Instruction for Mankind
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Instruction for Mankind

2 Samuel 7:18-22  (ID: 3480)

God promised to establish His kingdom forever through David’s seed. In response, David humbly sat before the Lord to offer a prayer marked by exclamation, observation, explanation, and declaration. By faith, he acknowledged that all mankind would be blessed, not because of his own importance or abilities but because of God’s greatness. Alistair Begg points out that hearing God’s word enables us to see life and history from a new perspective and to confidently stand on His promises.


Sermon Transcript:

And I invite you to turn with me to 2 Samuel and to chapter 7, and we’ll begin reading at the eighteenth verse. Two Samuel 7 and reading from verse 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? 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! And what more can David say to you? For you know your servant, O Lord God! Because of your promise, and according to your own heart, you have brought about all this greatness, to make your servant know it. 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. 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 great and awesome things by driving out before your people, whom you redeemed for yourself from Egypt, a nation and its gods? And you established for yourself your people Israel to be your people forever. And you, O Lord, became their God. 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. And your name will be magnified forever, saying, “The Lord of hosts is God over Israel,” and the house of your servant David will be established before you. For you, O Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, have made this revelation to your servant, saying, “I will build you a house.” Therefore your servant has found courage to pray this prayer to you. And now, O Lord God, you are God, and your words are true, and you have promised this good thing to your servant. Now therefore may it please you to bless the house of your servant, so that it may continue forever before you. For you, O Lord God, have spoken, and with your blessing shall the house of your servant be blessed forever.’”

Amen.

And we ask God’s help as we come to the Bible:

Father, we come now, saying, “Speak, Lord, to us through your Word.” We recognize that you speak to us through what you have already spoken. And so we pray for help, that we might both understand and believe, and live in the light of the truth that is here in the Bible. For we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Well, we resume our studies at the eighteenth verse. Some of you will remember how we struggled all our way through the first seventeen verses but eventually got there. I think it’s appropriate for us to be reminded of what we have said as a kind of gateway into our study of 1 and 2 Samuel—indeed, into a study of all of the Bible, and particularly the Old Testament. And I’m referring to Paul’s statement in Romans 15:4, where he says, “Everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”[1]

“Everything.” So in other words, it is a comprehensive statement. “To teach us.” This is Paul writing in the first century about all of the material that has gone before. And he is saying to those who are the initial readers of his letter to Rome, “All that material was written not only for its impact upon the moment and the day and the time but in order that it might teach us”—and teach us this morning; and that the material that has been granted to us is of an intensely practical dimension, insofar as it is to bring about endurance, so that we can keep going, and encouragement, so that we might life hopeful lives.

And our conviction as we study the Bible together, of course, is that God himself encourages us, each of us. The encouragement comes from God through the living Word of Scripture as God continues to speak to us through what he has spoken to us—that what he has spoken to us we now have in our Bibles, and we turn to our Bibles, and we say, “Speak, Lord, for your servant hears.”[2]

Now, that this is so comes across quite forcibly in a phrase that you will notice at the end of verse 19, where David says, “This is instruction for mankind.” “This is instruction for mankind.” We won’t delay on that now, but we will come to it as we work our way through these verses.

It’s a very special thing when we’re able to go behind the scenes and enter into the life of the servant of God as he turns to the living God.

The chapter, you will recall, began with the desire on the part of David to build a house for God. He was living in a nice spot, and the ark was in a tent, and so he said, “I think it would be good if we did something a little better.” You will recall that that request was denied him, and yet, despite the fact that he is not going to do this, the word of God comes to him through the prophet (that is, through Nathan) that the Lord—and I’m referring to the eleventh verse now—that “the Lord will [build] you a house,” or “the Lord will make you a house.”[3] So, “David, you’re not gonna make a house for God, but the Lord is going to make you a house.” And we’ve noted already how that word “house” comes again and again; how it refers not sometimes to the physicality of a dwelling but to a dynasty and so on. And then in the sixteenth verse, that house, “your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me. Your throne shall be established forever.”

