The Davidic Covenant
Today’s Text: 2 SAMUEL 7:8-16
Life of David
David moved the Ark of the Covenant to the city of David with purpose. He genuinely wanted Jerusalem to not only be the center of Israel’s government, but also the focal point for the worship of Jehovah. Relocating the Ark was the first step in his strategy, but God’s plans exceeded anything David envisioned.
The tabernacle was a fitting structure for the Ark while the nation was developing, transitioning, and plagued by enemies. David’s leadership brought unity and stability to the nation resulting in a level of peace never before experienced in Israel.
With the Ark safely in the City of David, the king consulted Nathan the prophet about his desire to make Jerusalem the center of Israel’s religious life. David wanted to build a temple to house the Ark.
Nathan readily sanctioned David’s idea. In this case, Nathan spoke as a wise God-fearing man, but his words to David were not the words of the Lord. He undoubtedly based his approval on David’s integrity and the obvious piety embodied in the proposal. Nathan assumed God’s approval, but didn’t have all the facts.
“But it happened that night that the word of the Lord came to Nathan, saying, ‘Go and tell My servant David, ‘Thus says the Lord . . .'” (1 Sam. 7:4-5). God didn’t denounce David’s proposal. He didn’t censure David’s desire to build the temple.
God planned for the temple to be built in Jerusalem (Dt. 12:5). David had a “heart for God,” but a different personality was required to build the temple. David’s son would have that privilege. God had something greater in mind for David although he would be instrumental in amassing materials for project.
Nathan returned admitting he had spoken prematurely and clarified that David would not be responsible for the actual construction of the temple.
2 SAMUEL 7:16
“And your house and your kingdom shall be established forever before you. Your throne shall be established forever.”
Nathan’s startling message to David that day is referred to as the Davidic Covenant—one of four unilateral covenants God made with Israel. Unilateral covenants are unconditional; God is the sole guarantor responsible for their fulfillment. Nathan told David, “your house and your kingdom shall be established forever before you. Your throne shall be established forever” (2 Sam. 7:16).
The first provision of God’s promise to David was “a house” (2 Sam. 7:16). God was not promising David a palace; he already had one. (1) God guaranteed a dynasty, a royal line of descent or posterity that would continue forever. God explicitly declares, “I have sworn to My servant David; your seed I will establish forever, and build up your throne to all generations” (Ps. 89:3-4).
The promise is verified repeatedly in Scripture. (2) Even after Jehoram, a descendant of David, married Ahab’s daughter and did, “evil in the eyes of the Lord,” God stood by His promise and would not, “destroy the house of David because of the covenant He had made with David” (2 Chron. 21:6-7).
Second, in addition to an eternal dynasty, God promised David an everlasting kingdom. Although not functioning at all times and in every period of subsequent history, the kingdom continues to be viable. Despite millennia of Gentile domination, the kingdom has and continues to be a reality capable of restoration to full function at any time.
Finally, God promised David that his throne like his posterity and kingdom would be, established forever (2 Sam. 7:16). The Davidic right to rule continues from David’s time into the future. In spite of periods when others usurped rule over Israel, God guarantees that the kingdom and the throne rightfully belong to David in perpetuity.
Scripture confirms that the Davidic Covenant is perfectly fulfilled in the Messiah who is not only a descendant of King David the son of Jesse, but also the only One capable of an eternal reign (Isa. 11:1, 10). Both the 2nd and the 110th Psalms along with other Old Testament passages establish Messiah’s rule over the earth (Ps. 2:4, 6; 110:2; Is. 52:15).
Messiah will govern from David’s throne in Jerusalem during the Messianic Kingdom—a kingdom that will continue into eternity with the new heaven and earth. Israel’s Messiah is the hope for the whole world.
David was planning to build a temple. God was planning for Messiah and the Messianic Kingdom!
Don’t be tempted to be discouraged by events unfolding in the world. Encourage your heart with the knowledge that these circumstances are temporary and under God’s sovereign control as His plans for the Messianic Kingdom are ultimately fulfilled.
Charles E. McCracken is an international Bible teacher, long-time friend of Israel and advocate for the Jewish people. Rev. McCracken authentically communicates biblical truth making his presentations relevant for those seeking to understand the significance of Israel and the church in Bible prophecy. He staunchly supports the nation of Israel and the Jewish people’s right to exist and live in peace.
© Charles E. McCracken 2016, devotional comments only. Repost/Reprint with permission from the author. Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved. (Emphasis added.)
1) Mazar, Eliat, 2015. Did I Find King David’s Palace? Biblical Archaeology, December 08.
2) For further study, read:
Isaiah 9:7; 11:1-10; 55:3-5
Acts 13:34; Rev. 3:7
1) Réconstitution de Jérusalem et du temple d’Hérode. 1886-1894, By James Tissot, [PD-US, PD-Art], via brooklynmuseum.org – Enhancement: MKM Portfolios
2) Nathan advises King David. 1672, by Matthias Scheits (1630 – 1700) [PD-US, PD-Art], via Wikimedia Commons ~ Enhancement courtesy: MKM Portfolios