Jesus and the Davidic Covenant


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Slide Study of 2 Samuel 7:4-16

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Jesus and the Davidic Covenant

  1. 1. 2 Samuel 7:4–16 An Eternal Kingdom
  2. 2. Context Today’s text marks a high point in Old Testament history. After generations of living in the promised land under the leadership of judges, Israel had begged God to give them a king, so they could be like the mighty nations around them (1 Samuel 8:5–7).
  3. 3. Context God reluctantly pointed Israel to Saul, a man who appeared quite kingly because of his impressive stature and accomplishments on the battlefield (11:14, 15), but Saul willfully disobeyed God. Rejecting Saul as king, God sent the prophet Samuel to the household of Jesse, where Samuel anointed David, the youngest of Jesse’s sons, as king (16:1, 11–13).
  4. 4. Context David rose to prominence soon after he defeated Goliath and won other triumphs on the battlefield. Saul, still on Israel’s throne, thought that he had a dangerous rival in David (1 Samuel 18:7–9), so Saul spent the latter years of his life pursuing David off and on to kill him.
  5. 5. Context David hid himself successfully and never attempted to harm Saul directly in retaliation (24:1–7; 26:7–12). Saul was mortally wounded in battle and took his own life (31:4). With Saul dead, the tribe of Judah acclaimed David as king (2 Samuel 2:4). He led Judah’s armies in battle against the Jebusites (5:6, 7), conquered their city Jebus, renamed it Jerusalem, and made it his capital.
  6. 6. Context Soon all Israel affirmed David as king. In the early years of his reign, David enjoyed economic and military success. He built himself a palace in Jerusalem (5:11). To that city he brought the tabernacle, Israel’s portable center of worship (6:17).
  7. 7. Context As 2 Samuel 7 begins, David had surveyed the situation in Jerusalem and announced that it was unfitting for him to live in a palace while God was worshipped in a tent. At first, the prophet Nathan approved David’s plan— presumably to build a temple to replace the tabernacle. At this point our text begins and the date is about 1002 BC (1 Chronicles 17:3–14).
  8. 8. Context While David sought to build a temple for God, God instead promised to build a dynasty for him that would be ruled over by His Son, the eternal King. The advent of Christ was fulfillment of that promise and just recognition of the Messianic prophecy.
  9. 9. Context As we study the promise and fulfillment of that covenant, we too should take courage that God still remains in control of history and will fulfill all that has been promised.
  10. 10. 2 Samuel 7:4-7 But that same night the word of the Lord came to Nathan: 5Go and tell my servant David: Thus says the Lord: Are you the one to build me a house to live in? 6I have not lived in a house since the day I brought up the people of Israel from Egypt to this day, but I have been moving about in a tent and a tabernacle.
  11. 11. 2 Samuel 7:4-7 7Wherever I have moved about among all the people of Israel, did I ever speak a word with any of the tribal leaders of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, saying, ‘Why have you not built me a house of cedar?’
  12. 12. 2 Samuel 7:4-7 King David felt that it was unsuitable for him to be dwelling in his fine home while the ark of God was kept inside tent curtains. So he notified Nathan the prophet of his intention to build a house for the ark. Nathan at first approved, apparently because he acted without consulting the Lord.
  13. 13. 2 Samuel 7:4-7 God is about to speak against David’s plans. God does not communicate directly to David, but sends the message through the prophet Nathan. This prophet also needed correction since he has embraced David’s wrong thinking (2 Samuel 7:3).
  14. 14. 2 Samuel 7:4-7 God’s address of David as my servant brings to mind the fact that David, unlike Saul, has sought to obey God even when doing so seemed to go against David’s own interests. David, God’s servant, presumes that he will do God a favor.
  15. 15. 2 Samuel 7:4-7 God recounts a bit of history for David. The time frame for bringing the children of Israel out of Egypt, even to this day exceeds 400 years. It was God himself who chose the tabernacle as His symbolic dwelling place after that exodus.
  16. 16. 2 Samuel 7:4-7 Although a house of sorts came to be in Shiloh (1 Samuel 1), God has never authorized a fixed place such as David wants to construct to replace the tabernacle. The tabernacle or tent, with its design specified in Exodus, was to accommodate Israel’s journey to the Promised Land by being portable.
  17. 17. 2 Samuel 7:4-7 While the design included many lavish elements, a tent structure by nature is modest compared with a fixed building. The tabernacle’s relatively modest, portable design expressed something of God’s larger purpose: God’s rule even unto David’s day is to be manifested not in material grandeur but in the lives of the lowly who come to Him in their need.
  18. 18. 2 Samuel 7:4-7 There is no indication in the text that David prayed about his decision to build a temple before announcing it to Nathan (2 Samuel 7:1). Neither is there any indication that that prophet prayed about it before responding to David with his own agreement (7:2). God corrects their presumption.
