By Eugene Garner
THE DAVIDIC COVENANT
AND A ROYAL SEED
Scripture Lesson: 2 Samuel 7:10-16.
David, King of Israel, was unique in that he alone, in the Scriptures, is declared to be "a man after God's own heart,"
(I Sam. 13:14; Acts 13:22). After a long and faithful life-when his kingdom was firmly established and a luxurious dwelling-place had been built for his comfort -- there came into David's heart a desire to build a house for the Lord. From the time Israel had been constituted a nation, at Mt. Sinai, the dwelling-place of God among His people had been between the cherubim -- in a portable tent. Noting the contrast between his own luxurious palace and the humble dwelling of the Most High among the people He so dearly loved, David expressed to Nathan, the prophet, the desire of his heart.
God was please with David's concern, but, because he had been a man of war, would not permit him to build the house. He did, however, make to David a covenant concerning One who would be permitted to build a house for Him. This One should be of the "seed of David," whose house and throne would be established in perpetuity, (I Chron. 28). This covenant is recorded in 2 Samuel 7:10-16; and again in I Chron. 17:7-15). In the 89th Psalm it is confirmed and explained.
I. WHAT WERE THE BASIC PROVISIONS OF THIS COVENANT?
- GOD PROMISED TO ESTABLISH DAVID'S HOUSE (posterity, family) -- MAKING HIS NAME GREAT.
- As He had spoken to Abraham, so He now speaks to David, (Gen. 12:2).
- This had been foretold by Abigail, before she ever became David's wife, (I Sam. 25:28).
- TO DAVID IS PROMISED A ROYAL SEED, (2 Sam. 7:12).
- He will sit on David's throne.
- He will build a house for the Lord, (I Kings 6:11-13; 8:12-21).
- God will be to Him a Father; He will be God's Son.
- God's stedfast love will never depart from Him.
- GOD WILL ESTABLISH THE THRONE AND KINGDOM OF DAVID'S SEED FOREVER, (comp. Isa. 9:7; 49:8).
- This looks far beyond Solomon; he cannot continue forever, by reason of death, (I Chron. 17:14).
- This One will be more glorious than Solomon -- being exalted "higher than the kings of the earth," (Psa. 89:27).
- IF INIQUITY IS DISCOVERED IN DAVID'S SEED IT WILL BE VISITED WITH THE ROD AND WITH STRIPES, (2 Sam. 7:14).
- Such iniquity was discovered in Solomon's successor's and the kingdom was overturned.
- The iniquity was borne by David's other Son, JESUS, Who redeemed all that had been lost; by His stripes we are healed, and He has the incontestable right to sit on David's throne.
- GOD WILL NEVER BREAK HIS COVENANT TO DAVID; IT IS AN EVERLASTING COVENANT, AND HIS PURPOSE WILL NOT FAIL, (2 Sam. 7:15; Psa. 89:33-37).
II. HOW DID DAVID UNDERSTAND GOD'S COVENANT TO HIM?
- HE WAS CONFIDENT THAT HIS HOUSE SHOULD NEVER BE CUT OFF FROM THE ROYAL THRONE, (I Chron. 17:23-27).
- HE RECOGNIZED THAT MUCH OF IT WOULD HAVE A TWO-FOLD FULFILLMENT -- NEAR AND FAR.
- Solomon would sit and prosper on his throne, but a greater than Solomon would reign more gloriously, (I Kings 10:1-7, 18-29; Matt. 12:42).
- Solomon would, indeed, build the house that David had desired to build; but One greater than Solomon would build a spiritual house, (I Chron. 22:5-23:1; Matt. 16:18; I Tim. 3:15; Eph. 2:19-22; 3:20).
- God would look on Solomon as a son (because of the covenant relationship), but in the pre-eminent seed He would truly "visit His people."
- David recognized the promised seed to be one with the "seed of the woman" and the "seed of Abraham"; He would be the One through Whom all nations of the earth should be blessed, (Gal. 3:16; Psa. 25:12-14).
- He understood this seed to be both his son and his Lord, (Psa. 110:1; comp. Matt. 22:41-46).
- He recognized that of the fruit of his own body God would, Himself, sit on David's throne, (Psa. 132:11; comp. Psa. 2:6-12).
- Solomon began to reign before David's death, but the ultimate seed would be established on the throne by divine intervention; this would take place after David had slept with his fathers, (2 Sam. 7:12; comp. Gen. 15:12-15).