Now, we make reference to that because it is important to recognize that all that now follows here in the prayer that David prays is triggered by all that has gone before in the word that has come to him through Nathan the prophet. And you’ll see that in verse 17: “In accordance with all these words, and in accordance with all this vision, Nathan spoke to David.” So the words that were spoken by Nathan painted, if you like, or created a picture. And it was as he heard God’s word to him through the prophet that he was enabled, then, to see things which he would never have seen by any other means. Now, if you think about that—and again, we won’t delay here—the same is true for us: that it is as we hear the word of God that we then see things in a way that we would not see things were it not for what it is we hear.

Then we come to verse 18, which begins, interestingly, with “Then…” “Then,” we’re told, after all of this, “David went in and sat before the Lord.” Now, presumably he went into the tent—the tent that has been mentioned back at the very beginning of the chapter. You will remember that it says back there, if your Bible opens in that way, he was… “See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of [the Lord] dwells in a tent.”[4] And now here he is, sitting “before the Lord.” It may be of passing interest to you that that is the same verb that is used both of “dwell” and of “sitting.”

So, having heard from God, he now speaks to God. First he listens to God, and then he responds in prayer. This, of course, is the pattern of prayer throughout the story of God’s dealings with us. The hymnwriter helps us by saying that “prayer is the soul’s sincere desire, uttered or unexpressed,”[5] so that when we think in terms of our response to God, when we think of that in terms of prayer, we ought not to think of it in a formulaic way or even in a way that demands that our language and the process of our speech is ordered in just a perfect fashion, but in the same way that you’re able to sit in the presence—as a child, perhaps—with your father or even with your mother, and you don’t have to actually say very much, but you are able simply to engage with them. And so it is that David sits. He “went in” purposefully “and sat before the Lord.”

One of the ways that we could summarize these verses all the way to the end of the chapter is to view David first of all as sitting in the Lord’s presence, and then, secondly, as standing on the Lord’s promise. Sitting in God’s presence, standing on God’s promise. We’re not going to approach it in that way, but I think it is one way to summarize it.

Instead, I want to employ four words to help us through at least the opening section of the prayer. We won’t, today, get through all of these verses to verse 29. And in order to help us remember the four words that we’re going to use, I created an acrostic so that we can perhaps remember it, because the words are very similar to each other. The acrostic is this: Eat Out Every Day. Eat Out Every Day. All right? And that gives us, with the first letter of each of those words, the first letter of the four words that I’m going to give you—which actually sounds a lot more confusing, and I wish I hadn’t mentioned it.

David’s Exclamation

But anyway, here is the first of the four words: the first word is exclamation. Exclamation: “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?’”

Now, you’re looking at the text, and you’re saying to yourself, “Well, why do you say exclamation? Isn’t it actually a question?” Well, of course, it is a question, and you will notice that in our English text, there is a question mark at the end of verse 18. But I take it that it is rhetorical—in other words, that David is not actually asking for an answer to this question; that at least, I think, in the early part of this prayer (and it may not be true the whole way through), we’re actually eavesdropping. We’re eavesdropping on private prayer. We’re given the privilege now of going into a place that few of us will ever get in the lives of each other. I don’t know how you begin your day. I don’t know whether you pray on your knees or standing up. I don’t know. And you don’t really know about me either. And so it’s a very special thing when we’re able to go behind the scenes and enter into the life of the servant of God as he turns to the living God.

Murray M’Cheyne is the one who has reputedly given this quote: “A man is what he is on his knees before God; that he is, and nothing else.” That statement would be true of a woman: “A woman is what she is on her knees before God; this is what she is, and nothing else.” In other words, the reality of our lives, exposed before the living and true God, is nowhere made clearer than in that place where we engage with God, as we find David doing here.

What is this man, then, if a man is what he is in this way? What about David, the man? What do we know about him? Well, those of you who have a good memory will remember that we were introduced to him as being “handsome” and with “beautiful eyes.”[6] We know that he was chosen by God. We know that he was anointed by Samuel. We know that he defeated Goliath. We know that he is the king in Jerusalem. In other words, we know all these things about him. And we know, too, that he had plenty of reasons for making the mistake of thinking of himself more highly than he ought. After all, his CV is pretty good: not only handsome, not only chosen, not only anointed, not only victorious in battle, and so on.

