'Studies in the Old Testament'

Early Trials of King David - 8

April 2020

(Continued from page 567)


The Davidic Covenant (2 Samuel 7)


Because of David's faithfulness and because he had proven himself to be a theocentric, God-centered man, God made some amazing promises to him. These promises are known as the Davidic Covenant and are described in 2 Samuel 7. In the overall purpose of God, it is equal in its significance to the Abrahamic Covenant.  The chapter begins by informing us that, after God had given David rest from his enemies, he began to be concerned because the house of God had not been built. When he contrasted his own palace of cedar to the tent he had prepared for housing the Ark in Jerusalem, it did not seem to be a fitting comparison. He shared his dream with Nathan, who encouraged him to fulfill it.  But God gently rebuked David for this heady plan by speaking to Nathan that night (2 Samuel 7:4-52):

4 But it came about in the same night that the word of the LORD came to Nathan, saying,  5  "Go and say to My servant David, 'Thus says the LORD, "Are you the one who should build Me a house to dwell in? 

Even our highest, most noble ambitions and goals are flawed by sin. David's desire to build a house for God is so lofty even Nathan is taken in by it and reacted out of a natural human reaction to agree that the king who God had clearly blessed repeatedly would not be denied in this apparently sincere desire to please God. Who could fault David for wanting to build God a glorious house? God could, and did, for David's motives and his ambitions fall far short of what God intended.  David seems to have become a little too caught up by his recent successes, by his own position and power, and even by the grandeur of his own palace. God's response to David most certainly contains a rebuke to David's arrogance: "Who are
you to be building Me a house?" No matter how pious my plans for God and His work appear to be, they fall far short of the purity of thought and motive God requires. In the final analysis, there is nothing we can do for God in our own strength. It is God who must accomplish great things through us, and very often in spite of us.

David has taken the wrong attitude by planning to 'help out' God, rather than being the one who had constantly been helped by God.  God did not ask for a temple, because He did not need one. He had been behind all of David's successes, and now He was promising even greater glory.  God now returned to the subject of the "house" that David was planning to build for God and announces to David that He is going to build a "house" for
him. The details concerning this "house" are laid out in verses 12-17.  God had different plans and he sent Nathan to give David this message:

"Shalt thou build me an house for me to dwell in? Whereas I have not dwelt in any house since the time that I brought up the children of Israel out of Egypt" (v5-6).  Then, in verse 11, Nathan states, "Also the Lord telleth thee that he will make thee an house."

The occasion for the Davidic Covenant was predicated on this fact - that David wanted to build a house for God, but God "turned the tables" on David, saying, "I do not need you to build a house for me, but I will build a house for you."  In verse 85, God reminded David of his humble beginnings,
"I took thee from the sheepcote, from following the sheep, to be ruler over my people, even Israel". It does not take a great deal of imagination to understand how far David had come from shepherding sheep in all weathers and defending them against wild animals, to his present exalted position as king of all Israel.  God continued (v95):  And I was with thee whithersoever thou wentest, and have cut off all thine enemies out of thy sight, and have made thee a great name like unto the name of the great men that are in the earth.  Based on His own past faithfulness to David, God made a great promise, establishing the Davidic Covenant, which had present and eschatological implications.

This prophetic Davidic Covenant, like many other prophecies, has a near and a distant fulfillment. It consists of two parts, with each part having three sections. Part One was fulfilled before David's death, while Part Two had a later fulfillment. Section One of the first promises to be fulfilled before David died was:
"I have made thee a great name, like unto the name of the great men that are in the earth" (v95). Looking at 2 Samuel 8:13, we can see that King David did have a great name among the nations.  Section Two begins with verse 10: "I will appoint a Place for my people Israel," meaning He would add more land to the nation. Again, chapter 8 points to the fulfillment by describing David's conquests over surrounding nations.  Section Three is also emphasised in verse 115 where God said He had "caused thee to rest from all thine enemies."  Again we read of this in I Chronicles 23:25.  It is important to know that the Lord did fulfill those prophetic promises to David, because they validated those sections of Part Two of the covenant which would take place after his death.  Part Two, Section One, begins in verse 125 where the Lord says to David: 

And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom.  He shall build an house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.

