God’s Eternal Promises to David
2 Samuel 7:8–17; 1 Chronicles 17:11–14
Samuel Lesson #162
February 19, 2019
“Father, we’re so thankful for Your grace, for Your goodness. We know we live in a world where there are those who are so immersed in sin, they have so destroyed their ability to think rationally and objectively because of their sin, their rejection of You, and their suppression of truth in unrighteousness.
“We pray for them, because if it were not for Your grace, we would all be in that situation. Yet You have loved the world. You have provided salvation. You have sent Your Son to die for those sins, to pay that cost, and to provide eternal forgiveness.
“We pray that, as believers, we may now shine forth as light in the midst of a wicked and perverse generation, that we may be a real testimony of grace and love. It’s not about the sin. We don’t want to endorse it or have it promiscuously promoted within our civilization. But we do want to reach out and demonstrate Your love to those who are immersed in this.
“Father, we pray that You would strengthen us, and that You would protect these legislators. So many in the Texas state legislature are believers, and know how to stand for the truth. We pray that You would continue to increase their numbers, increase their faith, and strengthen them in the midst of these assaults that are coming.
“Father, we pray for us, that we might be grace-oriented and kind and generous to all who are around us, no matter what their sins are. And that we might encourage them with the truth of Your Word and that Your Word would produce in us the kind of joy that our Lord wishes to share with us. That can only come as a result of walking by the Spirit and being filled by the Spirit.
“Father, we pray that You would encourage us tonight as we study Your Word [and come to understand Your plan and purpose in history a little more. We pray this in Christ’s name. Amen.”
We get a lot of mail. Good mail. People send little notes telling us how much they appreciate the teaching that goes out from this pulpit, and all that we make available to them.
I like to share these [notes] now and then with the congregation, because it’s an encouragement for all of you. You are very much a part of what makes this ministry possible.
This little note came in just this last week.
Dear Friends at West Houston Bible Church and Dean Bible Ministries,
We so appreciate the privilege of worshipping with you on Sunday mornings via the Internet. My husband is in advanced Alzheimer’s disease, so our ability to be at a local assembly is not possible.
Also, the lack of sound Bible teaching in our area has become the norm, even in the church we ministered and taught at for the last 35 years.
So, what a joy to hear God’s Word taught with clarity from your ministry. Thank you so much.
These folks are up in a town in Oklahoma. There are just hundreds of folks like that all around the country benefitting from what is going on at this congregation. God is using us.
We are in 2 Samuel 7. We are continuing our study of the Davidic Covenant.
Now this is foundational. The covenants of the Old Testament define God’s plan and purpose for not only what is happening in the Old Testament, but on into eternity.
They are grounded in the Abrahamic Covenant, which is the foundation for what God is doing in history. From that time—approximately 2000, 2100 BC until the end of the Millennial Kingdom—everything is laid out in those covenants.
If we want to know why things are happening the way they are, what God is going to do, and what the future entails, then we have to understand these particular covenants.
They are important for understanding the history of the Old Testament. If you want to read and understand what’s going on in Chronicles, Kings, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the minor prophets, then you have to understand these covenants.
In many cases—for example in 1 and 2 Kings, 1 and 2 Chronicles, and to a large degree in Isaiah—these [Scriptures] are written to talk about what is happening to the Davidic line and what God is doing in the history of Israel—always with a view to the future—always written with a view to what God is doing, the failures that may come in the lives of Israel as a nation in the Old Testament. The judgments of God were not permanent. They were not final. God will ultimately fulfill His promise.
One of the applications of that to us is that if God is going to be faithful to His promises to Israel-—despite all of their failures, and gross and perverse sins in the Old Testament—if He is going to be true to His Word to deliver them and bring about the Kingdom ruled by His Messiah, then that tells us that we have eternal security.
That is a lynchpin in understanding eternal security. This is why when we talk about eternal security, one of the verses many of us go to first is Romans 8:38–39.
“For I am convinced, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
That comes at the end of Romans 8. Paul hears—literarily—the Jewish audience saying, “Well, wait a minute. If nothing will separate us from the love of God, what about Israel? Haven’t we been separated from the love of God?”
[Paul then] goes directly into Romans 9, where he begins with the reminder that God has called Israel in the past. In Romans 9:4, he says, “To Israel still belong—present tense—the covenants and the promises.” They still belong to Israel. God has not departed from them. He will fulfill them.
That’s the thrust of Romans 9 to11. Paul sets it all up with Romans 8:38–39, and that reminder of our security.
That when the question comes, “Wait a minute. God kicked us out,” [the answer is that] it is not permanent. It is not terminal. It is just temporary. God is going to restore Israel and fulfill those covenants.
We’ve been looking at this in the context of 2 Samuel. Just a reminder: there are three parts in 2 Samuel.
The first part chronicles God’s blessing of David. The second part, in 2 Samuel 11–20, is God’s judgment on David for his sins. [The third part contains] different events—six appendices—that talk about the greatness of the Davidic Covenant.
