Year after year, after year, we all hang up our stockings. We put up lights and trees, buy and wrap gifts, make tons and tons of sugary foods. In my family, we do everything we can to make sure the true meaning of Christmas isn’t lost. We do advent throughout the season, we set nativity scenes around our house. My parents have done an exceptional job making sure we all remember every year why we celebrate Christmas in the first place. But for me its become routine. For the last couple of years, it’s just been a part of the Christmas season. The Christmas story has become a part of the shopping and singing silly songs.
A few weeks ago, I was sitting in church, listening to a sermon about King David. This sermon was all about God’s promise to David in 2 Samuel 7:11-16. This isn’t just any old, ordinary promise. In this particular promise, God is telling David that the promised Messiah would come through the line and house of David.
11b“‘The Lord declares to you that the Lord himself will establish a house for you: 12 When your days are over and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, your own flesh and blood, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 14 I will be his father, and he will be my son. When he does wrong, I will punish him with a rod wielded by men, with floggings inflicted by human hands. 15 But my love will never be taken away from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you. 16 Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.’”
When I was listening to all of this, I honestly didn’t think too much of it. It was a great sermon! Don’t get me wrong. But you know how you go to church, listen to the sermon, sing some songs and leave. This time though, God was using this as a part of a lesson.
One of the things I’ve been doing recently is a daily quiet time. I’ve been choosing books of the Bible, reading a chapter a day, and once I was finished with that book, I’d start another one. On the last day of November, I finished going through 1 Chronicles, and before that I read through Hosea. Since I had been doing so much in the Old Testament, I thought it would be cool to read something in the New Testament, so I went with the Gospel of Luke. On my third day of reading Luke, I read the third chapter. It told about John the Baptist, Jesus’ baptism and the genealogy of Jesus. I sort of skimmed through the genealogy of Jesus. I found the “important” people. Jesus, David, Jacob, Abraham. I had just read 29 chapters of genealogies in Chronicles so maybe I just got bored with it. I went through my day and didn’t really think too much about what I had read that morning. But that night, I was sitting through our family advent devotional. We read about how Joseph didn’t want to marry Mary, how an angel came to him in a dream. Then he took Mary to be his wife and they went to Bethlehem to register for the census, because he was from the line and house of David.
After my dad had finished reading, he asked, “What stood out to you the most in that?” After a couple of seconds of silence, my mum asked us what would have happened if Joseph hadn’t listened to the angel, and taken Mary. I knew right away. God’s promise wouldn’t have come true. Mary wasn’t from the line of David, Joseph was. Joseph had to take Mary as his wife and Jesus as his son for God’s promise to come true. WOW. God’s plan is so intricate it came down to every last, single detail. Where Jesus would be born, who his parents would be. How could I not have thought of this before? How could I not have connected these dots? I’ve known the Christmas Story for my entire life. God told the prophets how to look for the Messiah. All throughout the Old Testament, God is giving us an outline. Who, what, where. I think what blows my mind the most, is that not one of these promises about the birth of Jesus is broken. Not one! None of His promises ever are! I can’t even put it into words how amazing He is. It doesn’t end with Him setting up Christ’s birth, but his entire life on earth. What. even.
I think that it still amazes me that there is so much to learn about things I’ve known forever. There is nothing routine or normal when it comes to the Bible. I thought I knew the story of David. I thought I knew the Christmas story inside and out. Even now knowing more than I did last year, how much there is still left to learn?
How encouraging is it that God’s promises are never broken? If God planned every single detail about everything that was going to happen to David and his future, and his family hundreds of years after David had died. Don’t you think that He knows every detail about you and your life? Man, if that isn’t awesome then I don’t know what is!
2 Peter 1:4
And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.