Pick the ten most important chapters in the whole of the Old Testament and 2 Samuel chapter 7 would be up there with the best of them. As far as the history of Israel is concerned, and indeed for the whole story of God’s cosmic masterplan of salvation, these promises which God made to David are more important than anything else which happened in David’s life. Afterwards, these verses are quoted and referred to more than almost any others, both in the Old Testament and in the New Testament. They tell us how God made a covenant with David the King which would shape history from that point forwards and forevermore.
A GREAT NAME 8-9
2 Samuel 7 8 ‘Now then, tell my servant David, “This is what the LORD Almighty says: I took you from the pasture, from tending the flock, and appointed you ruler over my people Israel. 9 I have been with you wherever you have gone, and I have cut off all your enemies from before you. Now I will make your name great, like the names of the greatest men on earth.
From his humble beginnings as a shepherd boy, David would indeed become one of the most significant figures in human history. His name would become great. But even here there is a hint that these promises may be pointing beyond David himself, the one who would have the greatest name of all, the name above all names. To the one who is truly King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
God had made covenants before, especially with the Patriarchs Abraham and Isaac and Jacob. And then came the covenant with the nation of Israel through Moses at Mount Sinai, the Jewish Law. Very many of God’s promises had been wrapped up in the Promised Land, the land flowing with milk and honey, a land of safety and peace. And these promises were renewed to David.
A LAND OF SAFETY AND FREEDOM 10-11
10 And I will provide a place for my people Israel and will plant them so that they can have a home of their own and no longer be disturbed. Wicked people shall not oppress them any more, as they did at the beginning 11 and have done ever since the time I appointed leaders over my people Israel. I will also give you rest from all your enemies.
This promise of a place for God’s chosen people simply repeats the promises that God had made to Abraham and also to the Israelites through Moses. It will be a place of security and freedom with no more conflict with wicked people. There will be no more battles with enemies. It will be place of and undisturbed rest and perfect peace. Home, sweet home. However this promise was not to be fulfilled in David’s lifetime, which would be full of battles and wars. The promise looks beyond David to one of his descendants who one day would bring that perfect peace to the Land and to the people of God. More than three centuries later the great prophets were still looking forward to that day of peace.
Jeremiah 33 14 ‘ “The days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will fulfil the good promise I made to the people of Israel and Judah. 15 ‘ “In those days and at that time I will make a righteous Branch sprout from David’s line; he will do what is just and right in the land. 16 In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live in safety. This is the name by which it will be called: The LORD Our Righteous Saviour.”
And Isaiah even more was putting all his hopes in the coming of God’s chosen one, the Messiah.
Isaiah 9 6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.
These promises of the Messiah all built on God’s covenant with David which was God’s guarantee that one day a righteous king would come and bring God’s peace to a troubled world.
And the blessings God brings to His people are even greater than David could have imagined. The enemies attacking Israel were the surrounding nations. But in time God would bring rest from the greater enemies. The devil and all the powers of evil would be defeated. And the last enemy, death, would be vanquished forever. And God would give more wonderful peace than David could imagine, the peace of God which passes understanding. The peace which comes through a personal relationship with God. All these were part of God’s plan of salvation which would come to the world, not through David, but through
DAVID’S OFFSPRING 11-12
2 Samuel 7 11 …. ‘ “The LORD declares to you that the LORD himself will establish a house for you: 12 when your days are over and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, your own flesh and blood, and I will establish his kingdom.
From this moment in history forwards, all God’s promises are centred on an offspring of David. Some of the promises were fulfilled in his son Solomon who would build the great Temple in Jerusalem where God would be worshipped for centuries to come. But other promises would not be fulfilled until the Messiah came, God’s anointed, Great David’s Greatest Son. In his Kingdom, in his reign as King, He would bring
AN ETERNAL THRONE 13
2 Samuel 7 13 He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom for ever.
This descendant of David would build a house which would not be material or physical but spiritual. And this descendant’s throne would not be limited by time but it would be eternal – he would reign for ever and ever!
PSALM 89 3 You said, ‘I have made a covenant with my chosen one, I have sworn to David my servant, 4 “I will establish your line for ever and make your throne firm through all generations.”
PSALM 45 6 Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever; a sceptre of justice will be the sceptre of your kingdom.
All these prophecies point to the truth that this eternal Kingdom would come not through David but through a descendant of David’s. John the Baptist’s father Zechariah prophesied this about Jesus:
“He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High.
The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David,
and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever;
his kingdom will never end.” (Luke 1:32-33)
The crowds all recognized that Jesus was fulfilling all these promises as they welcomed him to Jerusalem.