So, the center—the theological center of 1 and 2 Samuel—is 2 Samuel 7. It is the Davidic Covenant. This is the fulcrum on which all of 1 and 2 Samuel turns. It becomes foundational for the future.
That’s what we’re seeing here in this breakdown of these first ten chapters. The fourth division, where we are now, is 2 Samuel 7.
As I pointed out in the last several lessons, it is not chronological. 2 Samuel 6 and 7 are within a topical section. They are topically covered, not chronologically covered, because, as 2 Samuel 7:1 points out, at the time God gave the covenant to David, He has given David rest from all his enemies all around. Twice, He says all.
Anybody read ahead into 2 Samuel 8? Read ahead into 2 Samuel 8. It’s one battle after another, one war against one enemy after another. So obviously you are going to come away confused, or you have to understand that the writers of Scripture write thematically, topically, and not necessarily in a chronological fashion.
For example, I know some of you over the last few years, as you’ve been reading through the Scriptures, have come to me and said, “I just don’t have a handle on Isaiah.” First of all, welcome to the club!
Isaiah’s got 66 chapters, and it’s not as easy to handle as 1 John, or Romans, or some short book like that. Also, it’s not chronological.
For example, in Isaiah 6, you have the call and commissioning of Isaiah as a prophet. This happens 40 years before chapter 1. Chapters 1 and 2 happen 40 years after Isaiah 6.
So, you start reading this, and your head’s already spinning, because you think like a westerner, everything’s got to be in strict chronological order. And that’s not what they’re doing.
It’s like someone watching a TV show today, when they’ve come in a little bit late. They’re watching, and they say, “What in the world’s going on?” Because it starts with an event that’s happening right now, and then there’s a flashback.
[The show essentially says,] “Fourteen hours earlier,” or “fourteen days earlier,” or something like that. And that’s the idea.
So, we have to understand the way things are organized and structured.
Last class, we looked at “What is a covenant? What are the types of covenants?”
Under types of covenants, we looked at Gentile covenants and Jewish covenants. That’s one way to break them down.
There are other ways to break these down that we looked at last time, and will [again] today. But of the Jewish covenants, there are the unconditional and the conditional covenants.
There is only one conditional covenant. That’s the Mosaic Covenant. The others are unconditional. They are grounded in the Abrahamic Covenant.
Then you have its expansion or development in three covenants. The Abrahamic Covenant promises three things to the descendants of Abraham. God is going to give them a specific piece of real estate. That’s going to be developed as a land covenant.
Also, there is going to be “seed.” That word’s tricky. We’ll come back and look at it later. It’s one of those words that can be used as a plural, meaning the descendants of Abraham, or it can be used as a singular, in which case it is talking ultimately about Jesus Christ, according to Paul in Galatians 3:16.
So, we have the Abrahamic Covenant. Land, seed, and then third is blessing, which is developed in the New Covenant.
We’re looking at the Davidic Covenant. We’re going to look at the context—after we finish the review in 2 Samuel 7:8–17. We’ll walk through it.
That’s what I call the basics. If you’re a relatively new believer, or it’s been a while since you’ve gone through this, these are the basics of the Davidic Covenant.
Then we’re going to connect it back to the Abrahamic Covenant and look at the similarities. These two covenants interconnect. They are interdependent in their statements and their promises. So, we’re going to go back and look at how that develops, and how the Davidic Covenant is connected to the Abrahamic Covenant.
Then we’ll go forward, and look at how the prophets developed the Davidic Covenant—how that is related there. And as we do that, we’ll see how it’s then fulfilled—or it’s referenced—in the New Testament.
We’ll see the promise of the seed. And that’s when we’re going to get into some really fun, exegetical stuff in the Hebrew, looking at the meaning of the “seed.” Most of the time it’s used as a plural—the promise of descendants to Abraham—but Paul refers to it as a singular.
It’s a word that refers to a group, or it can refer to an individual. It’s one of those funny words like the English word “deer.”
I used to use the word “shrimp,” but we’ve gotten so screwbally in the way we handle English now that you can actually look up a plural “shrimps” in the dictionary, which was introduced by illiterate people into the English language.
I’ve even noticed recently—I’m going to go on a rant here—that writers of scripts on television are using the first person “I,” which is nominal case, in the place of the accusative case.
I was always taught [to determine the correct case in the following way]. If [a gift] is given to two people, and you are one of them, then take the other person out of it, and form the sentence, “That gift was given to me.” That’s what makes sense.
Then you add the other person to the sentence, and [you’ll have it correct]: “That gift was given to you and me.” The gift was never given to “you and I.” It is not about “you and I.” It is about me. We have to understand grammar.
Now we have this illiteracy being promoted among the perversion on television, and it’s messing up everybody’s use of the English language. What happens is we all hear it.
It’s like the infectiousness of [the phrase] “you know.” You know what I’m talking about. [Dr. Dean smiles.] You [continually] hear people say, “you know.” "I went to the store, you know.” Pretty soon you’re saying, “you know.”