And as we sneak in, as it were, to this very secret moment—as we peek in on it—we listen to him as he makes this exclamation: “Who am I, O Lord? O Lord God, who am I that you have brought me to this place? O Lord God, why have you showered your blessings on someone as insignificant as me?” You see, he views himself—himself, first of all—as undeserving. And he recognizes also that he comes from an undistinguished family; that his perspective on his own life before the greatness of God is such that he is humbled. He’s not walking around cocksure of himself. He’s not presenting himself as some peculiar individual. No, he recognizes that that is not the case.

After all, in verse 8, he knows this. Nathan was given the charge to say to David in his disclosure, verse 8, “[This] you shall say to my servant David, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep.’” That’s where he came from. And not only did God take him, but God kept him. Verse 9: “And I have been with you wherever you went and [I] have cut off all your enemies … before you.” The God who takes is the God who also keeps. David in one of his psalms will write about how the Lord is the one who watches over his going out and his coming in, “from this time forth,” says David, and even “forevermore.”[7] “I lift … my eyes to the hills,” he says. “Where does my help come [from]?”[8]

Well, you see, his prayers are true to his life. If you go back to the Goliath scene, you will remember that Goliath says to him, “You coming out to me… Do you think I’m a dog, you coming at me with stones and sticks and things?” And you remember what he says: “I come to you in the name of the living God.”[9] That’s where his confidence lies. And so we’re told that David has become greater and greater because the Lord of hosts was with him. In short order, he is where he is, in this “house of cedar,”[10] by divine enabling, and not on account of his own genius—or not on account, ultimately, of his own human endeavor.

Now, let’s just pause and acknowledge something: Every single one of us in Christ may say the same thing. We are where we are not as a result of peculiar gifts and worthiness. That’s why we sang the song: “My worth is not in what I own.”[11] My worth is not in who I am. My worth is not in me. This, you see, is what David is pointing out. It’s quite remarkable, isn’t it? I think he’d be perfectly happy to come and join in many of our songs. I imagine him singing with us, “O how the grace of God amazes me.”[12] Of course it does.

You find the very same thing when you run into the New Testament. And there you will remember how the priests and the Levites came to this strange character, John the Baptist. He was preaching, and many, many people were coming out to him. He dressed strangely, and he had a rather bizarre diet, as we’ve noted on previous occasions. And they came to him, and they said, “Who are you?”[13] And they said, “And what do you have to say about yourself?” And you remember what he said? “Why, thank you for asking. Why don’t you check it out on my Facebook page?” No.

Do you really think everybody is that interested in us? No, you see, what we do is we magnify ourselves, and we diminish God. And when God reveals himself through his Word, he reverses that order. For “this is the one to whom I will look,” says the Lord God: “he,” or she, “who is humble … in spirit and [who] trembles at my word.”[14] That is why we see David right here, amazed at the privilege of being a servant. “Who am I?” is always and ever the right response, as opposed to “Let me tell you who I am.”

David’s Observation

That’s the first word: E for eat, for exclamation. O for out, for observation. Because he goes on to say, verse 19, “And yet,” he says: “And yet this is a small matter compared to what’s coming.” And, of course, what has happened is that this word that has come to him through Nathan is making it clear to him that God has even bigger plans for him, bigger plans for his house. For his house. We’re thinking dynasty. Verse 16 again: “And your throne, your house, your kingdom shall be made sure forever and ever.”[15] And you will notice what he says here: “This,” verse 19, “this was a small thing in your eyes.” “In your eyes.” Now, of course, God doesn’t have eyes. It’s a metaphor, isn’t it? From the perspective of God. From the perspective of heaven. From the perspective of eternity.

What a wonder that we are made the servants of God. Let’s not forget that we are only the servants of God.

You think about all the things that preoccupy us and concern us in the moment. And they’re realistic, and they’re important. They’re vital in the journey of our lives. But when you stand far enough back from it, if you put it in a long continuum in terms of time, it pales.