No monarch had ever received such a blessing from God who now promised David a seed (offspring), in perpetuity. His dynasty was to continue forever and ever. The physical proof of this was that there would always be a male heir of David to sit on the throne from generation to generation. The people could look at their king and see  in the descendent of David the physical evidence of God's promise to King David.  In the near future is Solomon, David's second son by Bathsheba.  It is he who will take David's place and reign over Israel after his death. We know that Nathan's words must refer to Solomon because they include the fact that David's "son" will sin, and that God will correct him.  This statement cannot be made of the Messiah, the Son of David who will come to take away the sins of the world and to sit on the throne of His father, David.  Unlike Saul, whose dynasty was taken away, David's "house" (his descendants) will be a dynasty, and will reign over Israel.

The descendants of David - his "house" - will enjoy a very unique and privileged relationship with God. It is described as a father/son relationship, or perhaps more accurately as a Father/son (and Father/Son) relationship.  We find that, in the Bible, to be a "son" sometimes means much more than just being the physical offspring of one's father. The term "son" is employed to refer to one who rules in the place of another (the father). Adam was the "son of God" in the sense that he ruled over God's creation as His agent (ref. Luke 3:38). Satan and the angels are also referred to as "sons" of God in this same sense (Ge 6:2; Job 1:6 and 2:1).  Here, David's descendant Solomon is also referred to as enjoying a Father/son relationship with God.  In this sense, one does not become a "son" at one's birth; a king becomes a "son" of God when God installs him upon the throne (Psalm 2:4-92):

4 He who sits in the heavens laughs, The Lord scoffs at them. 5 Then He will speak to them in His anger And terrify them in His fury, saying, 6 "But as for Me, I have installed My King Upon Zion, My holy mountain." 7 "I will surely tell of the decree of the LORD: He said to Me,
'You are My Son, Today I have begotten You. 8 'Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance, And the very ends of the earth as Your possession. 9 'You shall break them with a rod of iron, You shall shatter them like earthenware."'

This is exactly what God announces to our Lord Jesus Christ. God calls our Lord His "Son" at His baptism (Matthew 3:17; Mark 1:11; Luke 3:22) and at His transfiguration (Matthew 17:5; Mark 9:7; Luke 9:35). Peter makes mention of these words, linking these words to the transfiguration (2 Peter 1:17). The writer to the Hebrews also makes use of these words as proof that Jesus was the promised Jewish Messiah (1:5; 5:5). In 5:5, the author of Hebrews specifically refers to our text in 2 Samuel 7:14 as having been fulfilled in Christ. In Acts 13:33, Paul turns to these words in Psalm 2 as having been fulfilled in Christ, particularly in relationship to His resurrection from the dead.

This word "son" or "sons" is also used of those who have come to faith in Jesus Christ. When we are saved by faith, we become the "sons" of God. This term "sons" not only means we become a child of God, but that we become those who will reign with Him (Romans 8:18-232):

18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19 For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. 23 And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.

When Christ returns to this earth and we are raised from the dead, we are adopted as sons in Christ, and we shall reign with Him for all eternity.  David will have sons, and these sons will become "sons" of God in that they will rule over Israel. But there will come one very special "son," and through Him all of the promises God has made here and elsewhere (pertaining to the Kingdom of God) will be fulfilled, either in His first coming, or in His return to the earth. David will have many sons, who will reign after him, and he and his sons will become "sons" of God. But the greatest promise of all is that a very special "son" will come, who is a descendant of David, and His kingdom will be eternal. It is in this "Son" that all of David's hopes, all of Israel's hopes, all of
our hopes are fulfilled and this is the essence of the Davidic Covenant. God will give David sons who rule in his place, but God's promises will be fully and finally fulfilled in that special "Son" who is yet to come.

These words, spoken by Nathan, are the very word of God. They are given to Nathan in the vision, which necessitates a "revision" of the initial permission he gave David to build a house for God in his own strength and reasoning. God thus speaks to David through Nathan so that he has the sure word of God.  The last 12 verses of 2 Samuel record David's response to this revelation, for David now has his "house" in order and sees things from God's point of view. The closing verses of chapter 7 are David's response to the Davidic Covenant and are called 'David's Prayer' in many Bibles, and have consequently been used as a pattern for worship by many as well.