You just pick up this nonsense. It’s infectious. I even said that wrongly one night. I just about went home and retired. It’s terrible. [Audience laughs.] It’s awful. We have to be careful, because we have to preserve some measure of dignity and absolutes.
So, we have to understand grammar [in order to] understand the promise of the seed. We may not get into all of that tonight. We’ll probably get into part of the third point.
We looked at what the Bible teaches about covenants.
We saw that a covenant—this is important—is a legally binding agreement, or promise, between two or more parties. It is always targeted towards the performance of some action.
God lowers Himself to our level in order to enter into a legally binding agreement with us. That gives us confidence that if God is faithful to His covenant, then there is stability and certainty. We can count on things being what they are today in the future.
That gives birth to science. You cannot have predictable science—you cannot know what is going to happen in the future—if God is not reliable in the way He is maintaining order in the universe.
This is why Islam never develops science, because Allah is pure arbitrariness. Tomorrow may be different from today.
Laws of gravity, laws of thermodynamics, do not apply to Allah. Tomorrow, he can reverse everything. He can change it all up, and we don’t know. [Nothing is predictable] because it is not based on a God who is a covenant God, who makes promises and sticks with His promises.
What we find when we come to our passage in 2 Samuel 7 is that the word “covenant” isn’t used. Some people will come along and say, “Well, how can you say …”
I just hate this with scholars. I’ve heard a definition of a scholar: a scholar is somebody who will believe things that are impossible just because it gives him what he thinks is academic respectability. That is not what scholarship is.
There are times when a word like “covenant” is not used. For example, the term “covenant” is not used in Genesis 1, 2, or 3. Yet when you categorize the stipulations [given] in Genesis 1–2 to unfallen Adam, and you look at stipulations outlined in Genesis 3:12 and following, they are categorically the same.
You can line them up—we’ve done that before. The same thing can be done when you compare that to the first place that the word “covenant” is used. That is in Genesis 9 with the Noahic Covenant.
So, if that content in Genesis 9 is a covenant, then that which precedes it utilizing the same terms and language must also be a covenant.
That takes care of Genesis 1 and 3. Just because the word “covenant” isn’t used doesn’t mean it’s not a covenant.
The Davidic Covenant in 2 Samuel 7 is stated as a covenant in 2 Samuel 23:5, Psalm 89:35, and Psalm 132:12. These two psalms were written as meditations on the Davidic promise.
So, a covenant is a legally binding agreement. God enters into this and binds Himself to the terms on His side for the covenant.
The term is applied theologically to the covenants in Covenant Theology, which are not biblical covenants. They are theologically developed constructs.
They’ll talk about the covenant of works before the Fall, for example. As long as Adam and Eve didn’t eat, they would be saved. So that’s works. Then it’s followed by a covenant of grace, and then a covenant of redemption. Some covenant theologians leave out the covenant of redemption.
But we’re talking about biblical covenants. We talked about the conditional or unconditional covenants, the permanent covenants (everything other than the Mosaic Covenant), Gentile or Jewish covenants, and the Suzerain-vassal and royal grant.
This chart shows the initial creation covenants—the Edenic Covenant, Adamic Covenant, and Noahic Covenant, which is still in effect, as indicated by a rainbow.
Then God began to work through one specific person: Abraham (and his descendants). The Abrahamic Covenant promised land, seed, and blessing. The Land Covenant in Deuteronomy 30; the Davidic Covenant in 2 Samuel 7; and the New Covenant in Jeremiah 31.
Most scholars who are too good to be dispensationalists don’t think that the Land Covenant is in Deuteronomy 30. It is. Don’t be deceived by that, if you hear somebody who tries to show how smart they are by denying it.
And then we have the Mosaic Covenant.
These are all initially promises given in the Old Testament, and they will all be fulfilled. But not until Jesus establishes His Kingdom.
So, we have these covenants. The Abrahamic Covenant is broken into the Land Covenant, the Davidic Covenant, and the New Covenant. All are fulfilled and come into effect at the same time—when Messiah assumes His reign as the Davidic king.
What’s that grounded on? The Davidic Covenant. That’s why it’s important. It pulls all these different things together.
Last time we went over this terminology that I will be using. I want to review it quickly.
These were treaty forms that were common in the ancient world, in the 2nd to late 3rd millennium. Those who wrote at that time wrote within these forms, and it helps us to understand what’s going on in these contracts.
I did a contrast. The royal grant is grace. Any time you hear the word “grant” or “gift,” always think grace. It was a gift to those who were already faithful and loyal. It rewarded the vassal for his loyalty.
Abraham is given a grant covenant—a royal grant from God—because he’d obeyed God’s voice. Genesis 26:4–5.
But the suzerain-vassal treaty is an inducement to greater loyalty. It’s not given as a reward.
It’s given to stipulate obligations of the vassal to the king, which is our second point. It defines what vassal loyalty will look like. That’s the Mosaic Covenant.
