Faithlife Sermons

Never Would Have Made It

David's Prayer of Gratitude  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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We would not have made it, to where we have made it, without a way maker. David prays this prayer of gratitude in response to God’s gracious covenant with David, and David’s offspring. This is a prayer of adoration and appreciation. Has there ever been a moment in your life where you stopped to appreciate what God has done, and found yourself in disbelief? This prayer hinges on the word, “then”. Something happened to David that caused David to get into his feelings. While God is worthy of our praise just because he is God. There is nothing like being reminded of just how good he is that helps our praise. His response to God’s grace was a prayer of praise. How do we respond to God’s grace? Grace is the fuel for worship. I like these moments. Moments like this make for an exciting worship service. Moments like these help me to appreciate just how far I’ve come. We live in such a consumer and capitalist America, all we understand is more. This appetite for more material helps us to forget what we have, and how we got it. David doesn’t just teach us how to pray, he teaches us how to appreciate.
Why was David so thankful? Well if you’ve come from where David had come from then you’d understand David’s prayer.
2 Samuel 7:8 ESV
8 Now, therefore, thus you shall say to my servant David, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, that you should be prince over my people Israel.
God had taken David from the pasture to the palace. Geographically, David was only about 6 miles from where it all began. 6 miles was about the distance between Bethlehem and Jerusalem. Geographically, only six miles separated David from his past. This goes to show, you don’t have to move to a different state or a different city even to experience a life change. Although David was only six miles from where he began, he was 10 years and 21 chapters removed from the pasture. In those 10 years David had experienced a lot. Many of us can relate to David. There was no way we could have imagined being where we are now 10 years ago. If you had told us that we’d slay some giants, lose our minds, and almost lose our lives, yet make it to the palace, we’d probably tell you that you were crazy. It’s not just where he made it. It’s how he made it. David’s remarkable journey, and our remarkable journey should remind us that we never would have made it without the Lord.


In fact, progress cannot be achieved without God. Pop culture wants you to believe that you can make it off sheer will power and want to. Although you need discipline, commitment, desire, and ambition. What you need most is God. There are some doors that only God can open. There are some hearts that only God can soften. There are some ceilings that only God can lift. There are some chains that only God can break. You need education. You need reputation. You need connections. However, what you need most is God.

Relevant Question

Whether it’s David, or it’s you and I, how do we know that God did this?


There is no one else who can do what God can do. I had the privilege of talking to a man this week who was an addict, but has been sober for 8 years now. As a former heroin addict he recalled what delivered him. He told me that 8 years ago that God did a work in his life that the military, incarceration, rehab, or any halfway house could do. No matter your condition, nobody can bring you the way God can bring you.

Not Good Enough

David’s appreciation is increased by his own depreciation. We can learn to appreciate God more if we learn to appreciate ourselves a little less in his presence. David went and sat before the Lord and he opens his prayer:
2 Samuel 7:18 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?
2 Samuel
David realizes that there is nothing about David that merits God’s favor. Humility is the proper posture of prayer. When we communicate with God, we should talk to him from the perspective of a servant before his master, or a fan before his hero. David does not have self-esteem issues. Self-esteem is the confidence one has in one’s own abilities. But self-esteem should be understood in relation to our abilities in relation to the world around us and the people in it. If we are children of God we should not think ourselves to be any more or any less than our brothers and sisters. But in relation to God, our abilities do not compare. David is not necessarily down playing his ability in this interrogative. He is down playing his heritage. Similar to the american establishment of entitlement, where a person came from played a major role into how far that person went. Usually, if you were from royalty, you ascended into royalty. If you were a shepherd you stayed a shepherd. I think there are two things worth mentioning here. One to humble us, and the other to give us hope.
First, the idea of aristocracy is as relevant now as it was in David’s day. Realistically those who are born with more, have a better chance of obtaining more, than those who are not. Biblical aristocracy is one of the clearest illustrations of privilege that there is. Think about the number of unfit Kings that ruled Israel, just because they were born in the right house. Unfortunately, being born in the right house still matters today.Children born into dysfunctional homes are more likely to lead dysfunctional homes. Children born into poverty are most likely to live a life of poverty. Children from uneducated backgrounds are less likely to obtain college degrees. While on the flip side. Kids born into money, will inherit money. Kids who are born into two parent homes, are more likely to lead two parent households. Kids born into generational alumni status, will probably complete at least a bachelor’s degree. David asks the question, “who am I and what is my house?” Because David realizes that a person from where he’s from wasn’t supposed to make it to where he made it.
That’s the good news. Although, the house you are born in can influence your destiny, it does not have to determine your destiny. David underscores the fact that no one has more influence over a man’s destiny than God. While it may be typical for a person to follow the path of their ancestors, or to become a product of their environment. When God intervenes, stereotypes are cast out. Stories abound of African Americans who are great grandchildren of slaves, or grandchildren of sharecroppers. We have judges, doctors, lawyers, engineers, accountants, business owners, nurses, who were born to parents who had degrees, salaries, 401ks, and benefits. This is proof that ultimately, God controls a man’s destiny and it does not matter what house you were born in once you become part of his house. Galatians says we were born slaves, but adopted into the household of God through Christ by faith.
Galatians 4:7 ESV
7 So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.
So we learn that on our own, we are not good enough, but through Christ our destinies are established. We are not blessed because of who we are, we are blessed because of whose we are.

