"God be merciful to us and bless us, and cause His face to shine upon us, that Your way may be known on earth, Your salvation among all nations" (Ps. 67:1-2).
Adam and Eve's rebellion alienates their descendants from God. Every person is born with a sin nature and needs to be born again, spiritually. God promises the first couple redemption through a coming Seed of a woman, who will crush the serpent's head. He also provides a picture of that redemption when he slays an innocent animal to cover the couple's nakedness. The following generation receives the promise of redemption and the picture of redemption. Abel's sacrifice demonstrates his faith in God, while Cain's offering demonstrates his rebellion. Cain refuses to come to God God's way, even after God confronts him and gives him another opportunity. Instead, he kills his brother. Noah's obedience to God and his building an altar to the LORD after the flood reveal his understanding of redemption.
Twenty generations later God promises Abraham that his descendants will bless all the families of the earth, "In you all the families of the earth shall be blessed" (Gen. 12:3). Abraham's obedience to God and his practice of meeting God at an altar reveal his theology.
Many generations later Abraham's descendants multiply greatly while living in Egypt. God chooses Moses to lead them out of Egypt. He gives His people the annual Passover and the sacrificial system to show the way of redemption-the shedding of the blood of the innocent on behalf of the guilty sinner.
David understands that God has chosen to reveal Himself to the world through the nation of Israel; therefore, he views his leadership as a trust, as a partial fulfillment of that promise. He recognizes God's blessing upon His people as God's missional activity for the entire world. God's blessing remains upon His people as long as they reflect Him to the nations.
Sadly, the kingdom divides under the reign of David's grandson, with ten tribes embracing idolatry and two tribes remaining faithful to the LORD, until they too embrace idolatry. Northern Israel is taken captive by the Assyrians after 209 years as a nation, and Judah is taken into captivity by the Babylonians after 345 years as a nation. After 70 years God brings Judah back to the land promised to Abraham. Throughout this time God sends prophets to preach repentance and to proclaim the coming of the Seed.
Nearly 500 years later the Seed of a woman dies on a cross for man's sin and is raised from the dead to give them new life.
Had God not chosen Israel to represent Him to the world, the world would be lost. God's people forfeit God's blessing when they no longer reflect His ways to the nations.
David prays about his enemies frequently. How do those prayers impact the way that David navigates life and interacts with those who oppose him?
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