Verses 18-21 are an expression of David's regained humility, of his re-aligned self-appraisal. Here is the kind of self-esteem that ought to characterize every Christian, especially, but by no means exclusively, in worship.  At the beginning of chapter 7, David is a little too full of himself. Three times he is called "the king" in the first three verses. He is also referred to as "the king" in verse 18, but only to highlight the change in David's thinking from earlier in the chapter. It is not found again in this chapter.  Was David too impressed with his position and power and with being the king? Does David think more in terms of what he can do for God than in terms of what God has and will do for him?  These are all traits that we suffer from as Christians, often with unfailing regularity.  David now sees his position from God's viewpoint, at least for the moment. Instead of finding the word "king" repeated through the verses, as it was in verses 1-3, we now find the word "servant."  God calls David "servant" in addressing him through Nathan in verse 5.  David now stands in awe of the fact that God takes him, a man of no status or standing, and makes him king of Israel. This too is what God has reminded David through Nathan (v8-9).  David sees his standing and status as Israel's king as the result of God's sovereignly bestowed grace, and not as the recognition of his potential greatness. It is amazing how pride and arrogance distort our thinking. No wonder humility is the starting point, the prerequisite, for wisdom (Proverbs 11:2; 15:33; 18:12; 22:4; 29:13).

David is now on the right footing in the presence of his God. He sees himself as he really is in God's eyes. He recognizes his weakness, his insignificance. He is struck with awe and wonder that God would choose to use him. He is not puffed up with his power as king of Israel, but humbled by the awareness that God uses him as His servant. Now, in verses 22-24, David thanks and praises God for who He is, as demonstrated by His marvellous works on behalf of Israel and David in the past. Verse 22 encapsulates that self-revelation of God in Israel's past. God is God alone. There is no other god; there is no God like Him. He is a great and awesome God. This is in accord with all that they have heard of Him and from Him.

God has done great things for David, but these were not done for David. God has worked in David and through David, to bring about the fulfillment of His promises to the nation Israel. Verses 23 and 24 recount the greatness of God as revealed in His acts on behalf of His people, Israel. These verses sound remarkably similar to the words of God through Moses (Deuteronomy 4:7-8, 32-382):

7 "For what great nation is there that has a god so near to it as is the LORD our God whenever we call on Him? 8 "Or what great nation is there that has statutes and judgments as righteous as this whole law which I am setting before you today? . . . 32 "Indeed, ask now concerning the former days which were before you, since the day that God created man on the earth, and inquire from one end of the heavens to the other. Has anything been done like this great thing, or has anything been heard like it? 33 "Has any people heard the voice of God speaking from the midst of the fire, as you have heard it, and survived? 34 "Or has a god tried to go to take for himself a nation from within another nation by trials, by signs and wonders and by war and by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm and by great terrors, as the LORD your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes? 35 "To you it was shown that you might know that the LORD, He is God; there is no other besides Him. 36 "Out of the heavens He let you hear His voice to discipline you; and on earth He let you see His great fire, and you heard His words from the midst of the fire. 37 "Because He loved your fathers, therefore He chose their descendants after them. And He personally brought you from Egypt by His great power, 38 driving out from before you nations greater and mightier than you, to bring you in and to give you their land for an inheritance, as it is today".

David sees himself as Israel should have seen herself. It is not due to her greatness, her size, or her merits, that God chose to bless her. It is His sovereignly bestowed grace, apart from works or merit:

10 "Then it shall come about when the LORD your God brings you into the land which He swore to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you, great and splendid cities which you did not build, 11 and houses full of all good things which you did not fill, and hewn cisterns which you did not dig, vineyards and olive trees which you did not plant, and you eat and are satisfied, 12 then watch yourself, that you do not forget the LORD who brought you from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. 13 "You shall fear
only the LORD your God; and you shall worship Him and swear by His name" (Deuteronomy 6:10-132).

