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SCRIPTURE REFERENCES FOR THIS SERMON:

1 Chronicles 17:1-20:8

17:1 When David had settled into his palace, he said to Nathan the prophet, “Look, I am living in a palace made from cedar, while the ark of the Lord’s covenant is under a tent.” 2 Nathan said to David, “You should do whatever you have in mind, for God is with you.”

3 That night God told Nathan, 4 “Go, tell my servant David: ‘This is what the Lord says: “You must not build me a house in which to live. 5 For I have not lived in a house from the time I brought Israel up from Egypt to the present day. I have lived in a tent that has been in various places. 6 Wherever I moved throughout Israel, I did not say to any of the leaders whom I appointed to care for my people Israel, ‘Why have you not built me a house made from cedar?’”’

7 “So now, say this to my servant David: ‘This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: “I took you from the pasture and from your work as a shepherd to make you a leader of my people Israel. 8 I was with you wherever you went and I defeated all your enemies before you. Now I will make you as famous as the great men of the earth. 9 I will establish a place for my people Israel and settle them there; they will live there and not be disturbed anymore. Violent men will not oppress them again, as they did in the beginning 10 and during the time when I appointed judges to lead my people Israel. I will subdue all your enemies.

“‘“I declare to you that the Lord will build a dynastic house for you! 11 When the time comes for you to die, I will raise up your descendant, one of your own sons, to succeed you, and I will establish his kingdom. 12 He will build me a house, and I will make his dynasty permanent. 13 I will become his father and he will become my son. I will never withhold my loyal love from him, as I withheld it from the one who ruled before you. 14 I will put him in permanent charge of my house and my kingdom; his dynasty will be permanent.”’” 15 Nathan told David all these words that were revealed to him.

16 King David went in, sat before the Lord, and said: “Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my family, that you should have brought me to this point? 17 And you did not stop there, O God! You have also spoken about the future of your servant’s family. You have revealed to me what men long to know, O Lord God. 18 What more can David say to you? You have honored your servant; you have given your servant special recognition. 19 O Lord, for the sake of your servant and according to your will, you have done this great thing in order to reveal your greatness. 20 O Lord, there is none like you; there is no God besides you! What we heard is true! 21 And who is like your people, Israel, a unique nation in the earth? Their God went to claim a nation for himself! You made a name for yourself by doing great and awesome deeds when you drove out nations before your people whom you had delivered from the Egyptian empire and its gods. 22 You made Israel your very own nation for all time. You, O Lord, became their God. 23 So now, O Lord, may the promise you made about your servant and his family become a permanent reality! Do as you promised, 24 so it may become a reality and you may gain lasting fame, as people say, ‘The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is the God of Israel.’ The dynasty of your servant David will be established before you, 25 for you, my God, have revealed to your servant that you will build a dynasty for him. That is why your servant has had the courage to pray to you. 26 Now, O Lord, you are the true God; you have made this good promise to your servant. 27 Now you are willing to bless your servant’s dynasty so that it may stand permanently before you, for you, O Lord, have blessed it and it will be blessed from now on into the future.”

18:1 Later David defeated the Philistines and subdued them. He took Gath and its surrounding towns away from the Philistines.

2 He defeated the Moabites; the Moabites became David’s subjects and brought tribute.

3 David defeated King Hadadezer of Zobah as far as Hamath, when he went to extend his authority to the Euphrates River. 4 David seized from him 1,000 chariots, 7,000 charioteers, and 20,000 infantrymen . David cut the hamstrings of all but a hundred of Hadadezer’s chariot horses. 5 The Arameans of Damascus came to help King Hadadezer of Zobah, but David killed 22,000 of the Arameans. 6 David placed garrisons in the territory of the Arameans of Damascus; the Arameans became David’s subjects and brought tribute. The Lord protected David wherever he campaigned. 7 David took the golden shields which Hadadezer’s servants had carried and brought them to Jerusalem. 8 From Tibhath and Kun, Hadadezer’s cities, David took a great deal of bronze. (Solomon used it to make the big bronze basin called “The Sea,” the pillars, and other bronze items.)

9 When King Tou of Hamath heard that David had defeated the entire army of King Hadadezer of Zobah, 10 he sent his son Hadoram to King David to extend his best wishes and to pronounce a blessing on him for his victory over Hadadezer, for Tou had been at war with Hadadezer. He also sent various items made of gold, silver, and bronze. 11 King David dedicated these things to the Lord, along with the silver and gold which he had carried off from all the nations, including Edom, Moab, the Ammonites, the Philistines, and Amalek.

