Memory of the Saints and the Prophets

Deel Op


Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

You are a chosen race,
a royal priesthood, a holy nation,
a people acquired by God
to proclaim his marvellous works.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

2 Samuel 7,4-17

But that very night, the word of Yahweh came to Nathan: 'Go and tell my servant David, "Yahweh says this: Are you to build me a temple for me to live in? I have never lived in a house from the day when I brought the Israelites out of Egypt until today, but have kept travelling with a tent for shelter. In all my travels with all the Israelites, did I say to any of the judges of Israel, whom I had commanded to shepherd my people Israel: Why do you not build me a cedar-wood temple?" This is what you must say to my servant David, "Yahweh Sabaoth says this: I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, to be leader of my people Israel; I have been with you wherever you went; I have got rid of all your enemies for you. I am going to make your fame as great as the fame of the greatest on earth. I am going to provide a place for my people Israel; I shall plant them there, and there they will live and never be disturbed again; nor will they be oppressed by the wicked any more, as they were in former times ever since the time when I instituted judges to govern my people Israel; and I shall grant you rest from all your enemies. Yahweh furthermore tells you that he will make you a dynasty. And when your days are over and you fall asleep with your ancestors, I shall appoint your heir, your own son to succeed you (and I shall make his sovereignty secure. He will build a temple for my name) and I shall make his royal throne secure for ever. I shall be a father to him and he a son to me; if he does wrong, I shall punish him with a rod such as men use, with blows such as mankind gives. But my faithful love will never be withdrawn from him as I withdrew it from Saul, whom I removed from before you. Your dynasty and your sovereignty will ever stand firm before me and your throne be for ever secure." ' Nathan related all these words and this whole revelation to David.

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

You will be holy,
because I am holy, thus says the Lord.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

This passage reaches the theological climax of the second book of Samuel: God's promise to David of offspring and a kingdom. This promise is echoed frequently in the psalms (Ps 89 and 132), at the most important moments of Israel's existence, and in the prophets. And at the dawn of the New Testament it will resound in the words of the archangel Gabriel, who proclaims Jesus' birth to Mary (Lk 1:30-33). The early Church will preach that the promise made to David was fulfilled in Jesus (cf. Heb 1:5; Acts 2:29-30). The story begins with David's comparison of his house, a solid palace, and the precarious dwelling place of the ark, a tent. David decided to build a temple for the Lord. But God denies him that very night. It Is not God who needs a house, but the people of Israel. The places of worship that God had established at the beginning (Gen 12:7-8, 28:20-22, 35:14), together with the tabernacle (Ex 26, 33:7-11) were signs of God's presence among the people. God had chosen to walk alongside his people and share the difficulties of history, and God tells David that just as he had never asked for a temple to be built in ages past, he would not ask for one now (v. 6-7). The Lord had led his people and David himself in their undertakings, without having a fixed dwelling place. The Lord does not need walls; God prefers the precariousness of those who live in the street and those who undertake long journeys to find a better future. It is not the Lord who needs a fixed dwelling; it is Israel that needs one to keep from forgetting the Lord and the history of his faithfulness. Consequently, God himself will build a dwelling for his people. And this dwelling will not be the temple built by human hands, but the one of which Jesus will say, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up" (Jn 2:19).