I had an illustration of this without looking for it this weekend, when a couple of my granddaughters were staying with us overnight. And in the morning, somebody wanted to know what age I was in 1968—or ’64, it was. And I said, “Oh, in ’64… I was twelve in ‘64.” I said, “Isn’t that very old?” She said, “No. Well, not in relation to the time of the Roman Empire, Papa.” I said, “That’s good! That’s good.” That’s a different perspective on things. That’s a vastly different way from viewing everything in such an atomized fashion that we’re almost paralyzed by the now. And the word of God that comes to David blows the categories wide open, and he says, “And yet, as dramatic as everything has been to this day, this was a small thing in your eyes.”

You see, I think it would be perfectly understandable if David were to have viewed everything that had happened to him to this point as kind of the apex of things—that this was it. You know, after all, from shepherd boy to king of Jerusalem, to king of Israel. This must be—there can’t be anything more now, is there? Hmm, yeah! This is just the beginning! You will notice again, if you see verse 19 there: “You have spoken also of your servant’s house”—here we go—“for a great while to come.” “For a great while to come.”

What is he referring to when he says, “You have spoken … of your servant’s house”? He’s referring to verses 11–16. That’s the context. Notice that it is “your servant’s house.” When you have time later on in the day, you can count how many times he is referred to here as a servant and how many times he says again and again, “You are the God of heaven’s armies. You are Adonai. You are God. You are Lord.” In other words, he’s got this very, very clear in his mind: “You are great. Who am I, that you would speak so clearly to me and that you would have these plans for me?”

Actually, the real wonder is not that David refers to himself as God’s servant but that God refers to David as his servant. If you look back up in your text, you will see that earlier up in 7, the word that is given to Nathan is to “go and tell my servant David.”[16] “Tell my servant David.” Now, you won’t know this unless you’ve researched it, but I can let you into a secret. For David to be referred to as “my servant David” takes him into rare company. For to this point, the only other people in Holy Scripture referred to in that way are Abraham, Moses, and Caleb. So when God speaks to Nathan in this way and he designates David in this way, it is quite dramatic. He is the servant of God. He is only the servant of God.

You see the tension, again? What a wonder that we are made the servants of God. Let’s not forget that we are only the servants of God. You remember when Jesus is speaking to his followers and he says, “You know, if you have a house, and you have a servant, and you come home, and you say to your servant, you know, ‘Could you please fix me a meal? Would you please dress properly? Would you serve me correctly?’ and so on.” He says, “You don’t make a big fuss and bother about it. You’re not giving out awards, because after all, he is simply a servant.”[17] And then he says to his followers, “So you also, when you have done all that you were commanded, [you] say, ‘We[’re] unworthy servants; we have only done … our duty.’”[18]

It’s quite wonderful, isn’t it? It’s the same thing when Paul writes, and the people in the context of Corinth, understandably, they decide, “You know, which preacher do you like the best? Do you like Apollos, or do you like Paul, or whatever it might be?” It’s an inevitability. And he says, “Well, let’s not get hung up on this.” He says, “What, after all, is Apollos? What, after all, is Paul? Only servants, through whom you believed.”[19] See it again? The magnificence and the might of God, and the amazing wonder of it, that he sets his love upon the likes of us.

Now, here we come to the phrase with which we began. You will notice he goes on to say that this is actually “instruction for mankind.” “You[’ve] spoken … of your servant’s house for a great while [still] to come, and this is instruction for mankind.” In other words, the plan and the prescription for God’s kingdom is the plan and prescription through which the whole world is to be blessed.

Now, just let that settle in your thinking for a moment or two. God is conferring powers and rights and privileges on David and on the seed of David for the benefit of all mankind—not simply that David will be secure in his kingdom, not simply that Israel will progress as God’s people, but this instruction is like a charter for all of humanity.

That’s why we began, again, with Romans 15:4. Because the reaction to that is surely to say, “But wait a minute! It’s very interesting. We’re in the twenty-first century, and we’re considering something that’s way, way, way back, and we can learn principles from it.” No. That’s fine, but that’s not it. No. “This instruction,” says David, “that has come to me through your prophet, Nathan, affects the entire story of the entire world, of the entire history of the world.” Oh! “Hmm,” you say. Because God’s promise to Abraham that through his offspring all the nations of the earth will be blessed[20] is a promise that David now realizes is applied to him and to his seed—that God is promising that through the seed of David, God will establish his kingdom forever.

