Lutheran Theologian and Christian Martyr Dietrich Bonhoeffer, in a poem written in a concentration camp, asks the haunting question Who am I? Fellow believers outside those prison walls were celebrating Bonhoeffer’s spiritual endurance. But, sitting behind bars under Gestapo control, he felt like a bird caught in an inescapable cage, weak and powerless. But what was he, really?
The question of identity has always loomed and haunted us humans. Are we great and powerful beings—virtual gods and goddesses who stride the face of the earth? Or are we merely temporary creatures that occupy the highest rung on the ladder of the animal kingdom? “Who Am I? Who Are You? Who Are We?“
“Who am I?”
Bonhoeffer says the answer begins with a realization that he belongs to the God who made him. We cannot understand ourselves apart from God, for we bear God’s image. We are not gods and goddesses who fell from the heavens. Nor did we emerge from some primordial ooze without purpose or meaning. We are all God’s image bearers. Like our Maker, we are able to reason, love, make moral judgments, and enter into relationship with God and with all others around us.
As we enter into the New Year 2022, Equipped in these ways, we can fulfill our call to serve as God’s representatives on this planet, unfolding all the amazing potential of this world for the sake of God’s glory. That we have been given this awesome calling is our glory. Let’s not betray our Lord in this amazing mission!
From within the exhaustive efforts at surviving this pandemic, it becomes our efforts, finding the inner strength (Philippians 4:10-13), Praise God’s Promise!
2 Samuel 7:18-25 English Standard Version
David’s Prayer of Gratitude
18 Then King David went in and sat before the Lord and said, “Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my house, that you have brought me thus far? 19 And yet this was a small thing in your eyes, O Lord God. You have spoken also of your servant’s house for a great while to come, and this is instruction for mankind, O Lord God! 20 And what more can David say to you? For you know your servant, O Lord God! 21 Because of your promise, and according to your own heart, you have brought about all this greatness, to make your servant know it. 22 Therefore you are great, O Lord God. For there is none like you, and there is no God besides you, according to all that we have heard with our ears. 23 And who is like your people Israel, the one nation on earth whom God went to redeem to be his people, making himself a name and doing for them[a] great and awesome things by driving out before your people, [[b] whom you redeemed for yourself from Egypt, a nation and its gods? 24 And you established for yourself your people Israel to be your people forever. And you, O Lord, became their God. 25 And now, O Lord God, confirm forever the word that you have spoken concerning your servant and concerning his house, and do as you have spoken.
The Word of God for the Children of God. Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Amen.
David has a desire to build a house for the Lord. But the Lord turns this around and tells David that he will build a house for David. God’s promise will extend past the life of David. The Lord will establish the kingdom of David’s offspring. The Lord will be a father to David’s offspring. When David’s offspring sins, the promise will not be removed. The promise will not depend on the righteousness of the people but on the righteousness of God. We noted the many ways that this promise would be fulfilled in Solomon and in the future of kings of Judah.
But all of these kings failed at accomplishing God’s purposes. One of David’s offspring perfectly fulfilled God’s will and these promises were fulfilled in an even greater way. In Jesus, the kingdom of the Lord was powerfully established and destroys all the enemies that come against it. In Jesus, we see him building a house for the Lord in that he is the means by which all the world will come to the Father. In Jesus, we see him to be the true Son of God. When we see Jesus, we see the Father. In Jesus, he lives a perfect life and does not sin so that all the promises are shown to be valid and guaranteed through him.
2 Corinthians 6:16-7:1 English Standard Version
16 What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said,
“I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them,
and I will be their God,
and they shall be my people.
17 Therefore go out from their midst,
and be separate from them, says the Lord,
and touch no unclean thing;
then I will welcome you,
18 and I will be a father to you,
and you shall be sons and daughters to me,
says the Lord Almighty.”
7 Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body[a] and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God.
We read in 2 Corinthians 6:16-7:1 these promises also to come to down to us as the offspring of Abraham and the offspring of David through our connection to Jesus. We are children of God and God is our Father. We are the temple of the living God, and we are being built up into a spiritual house for the Lord (1 Peter 2:5). When we sin, our hope is not lost but God remains faithful to his promises. In short, our reading, studying, and claiming and praying the promises of 2 Samuel 7 is inescapably critical to our living forward to the Glory of God in New Covenant times, into all of scriptures. This promise is our hope for the world.