You’re going to love the LORD your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. You have the 613 commandments, stipulating how a vassal demonstrates obedience to the king.
The royal grant is given. It obligates the king to certain favors to the servant. So, the obligation goes to God. He obligates Himself to fulfill the Abrahamic Covenant, the Land Covenant, the Davidic Covenant, and the New Covenant. The covenant partner is not obligated in the covenant, in order to maintain it.
This is indicated in the Abrahamic Covenant in Genesis 15, when God has Abraham bring the sacrifices.
They cut all the animals in half and lay them on each side of the main aisle. Then God puts Abraham to sleep. God, symbolized by a torch, goes down the aisle between the sacrifices, showing that He binds Himself alone to the obligations of the covenant.
Abraham is simply the beneficiary of the covenant. It’s not up to him to maintain it. That’s why it’s called an unconditional covenant. It is also an eternal covenant.
In the suzerain-vassal [treaty], there are consequences of the vassal’s failure. If Israel failed to obey God, God said, “These are the five stages of divine discipline, ending with the fact that I will kick you out of the land for a while. If you can’t obey Me, then I’m not going to bless you. If you obey Me, then I will bless you.”
But the royal grant provides a curse against those who would harm the servant. God says, “Those who bless you, Abraham, I will bless. Those who curse you, I will curse.” It protects the rights of the king’s servant (Israel), whereas the suzerain-vassal treaty protects the rights of the king.
The royal grant lists the many blessings and benefits the king will give the servant/vassal. The suzerain-vassal [treaty] lists the laws the vassal must follow in order to serve the king.
That helps us understand these covenants. They’re grace covenants. It’s all about grace, all through history. It’s all about God freely giving and providing for His servant.
The Davidic Covenant is a grant covenant. It develops a section of the Abrahamic Covenant. As such, it must also be a royal grant.
The Abrahamic Covenant is summarized in Genesis 12:1–13. It is actually cut in the ceremony in Genesis 15, and it is developed in Genesis 17. Those are your main chapters.
The three parts—as I mentioned already—are land, seed, and blessing. These are developed further in the Israel Land Covenant in Deuteronomy 29; the Davidic Covenant in 2 Samuel 7, which expands the seed promise; and the New Covenant in Jeremiah 31, which expands the blessing.
That gets us back to where we were.
The Davidic Covenant’s key passages are 2 Samuel 7:12–16, Psalm 89, and 1 Chronicles 17:11–14.
It promises three things:
1. An eternal house—that means a dynasty. The word “house” is used throughout ancient near-Eastern covenant literature to describe a dynasty. That was the legal term that was used. It means he is promised an eternal dynasty—unlike Saul, who was kicked out, losing his family’s blessings and privileges.
2. An eternal kingdom
3. An eternal throne
To have an eternal kingdom, you have to have an eternal throne. The one who sits on the throne comes from the same lineage, so that’s your eternal dynasty. They all fit together.
That gives us a basic review of what we’ve covered so far on this, and now we can move forward.
We come to the Davidic Covenant. Let’s break it down—the basics. The key passage is, as I’ve said, 2 Samuel 7. The covenant itself begins in 2 Samuel 7:12. I have verse 11 there [on the slide]. Some people put it at 2 Samuel 7:10. Some people put it at 2 Samuel 7:11. It starts off in 2 Samuel 7:12.
“When your days are full ….”
Not “fulfilled.” The King James Version says “fulfilled.”
“When your days are full ….”
“When your days are complete” would be a better translation. When your life is over, as it were, and you rest with your fathers. That’s an idiom. “Rest with your fathers” doesn’t mean you just died. That’s not what that means. It doesn’t refer to Heaven.
When you died, what happened? They would take your body and put it in the tomb. After the flesh had decayed, they would take your bones and put them in an ossuary, or some other receptacle, and put you in the grave with the bones of your ancestors.
So, when you’re resting with your fathers, that’s what that is talking about. You have gone to the grave, and your bones are in the grave with your ancestors.
“When your days are complete and you rest with your ancestors, I will set up your seed after you [corrected translation] ….”
There’s that word [seed], and here it’s talking about his physical progeny, the physical descendant that comes forth from him. This passage in 2 Samuel emphasizes David’s immediate son that he produces with Bathsheba—Solomon.
The parallel passage in 1 Chronicles 17:10–14 will emphasize David’s greater Son, the Messiah. How do you know the difference? Because in 2 Samuel 7, it talks about “when your son is disobedient, I will chastise him.” That’s Solomon.
That’s not mentioned in Chronicles. Why? Because 1 Chronicles is written after the exile. 1 Chronicles is written to summarize what God has done in the past, before 586 BC, in fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant.
[It also summarizes] what God is going to do in the future. [Consequently], there doesn’t need to be a reference, at that point, to the part that referred to Solomon, because Solomon is history at that time.
The first party of the covenant is God, who enters into this unconditional contract with David. David [the second party of the covenant], is a representative of his descendants. It is a contract that is entered into with David and his lineage.
