At the beginning of the 7th chapter of the 2nd Book of Samuel, David has already been very successful as king of Israel. He has united the tribes that were once at war with each other. And he was set in building the temple, the ‘house’ of the Lord. But Yahweh had other plans. Yahweh, not David, will build a house — but a different house. It would not be a building, but a dynasty: a line of kings from whom will come the Messiah.
Let’s do a fast forward: Solomon will not be faithful and the rest of the kings that followed. But even then, the Lord was not deterred from keeping his promise. From the line of David, came Jesus, the eternal king. Jesus would then be like a lamp on a lampstand, on whose life our lives will be measured. People from all walks of life who believed in Jesus will make Jesus’ life the critieria of living well. How well we are is measured by how close we are to becoming like Christ.
Have you ever experienced blocks that prevented you from realizing your dreams? When on our way to university or graduation, our family suddenly loses its business or the breadwinner dies or marries. When almost being on top of the class, one fails a major exam. When almost about to finish our thesis, a chapter has to be revised in so short a time. When we are in love with someone, we are suddenly prevented by our parents from having a relationship. Or when our wrong decisions in the past cannot mend a once beautiful relationship. I remember the TV series, Smallville: Clark Kent always loved Lana, but every time he would come close to her, something happens — either his fear prevents him from telling the truth, or an accident occurs as in the episode, Reckoning, in Season 5.
But we do have stories, when everything turns out for the better. As Julian of Norwich would always say about hope, “All shall be well.” Even then, we do have something more powerful: our freedom. Our freedom of self-determination. We cannot be enslaved by fate. Nor can God be paralyzed by our stupidity or by blocks on life’s road. This is where God becomes powerful: nothing can prevent Him from keeping His promise — or giving us, with our determination — what we yearn for.