Who Am I? (7:18-21)
2 Samuel 7:18-21 ESV
18 Then King David went in and sat before the Lord and said, “Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my house, that you have brought me thus far? 19 And yet this was a small thing in your eyes, O Lord God. You have spoken also of your servant’s house for a great while to come, and this is instruction for mankind, O Lord God! 20 And what more can David say to you? For you know your servant, O Lord God! 21 Because of your promise, and according to your own heart, you have brought about all this greatness, to make your servant know it.
David is going to respond in prayer with a number of different praises for the Lord. Notice in verse 18 that the king did after receiving God’s promise of an “everlasting and eternal house,” he went in and sat in the presence of the Lord.
David approaches the Lord and has so much to say. First, David asks, “Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my house, that you have brought me thus far?”
When we consider all that, the Lord has done, we must look at ourselves and just wonder to the Lord about who we are that the Lord would do this for us.
When we look at our Savior Jesus and how our Lord, His Father, sent him for us so that we could be his offspring and belong as his children, who are we that the Lord has done this for us? When we look into and upon God’s offer of eternity to rebellious sinners like us, who am I, who are we that the Lord has done this?
Coming out of our malignant pride, moving into this promise of indescribable magnitude, humility begins by looking at what the Lord has done. This is what David is doing. He is looking at the promises of God and exclaims, “Who am I, O Lord God!” David is praying, “My family does not have power or reputation and I am nothing. Yet God has given me and my house great and precious promises.”
But look carefully and diligently at the rest of the sentence. “Who am I, O Lord God… that you have brought me this far?” You and I have to stop and look at where you and I are and realize that God has brought us both here. Now we may not have expected where we would be right now. But God has brought us both here. We are right here in your lives and God has brought us unto this moment.
David realizes this. David has gone through years and years of both intrigue and suffering. David started simply by tending his father’s sheep and now he is the King over Israel. God brought David into, unto and through, impossible tasks. David’s heart was ignited by God’s acts of grace and salvation – Psalm 8 (ESV)!
How Majestic Is Your Name
To the choirmaster: according to The Gittith.[a] A Psalm of David.
8 O Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory above the heavens.
2 Out of the mouth of babies and infants,
you have established strength because of your foes,
to still the enemy and the avenger.
3 When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
4 what is man that you are mindful of him,
and the son of man that you care for him?
5 Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings[b]
and crowned him with glory and honor.
6 You have given him dominion over the works of your hands;
you have put all things under his feet,
7 all sheep and oxen,
and also the beasts of the field,
8 the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea,
whatever passes along the paths of the seas.
9 O Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
The promise of God for us is this, as God brought David through, God will bring us through fire and flames to get you and me to this moment of humility to see the greatness of God and the lowliness of ourselves. We may not know what God is doing but he knows that he is with us and brought us here. What our God has done for David is a revelation and instruction for all people. The word translated “instruction” in the ESV is the Hebrew word torah. This is God’s teaching that all are to understand. God’s promises are spoken to us are from the beginning.
John 1:1-5 English Standard Version
The Word Became Flesh
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. 4 In him was life, [[a]a] and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
What happened to David is an instruction to us, which Apostle John here uses to reveal God has always done great things for his glory through your life, through my life. He has done them from the very beginning of all things. He spoke all things into existence and by His own spoken declaration, declared them to be all good (Romans 8:28). Who are we God would do such a thing? Sometimes we love to think and believe that we are simply too tiny, too insignificant for God to do anything. “Why bother with us, God? We are way too little. We are nothing. What can we possibly do?” Well, God loves to take nobodies and accomplish great things.
Jesus came from literally everything and stepped directly and decisively into our insignificance to make sure we would come to know and experience that we were all quite literally worth everything to God, the Father, the Son, Holy Spirit. He thought nothing about everything all up! (John 3:16-17, Philippians 2:5-11)
How is it we should then respond to such an indescribable gift when we each are caught up in our eternal quandary “Who Am I?” “Who Are You?” “Who Are We?”
5-8 Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion.