This is going to come up—we’ve referred to it before—in Isaiah 7:14. The passage that talks about, “This will be a sign for you, Ahaz. A virgin will conceive and give birth.”
You have to pay attention to the singular and plural pronouns there, because part of what God is saying is that He is going to protect the Davidic dynasty, of which Ahaz—a very, very evil king—is a part. The other is a sign to Ahaz himself.
So, you have to work your way through that particular instance because Ahaz is facing an attack from a military coalition made up of Syria and the Northern Kingdom. Because they want to remove Ahaz, the Davidic king.
Ultimately, Satan is behind this in the angelic conflict. They want to remove the Davidic king from the kingship, because that will destroy the Davidic Covenant. Then Satan can go “Nah-na-na-na-nah” to God, and say, “I’ve proved that I can do it better than You can.”
God is telling Ahaz—He’s comforting this apostate king—that his dynasty will continue, and there is going to be this sign, in the future, of the preservation of the Davidic line, and that is that this virgin will conceive.
So, it really does focus on the dynasty. You can’t truly understand these things that are going on in the Prophets when they talk about the lines of the kings and why God traces the lineage of the kings down through 1 Kings, 2 Kings, 1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles, and various parts of Isaiah and Jeremiah. It’s all to show that God is faithful to His covenant with David. That’s the [second] point.
Third is the importance of the Davidic Covenant. It elaborates, it expands, it fills out the promise of the Abrahamic Covenant that God would provide a Seed, singular, as Paul points out. This is referencing Jesus. He is the Seed that will come. Jesus will fulfill the Davidic Covenant when He returns and sits on David’s throne.
That’s our basic framework. The covenant with David is one of four unconditional covenants God made with Israel in the Old Testament, that provide the structure for understanding what God is doing with Israel in the ancient world and in history.
One thing I pointed out is that the Davidic Covenant distinguishes the Messianic Seed, which ends up in Jesus, from the national seed promises that God made to Abraham.
[God promised Abraham] that his seed would be innumerable—like the sand of the seashore and the stars of the sky. That’s using “seed” in its plural sense.
We’re going to come back and look at the exegesis of those passages when we get into the more advanced stage. First, the basics. Then, a little more advanced understanding of its significance.
In the Davidic Covenant, there’s the promise, first of all, that “the LORD will build you an eternal house.” As I said a minute ago, that means dynasty. This is stated in 2 Samuel 7:11. Nathan says to David, “Also the LORD tells you that He will make you a house.”
The context, as we saw, is that David wanted to build a house for God. Up to that point, the ark of the covenant had been dwelling in a tent, then in the temporary building at Shiloh. And it had been traveling around for a while.
After David built his palace, he decided that this isn’t a good thing for the ark of God to be in a mobile home. So, he’s going to build a permanent temple for God.
God says, “No, no, no, you have to understand, I glorify Myself. I didn’t give you any instructions to build Me a temple. I’m not going to let you do it, primarily because you are a man of war.”
That’s confused a lot of people, because they think the military is a very honorable profession. And it is. It is presented that way in the Scripture.
We have the warriors of Israel, who are praised and extolled. In fact, David himself is a warrior and praised by God. God gives him the victory over his physical enemies.
What we see here is that God is saying, “You had a mission, and that mission was to destroy the enemies of Israel, according to the Mosaic Covenant. Because you have been a man of bloodshed ….”
What would that do to David, ritually? It would render him unclean, ritually. Now, he could be cleansed, and he could go into the tabernacle. But because he is associated with death, which is associated with the punishment for sin, God wants the one who builds the temple to be one who is not associated with death—not associated, therefore, with the penalty for sin.
So, He is going to raise up Solomon to be the one who will build the house for God. There is this double entendre here, where God is saying, “You’re not going to build Me a house, but I’m going to build a house—that is, a dynasty—for you.”
That’s mentioned in 2 Samuel 7:11. It’s mentioned again in 2 Samuel 7:16 and in 1 Chronicles 17:10.
Second, the LORD promised a physical descendant, which is Solomon, who will succeed him as king. That’s 2 Samuel 7:12.
He said, “I will set up your seed—that is, your descendant, singular—who will come forth from you ….” That is a verb that indicates paternal generation. [David] is going to father this son. [Solomon] will be from his procreation with Bathsheba.
The third stipulation of the Davidic Covenant is that God says, “I will establish his kingdom.” That is Solomon’s kingdom. He’s talking about establishing Solomon’s kingdom. The dynasty will continue through [David’s] physical son. This is stated in 2 Samuel 7:12 and again in 2 Samuel 7:16.
In 2 Samuel 7:12, He says, “I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom.”
Then in the fourth promise [2 Samuel 7:13], He promises David that Solomon will build the temple, not David.
“He shall build a house for My name …
And then in the next promise, the fifth, God says, “and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.”
