Saturday, July 8, 2006

Messianic Prophecy in 2nd Samuel

This week's Scripture readings in the Divine Office are going through 2nd Samuel and Friday's reading (7:1-25) includes the prophet Nathan's messianic prophecy. To summarize the passage, King David doesn't feel right about living in a house of cedar while the Lord dwells in a tent, so he approaches Nathan about it. That night, God speaks to Nathan, giving him a prophecy that reveals part of the plan God has in store for Israel, the seat of David, and one of his descendents. There can be no doubt this is about Christ:

I will raise up a heir after you, sprung from your loins, and I will make his kingdom firm. It is he who shall build a house for my name. And I will make his royal throne firm forever. I will be a father to him, and he shall be a son to me.

I figure the "house" is what we call the Church today, and obviously you've got two members of the Trinity mentioned right there by name, though informally. What throws me for a loop though is the next sentence:

And if he does wrong, I will correct him with the rod of men and with human chastisements; but I will not withdraw my favor from him as I withdrew it from your predecessor Saul, whom I removed from my presence.

Well... um, that can't be about Christ. Maybe the prophecy (or just this part) is speaking more broadly about the Church as a whole, or from a Catholic perspective it could be speaking about the pope as the earthly head of the Church. I think the latter is a little more logical since Christ was the Church's earthly head following the Resurrection and that seat passed on to Peter and on down the line after the Ascension. Obviously, Christ didn't need correction, but I'm pretty darn sure there's never been a sinless pope. (Although I'm amazed that some Protestants point out Paul's correction of Peter as evidence against the papacy. I wouldn't expect Peter to have never sinned, but I would expect to find in him the humility which is displayed in his ability to handle Paul's direct confrontation.)

Anyway, I'm not trying to say that my interpretation of this is correct.... it's just the best I've come up with :) Through prayer and meditating on passages like this one that stump me a first, God almost always reveals something new about himself, so maybe something more is waiting 'round the bend.

2 comments:

friar minor said...

Honestly, you have no idea how edified I am at your devotion to the Liturgy of the Hours. Congratulations on such a deep docility to the Spirit!

Jason said...

Thanks! :) The books were a gift from my cousin, who sponsored me for RCIA. I don't read it every day, but something about Liturgy of the Hours does make it so much easier to do the daily "quiet time" that InterVarsity always encouraged us to do during college (and usually I had more like a weekly quiet time). And the pages feel so smooth... can't help but open that book up whenever possible ;-)