10 "When you have eaten and are satisfied, you shall bless the LORD your God for the good land which He has given you. 11 "Beware that you do not forget the LORD your God by not keeping His commandments and His ordinances and His statutes which I am commanding you today; 12 otherwise, when you have eaten and are satisfied, and have built good houses and lived
in them, 13 and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and gold multiply, and all that you have multiplies, 14 then your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God who brought you out from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. 15 "He led you through the great and terrible wilderness, with its fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty ground where there was no water; He brought water for you out of the rock of flint. 16 "In the wilderness He fed you manna which your fathers did not know, that He might humble you and that He might test you, to do good for you in the end. 17 "Otherwise, you may say in your heart, 'My power and the strength of my hand made me this wealth.' 18 "But you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who is giving you power to make wealth, that He may confirm His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day" (Deuteronomy 8:10-182).

David has fallen into the very trap that God warned Israel to avoid. He has begun to take credit for what God has done. He begins to think of God as dependent upon him, rather than to worship God as a dependent creature. When David sees life from God's point of view, he sees life clearly, as it is. He sees life as Israel was supposed to view it. Now he is thinking clearly, and when he does, he recognizes that both he and Israel are great by the grace of God and nothing else and for this David humbly praises God.

In verses 8-10, God reminds David of His blessings in the past. In verses 10-16 God promises David even greater blessings for himself and for the nation Israel in the future. In verses 22-24, David praises God for His grace in the past. Now, in verses 25-29, he will petition God to do as He has promised, and at the same time he worships and praises God for the things He will yet do. David picks up on the promises which God has just made in the Davidic Covenant, which He has just given, and makes this the basis for his petitions.  David is now praying for what God has promised.

David is not just repeating God's promise back to Him; he is now putting this promise and its fulfillment in its proper perspective. David was wrong to think in terms of his successes. God reminds him that all of his apparent successes were really gracious gifts from His hand (ref. v8-9). The things which God promises David in the future are also gracious gifts (ref. v10-16), for which He is to be praised, and so David now petitions God to fulfill these promises, not so that David's name will be exalted, but in order that God's name may be magnified (v26).  Through Nathan, God gently rebukes David for his arrogance in thinking he could build a suitable dwelling place for God, that he could better assess the need for one than God, but now God's promise of an eternal house gives David the courage to ask Him for the fulfillment of this very promise (v27).

Verses 28 and 29 continue the petition, reminding God of His promise, and asking Him to fulfill it.  The reason for David's confidence is God, and not himself. The presumptuous self-confidence that characterized David in the early verses of this chapter is gone, replaced by a humble confidence, based in the God who made it. God has promised this good thing to His servant, not to
the king. The promise is clear, and it is made by God. Any promise made by God is certain to come to pass, and thus David petitions God for its fulfillment. May the promise be fulfilled by the blessing of David's "house," and may this blessing come from the God of all blessings. Finally, David prays that this blessing will be eternal. Such blessings can only be God's blessings.

No matter how high and lofty our goals and plans may be, God's plans are greater.  The Apostle Paul put it this way:

Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! 34 For WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, OR WHO BECAME HIS COUNSELOR? 35 Or WHO HAS FIRST GIVEN TO HIM THAT IT MIGHT BE PAID BACK TO HIM AGAIN? 36 For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him
be the glory forever. Amen (Romans 11:33-362).

But just as it is written, "THINGS WHICH EYE HAS NOT SEEN AND EAR HAS NOT HEARD, AND
WHICH HAVE NOT ENTERED THE HEART OF MAN, ALL THAT GOD HAS PREPARED FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM" (1 Corinthians 2:92).