  19. 19. 2 Samuel 7:4-7 Verses 5–7 are framed by two questions asked by the Lord, both of which pertain to building a temple for Him. The first question, asking if David was the one who should build the temple, expected a negative answer (1 Chr. 17:4). According to 1 Chr. 22:8; 28:3, David was not chosen by God to build the temple because he was a warrior who had shed much blood.
  20. 20. 2 Samuel 7:4-7 The second question, asking if the Lord had ever commanded any leader to build a temple for His ark, also expected a negative answer. So, contrary to Nathan’s and David’s intentions and assumptions, God did not want a house at that time and did not want David to build one.
  21. 21. 2 Samuel 7:4-7 Using repetitive expressions, God emphasizes that He has never even hinted that Israel replace the tabernacle with a grand house, as construction with cedar suggests (2 Samuel 5:11). God’s faithfulness to His people has far exceeded their obedience to Him, yet God has not called on anyone to respond by building a temple.
  22. 22. 2 Samuel 7:4-7 The word shepherd is a metaphor of leadership and was used throughout the ancient Middle East to refer to national leaders (Ezek. 34:2) or those charged by God to ensure the well-being of the people as shepherds do for sheep.
  23. 23. 2 Samuel 7:4-7 David has famously risen to be king above those leaders, but even David is not an exception in this regard. The Great Shepherd is, of course, God (Ps. 23).
  24. 24. 2 Samuel 7:4-7 God’s corrective instruction to first Nathan and then to David should give us pause when we think we hear God giving us a mission.
  25. 25. 2 Samuel 7:8-16 8Now 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 to be prince over my people Israel; 9and I have been with you wherever you went, and have cut off all your enemies from before you; and I will make for you a great name, like the name of the great ones of the earth.
  26. 26. 2 Samuel 7:8-16 10And I will appoint a place for my people Israel and will plant them, so that they may live in their own place, and be disturbed no more; and evildoers shall afflict them no more, as formerly, 11from the time that I appointed judges over my people Israel; and I will give you rest from all your enemies. Moreover, the Lord declares to you that the Lord will make you a house.
  27. 27. 2 Samuel 7:8-16 12When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come forth from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. 13He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.
  28. 28. 2 Samuel 7:8-16 14I will be a father to him, and he shall be a son to me. When he commits iniquity, I will punish him with a rod such as mortals use, with blows inflicted by human beings. 15But I will not take* my steadfast love from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away from before you.
  29. 29. 2 Samuel 7:8-16 16Your house and your kingdom shall be made sure for ever before me; your throne shall be established forever.
  30. 30. 2 Samuel 7:8-16 These verses state the promises the Lord gave to David. Verses 8–11a give the promises to be realized during David’s lifetime. Verses 11b–16 state the promises that would be fulfilled after David’s death.
  31. 31. 2 Samuel 7:8-16 During David’s lifetime, the Lord gave David “a great name” (Gen. 12:2), appointed a place for Israel; and gave David “rest” from all his enemies. After David’s death, the Lord gave David a son to sit on his national throne, whom the Lord would oversee as a father with necessary chastening, discipline, and mercy (Solomon) and a Son who would rule a kingdom that will be established forever (Messiah).
  32. 32. 2 Samuel 7:8-16 Now God’s message takes a positive turn as He reminds David of that man’s own history. That history involves God’s taking him from lowliness and insignificance to his present power.
  33. 33. 2 Samuel 7:8-16 The story of David’s anointing underlines his insignificance (1 Samuel 16:1–13). God had sent the prophet Samuel to an obscure family in the small village of Bethlehem. There he reviewed each of the sons of Jesse who were present. When none was the one God had chosen, Samuel asked if there was another. Jesse had not bothered to bring his youngest son to Samuel, leaving him to care for the sheep by himself. Apparently, no one thought that David mattered.
  34. 34. 2 Samuel 7:8-16 But God had chosen David, just as God often chooses the seemingly insignificant throughout biblical history. We think of the aged Abraham, the reluctant Moses, or the timid Gideon—all “heroes of the Bible” who were distinguished by their weaknesses, not their capabilities.
  35. 35. 2 Samuel 7:8-16 The nation Israel itself was just so: a small, insignificant nation among its neighbors, but chosen by God to bring blessing to the nations (Genesis 12:1–3).
  36. 36. 2 Samuel 7:8-16 Now that David has attained the throne, he still is not in a position to do a favor for God, even as a gesture of thanks. God remains in control of His gifts and His plans. God will show again that His “strength is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
  37. 37. 2 Samuel 7:8-16 Whatever greatness David has, God has given. It is in this light that God announces that David will not give to God, but God will continue to give to David. David will not have the chance to think of himself as a great builder (Daniel 4:28–30).
  38. 38. 2 Samuel 7:8-16 We should note well that God’s promise is given not because David proves worthy where others do not. Moving beyond 2 Samuel 7, we see David’s deep failures: favoritism within his family, sexual immorality, even murder.
