2 Samuel 7:1-16 — God’s covenant with David provides Israel and the world with the promised Redeemer, the everlasting Son of David
Set in a time of peace for David and Israel, this lesson exalts the everlasting God’s generous grace. This Bible passage records God’s unconditional covenant with David, promising him an eternal seed and an eternal throne. In it, we are reminded that God exerts His power, wisdom, and knowledge for the good of His people. His people are those who love Him with their all and live in faithful obedience to His will. In other words, God commits Himself to do great things for those who will love Him, cleave to Him, and live for Him. We can have full confidence that this sovereign, omnipotent, eternal God always works everything “together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). That is divine grace!
When the LORD chose to institute a covenant with Abram, He did so because He is a gracious God. In that covenant, He established the chosen family for the Redeemer promised to Eve. He also provided a choice homeland for the family to grow into a nation. And He gave them their identity and their connection with God, anchoring their hope and vision for the future.
In His covenant with David, God established Israel’s royal family for the Seed of Abraham. He also provided the throne of the coming Redeemer King. And He extended Israel’s identity, hope, and vision through today. In these covenant provisions we can see the Davidic covenant as a renewal and an extension of the Abrahamic covenant.
More Divine Promises in the Covenant With David
God’s covenant with David included some promises specifically for him in his lifetime. David’s name would become great as the monarchs dominating most of the eastern Mediterranean region — an astounding success story for a former shepherd. David’s nation would finally enjoy a secure homeland, at peace and thriving.
This covenant also had provisions that extended beyond David’s lifetime to his descendants and successors. His son and immediate successor would build the temple David wanted so much to build. God would give David a perpetual dynasty whose right to rule will go to no other family ever (cf, Psalm 89:34-37). His kingdom would become an everlasting kingdom.
One dimension of the Davidic covenant applied to David as well as his descendants. Jehovah would be as a personal Father to them. Such a God-man relationship was not the norm in the Old Testament setting. But this promise was no blank check for the recipients to do what they pleased without punishment for evil. David experienced God’s discipline and judgment on several occasions. Decades later, Israel’s next king, David’s son Solomon, remembered the connection between sonship and discipline. He wrote, “Despise not the chastening of the LORD… For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth” (Proverbs 3:11, 12).
David responded to the revelation of this magnificent covenant with humble awe at God’s grace (18-21) and joyful praise to God for His greatness (22-24). He also appealed for God’s enduring remembrance and faithfulness (25, 26) and requested God’s perpetual blessing on him and his descendants (27-29). Notice in verse 29 that he wanted his house to continue forever before the LORD. He didn’t just want a perpetual family, he wanted a faithful family. David wanted his descendants to be God’s people.
A Covenant Extending Beyond Time
In keeping with the covenant, God gave each son in the Davidic line the opportunity to pass along the covenant to his son. In this ongoing, open-ended, renewable, eternal covenant, each generation had to be faithful. Each generation could lose its place in the promise without jeopardizing the covenant’s long-term durability. None of David’s descendants up til Jesus was as faithful as he was. Even though the kingdom and the monarchy eventually ceased due to sin and dispersion, God always maintained David’s family line throughout the rest of the Old Testament period. Whether David’s earthly family line continues to this day, we don’t know with any certainty.
The covenant will be fulfilled when one of David’s biological descendants occupies his throne forever. That biological offspring of David is his greatest son, the Lord Jesus. Jesus had no children, so His human genealogy goes no further. But that doesn’t matter since He is that long-awaited eternal Heir of the throne of David. “God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end” (Luke 1:32, 33).
(I excerpted the above from a lesson I wrote for Bible 906 in the new Sunrise Edition of CLE Bible 900.)
A Child to Fulfill God’s Covenant With David
In one of Isaiah’s familiar prophecies (Isaiah 9:6,7), a Child would be born to rule — the powerful, divine, eternal Prince of Peace. This Child was to be born as the most exquisite gift — a gift from God to mankind; a gift not all deserved, yet entirely needed.
Even the best, most righteous, longest reigning monarchs leave their people after a relatively brief reign. But this Child, the Christ, shall reign over and bless His people unendingly. His rule upon the throne of David will be the fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant (2 Samuel 7:8-16). All kingdoms shall become His (Revelation 11:15). But even before that time, Jesus’ kingdom is real now for those whom He has delivered from the power of darkness (Colossians 1:13). Until that day when He imposes His authority and will upon all, each person may voluntarily yield to His authority and will.
Excerpted from what I wrote for CLE’s new Sunrise Bible 908 Lesson 14 (Bible 900)
Son of God and Son of David
Progressing from the Abrahamic and Mosaic covenants, the Davidic covenant declared the enduring throne of David for the everlasting Son of David. God promised to build David’s house, leading to an eternal kingdom (2 Samuel 7:11-16, 25-29). One of his sons would also be God’s Son. Centuries later, the angel Gabriel declared that Mary’s Son would be great, the Son of the Most High, the Son of David, and the eternal King on the throne of His father David (Luke 1:31-33). The coming Christ, the Seed of Abraham, would do what the Law of the Mosaic covenant could not do.
Excerpted from what I wrote for CLE’s new Sunrise Bible 910 Lesson 14 (Bible 900)
What God Promised in His Covenant With David
- Cause his son to build the temple David wanted to build (1-7).
- Make David’s name great (9).
- Plant Israel in her own land (10).
- Make Israel’s territory a place of security (10, 11).
- Establish David’s son on the throne (12).
- Be a Father to and provide discipline for David’s son (14).
- Give David’s son the opportunity to “pass along” the covenant to his own son (16) in an ongoing, open-ended, renewable, eternal covenant.