9-11 Because of that obedience, God lifted him high and honored him far beyond anyone or anything, ever, so that all created beings in heaven and on earth—even those long ago dead and buried—will bow in worship before this Jesus Christ and call out in praise that he is the Master of all, to the glorious honor of God the Father. (Philippians 2:5-11 The Message)
How many times do we have to see God use people who are “nothing” and do great things for Himself? We serve an amazing God who can 1000% use you and me to accomplish His purposes for His Kingdom. God doesn’t use the important people of the world. God uses all the people who see themselves as nothing to accomplish great things. God has brought us to this moment. Be humbled now before God who gives us these kinds of precious promises. God uses the humble. God uses all those who do not think much of themselves to accomplish much.
In the name of God, the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,
Let us now Pray,
A Prayer – May I Know Who I Am (by Debbie Ford)
On this day I ask you to grant this request –
May I know who I am and what I am, every moment of every day.
May I be a catalyst for light and love
and bring inspiration to those whose eyes I meet.
May I have the strength to stand tall in the face of conflict
and the courage to speak my voice, even when I’m scared.
May I have the humility to follow my heart.
And the passion to live my Soul’s desires.
May I seek to know the highest truth
and dismiss the gravitational pull of my lower self.
May I embrace and love the totality of myself –
my darkness as well as my light.
And may I be brave enough to hear my heart –
to let it soften so that I may gracefully choose faith over fear.
Today is my day to surrender anything that stands between
the sacredness of my humanity and my divinity.
May I be drenched in my holiness.
And engulfed by God.
May all else melt away.
And so it is, and it is so.
One thought on “I am Praising the Promise! “Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my house, that you have brought me thus far?””
Sue Love Run With It@wordpress.com His Plans for Us
Your blog quotes: Jeremiah 29:10-11 For thus says the Lord: When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will visit you, and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
First order of business, the Hebrew T’NaCH Books do not employ chapters and verses. The Xtian biblical translators they chose upon their own authority to add chapters and verses; to make reading and quoting scripture nifty and so much easier. But in the process the church threw out the baby with the bathwater. It requires logic to interpret the meaning of what a person reads. The church denies Oral Torah logic – the revelation of Horev (שמות ל”ד-ו’ ז). Logic fundamentally requires Order, like we need air to breath. The choice to arbitrarily impose chapters and verses upon the Hebrew T’NaCH came at a huge expense. The church biblical translators expunged from the Torah the Order of sugiot, which the Framers of the T’NaCH originally established. Sugiot, they compare to the rules of grammar unique to each and every language.
T’NaCH lacking sugiot, becomes impossible to learn any T’NaCH Book through the 13 tohor middot logic format. The logic revealed through the revelation of the Oral Torah, not the same nor even comparable to the philosophies developed by the ancient Greek philosophers Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle.
Invalid biblical scholarship cherry picks p’sukim\biblical verses. It “robs” the meaning of these up-rooted verses from the larger context, of the sugia which contains those “stolen” p’sukim. Mitzvot do not come by way of transgression. A man does not rape a woman in order to raise children as a married couple. The Talmud common law format follows the precedent which the T’NaCH Books established. Often a T’NaCH sugia contains primary and secondary parts within one sugia. The purpose of all sugiot within the T’NaCH — to instruct mussar to all generations. This mussar, it discerns and defines the distinction of what merits primary as opposed to secondary importance\priority.
For example a sugia in Book of Israiah tells that a young woman will give birth as a sign of HaShem. That same sugia concludes with a most bitter warning, the invasion and ensuing destruction of Israel and the siege of Jerusalem, by the Assyrian empire. Why the two subjects? Primary\secondary: the sugia makes reference to a woman conceiving and birthing a child, a period of about 9 months, as a reference term as to the time when the invasion of the kingdom of Israel by the Assyrian empire happens. The Gospel writers perverted the primary\secondary relationship and foisted the “virgin birth” rhetoric propaganda because it served their theology.
Torah prophets do not fore-tell the future; they do not serve as soothsayers. The Torah strictly forbids this tumah through the negative commandment not to practice witchcraft. Mitzvot do not come by way of transgressions. All T’NaCH prophets command mussar. Mussar defines the meaning of the word “prophesy”. Extolling T’NaCH prophets without knowledge of how the Torah defines “prophet”, qualifies as hanging a mountain by a hair. The “hair”, that key undefined term\prophet, upon which everything else hangs upon. The ancient Greeks referred to this “hair” as ‘the art of rhetoric‘ whereby the elite ruled over the ignorant masses.
