him. That is our  way  to  life.
Believing in Christ, Who kept the whole law, without blemish.
     If  our way to life, and our way to escape the curse of the  law,
lies  in  Christ through faith, then the question arises: How can  one
get  this faith? The answer to the question, how to get the faith,  is
easy.  Scripture  says that faith is given by the Father  to  whom  it
pleases  Him. "By grace are ye saved through faith; and  that  not  of
yourselves: it is the gift of God." (Ephesians 2:8) Through grace, one
escapes the curse of the law. Cursed is he that confirms not the words
of  the  law to do them. But blessed is he that has escaped the curse,
through  faith in Jesus Christ. He will be restored in the  favour  of
the Father, through Christ the Mediator.
     Who  is  in Christ, is saved from the curse of the law. Let  then
the  law  try  to rage against us. If we are in Christ, then  the  law
rages  against  Christ,  and not against us. We,  being  in  Him,  are
protected  against that tempest. Who remains in Christ will  be  safe,
but  who forsakes Him, will soon experience the curse of the law,  and
perish.  Only in Jesus you are safe; nowhere else. We have so severely
sinned,  and  greatly transgressed, that it is nowhere  safe  for  us,
except  in Christ. Everywhere, death and curse threaten us, except  in
Christ. He will protect them, who are given Him by the Father.

2.  2 Samuel 7 - The prophecy of Nathan, part 3/3

Outline of the chapter:
1-2  David  has  settled down, and wishes to build  a  house  for  the
3    The prophet Nathan praises this.
4-7  But God immediately forbids David's plans, through Nathan.
8-17  God repeats the great benefits which He has bestowed on David in
     the  past, and gives a promise of a still greater future. His son
     Solomon  will build the house of the LORD, and the Messiah  would
     arise from his seed.
18-22David  is  very  surprised at this, he rejoiced  in  it,  and  he
     heartily thanks the Lord.

Continuation of last week's part.

    18   Then  went  king David in, and sat before the  LORD,  and  he
    said,  Who  [am] I, O Lord GOD? and what [is] my house, that  thou
    hast brought me hitherto?

After  David had received the promises of his eternal kingdom, and  of
his  seed,  sitting on the throne for always, and of the Messiah,  who
would  spring  from  him,  he went in the house  of  the  LORD.  These
promises  were too great for him, then that he could speak.  He  could
but say: "Who am I, O Lord God?" He means, that he is nothing, so, why
has  God given those great promises to a worthless man? David had  not
merited such benefits. "Who am I, and what is my house, that Thou hast
brought  me hitherto?" Both I and my house are nothing. It has pleased
Thou, O God, to do us well. It is only grace.

    19   And this was yet a small thing in thy sight, O Lord GOD;  but
    thou hast spoken also of thy servant's house for a great while  to
    come. And [is] this the manner of man, O Lord GOD?

"And this was yet a small thing in Thy sight, O God. Thou have brought
me  and  my  house hitherto. But that is not all, for Thou  have  also
spoken  of  my  house for a great while to come. Thou  have  not  only
protected  me until now; Thou have not only given me the kingdom;  but
Thou have also spoken of the far future."
     "And  this the manner of man, O Lord God". Literally,  "and  this
the law (torah) of man". What does this, "the law of man", mean? There
are three possibilities. The first one is, "this is [according to] the
law  of  man". Then God would be speaking of David's future, like  the
people  are  wont to speak of the future through their last  will  and
testament.  Another explanation is, "this is a teaching of man".  This
means,  that  God,  though He was majestic,  spoke  with  David  in  a
friendly manner. He spoke through Nathan with David in a manner as  is
common  among  men.  The third explanation is the  one  found  in  our
translation. "Is this a manner of man?" That means, is this the way to
deal  with man? No, this is not the common way wherein God speaks with
man.  Commonly, God does not reveal His will to man. But here He does.
He spoke of the far future, and that was very uncommon.

    20   And  what can David say more unto thee? for thou,  Lord  GOD,
    knowest thy servant.

David  is  so overwhelmed by God's great deeds and words, that  he  is
unable  to speak out what is in his heart. But though he is unable  to
put into words what he wishes to say, God knows His servant. God knows
what is in the heart of David, and that is enough.

    21   For  thy word's sake, and according to thine own heart,  hast
    thou  done  all  these  great things, to  make  thy  servant  know

God  has  promised  all  these great things,  concerning  the  eternal
kingdom and the Messiah. Why? For David's sake? Was David such a  good
king,  who merited all these things? No, the answer is, that  God  has
done all these great things for His Word's sake, and according to  His
own  heart.  He has done these great things for His Word's sake.  That
is,  according  to former promises, God has renewed them.  It  pleased
God, not for any human merit, but because He loved to do so, to do all
these  great  things.  But when God intends to  do  something  in  the
future,  and He does not tell it to the people, His plan is still  hid
for us. We cannot rejoice in the promise then, for we still don't know
it. But now, He has told His will to David. That is why the king says,
that God has done all, "to make Thy servant know them".

    22   Wherefore  thou art great, O LORD God: for  [there  is]  none
    like  thee,  neither [is there any] God beside thee, according  to
    all that we have heard with our ears.