Think about this for a moment or two. There he goes: “David went in and [he] sat before the Lord.” And he’s thinking. And he’s giving voice to this: “The things that you have said, gracious God, go way beyond me. I mean, you’ve given me a place, but who am I? This actually goes to the ends of the earth.” How does he get to that? How is it that he is able to respond in this way? The answer: by faith. By faith. There is no way that David could know how this would be and will be fulfilled. All that is yet to come in the fulfillment of the promise is hidden to him. It’s part of an unknown future. He doesn’t know what we are privileged to know, having been the recipients of the record of the gospel.

He doesn’t know, as he sits in that tent and thinks about these things, that one day an angel is going to come to a virgin girl and say to her something that will be virtually beyond comprehension: “Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”[21] Do you see? You see, it is as we hear the word of God that we see things from an entirely different perspective—that the purpose of God from all of eternity is focused on his King. And that King is the one about whom we’ve been singing.

David’s Explanation

E for eat. O for out, for observation. E for every, or for explanation. So, exclamation, observation, explanation.

How is it—as you look at the text—how is it that God has brought about all this greatness? That’s the question. You will see that he’s dealing with this there, in verse 21: “You have brought about all this greatness.” How is it that he’s brought about all the greatness? What can David say in response to this? That’s what he’s asking. Again, a rhetorical question in verse 20: “And what more can David say to you?” Well, actually, he still has quite a bit more to say; otherwise, the chapter would end right there.

But you see what he’s saying: “Really, I’m not sure that I can adequately respond to this. What can I say? For you know… For you know your servant.” It doesn’t mean that he knows who he is, or even that he knows what he is, but also that he knows where he is. In other words, “God, you and I both know—you and I both know—that all this greatness that you have bestowed and that you are apparently about to bestow has nothing at all to do with my worthiness, has nothing at all to do with my importance, has nothing at all to do with my giftedness.”

You say, “Well, how can you say that?” Well, because the text says. Verse 21: “Because of your promise…” You see, again? “It is because you made a promise. That promise that you made first of all to Abraham and now to me is the promise that you have spoken.” “You have spoken…” How did he speak? Spoke through his servant, Nathan. He told him of these great things that are to come, the “instruction for mankind.” “And now,” he says, “I understand this. It is because you made a promise.” It is because “the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end.”[22] It is because of the covenant purpose of God to take to himself a people that are his very own and to make those people like the sands of the seashore and as vast as the stars in the sky.[23] Revelation 7: a company that no one can number.[24] How is there ever gonna be a company that no one can number? On accordance with God’s promise. He promised. He promised!

You see, it’s the exact same, whether you’re in the Old Testament or in the New Testament. How did the people in the Old Testament that sang the Psalms know they were forgiven? How did they know that God accepted their worship? On the basis of his promise. And so the same here: “It’s according to your promise, and it is according to your own heart.” You see that? “Because of your promise, and according to your own heart, you have brought about all this greatness, to make your servant know it.”

Well, of course, this, you will remember, some of you, way back into 1 Samuel and chapter 13, when we came on what is one of the most famous verses in the whole of 1 and 2 Samuel, and a verse that we said is most often applied incorrectly. And that verse is where Samuel said of him, “Your kingdom [won’t] continue,” he says to Saul, but “the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart.”[25] “After his own heart.” And I hope you remember then we said that the significance of this is that he was a man of God’s choice—that what is being said there is about the place the man has in the heart of God, not the place that God has in the heart of man.

You see, when you get it the other way round, you immediately run into problems: “Oh, he was the man after God’s own heart.” We’re only a couple chapters away from a disaster zone in the immorality of his life with Bathsheba. So suddenly we have to readjust our view: “What does it really mean to be a man after God’s own heart? We hold him up as the epitome of that.” No, the wonder of it is that God’s heart was filled with David, not that David’s heart was filled with God. “And the reason that this is going to happen,” he says, “is because of the place that I have in your heart, O God.” In other words, it is by trusting God’s promise and knowing God’s heart that the greatness that has been revealed to David will be his to know.

David’s Declaration

“Therefore,” verse 22. Our time is gone. Let me just give you the last of the four words: D for declaration. Verse 22. We’ll resume here—not this evening, for we have Communion this evening, but next time we will come back around verse 23. Verse 22: “Therefore you are great, O Lord God. For there is none like you, … there is no God besides you, according to all that we have heard with our ears.” You see the progression from “Who am I?” to “There is none like you.”