Does David plan to build a house for God? David could not even imagine the "house" that God was going to build for him. God's "house" far surpasses David's proposed "house."  The greatness and glory of God's presence and power are not to be interpreted in the light of how spectacular the surroundings and setting are. Long ago Elijah was taught that God's presence was not to be assumed in the midst of spectacular phenomenon, although sometimes He does employ the spectacular (ref. Exodus 19, 34). God was not present in the wind, the earthquake, or the fire, but in a still, small voice (1 Kings 19:11-13). The disciples to some extent, and the Jews in large measure, expected the Messiah to be revealed by means of the miraculous and the spectacular, and thus the frequent demand for a sign. The Corinthians of the New Testament came to regard those with style and sensationalism as the most spiritual, while at the same time they came to despise those who were less spectacular, like Paul and the other true apostles (ref. 1 Corinthians 4; 2 Corinthians 4-6). Our Lord Himself did not come in a blaze of glory and sensationalism. He came with his glory veiled (ref. Isaiah 53:1-3; John 1:9-11; Philippians 2:5-8), and thus many failed to recognize Him as the Messiah. The second temple was not nearly as spectacular, but in God's eyes, it was glorious. The true glory comes not in the external surroundings, but in the fact that God Himself is among us, indwelling us, His body. We should learn from David, and from the multiple evidence of the Bible, that
God's glory is to be found where God is present, and not necessarily where we see the spectacular.

Does David suppose that God will be more present in a spectacular temple than in a tent? He is about to be reminded that God is
"enthroned upon the praises of His people" (Psalm 22:3). God has chosen to dwell in a very different "temple" these days - the "temple" of His body, the church:

19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God's household, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner
stone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit (Ephesians 2:19-222).

4 And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God, 5 you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ (1 Peter 2:4-52).

In the eternal kingdom of God, there will be no "temple" as such, for our Lord Himself will be the "temple":

"And I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its temple" (Revelation 21:222)

We also see that David does not need a temple nearby in order to worship His God. In fact, David is drifting away from worship when he proposes the construction of a temple. It is after David has been reminded that all he is and all he accomplishes is of God that he begins to worship in the right manner. He then begins to acknowledge his own insignificance and to praise God for His greatness, power, and presence in his life.
This is where all true worship begins, not in a spectacular building, but in focusing on the greatness and the grace of our God.

There is a great deal of emphasis these days on the planting and building of churches and people often speak in awe of great church buildings.  Planting churches is a good thing, and the building of large churches is not necessarily evil. But let us be on guard against the false assumption that larger and more impressive buildings are proof of God's presence and power.  For years the charismatic 'movement' trumpeted David Yonggi Cho and his Korean church for being the biggest in the world.  But the slow realization that Cho's book, 'The Fourth Dimension,' revealed another gospel of Buddhist visualization techniques, culminating in his false prophecy 'in the name of the Lord' that the flagship Assemblies of God church, 'Paradise,' in Adelaide, Australia, would grow to over 10,000 members, has wakened some to the truth of waiting on God and doing things His way.  We need to be on guard against prideful thoughts of our own contribution to the kingdom of God, of thinking that God really needs us. It is always He who will be carrying us, rather than us carrying Him. How easily we begin to focus on what we have done and can do for God, rather than on all He has done and will do for and through us.

David's divine rebuke should serve as a lesson to every Christian. How often we try to run ahead of God thinking that we are grown up, mature and full of wisdom, perhaps even exempt from temptation, and protected from sin.  Growth, maturity, and success do not insulate us from sin; often, these things can easily become new temptations for us to sin. David is in more danger in his palace than he was fleeing from Saul and hiding out in a cave. Too often we take our "successes" far too seriously. We should be reminded that there is no success that we can honestly claim as our own, for every spiritual success is a gift of God's grace:

For who regards you as superior? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it? (1 Corinthians 4:72).

Again we are reminded that the greatest blessings of our lives are not the result of our labours, but always the result of God's work, and often as He uses our failings and shortcomings. David is rebuked for requesting to build God a temple, and yet out of this request, God promises to build a house far greater than David could ever imagine.  David soon falls into serious sin when he commits adultery with Bathsheba and kills her husband but, in spite of this, she becomes David's wife and the mother of Solomon, the next king of Israel.  David is wrong to number Israel, but as a result of this sin, the property on which the temple is to be built is procured by David.

What a wonderful and awesome God we serve! We cannot thwart His purposes and promises, and even our efforts to thwart His purposes only serve to advance His kingdom.  We rejoice that God no longer dwells within a tent or a temple, but in the Lord Jesus Christ and in His body, the church. We are God's house if we have trusted in Jesus Christ.