12 Abishai son of Zeruiah killed 18,000 Edomites in the Valley of Salt. 13 He placed garrisons in Edom, and all the Edomites became David’s subjects. The Lord protected David wherever he campaigned.

14 David reigned over all Israel; he guaranteed justice for all his people. 15 Joab son of Zeruiah was commanding general of the army; Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud was secretary; 16 Zadok son of Ahitub and Abimelech son of Abiathar were priests; Shavsha was scribe; 17 Benaiah son of Jehoiada supervised the Kerethites and Pelethites; and David’s sons were the king’s leading officials.

19:1 Later King Nahash of the Ammonites died and his son succeeded him. 2 David said, “I will express my loyalty to Hanun son of Nahash, for his father was loyal to me.” So David sent messengers to express his sympathy over his father’s death. When David’s servants entered Ammonite territory to visit Hanun and express the king’s sympathy, 3 the Ammonite officials said to Hanun, “Do you really think David is trying to honor your father by sending these messengers to express his sympathy? No, his servants have come to you so they can get information and spy out the land!” 4 So Hanun seized David’s servants and shaved their beards off. He cut off the lower part of their robes so that their buttocks were exposed and then sent them away. 5 People came and told David what had happened to the men, so he sent messengers to meet them, for the men were thoroughly humiliated. The king said, “Stay in Jericho until your beards grow again; then you may come back.”

6 When the Ammonites realized that David was disgusted with them, Hanun and the Ammonites sent 1,000 talents of silver to hire chariots and charioteers from Aram Naharaim, Aram Maacah, and Zobah. 7 They hired 32,000 chariots, along with the king of Maacah and his army, who came and camped in front of Medeba. The Ammonites also assembled from their cities and marched out to do battle.

8 When David heard the news, he sent Joab and the entire army to meet them. 9 The Ammonites marched out and were deployed for battle at the entrance to the city, while the kings who had come were by themselves in the field. 10 When Joab saw that the battle would be fought on two fronts, he chose some of Israel’s best men and deployed them against the Arameans. 11 He put his brother Abishai in charge of the rest of the army and they were deployed against the Ammonites. 12 Joab said, “If the Arameans start to overpower me, you come to my rescue. If the Ammonites start to overpower you, I will come to your rescue. 13 Be strong! Let’s fight bravely for the sake of our people and the cities of our God! The Lord will do what he decides is best!” 14 So Joab and his men marched toward the Arameans to do battle, and they fled before him. 15 When the Ammonites saw the Arameans flee, they fled before Joab’s brother Abishai and withdrew into the city. Joab went back to Jerusalem.

16 When the Arameans realized they had been defeated by Israel, they sent for reinforcements from beyond the Euphrates River, led by Shophach the commanding general of Hadadezer’s army. 17 When David was informed, he gathered all Israel, crossed the Jordan River, and marched against them. David deployed his army against the Arameans for battle and they fought against him. 18 The Arameans fled before Israel. David killed 7,000 Aramean charioteers and 40,000 infantrymen; he also killed Shophach the commanding general. 19 When Hadadezer’s subjects saw they were defeated by Israel, they made peace with David and became his subjects. The Arameans were no longer willing to help the Ammonites.

20:1 In the spring, at the time when kings normally conduct wars, Joab led the army into battle and devastated the land of the Ammonites. He went and besieged Rabbah, while David stayed in Jerusalem. Joab defeated Rabbah and tore it down. 2 David took the crown from the head of their king and wore it (its weight was a talent of gold and it was set with precious stones). He took a large amount of plunder from the city. 3 He removed the city’s residents and made them labor with saws, iron picks, and axes. This was his policy with all the Ammonite cities. Then David and all the army returned to Jerusalem.

4 Later there was a battle with the Philistines in Gezer. At that time Sibbekai the Hushathite killed Sippai, one of the descendants of the Rephaim, and the Philistines were subdued.

5 There was another battle with the Philistines in which Elhanan son of Jair the Bethlehemite killed the brother of Goliath the Gittite, whose spear had a shaft as big as the crossbeam of a weaver’s loom.

6 In a battle in Gath there was a large man who had six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot – twenty-four in all! He too was a descendant of Rapha. 7 When he taunted Israel, Jonathan son of Shimea, David’s brother, killed him.

8 These were the descendants of Rapha who lived in Gath; they were killed by the hand of David and his soldiers.