Lord,  Thou  are  great, for Thou have brought  David  and  his  house
hitherto, though that house had no meritorious value in itself.  Lord,
Thou  are  great, for it was but a small thing in Thy sight  to  bring
David  and  his  house hitherto; Thou have also spoken of  the  king's
house  for  a great while to come. Thou are great, Lord,  for  it  has
pleased Thou to come down from heaven, and speak all these things in a
friendly  way to me. Thou are great, o God, for my heart  is  not  hid
from  Thee, and Thou knows all what is in it. It also has pleased Thee
to  do  all  these  great  things, to  confirm  the  former  promises.
Wherefore  Thou are great, O Lord God: "for there is none  like  thee,
neither  is there any God beside Thee, according to all that  we  have
heard  with  our  ears." We have heard with our  ears  all  the  great
wonders God has done, and all His greatness. None of the idols of  the
heathens did so. There is no other god beside Thee, O God.

    23  And  what one nation in the earth [is] like thy people, [even]
    like Israel, whom God went to redeem for a people to himself,  and
    to  make  him a name, and to do for you great things and terrible,
    for  thy  land, before thy people, which thou redeemedst  to  thee
    from Egypt, [from] the nations and their gods?

God  went to redeem Israel, to make them a nation for Himself.  Israel
has then to keep in mind, that they not are of themselves, but of God.
They  cannot decide what is good, and what they will do. The  decision
is  not theirs. God will do, for He is the God, Who has redeemed  them
from  Egypt,  to make them a people for Himself. With no other  nation
God dealt the same.

    24 For thou hast confirmed to thyself thy people Israel [to be]  a
    people unto thee for ever: and thou, LORD, art become their God.

God  has 1confirmed Israel to Himself, to be a people for Him forever.
And the LORD became their God. Let the people then love their God, Who
so  merciful dealt with them. He redeemed them from Egypt. He led them
through the desert. He gave them a good land. He gave them the hope on
Him. Let the people then obey God, and love Him.

    25  And now, O LORD God, the word that thou hast spoken concerning
    thy  servant, and concerning his house, establish [it]  for  ever,
    and  do  as  thou hast said. 26 And let thy name be magnified  for
    ever, saying, The LORD of hosts [is] the God over Israel: and  let
    the house of thy servant David be established before thee.

"And now, O LORD God, Thou have spoken such a good word concerning me,
Thy  servant  David,  and  Thou also have  spoken  such  a  good  word
concerning  the  house of David; and now, establish  it  forever.  The
things Thou have promised, O God, carry them out as Thou have said  to
me."  David  not  only  asks  for  the establishment  of  God's  words
concerning  his  house,  but  he also asks  that  God's  Name  may  be
magnified  forever. Let we then learn, that we live to the  honour  of
God.  That  is the goal of our life. Lord, may Thy Name be  magnified,
everywhere  on  this  earth. David also asks if  his  house  might  be
established  "before God". That means, that he wished  that  also  his
seed  might  live before God. He hopes that also they will  belong  to
God's  people. For, he knows that this God is the true God,  and  that
all the rest are hand-made.

    27  For thou, O LORD of hosts, God of Israel, hast revealed to thy
    servant,  saying, I will build thee an house: therefore  hath  thy
    servant found in his heart to pray this prayer unto thee.

We  see  that David found this prayer in his heart. Why? Who laid  the
prayer  therein?  It was because the Lord of hosts  has  revealed  His
goodness  to  David. As Paul wrote "that the goodness of  God  leadeth
thee  to  repentance",  (Romans 2:4) so also  here  we  see  that  the
goodness  of  God lead David to prayer. "God, Thou have  revealed  Thy
pleasure to me, therefore I have found this prayer in my heart".

    28   And  now, O Lord GOD, thou [art] that God, and thy  words  be
    true, and thou hast promised this goodness unto thy servant:

David  totally depends on God. Since it is God, Who has promised  this
goodness unto him, David is sure, since God will remain the same, that
His words will be fulfilled in their own time.

    29   Therefore  now let it please thee to bless the house  of  thy
    servant,  that it may continue for ever before thee: for  thou,  O
    Lord  GOD,  hast spoken [it]: and with thy blessing let the  house
    of thy servant be blessed for ever.

Let  the  house of David be blessed forever before God. Let it subsist
for  ever and ever. For the LORD has said it, and that means, that  it
is  true. The house of David, and his kingdom, still subsist.  It  has
existed from David's time until now. The question may arise, where  it
is  now.  For, soon after David's death, the kingdom began to  crumble
off.  It  became  smaller and smaller. Where was the  promised  glory?
Would  not David's kingdom subsist for ever and always? Yes,  for  God
had promised it. But, where is David's kingdom now? We don't see it in
its  original form. The answer on the question, where David's  kingdom
is,  is  easy.  The  Messiah is David's seed, and the  new  King.  His
kingdom  endures forever. Jesus' kingdom is present.  All  who  submit
themselves  to Him, belong to His kingdom. The kingdom of  heaven,  as
the  name already intimates, is not of this earth. It is a kingdom  of
heaven. That is the continuation of David's kingdom, and it exists for
ever and ever, like God had promised it.

Teus Benschop  --  t.benschop@pobox.ruu.nl
Listowner of chr-exp@nic.surfnet.nl
"A Christian explanation of the Scriptures to Israel"
Institute Practical Bible-education
Web:  http://www.iclnet.org/pub/resources/text/ipb-e/ipbe-home.html

file: /pub/resources/text/ipb-e/so: s-open-048.txt