We can look back in retrospect and see how Satan has attempted, through the previous generations, to try and cause the promise made in Genesis 3:15 to fail.  We have seen it happen during the time of Moses and observed it happening during the period of the Judges as Satan continued to cause the people to sin in the hope that God would destroy the nation Israel and therefore Genesis 3:15 could not occur.  But God consistently raised up Judges to bring the people back to Himself and, even during the distressing time of Saul, there was a remnant who worshipped God and kept the promise of the Messiah the Redeemer, the Deliverer, alive in Israel.  Now with the Davidic Covenant in 2 Samuel 7 we discover that it is through the seed of David that the Redeemer will come. Needless to say this gives Satan a much more precise target and he will now begin to attack the progeny of David in an attempt to bring the promise of Genesis 3:15 to naught. Time and time again the various kings that are of the lineage of David sin and God sends the prophets to rebuke them.  Satan continues to work through these successive kings as he strives against God to try and eliminate this Davidic line.  We have the promise of I Kings 11:36 that there will always be
'a lamp unto David' in Jerusalem and this promised seed is referred to as the candle, the lamp, that is always burning, always flickering and never quite going out, for it is like the Eternal Flame and as long as that Eternal Flame burns the one who sees it can look back to that time when God made this promise to David in 1000 B.C.  So the flame continues to burn and the seed of David continues to sit in the throne. Even during the time of Jeremiah, 400 years later, in 600 BC, one of David's progeny is seated on the throne although he is an evil king.  He is so evil that Jeremiah pronounces a curse on him and prophesies (Jeremiah 22:302):

"Thus says the LORD, 'Write this man down childless, A man who will not prosper in his days; For no man of his descendants will prosper Sitting on the throne of David, Or ruling again in Judah.'"

However, Jeremiah, too, affirms this soon coming righteous King despite the faithlessness of intermediate kings, such as Jehoiakim:

(Jer 23:52)"Behold, the days are coming," declares the LORD, "When I shall raise up for David a righteous Branch; And He will reign as king and act wisely And do justice and righteousness in the land.  (Jer 33:15)  'In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch of David to spring forth; and He shall execute justice and righteousness on the earth.  (Jer 33:17)  "For thus says the LORD, 'David shall never lack a man to sit on the throne of the house of Israel; (Jer 33:22)  'As the host of heaven cannot be counted, and the sand of the sea cannot be measured, so I will multiply the descendants of David My servant and the Levites who minister to Me.'" (Jer 33:26)  then I would reject the descendants of Jacob and David My servant, not taking from his descendants rulers over the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. But I will restore their fortunes and will have mercy on them.'" ( Jer 36:30)  'Therefore thus says the LORD concerning Jehoiakim king of Judah, "He shall have no one to sit on the throne of David, and his dead body shall be cast out to the heat of the day and the frost of the night.

We ask ourselves what now happens to the promise made in 2 Samuel 7?  The seed of David is cursed and no one will prosper. The years go by and in the gospels we read about the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ and discover that he is legal heir to the throne of David through his father Joseph. Now Joseph is certainly not prospering and he also does not appear to be a king of Israel - yet he is legally entitled to the throne of Israel.  But there simply is no monarchy because the nation is under Roman occupation.  Nevertheless, Jesus is the legal son of Joseph and entitled to the throne of David through this king upon whom the curse was pronounced.  From all outward appearances this line of Joseph is not prospering.  How can the Lord Jesus Christ ever prosper on the throne of David since that lineage was cursed.  This is the reason for the dual genealogy.  When we read the genealogy in Matthew through Joseph we find that this genealogy is under the curse placed by Jeremiah, and this is recorded in Matthew 1:11.  However, if we examine the genealogy of the Lord Jesus Christ through Mary, as recorded by Luke, we discover that Mary's genealogy is also traced to David but she is of the seed of Nathan, the son of David, rather than Solomon.  This is one of the reasons for the Virgin Birth. By being Virgin born the Lord Jesus Christ has no physical connection either with the sin of Adam or with the curse on the lineage of Joseph.  By being the Virgin born son of Mary he is connected to David and by-passes the curse on the lineage of Joseph.  As a result, He is heir to the throne and heir to the Davidic covenant, the promise made in 2 Samuel 7 which reveals that He will have someone on the throne forever.  He is the Lamp which shall never be put out in Jerusalem; He is the Light which burns eternally.  But He is not married and He has no offspring and goes to the cross and is crucified and dies.  When the Lord Jesus Christ died all the inhabitants of the netherworld and Satan's demons rejoiced because they believed that after thousands of years the promise that God had made in the garden in Genesis 3:15 had finally been brought to nothing.  But we know that three days later the Lord Jesus Christ came back from the grave and the Lamp will never be extinguished and David had a seed, eternal in the heavens sitting on the throne, for the Lord Jesus Christ today is the physical heir, the physical seed of the promise made to David in 2 Samuel 7 that
"he will have a house for his name and his throne and hid kingdom will be established forever."

