2 Samuel 7[i]
David is one of the most famous kings that ever lived. From the slaying of Goliath to his sin with Bathsheba, David is well known.
The road to the throne for David was not easy.
For years, he lived as a fugitive, running from Saul, hiding in caves and holes in the ground. During this period of time, fugitives, bankrupts and those who had fallen on hard times gathered around David. He soon had an army of 600 men who followed him everywhere.
When Saul died, the people of David's tribe, Judah, crowned him king. However, the rest of Israel remained faithful to the house of Saul and crowned Saul’s son, Ish-bosheth, king. This resulted in a civil war that lasted seven years.
When the civil war finally ended, David captured the city of Jerusalem and made it his capital. Then, after a period of time, David moved the Ark of the Covenant into the city of Jerusalem.
2 Samuel 7:1-2 says:
When King David was settled in his palace and the LORD had given him rest from all the surrounding enemies, the king summoned Nathan the prophet. “Look,” David said, “I am living in a beautiful cedar palace, but the Ark of God is out there in a tent!”
Apparently, David had time to build a palace. God had blessed him tremendously. He was settled in his palace. He had subdued the surrounding nations, and he was King over all of Israel.
David wanted to build a temple, a house, for the Lord. So he checked with the Lord to see if this would be all right.
The Lord said, “Are you the one to build a house for me to live in?” (2 Samuel 7:5)
It is part of our humanness to want to build something for the Lord. We also take pride in our achievements, and can be impressed with the work of our own hands. However, from God's perspective, this is all vanity. In Isaiah 66:1-2, God says:
This is what the LORD says: “Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. Could you build me a temple as good as that? Could you build me such a resting place? My hands have made both heaven and earth; they and everything in them are mine. I, the LORD, have spoken!”
God told David that David was not the one to build God’s house. In explaining this, God points out two things. First, He points out that He had never requested or required a house. Second, He points out that He had made David great.
All the way down the long road to the throne, through all the years as a fugitive and through the years of civil war, the Lord had been with David and granted him the success he enjoyed. It was important that David realized this.
It is important for each of us to realize that all the good we enjoy comes from the Lord. A truth follows this. It is found in Psalm 127:1. It says, “Unless the LORD builds a house, the work of the builders is wasted. Unless the LORD protects a city, guarding it with sentries will do no good.”
Some people try to clean up their lives for God. Other people hope to earn their way into God’s favor. Some people live to please themselves. However, all the effort, all the building and whoever we are trying to please is all meaningless unless it is the Lord who builds.
When David asked to build, the Lord said, “No, but let me tell you what I am going to do.” Then God laid out His plan.
The plan that God laid out is known as the Davidic Covenant.
When people trust God, God honors them. God gives His covenants in response to trust.
Noah trusted God. In simple trust, he built a huge boat and was saved from the flood. Then God gave Noah a promise, a covenant. We are reminded of this promise every time we see a rainbow.
Abraham trusted God. In simple trust, he left his homeland and traveled to a strange land and lived as a foreigner in tents for the rest of his life. God gave Abraham a promise. We know this promise as the Abrahamic Covenant. The promise involves the land and making Abraham a great nation. This covenant is why there is a nation called Israel even to this day.
God’s covenant with David was in response to David’s faith. It was not a result of anything David did, for example, like building a magnificent temple.
God is a covenant God, and His covenants are unilateral and based on trust or faith.
God promised three things to David. 1) a place, 2) a house and 3) an everlasting throne.
11) A place
2 Samuel 7:10, “And I will provide a homeland for my people Israel, planting them in a secure place where they will never be disturbed. Evil nations won’t oppress them as they’ve done in the past.”
22) A house
2 Samuel 7:11-13, “Furthermore, the LORD declares that he will make a house for you—a dynasty of kings! For when you die and are buried with your ancestors, I will raise up one of your descendants, your own offspring, and I will make his kingdom strong. He is the one who will build a house—a temple—for my name.”
33) An everlasting inheritance
2 Samuel 7:15 “Your throne will be secure forever.”
“Who am I, O Sovereign LORD, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far? And now, Sovereign LORD, in addition to everything else, you speak of giving your servant a lasting dynasty! Do you deal with everyone this way, O Sovereign LORD?” (2 Samuel 7:18-19)
In answer to the question, "Do you deal with everyone this way?" We can say yes. This is how God deals with people.
Jesus Christ was born a descendent of David. Luke 1: 33 says of Jesus, "And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!"
Jesus is the fulfillment of God's promise to David. Much more than that, Jesus brings all the promises of God to anyone who will receive Him. 2 Corinthians 1:20 says, “For as many as are the promises of God, in Him they are yes.” (NASB)[ii]
God has promised us a place in Jesus Christ. John 14:2-3 says, "There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.”
God has promised us a house. Hebrews 12:23 says:
You have come to the assembly of God's firstborn children, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God himself, who is the judge over all things. You have come to the spirits of the righteous ones in heaven who have now been made perfect.
God has promised us an everlasting inheritance. Romans 8:16-17 says:
For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory.
God is a covenant God.
He makes promises. His character never changes and His promises never fail.
This can be extremely good news or extremely bad news. Exodus 20 puts it in these terms:
I lay the sins of the parents upon their children; the entire family is affected—even children in the third and fourth generations of those who reject me. But I lavish unfailing love for a thousand generations on those who love me and obey my commands. (Exodus 20:5-6)
John 3:36 says, “And anyone who believes in God’s Son has eternal life. Anyone who doesn’t obey the Son will never experience eternal life but remains under God’s angry judgment.”
[i] Unless otherwise noted Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation. Copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Steam, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
[ii] New American Standard Bible Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, Calif. All rights reserved.