Now that’s another term we’re going to come back to, because sometimes the word “forever”—olam—can simply mean “a really, really long time.” It doesn’t always have to mean “forever and ever without end. Amen.”
How do we know that it is “forever and ever?” Because of things that are said about it in other passages. We call it a covenant, because Psalm 89 calls it a covenant.
We have other places that confirm that this is “forever and ever without end.” It is an eternal throne, as described in 2 Samuel 7:13b and 2 Samuel 7:16.
The sixth thing is that God promises that there will be an intimate relationship between this son [Solomon] and Him. But there’s a warning that the son will be disobedient, but God will discipline him.
2 Samuel 7:14 reads, “I will be his Father, and he shall be My son.” Have we heard that anywhere else? We’ll get there. It’s in Hebrews, referencing Jesus. It’s applied by the writer of Hebrews to Jesus.
“I will be his Father, and he shall be My son.” That’s stated other places as well.
Then God says, “If he commits iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men and with the blows of the sons of men.” That’s not going to happen with Jesus. But that happens with Solomon, showing that this part of the covenant focuses on the immediate descendant of David and not on the Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Samuel 7:15 emphasizes God’s continued grace. He says, “My mercy …”—that is, my faithful, loyal love, my chesed in the Hebrew, which always speaks of God’s faithfulness to the covenant—“will not depart from him, as I took it from Saul ….”
Just to make sure David and others get the point that you don’t forget the point that I took it away from Saul because of Saul’s disobedience, even though God knew, in His omniscience, that Solomon was going to marry over 900 women and let each one establish a chapel for their particular god. The hills around Jerusalem were dotted with the chapels to all these different idols, because of his wives.
Solomon, who was very loyal to God in the first part of his life, becomes very idolatrous in the second part of his life—as bad as Saul. But God says, “My mercy will not depart from him ….”
So, God is promising this unconditional covenant that will not be destroyed by the sin, or sins, of David’s descendants.
The seventh point is that in 1 Chronicles 17:10–14, the emphasis is on the Messiah. His throne, His house, and His Kingdom will be established forever.
The Davidic Covenant ultimately focuses on its fulfillment in the reign of Jesus Christ as the Messianic Ruler on David’s throne. This doesn’t happen until Jesus returns to Jerusalem to establish the Kingdom at the Second Coming.
It is not fulfilled now. The reason I say that—we’ll get into some of these issues later on—but there are those who come along and say, “Because we have a partial fulfillment, that establishes the basis to say, ‘These covenants are already-but-not-yet.’ ”
That doesn’t work. But that’s how the arguments are being presented, in order to get us into some form of the Kingdom today.
As I’ve said many times, “If we’re living in any form of the Kingdom today, then we’re living in the ghetto.” None of what we experience even closely resembles what God has promised for the Kingdom under the New Covenant.
So, what are the confirmations? The covenant isn’t just something given in isolation between Nathan and David. People could say, “Well, you just sort of concocted this thing. You guys had a little conference between yourselves and said, ‘Let’s really elevate David’s kingship. We’re going to tell everybody God made a covenant with him.’ ”
There are correlating confirmations in the Scripture. 2 Samuel 23 is a “psalm” that will confirm the reality of the Davidic Covenant. Psalm 89 is a meditation on the covenant. It’s written much, much later. We don’t know exactly when it was written.
Psalm 89 is written at a time when the Davidic king has really failed. It’s a failure of the Davidic kingship due to sin, idolatry. It could be any number of points along the way. It could be at the time of Rehoboam. It could be at the time of Manasseh. We don’t know when it was, or when it was written.
It is a rehearsal and a reminder of what God has done through the Davidic Covenant—how He has remained faithful, despite the unfaithfulness of Davidic descendants, and how God ultimately will bring about the promises of His covenant.
So those [two portions of Scripture] confirm it, along with much that is said in different places in other psalms, as well as in the prophets.
Psalm 89:4 is, again, a reiteration, or statement, of the eternality of the [Davidic] Covenant. “Your seed I will establish forever, and build up your throne to all generations.” That again talks about its consistency, and what God will do to provide for it.
The second thing that is confirmed is that the provisions of the Abrahamic Covenant will be fulfilled, despite the conduct of David’s descendants.
In other words, God’s promises to you and to me—where He is faithful to us even when we are rebellious. He’s still going to fulfill His promises.
God is still going to answer prayer, He’s still going to stand by our side, He’s still going to give His peace, He’s still going to stabilize us, He’s still going to be faithful—just as we see in the Old Testament.
Remember what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 10:6. These are written for our benefit. These are examples to us—all these events in the Old Testament—to teach us about many, many things. But as far as this goes, [it teaches us] the faithfulness of God to His promises. This is stated clearly by Jeremiah in Jeremiah 33:14–26.
So, these are the confirmations of the Davidic Covenant.
A couple of other points to bring out, in terms of this being a royal grant. It’s like Abraham. Abraham excelled in loyalty to the LORD.