Sections Two and Three are found in verse 16:
"And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever". David was promised three things to be realized after his death: An eternal seed, finally realized in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ.  An eternal kingdom, set aside for the present, but to be re-established again when the Lord Jesus returns to earth. An eternal throne, the symbol of the kingdom which will be established, upon which Christ Himself will sit. All these promises were conveyed by God to David through the prophet Nathan.  What an incredible privilege for the prophet Nathan to announce the Davidic Covenant to his monarch.

David listened in awe to the words of God through Nathan. Then in humility and gratitude, he sought to commune with the Lord, sitting before the Ark and saying (v18ff.5),
Who am I, O Lord God? and what is my house, that thou hast brought me hitherto? And this was yet a small thing in thy sight, O Lord God, but thou hast spoken also of thy servant's house for a great while to come.  David continued, recognizing that nothing in him deserved such exaltation (v215): "For thy word's sake, and according to thine own heart, hast thou done all these great things, to make thy servant know them."  From there he continued in a beautiful prayer of worship, and exaltation, and glory to God.

A major reason why God did not permit King David to fulfill his dream of building Him a temple, was the fact that his career had been one consisting of much bloodshed. This is made clear in I Chronicles 22:85, where David speaks these words:
"But the word of the Lord came to me, saying, Thou hast shed blood abundantly, and hast made great wars: thou shalt not build an house unto my name, because thou hast shed much blood upon the earth in my sight."  In 2 Samuel 8, we have some further evidence of this as David fights to subdue those neighbouring kingdoms who still seek to cause trouble on their common borders.  After a successful assault against the Philistines, he engaged in a major battle to subdue the Moabites. Here we get a little more insight into one of the customs of the day. For the most part, prisoners were not taken unless they could be profitably sold as slaves. It was not feasible to provide for their sustenance, so prisoners were usually slain after a battle. In chapter 8, David practices this custom in his military conquests.  It is interesting to remember that only a few years earlier he had entrusted his parents' safety to the king of Moab. Now, to expand his territory and secure his borders, He has engaged them in battle and defeated them. He made the captives lie down on the ground in three lines, then he ordered two lines to be put to death while those in the third became his servants. The remainder of the chapter summarizes David's conquests and we read that 'David made a name for himself' (2 Samuel 8:13) as he subdued the surrounding nations and installed chief officials in his government and 'administered justice and righteousness for all his people' (2 Samuel 8:152).

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References:

  1. McKane, William. 1 and 2 Samuel. Torch Bible Commentaries. London: SCM Press,  1963.
  2. New American Standard Bible, The Lockman Foundation, 1977
  3. Hertzberg, H.W. I and 2 Samuel: A Commentary, Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1964.
  4. Vos, Howard F. 1, 2 Samuel. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1983.
  5. King James Authorized Bible, 1769

                                                                                       (Continued on page 569)

Early Trials of King David!

An Amalekite foolishly claims to have killed King Saul!

Conflict places the burden of being the "blood avenger" on Joab!

The political implications from the events surrounding the assassination of Abner!

The political and military structure in the North and South Kingdoms (1009 B.C.)

King David's two coronations (1010 B.C. and 1003 B.C.)

King David's major post-coronation accomplishments over Israel and Judah (1003 B.C.)

King David's early history reveals a clear spiritual gulf from King Saul!

The Davidic Covenant (2 Samuel 7)

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