  39. 39. 2 Samuel 7:8-16 The promise is to David by God’s grace. It is an unmerited gift, given to David despite that man’s unworthiness. It is given to Israel despite Israel’s unworthiness. Ultimately it is given to all humanity, despite all our unworthiness.
  40. 40. 2 Samuel 7:8-16 David eventually ends up suffering as a result of his failure to remain faithful (2 Samuel 24). A generation later, Solomon will be told that his own idolatry will mean the loss of Israel’s unity (1 Kings 11:9–11). Finally, Israel will be taken captive—first the northern tribes in 722 BC, then the southern tribes in 586 BC— because of generations of unfaithfulness (2 Kings 15:29; 25:8–11).
  41. 41. 2 Samuel 7:8-16 But subsequent reminders of God’s promise will show that Israel’s unfaithfulness does not cancel the promise. God promises to restore the captive people, granting them the peace that He has long promised, even though they prove to be unfaithful generation after generation (Deuteronomy 30:1–5).
  42. 42. 2 Samuel 7:8-16 Ultimately this promise is fulfilled not in any political event but through the gospel of Jesus. By this means God gives lasting peace, unshakable security, and genuine prosperity to His people, wherever they are in God’s world.
  43. 43. 2 Samuel 7:8-16 The words of verse 14 are directly related to Jesus the Messiah in Heb. 1:5. In Semitic thought, since the son had the full character of the father, the future seed of David would have the same essence of God. That Jesus Christ was God incarnate is the central theme of John’s gospel.
  44. 44. 2 Samuel 7:8-16 As a human father disciplines his sons, so the Lord would discipline the seed, if he committed iniquity. This has reference to the intermediary seed until Messiah’s arrival (any king of David’s line from Solomon on)
  45. 45. 2 Samuel 7:8-16 However, the ultimate Seed of David will not be a sinner like David and his descendants were, as recorded in Samuel and Kings (2 Cor. 5:21). Significantly, Chronicles, focusing more directly on the Messiah, does not include this statement in its record of Nathan’s words (1 Chr. 17:13).
  46. 46. 2 Samuel 7:8-16 Luke 1:32b, 33 indicates that these 3 terms in verse 16 (house, kingdom, throne) are fulfilled in Jesus, “… and the Lord God will give 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.” forever.
  47. 47. 2 Samuel 7:8-16 This word conveys the idea of an indeterminately long time or into eternity future. It does not mean that there cannot be interruptions, but rather that the outcome is guaranteed. Christ’s Davidic reign will conclude human history.
  48. 48. Conclusions The covenant with David is the fourth of the theocratic covenants (pertaining to the rule of God). In this covenant David is promised three things: (1) a land forever (v. 10); (2) an unending dynasty (vv. 11, 16); and (3) an everlasting kingdom (vv. 13, 16).
  49. 49. Conclusions The birth of Solomon, David’s son who is to succeed him, is predicted (v. 12). His particular role is to establish the throne of the Davidic kingdom forever (v. 13).
  50. 50. Conclusions His throne continues, though his seed is cursed in the person of Jeconiah (Coniah), who was the king under whom the nation was carried captive to Babylon. Jeremiah prophesies that no one whose genealogical descent could be traced back to David through Jeconiah and Solomon would ever sit on David’s throne (Jer. 22:24–30).
  51. 51. Conclusions Joseph, the legal, but not physical, father of Jesus traces his lineage to David through Jeconiah (Matt. 1:1–17). David, however, had another son, Nathan. His line was not cursed. Mary, the physical mother of Jesus, traces her lineage back to David through Nathan (Luke 3:23–38).
  52. 52. Conclusions Notice the care and the extent to which God goes to keep His word and to preserve its truthfulness. The virgin birth was absolutely essential not only to assure the sinless character of Jesus but also to fulfill the Davidic covenant.
  53. 53. Conclusions Jesus receives His “blood right” to David’s throne through His earthly mother, Mary, and His “legal right” to David’s throne through His adoptive earthly father, Joseph. The virgin birth guarantees that one of David’s line will sit on David’s throne and rule forever, while at the same time preserving intact the curse and restriction on the line of descent through Jeconiah.
  54. 54. Conclusions David wanted to build a temple for God, but Solomon was given the privilege. Undoubtedly the character of David’s life work for God was fighting, not building. But even by this fighting he was clearing the way for another to lay the foundation of that house of worship which his heart had so fondly desired to build.
  55. 55. Conclusions After the warring was over, Solomon erected the temple from materials which David had prepared. David represents Christ in His suffering and victory over the great enemy. Solomon represents Christ in His glory after the suffering and the conflicts are finished. The church, which is the true temple of God, having Christ for its chief cornerstone, will be manifested in the last day.
  56. 56. Conclusions Now in the church’s days of suffering and conflict the materials are being prepared for this glorious building for God.