It is amazing how many times we have reason to refer to the prayer of Hannah way back at the beginning of 1 Samuel. First Samuel 2:2, and Hannah prays, “There is none holy like the Lord: for there is none besides you; there is no rock like our God.” Now notice this as well: that David’s ability to declare this—his ability to declare this—the final phrase of verse 22, is “according to all that we have heard with our ears.” “All that we have heard with our ears.” What has he heard? God’s promise. What has he listened to? God’s word. “Faith come[s] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”[26] It goes like this: preaching, hearing, believing, living.

So we end where we began: “All these things have been written in the past for us.” “For us.”

We’re living in a world that has lost its story. We’re living in a world that is unprepared to pay attention to the greatest story ever told. Let me encourage you to share it.

I was rereading this week Surprised by Joy by C. S. Lewis. And towards the end of his autobiographical piece there, as he recounts his move from atheism to theism and on, he says that he was convicted of what he refers to as “chronological snobbery.” “Chronological snobbery.” He says, in other words, “the assumption that whatever has gone out of date is” on account of the fact “discredited” and virtually obsolete.[27] That is standard in our world today. Why would we pay any attention to history at all? Indeed, the best we can do with history is deconstruct it, is rewrite it, is reframe it. And one of the distinguishing features of what it means to be a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ and a believer in the word of the Bible is actually to have an entirely different view and perspective of history than that which is part and parcel of what we’re facing now. After all, we’re living in a world that has lost its story. We’re living in a world that is unprepared to pay attention to the greatest story ever told. And if you know that story, then let me encourage you—let us encourage one another—to share it widely and kindly and boldly and unashamedly, because this is “instruction for mankind.”

Just a brief moment of prayer:

Our God, we thank you that your Word is fixed in the heavens.[28] And we thank you that it introduces us to the wonder of a promise made, a promise kept, a promise fulfilled. We want to emulate David in this respect. We want to sit in your presence, and we want to stand on your promise. Help us, for your Son’s sake. Amen.


[1] Romans 15:4 (NIV 1984).

[2] 1 Samuel 3:9 (ESV).

[3] 2 Samuel 7:11 (ESV).

[4] 2 Samuel 7:2 (ESV).

[5] James Montgomery, “Prayer Is the Soul’s Sincere Desire” (1818).

[6] 1 Samuel 16:12 (ESV).

[7] Psalm 121:8 (ESV).

[8] Psalm 121:1 (ESV).

[9] 1 Samuel 17:43, 45 (paraphrased).

[10] 2 Samuel 7:2 (ESV).

[11] Keith Getty, Kristyn Getty, and Graham Kendrick, “My Worth Is Not in What I Own (At the Cross)” (2014).

[12] Emmanuel T. Sibomana, “O How the Grace of God Amazes Me.”

[13] John 1:19 (ESV).

[14] Isaiah 66:2 (ESV).

[15] 2 Samuel 7:16 (paraphrased).

[16] 2 Samuel 7:5 (ESV).

[17] Luke 17:7–9 (paraphrased).

[18] Luke 17:10 (ESV).

[19] 1 Corinthians 3:5 (paraphrased).

[20] See Genesis 12:3; 22:18.

[21] Luke 1:31–33 (ESV).

[22] Lamentations 3:22 (ESV).

[23] See Genesis 22:17.

[24] See Revelation 7:9.

[25] 1 Samuel 13:14 (ESV).

[26] Romans 10:17 (KJV).

[27] C. S. Lewis, Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life (1955; repr., San Francisco: HarperOne, 2017), 254.

[28] See Psalm 119:89.

Copyright © 2021, Alistair Begg. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations for sermons preached on or after November 6, 2011 are taken from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

For sermons preached before November 6, 2011, unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version® (NIV®), copyright © 1973 1978 1984 by Biblica, Inc.TM Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Alistair Begg
Alistair Begg is Senior Pastor at Parkside Church in Cleveland, Ohio, and the Bible teacher on Truth For Life, which is heard on the radio and online around the world.