Salvation for the House of David (Lk 1:69-1:69)

“He has raised up

A mighty savior

For us

In the house

Of his servant David.”

 

καὶ ἤγειρεν κέρας σωτηρίας ἡμῖν ἐν οἴκῳ Δαυεὶδ παιδὸς αὐτοῦ,

 

Luke had Zechariah continue with his canticle of praise.  Zechariah said that God had raised up a horn of salvation (καὶ ἤγειρεν κέρας σωτηρίας) or a mighty savior for them in the house of his servant David (ἡμῖν ἐν οἴκῳ Δαυεὶδ παιδὸς αὐτοῦ).  This was a reference to the savior Jesus rather than to his son John.  This horn of salvation was a common theme in the psalms, like in the victory Psalm 18:2, where God was David’s shield, his horn, his stronghold, and his savior.  In Psalm 89:17-24 and Psalm 75:5, the psalmist glorified in his strength, since the horn was a symbol of strength.  Clearly this strong savior was linked to the house of David.

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The healing of the centurion’s servant (Mt 8:13-8:13)

“Jesus said

To the centurion.

‘Go!

Let it be done

For you

According to your faith.’

The servant

Was healed

At that very hour.”

 

καὶ εἶπεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς τῷ ἑκατοντάρχῃ Ὕπαγε, ὡς ἐπίστευσας γενηθήτω σοι. καὶ ἰάθη ὁ παῖς ἐν τῇ ὥρᾳ ἐκείνῃ.

 

There is a slightly different ending to this healing of the centurion’s servant in Luke, chapter 7:10.  Here there is an emphasis on the faith of the centurion.  Jesus told the centurion (καὶ εἶπεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς τῷ ἑκατοντάρχῃ) to go home (Ὕπαγε), because the healing was going to take place as he had believed that it would (ὡς ἐπίστευσας γενηθήτω σοι.).  Simply the word of Jesus, not his presence would cure his servant.  Then Matthew indicated that at that very moment, at that very hour (ἐν τῇ ὥρᾳ ἐκείνῃ), the servant was healed (καὶ ἰάθη ὁ παῖς), without the presence of Jesus.

The role of the branch (Zech 3:8-3:8)

“‘Now listen!

Joshua!

High priest!

You!

With your colleagues

Who sit before you!

They are an omen

Of things to come.

I am going to bring

My servant,

The Branch.”

Yahweh. via Zechariah, wanted the high priest Joshua and his colleagues to listen to him.  Yahweh was going to bring his servant, the branch or a sprout of some kind, sort of a Davidic figure, perhaps Zerubbabel, the grandson of the last king of Judah.  Or is this a messianic notice about a future King of Israel?

The call for mercy (Dan 3:10-3:13)

“Now your servants!

We cannot

Open our mouths!

We cannot

Worship you!

We have become

A shame!

We have become

A reproach!

For your name’s sake,

Do not give us up forever!

Do not annul your covenant!

Do not withdraw

Your mercy

From us!

For the sake of Abraham,

Your beloved,

For the sake of Isaac,

Your servant,

For the sake of Israel,

Your holy one,

Do not withdraw

Your mercy!

You promised

To multiply their descendants

Like the stars of heaven,

Like the sand on the shore

Of the sea.”

Azariah made a plea to God to have mercy on him and his friends. They were not able to open their mouths to worship God. They had become a shame and a reproach for the sake of God’s name. He wanted God not to give up on them or annul the covenant that he had made with Israel. He did not want God to withdraw his mercy from them. He reminded God about Abraham, the beloved one, Isaac, his servant, and Israel, the holy one. God had promised to multiply their descendants, like the stars in heaven or like the sand on the sea shore.

 

One Davidic king (Ezek 37:24-37:25)

“My servant David

Shall be king

Over them.

They shall all

Have one shepherd.

They shall follow

My ordinances.

They shall be careful

To observe

My statutes.

They shall live

In the land

That I gave to

My servant Jacob,

Where you ancestors lived.

They,

With their children,

With their children’s children

Shall live there forever.

My servant,

David,

Shall be their prince

Forever.”

Yahweh, via Ezekiel, spoke lovingly about the kingship of David. However, King David lived nearly 400 years earlier than the time frame of the exile. Obviously, this is an allusion to a Davidic king, someone from his blood line. However, that would be hard to prove. The key point here was that there was going to be only one shepherd, one king, one country, not multiple kingdoms. Everyone would follow and observe Yahweh’s ordinances and statutes. They were going to live in the land that Yahweh gave to his servant Jacob, where their ancestors had lived. There they, their children, and their children’s children would live forever under the princely leader from the Davidic dynasty.

The gathering of the house of Israel (Ezek 28:25-28:25)

“Thus says Yahweh God!

‘I will gather

The house of Israel

From the people

Among whom

They are scattered.

I will manifest

My holiness

In them,

In the sight of the nations.

Then they shall settle

On their own soil

That I gave

To my servant

Jacob.’”

Yahweh said that he was going to gather the house of Israel from all the people, countries, and nations that they had been scattered into. Yahweh was going to manifest his holiness then, so that all the nations would see it. Finally, the Israelites would settle on their own soil, the same land that Yahweh had given to his servant, Jacob.

The sinful ancestors (Bar 1:19-1:20)

“From the time

When the Lord

Brought our ancestors

Out of the land of Egypt

Until today,

We have been disobedient

To the Lord,

Our God.

We have been negligent,

In not heeding

His voice.

So to this day,

There have clung to us

The calamities,

The curse,

That the Lord declared

Through his servant

Moses

At the time

When he brought

Our ancestors

Out of the land of Egypt

To give us

A land flowing

With milk and honey.”

The Lord brought their ancestors out of Egypt. However, even from the beginning of this relationship, their ancestors were negligent, not listening to the voice of God. They would rather be cursed and live in calamity than follow their God. Moses his servant was clear. God was going to lead them into a land flowing with milk and honey. How many times have you heard that? Their ancestors had set the stage for the later disobedience and negligence towards God.