Abraham was saved a long time before Genesis 12:1. We don’t know when he was saved, but sometime in Ur of the Chaldees, he is saved. He then moves away from the paganism of the culture to trusting in the Most High God.
God rewards that loyalty. As we go through Genesis 12, we read about the fact that he proclaims the name of Yahweh when he goes to Haran. He is evangelizing, he is witnessing, and he is worshipping God.
By the times he leaves, he has, as the text translates it, “acquired many souls.” That sounds like he bought a bunch of slaves, but what it means is that he has brought to himself many people.
He now has a huge entourage of people who come from many different middle-Eastern backgrounds. So that the Jewish people are not all linear descendants of just Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
At the beginning, you have these households—the clans, the servants, and others. Even when the Israelites—450 years after Abraham—come out of Egypt, who comes with them? A number of Egyptians and other slaves who have joined themselves to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
And so, all of that genetic material joins together with the lineage that comes from Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. That is at the very, very foundation.
So, David is given this gracious gift of a dynasty; the progenitor, ultimately, of the Lord Jesus Christ. As Weinfeld puts it, David is given the grace of dynasty because he served God with truth, righteousness, and loyalty.
Look at how this is brought out in 1 Kings 3:6. When Solomon is praying, he says to God, “You have shown great mercy to Your servant David my father, because he walked before You in truth, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart ….”
That means he is completely loyal to God. That’s why God says, “David is a man after my own heart. He’s loyal to Me.” Did he sin? Did he sin egregiously? Did he fail? Yes, he did. But “he’s loyal to Me.” David was dedicated to God, even though he sinned.
Weinfeld points out that this language—truth, righteousness, loyalty language—is what you find throughout the ancient near East in other grant treaties from various ancient near-Eastern literatures.
[Weinfeld] also states, “The grant par excellence is an act of royal benevolence arising from the king’s desire to reward his loyal servant.”
There’s a huge implication of this to the rewards and inheritance to the first-born son—we studied that Sunday morning—that occur at the Judgment Seat of Christ. All these things interconnect. All these different doctrines intersect. And so, we see this gift that is given.
There are some Christians who still doubt. I still hear people say, “Well, I think when we get to Heaven, everybody’s going to have the same privileges, the same abilities, etc.”
I call that theological Marxism or Misthological Marxism. MISTHOS is the Greek word for rewards. Misthological Marxism. No matter how you succeed or fail, no matter whether you persevere or not, when we all get to Heaven, we’re all going to get the same thing.
That’s not what the Scripture says.
Some are rewarded with these royal grant treaties, because of their loyalty, because of the will of God. There are a lot of different rewards.
There are going to be those at the Judgment Seat of Christ, according to 1 Corinthians 3:15, who lose all rewards. They enter Heaven, yet as through fire. They will have no rewards. Others will have rewards. So, there are clearly differences in the text.
Weinfeld says, “It is no wonder, then, that the gift of the Land to Abraham and the assurance of dynasty to David were formulated in the style of grants to outstanding servants.”
Part of the application for us is “Do we want to be an outstanding servant for the Lord—not for what we are going to get out of it, but because of the glory it is going to bring God?” God will reward us for that.
We’re going to do a comparison here. First of all, God promised to make David’s name great. Did you hear that phrase before? “I will make your name great.” Who did He say that to? He said that to Abraham.
He said that to Abraham after the Tower of Babel incident when—what were they doing? They were going to build a tower to Heaven in order to make their name great.
God said, “Real glory doesn’t reside in your asserting yourselves and your values. True glory, true fame, resides in following Me.”
God promised to make David’s name great, just as He had promised to make Abraham’s name great in Genesis 12:2.
Second, God promised security for the nation in their land, in the same way God promised a land for Abraham’s descendants. So, we have an embedded promise. That’s not in the covenant section itself, but that’s in 2 Samuel 7:10, as Nathan is setting things up and telling David what the LORD told him.
He says, “Moreover I will appoint a place for My people Israel, and I will plant them, that they may dwell in their own place and move no more.” Has that happened yet? Not even close. That’s not going to happen until the Second Coming, where they move no more.
“… nor shall the sons of wickedness oppress them anymore.” See, you’ve got to read that next phrase. The sons of wickedness have been oppressing Israel all along. There’s no fulfillment at all of this. That doesn’t come until you get to the Millennial Kingdom. There are land issues involved in both the Davidic Covenant and the Abrahamic Covenant.
Third, God promised David offspring, just as He promised seed, plural, descendants to Abraham. He focuses on one seed for David in 2 Samuel 7:11–12. It is related to that seed promise in Genesis 12:2.
Fourth, God promised David royal descendants. There is going to be a Davidic dynasty. “Your throne is going to continue forever and ever.” God promises royal descendants in 2 Samuel 7:12–16.
In the Abrahamic Covenant, Genesis 17:6, God told Abraham that from his loins would come kings. See the connection? The Davidic Covenant interconnects and intersects with the Abrahamic Covenant.
Fifth, God promised to bless David in 2 Samuel 7:29. This is what we’ll get to when we get into David’s thanksgiving response to God.