The Order and organization of the T’NaCH Books into sugiot serves as the basis by which all later generations have opportunity to employ the ‘comparison contrast’ Oral Torah logic system to interpret the k’vanna of T’NaCH and Talmudic mussar -as learned from Aggaditah.
This discipline of learning, known as ‘erect the Torah by way of precedents‘. Both the T’NaCH and the Talmud learn through the sh’itta\methodology of precedents. The precedents by which the T’NaCH learns prophetic mussar – it compares sugiot against similar or contrasting sugiot. Something like it requires use of both eyes in order to see 3 dimensions. Precedents permit later scholars to make a depth analysis of a prophet sugia, by folding the prophetic sugia with other sugiot; or comparing similar or contrasting sugiot located in other prophetic Books. Herein defines how to correctly learn both the T’NaCH literature and the Talmud with its Midrashim commentaries. This sh’itta of kabbalah first taught by rabbi Akiva goes by the title פרדס.
The sugia of the prophet which holds your cherry picked p’sukim ירמיה כט:י- טו. A precedent sugia ירמיה א:ד-י. This second sugia closely resembles Moshe at the burning bush. HaShem chooses prophets, men to not just decide one day to make themselves into prophets. Both sugiot share a common denominator of ‘command & response’. Even Bil’am traveled to Moav – at the commandment of HaShem – and not by his own egotistical whim or desire. Weaving NaCH mussar together with Torah commandments, a unique Torah wisdom, which fundamentally defines Oral Torah based T’NaCH and Talmudic scholarship.
Cross reference your sugia with the comparative sugia ישעיה ט:ז-י:כב. Both g’lut & geulah HaShem determines. Neturei Karta condemns Zionism. They claim that HaShem not Man determines when and how the Jewish g’lut ends. Zionist like myself respond: ”the Shoah revealed the curse of g’lut as did the golden calf, the tumah of avodah zarah. HaShem not Man opens the eyes, ears, and other senses of awareness by which Man perceives Divine revelations. The victory by Israel who fought and prevailed in two Wars of national independence – 1948 & 1967 – the revelation of the finger of HaShem in this world!
Man does not operate independent from the Will of HaShem. Man lives life expressed by either blessing or curse from HaShem. Justice Justice pursue. Failure to rule the land (through righteous courtrooms which either make or fail – the hard fast rule of justice), with just governance results in the curse of g’lut. The mussar of this sugia learns from the arrogance of the king of Assyria. Who assumed that by his might and power nations collapsed and surrendered before his conquering Will. Yet at the end of the day, all the armies of Assyria died besieging the walls of Jerusalem, the Assyrian king fled, and his own children later assassinated him.
Another precedent cross reference שמואל א יג:א-יד, this sugia resembles the impatience of the nation waiting for Moshe to return from mount Sinai. The rejected king, feared the people. Therefore ואתאפק ואעלה העלה translated “I could nor restrain myself from offering a sacrifice”. This statement defines in a negative manner, the mitzva of Moshiach. (The people originally demanded from the prophet that he anoint a king as the moshiach, so that he would go out and fight foreign nations in war). The anointing of Moshiach: prioritizes obedience to obey prophetic mussar commandments over dedicating sacrifices upon an altar. The church prioritizes the tumah murder of JeZeus on the cross, that this sacrifice takes priority over obedience to prophetic commandments.
The moshiach דאורייתא of the house of Aaron, likewise dedicated holy to HaShem, upon the יסוד\foundation that Aaron obey the mussar commandments of Moshe the prophet. Something like the famous ‘chicken and egg argument’ – which came first. First obey the mussar commandments of the prophets and only then thereafter compel your Yatzir to offer sacrifices. At the golden calf, Aaron feared the mob of the people like Shaul feared the Philistine army. Later prophetic mussar commandments always spring from the Torah commandments יסוד/foundation. This hard fast prophetic mussar, exists as the kingdom yoke of faith, placed upon all ensuing generations.