- DAVID RECOGNIZED THIS AS AN EVERLASTING COVENANT -- knowing that the Divine Purpose expressed in it could not fail, (2 Sam. 23:5).
- He foresaw the fall of his kingdom, through rebellion and unbelief; yet, he counted God faithful -- believing that he would raise it up and establish it forevermore.
- And he also had a hope of being raised from the dead to share in the experience and blessedness of Messiah's glorious reign.
III. HOW DID THE PSALMISTS AND PROPHETS REGARD THE COVENANT?
With one accord they saw in it the promise of the longed-for Messiah and a universal kingdom of righteousness that would have no end.
- DIVINE TITLES ARE EVERYWHERE ATTRIBUTED TO THE SEED OF DAVID; He would be "Son of God," "Son of Man" and the "Righteous Servant" of Jehovah, (Isa. 9:6-7; 53:11; Jer. 23:5-6; Rom. 5:19).
- DIVINE QUALITIES ARE ATTRIBUTED TO DAVID'S SEED, (Psa. 89:27; Isa. 7:13-15; Micah 5:2; Psa. 132).
- THE THRONE OF DAVID IS SEEN AS OVERTHROWN -- THE CROWN CAST TO THE GROUND; BUT THIS IS NOT THE END, (Psa. 89:38-52; Jer. 13:9-17; 36:30; Hos. 3:4-5; Zech. 12:10; 13:1).
- One will yet come whose right it is to wear this crown, (Ezek. 21:26-27).
- Then the throne shall be restored, in glory, (Amos 9:11-12).
- Israel and Judah will be restored to their land as one nation; David will rule over them all, (Isa. 11:1-16; Jer. 30:3-9; 33:15-17; Ezek. 34:23-25; 37:21-28).
- THE REIGN ENVISIONED BY THE PROPHETS IS, CLEARLY, THAT OF A THEOCRATIC-DAVIDIC KINGDOM.
IV. HOW IS THE DAVIDIC IDEA TREATED IN THE NEW TESTAMENT?
- THE ANGEL, GABRIEL, DECLARED JESUS CHRIST TO BE HEIR TO DAVID'S THRONE; it was in the "city of David" that He was born, (Lk. 1:30-33).
- THROUGHOUT HIS EARTHLY MINISTRY MEN APPEALED TO JESUS AS THE POWERFUL "Son of David."
- "Son of David, have mercy on us!"
- By some He was recognized as "Messiah, Son of David," (Jn. 7:37-43).
- As He rode the lowly ass into Jerusalem, the people shouted, "Hosanna to the Son of David!" (Matt. 21:9, 15; Mk. 11:9-10).
- Both Peter and Paul recognized Jesus as the "Son of David," (Acts 2:30; Rom. 1:4; Heb. 1:5; 2 Tim. 2:8).
- Jesus identified Himself as David's unique Son, (Rev. 3:7; 5:5; 22:16). It is most interesting to compare this with the far-reaching prophecy of Balaam recorded in Numbers 24:17-19.
The closer one examines the promises and prophecies pertaining to David, the clearer will be his understanding and the deeper his appreciation of the Kingdom that is yet to come on earth. Following the ascension of his victorious Lord Jesus, Peter pointed out God's unswerving faithfulness to His covenants, and called the nation to repentance, (Acts 2:19-21). The throne of David will be raised up (Acts 15:13-18), and such as willingly submit themselves under the yoke of Christ, here-and-now, will be permitted to share the glory and blessing of His coming reign. But woe to those who are ashamed of the reproach of His cross!
QUESTIONS FOR REVIEW
- What unique statement is made about David's likeness to God?
- Where had God dwelt, symbolically, from the time Israel was constituted a nation at Mt. Sinai to the time of David?
- What desire did God forbid David to fulfill?
- What were the basic provisions of the covenant God made to David?
- Did David expect this covenant to be completely fulfilled in Solomon?
- How many things can you detect in this covenant that could not be fulfilled in Solomon?
- What Divine titles were attributed to the Seed of David?
- What Divine qualities were attributed to Him?
- Did the prophets foresee a "casting down" of the Davidic crown?
- Would this be the end of the Davidic throne?
- For how long would the crown be cast down?
- What will take place when the throne of David is restored?
- Who is the Seed in Whom these prophecies will find their ultimate fulfillment?
- Did Jesus ever claim to be the Son of David?
- With what word would you describe your expectation and desire concerning the coming Kingdom of Christ?