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2 Samuel 7:1-17: The Forever King Print E-mail
2 Samuel
Sunday, 30 July 2017

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Many consider Godís covenant with David found in 2 Samuel 7 to be one of the most important passages in the entire Old Testament. One of my commentatorís writes: ďThe Lordís words recorded here arguable play the single most significant role of any Scripture found in the Old Testament in shaping the Christian understanding of Jesus.Ē1 He goes on to highlight seven teachings about Jesus that find their foundation in this passage. The prophets will point to this text as they write about the Messianic hope to come and the New Testament writers will continually point back to Godís covenant with David as a promise for the coming of Jesus, the greater Son of David. So this morning, I want to slow down a bit and just look at the first seventeen verses of 2 Samuel 7.

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Before we look at what God says to David through the prophet Nathan, we need to note the situation. As we saw last week, David is now Godís king reigning in Godís place (Jerusalem) enjoying Godís peace and Godís presence. One of the foreign kings helped David build a great palace for him and his family in Jerusalem. And now that the ark has been successfully transferred to the city, David now wants to build a house for God. Look at verses 1-3. It seems like a good idea and even the prophet agrees with it. But the Lord has other plans. He uses this occasion to reveal to David the plans that He has for His kingdom. We can break up the covenant into three sections, which all reveal a specific characteristic of God. Letís consider these.

Sufficiency: ĎI do not need you to build me a houseí (v. 4-7)

The Lord begins by reminding David that He has yet to dwell in a house among His people. Look at verses 4-6. God has never dwelled in a house among Israel. Rather, He had always dwelled in a tent. Of course, this was the case for much of the time because Israel was constantly on the move. Once they left Egypt it was many years until they were actually living in the Promised Land. Yet even then, the Lord did not tell any of the judges to build Him a house. Look at verse 7. The Lord never went to Moses or Joshua or Samson or Samuel and commanded them to build Him a house. Thus, the Lord is not looking for David to build Him one now.

Of course, we might be wondering why the Lord is making this point with David. We know that the Lord will in fact command Solomon to build Him a house, so why not David? Let me answer with a couple of thoughts. First, David is told that he will not build Godís house because he was a man of much bloodshed (1 Chronicles 22:6-10). Solomon enjoyed peace and was therefore charged to build the temple. Second, the Lord is reminding David of His self-sufficiency. This is significant because in those days many kings built temples for their gods as a way of thanking them and asking them for further blessing. It was something a king could do for the god. But Israelís God is not like those other gods. He does not need to be served by human hands and He does not dwell in temples made by man (see Acts 17:24-25). Solomon may build a temple for the ark, but it is not because God was unable to do it by Himself or because God needs a home on earth. No, He is self-sufficient. His words to David highlight this characteristic.

Sovereignty: ĎI have made you king over my peopleí (v. 8-11a)

David has not helped the Lord, but the Lord has helped him. In fact, it has been Godís plan and Godís purposes for David to be king. He has brought that about. Look at verses 8-9a. The only reason David is not a shepherd in Bethlehem is because God took (him) from the pasture. And all the victories that David has one were because God cut off (his) enemies. The sovereign Lord has been working out His plans in Davidís life. I donít see this so much as a rebuke of David, for the king is consistently giving God credit for everything that has happened to him. Rather, I think the Lord is reminding Him of all that He has done to encourage Davidís faith in all that He is going to do, which He tells him about in verses 9b-11a. Look at those with me. Notice the change from past tense verbs to future verbs. The Lord has been with David: I have been with you wherever you went. And now the Lord is promising David that He will continue to be with him. He will make his name great (a point that is true even this morning as we continue to study his life). And not just him, but the Lord has a future plan for His people. He is going to give them rest from their enemies on all sides. He is going to provide a place of peace for them. Great and glorious promises from the Sovereign Lord.

Godís sovereign control over Davidís life has been evident since Samuel anointed him so long ago. From the victory over Goliath to running from Saul to now ruling over all of Israel, God has been ruling over everything that has happened to David. If David believes that, then he will be encouraged to believe all that God has promised to do in the future. Of course, we live on the other end of many of these promises being fulfilled. God did make Davidís name great and He did give Godís people rest during the days of Solomon. Yet, we also know that there is more to the story. Even now we are watching and waiting for Godís sovereign plan to unfold. And we should be encouraged to believe that all His plans will come to pass by His work in Davidís life.

Supremacy: ĎI will build you a house and establish a Forever King (v. 11b-17)

Instead of David building a house for God, God is going to build a house for David. Look at verse 11b. When David was talking about building a house for God, he was referring to a house of cedar, a physical place in which the ark could dwell. But when God tells David that He is going to build him a house, He is referring to a dynasty, ongoing descendants who will reign on the throne. This will begin with a son. Look at verses 12-13. These are important promises from the Lord. When David dies, God is going to raise up your offspring after you. This offspring that God raises up will be from Davidís body, a physical descendant of David. And he will build a house for God and God will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. This is a bold promise. God is going to establish a forever kingdom through the line of David.

God also tells David that He will be a Father to Davidís son. Look at verses 14-15. Since Davidís son will be Godís son, the Lord tells David that he will discipline him when he commits sin. Yet, he makes it clear that He will not remove the covenant from him as He did with Saul. David had seen this happen to Saul and was surely encouraged by the Lordís words here.

Finally, God tells David again that his house and throne will be forever. Look at verses 16-17. Notice the repetition of forever. The Kingdom that will be established through Davidís line will be a forever kingdom. It will be sure before the Lord. These are amazing promises for God and show His total supremacy over all things. God doesnít just have a plan for David, God has a plan for forever. He is bringing about forever plans through the line of David. He is supreme over all.

The obvious question from this passage is this: who is going to fulfill these promises? As with many prophecies in the Old Testament, we must be careful to see the immediate fulfillment along with the ultimate fulfillment. How do we see that here?

The immediate fulfillment of these promises is found in Davidís son Solomon. It is Solomon who will build the temple for Godís name (see 1 Kings 6). Is is Solomon who will be disciplined by the Lord. Through Solomon and his sons the kingdom of David will be established. Yet, there is one problem with Solomon being the fulfillment: he dies (1 Kings 11:43). But he does have descendants who reign over at least the Kingdom of Judah for many years. Yet, even that Kingdom is defeated by the Babylonians. So maybe the Lord will not keep this promise. Perhaps this just a bit of overstatement by the Lord. How will David have a descendant on the throne forever?

The ultimate fulfillment of these promises is found in Davidís son Jesus. Jesus will build a temple for Godís name called the church (see Ephesians 2:19-22, 1 Corinthians 3:16-17). Even though Jesus never sins, He will be disciplined with the stripes of the sons of men to pay for our sin at the cross. And when the Father raises Him victorious from the grave, never to taste death again, and seats Him at His right hand, then the kingdom is established forever. David was promised a Forever King and Jesus is the fulfillment of that promise.

If Jesus is truly the Forever King, the One who will be seated on the throne forever, then surely He deserves our praise and our allegiance. The glorious good news is that if we repent of our sins and believe in Him, our sins can be forgiven and we can brought into His Forever Kingdom. I plead with you to follow King Jesus today. Spend your life in service to Him. Not because He needs your help, but because He has given us the awesome privilege of bringing glory to His name. All hail King Jesus, Son of David, Son of God, Forever King! Amen.

1 Robert D. Bergen, 1-2 Samuel NAC (Nashville, TN: Broadman and Holman, 1996), p. 337.

~ William Marshall ~

Last Updated ( Thursday, 24 August 2017 )

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