His Grace Is Sufficient

Secondly, what God has done for David is a small thing relative to what God would do in the future, and what had done throughout history, yet it is enough for David. David was not as concerned with the size of the blessing as he was with the source of the blessing. And yet this was a small thing, David is still humbled by what God has done for him and what he will do through him. The size of the blessing should not only be measured by what God does for you, but by what God does through you. God makes a covenant with David that would benefit David and David’s progeny. As a result David’s heart is pricked by how much others will benefit from what God is doing through him. On of the most satisfying feelings in the world for a Christian is knowing that God is able to use you to the benefit of somebody else. At least that should be the most satisfying feeling. To help us understand why this was such a big deal to David, let’s look at how David thought of himself. David says to the Lord, “ You have spoken also of your servant’s house”. David identifies himself as a servant nine times in this prayer. When you are a servant, you just want to serve. Servants find satisfaction in service. David is not consumed with the size of the blessing, because he is content with being a servant. You will find yourself being anxious a lot less often when you become less consumed with size and more content with service. It does not have to be grand in order to be great. The pews do not have to be filled. It does not have to turn heads. It does not have to generate a lot of likes or shares. As long as it gives God the glory, that’s what matters. Sufficient, that means that adequate. For David, the fact that God would use him was good enough for him.
David was content with being used by God, because David knew, that God knew, who David was. Listen to David’s confession:
2 Samuel 7:20 ESV
20 And what more can David say to you? For you know your servant, O Lord God!
Not only did David acknowledge that he didn’t come from much. He acknowledges that he himself hasn’t done much to merit the Lord’s favor. In fact, he’s probably done more to cause the Lord not to favor him, than he has to cause the Lord to favor him. He admits that God knows him. God knows him better than anyone else knows him. God knows David the shepherd, and he knows David the sinner. God knows David the warrior, and he knows David the adulterer. God knows David the King, and he knows David the killer. God knows David the prince, and David the pimp. Unlike everybody else, God doesn’t just see one side of us, he sees all sides of us. You kind hide anything from God because his knowledge is comprehensive. He knows everybody, in every possible way. That’s what it means for him to be omniscient. There is not anything that he does not have knowledge of. Not a single thought. Not a single action. Because David knows, that God knows him like that, David is completely content with whatever blessing the Lord bestows upon him. David realizes that a man with his history is not worthy of such an abundance of grace. His humility and and his contentment are a result of God’s mercy contrast with his own past.
When we contrast our past with our present, we will realize that God has already done more for us than we deserve. He saw us at our worst, and yet he gave us his best. Just to be used by God is a blessing. To be a servant in the Lord’s army is an honor. So although your blessing may seem small, just contrast that with what you gave him to work with. When you get honest about your past then you’ll be satisfied with whatever degree the Lord decides to bless you.

God Is Good

Lastly, resolves that all these things must be accredited to the Lord’s greatness. David could not come up with an explanation of why the Lord had chosen to do what the Lord had chosen to do. All David knew was that he had nothing to do with it. What God had decided to do for David and through David was not because David had earned it, rather it was because God was so good. This is the purpose for the David’s prayer, and it is reason for our praise. God blesses us just because he is good. We praise him because of his goodness. His goodness flows from his heart. It is what comes from a man heart that defines a man. So it is with God, it is what comes from his heart that makes him good. He is defined and characterized by what comes from his heart. Everything that he does is good. Although, it may hurt at the time it’s working for our good. The Bible is filled with promises that remind us that God is working for our good. We can trust him to deal with us graciously, not because we deserve grace, but because he’s just that good. It’s this goodness that separates him from everything else. He is singular in what he is willing to do and what he is able to do.
His singularity in what he is willing to do is evidenced by his promises. God had written some big checks with Israel, and he made good on every single one of them beginning with Abraham. God also was making a promise with David, promising that he would establish his house and he shall establish his throne over the Kingdom of Israel forever. The Lord’s willingness to make promises that impact future generations symbolizes how much he values the person who he is making the promise to. He makes a commitment to David to bless his house even after David is gone. All of us are beneficiaries of promises that God made long ago. No man alive would make that kind of promise. But the Lord’s willingness to commit to blessing a man who ‘s life was tainted and temporary makes God unique in what he is willing to do.
He is also singular in what he is able to do. Nobody else can make the type of promise that God makes, but more importantly nobody else can keep the promises that God has made besides God. There are many good people, with great hearts who are willing to do a lot of things to bless people. But there are a lot of things that they just cannot do. This is what makes God so good. He is willing and he’s able.


I’m glad I’m not in the Doctor’s hands
I’m glad I’m not in the President’s hands
I’m glad I’m not in the hands of the CEO
I love my family
But I’m glad that they don’t control my destiny
I thank God that I’m in the Lord’s hands
And as long as I stay in the Lord’s hands
Everything will be alright
Didn’t come from money
But the Lord gives me enough to survive
Wasn’t born in a palace
But the Lord has given me a place to stay
I don’t deserve to be where I am
But the Lord keeps blessing me anyway
The Lord is good
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