Matthew 21 9 The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,
‘Hosanna to the Son of David!’ ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’‘Hosanna in the highest heaven!’
But the Messiah would be even more than just a human descendant of David! He would be
GOD’S SON 14
2 Samuel 7 14 I will be his father, and he shall be my son.
The relationship which Great David’s Greatest Son would be more special and more intimate than ever before. He would be God’s Son. And God would be His Father.
There are ten of the Psalms which together are described as the Royal Psalms because they focus on God’s chosen King. They are based on this covenant with David in 2 Samuel 7 and talk about David’s dynasty and his royal descendant who reigns over God’s people and inherits God’s promises. Together these Royal Psalms point forward to the Messiah. The first and the most obvious is Psalm 2.
Psalm 2 6 He says to them, “I have placed my king on my holy mountain of Zion.” 7I will announce what the Lord has promised. He said to me, “You are my son. Today I have become your father.
8 Ask me, and I will give the nations to you. All nations on earth will belong to you. ….
10 Kings, be wise! Rulers of the earth, be warned!
11 Serve the LORD and have respect for him. Serve him with joy and trembling.
Jews knew that Psalm 2 and the other Royal Psalms were looking beyond any earthly king and pointing forward to the Messiah. And the first Christians realised that all these promises were actually fulfilled in Jesus and proved by his glorious resurrection from the dead.
Acts 13: 32 ‘We tell you the good news: what God promised our ancestors 33 he has fulfilled for us, their children, by raising up Jesus. As it is written in the second Psalm:
‘ “You are my son; today I have become your father.”
34 God raised him from the dead so that he will never be subject to decay. As God has said,
‘ “I will give you the holy and sure blessings promised to David.”
The whole nation of Israel had been described as God’s son. But this descendent of David would have a relationship with God which was far beyond the relationship which any human being had ever had with the Almighty and Eternal God. The Messiah would be the Son of God and God would be His Father, and he would inherit all the blessings promised to David.
SECURE IN GOD’S LOVE 15
2 Samuel 7 15 But my love will never be taken away from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you.
You may have noticed that this covenant God makes with David is unconditional. Nothing in these promises God makes depends on the actions of David or of his descendants. The covenant rests entirely on God’s faithfulness and on the certainty that God will always keep His promises. God will never take his love away from this descendant of David’s. This reminds us that there is absolutely nothing we can ever do to earn or deserve God’s love and his grace and his forgiveness. But at the same time it is important to recognise that God’s faithfulness and loving-kindness deserve and demand a response from us. Because God loves us unconditionally, it is entirely right that we should love God unconditionally in return. We should respond with gratitude and obedience, dedicating our lives to worshipping and serving the God who has loved us so very much.
David’s son Solomon was the one God chose to build his Temple in Jerusalem, And Solomon understood the kind of response which God’s love and mercy deserve. In his prayer dedicating the Temple to God, this is how Solomon prayed.
2 Chronicles 6 16 ‘Now, LORD, the God of Israel, keep for your servant David my father the promises you made to him when you said, “You shall never fail to have a successor to sit before me on the throne of Israel, if only your descendants are careful in all they do to walk before me according to my law, as you have done.” 17 And now, LORD, the God of Israel, let your word that you promised your servant David come true.
Solomon recognised that the right and proper way to respond to all God’s unconditional love for us is to be careful in all we do to walk before God according to His Law.
AN ETERNAL KINGDOM 16
16 Your house and your kingdom shall endure for ever before me; your throne shall be established for ever.” ’
God’s covenant with David is eternal. It will last for ever and ever.
The blessings God promised would not just last for a generation or a lifetime or even just a century. God’s blessings would last far beyond the 3,000 years which have passed since God made these promises to David. They are indeed eternal, lasting longer than this world will endure and into the next world where “there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” God gives his people every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms. For ever. And ever. And ever!
With the benefit of hindsight we can see how all these wonderful promises were ultimately fulfilled in the birth, life, death, resurrection and exaltation of the Lord Jesus Christ. This is how the angel announced the birth of Jesus to his mother Mary.
Luke 1 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants for ever; his kingdom will never end.’
All the wonderful blessings promised to David, and much much more, come to us through the Lord Jesus Christ. A great name – the name which is above all names. A land of safety and freedom and peace. All brought by David’s offspring, Great David’s Greatest Son reigning on an eternal throne. God’s Son, completely secure in God’s love, bringing all the blessings of an eternal kingdom to all who trust and follow Him.
Bow down and worship – for this is your God!