He concludes in 2 Samuel 7:29, “Now, therefore, let it please You to bless the house of Your servant, that it may continue before You forever. For You, O Lord GOD, have spoken it, and with Your blessing let the house of Your servant be blessed forever.”
Three times the word “blessing” is used in that last verse. God promised to bless David, and He also promised to bless Abraham. Genesis 12:3, “I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse those who curse you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
Sixth, God declared Himself to be the God of Israel, and for Israel to be His people. That’s stated in 2 Samuel 7:24 and Genesis 17:7–8. It says He would be their God and they would be His people.
So, that’s repeated with David. You can see all of these comparisons. The Davidic Covenant comes out of the Abrahamic Covenant, expands on it, and demonstrates the continued faithfulness of God, despite the disobedience of the Jewish people.
Seventh, God gave David and Abraham eternal covenants. They are forever and ever. That means that the Abrahamic Covenant—now this is really, really important—the Abrahamic Covenant is in effect today. It’s in effect forever.
The Abrahamic Covenant was not set aside just because Israel is not the primary people of God in this dispensation. The Abrahamic Covenant is still in effect.
The Mosaic Covenant came to an end with Christ, but the Abrahamic Covenant did not end with the Cross. The Abrahamic Covenant is eternal. That means that God’s promise to Israel that “I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse those who curse you” is still in effect.
I’ve heard people—especially those who are influenced by Libertarian philosophy—say, “You know there is nothing special about Israel today. So what that they’ve come back into the land?”
I’ve demonstrated time and again that it’s incredible—nothing like this has happened in Israel. You didn’t have this many people—this percentage of Jews—living in the land even after the return in 536 BC.
Even at the time of Jesus, you still had probably 70% of Jews living outside of the land. We have almost 50% of Jews worldwide, living in Israel [today]. That’s never happened before.
This isn’t just some quirk of history that was manipulated by people. I’ve heard that charge, too. What you have is people who want to think that because Israel is under divine discipline today, the stipulations of the Abrahamic Covenant don’t apply.
There are several words I could use for that that I won’t use in the pulpit. That’s pure garbage. That is anti-Semitic garbage.
Even in the Old Testament, when Israel is out of the land, and they are in Persia, and you have Haman coming along with his scheme to kill all the Jews living in Persia, God protected the Jewish people. That’s the story of the Book of Esther.
God was blessing those who blessed Israel and cursing those who cursed Israel, even when Israel was disobedient and didn’t care about God. God’s name isn’t mentioned once in Esther. But God is still faithfully protecting the Jewish people.
That’s the way it’s been. Just because the Jewish people rejected Jesus as Messiah, and just because God kicked them out of the land, doesn’t give any person the right to join God’s discipline consciously and beat up on the Jews. That’s anti-Semitism, and God will punish you.
We’re in a world today where anti-Semitism is in an incredible increase around the world, especially in Europe. It’s showing its ugly head in the United States Congress.
These new Democratic representatives who have been put into Congress—I was sent an editorial yesterday by Caroline Glick. She makes a great statement. The people who elected these anti-Semitic racists knew what they were doing. They are there not by accident. They’re there because their constituency wanted anti-Semitic racists in Congress.
This is a serious problem that I don’t think is going to go away. It’s not going to change, because the key problem in this country is the fact that we’ve left the Bible.
If we don’t get back to the Bible in the way we think and the choices we make—including our love for Israel and our love for the Jewish people—then God is going to bring great discipline. He is already bringing great discipline into this country.
So, God gave David and Abraham eternal covenants.
We’ll stop here tonight. It’s a good stopping place. Next time, we’re going to come back, and we’re going to start looking at—we’ve looked at how [the Davidic Covenant] connected in the past to the Abrahamic Covenant. Next, we’re going to look at how it’s used by the prophets as they foretell the future, based on the Abrahamic Covenant.
We’ll look at passages in Isaiah, Jeremiah, Acts, Hebrews, Joel, and other places—showing the fulfillment. God is faithful to His promise and how it’s going to be fulfilled, and how it references Jesus, and comes into focus with Jesus and the Incarnation.
“Father, thank You for this opportunity to study these things this evening and to be reminded of Your love, Your faithfulness, Your goodness, Your kindness, and Your generosity. None of us—not one of us, not Abraham, not David, not one single human being—deserves Your goodness, Your graciousness, or Your kindness.
“Yet You have been so kind and generous. You have provided a Messiah, a Savior, who paid for our sins, who provides forgiveness.
“This is the message for all: ‘no matter what your sins are, no matter what your failures are, no matter how horrible you’ve been, no matter what crimes you’ve committed, there is cleansing, there is forgiveness, at the Cross.’ You, Father, have already taken care of that.
“In terms of having an eternal relationship with You, all that is needed is faith alone in Christ alone—trusting in Him, the perfect Savior, the spotless Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.
“Father, we pray that we be challenged by this, and that it will expand our understanding of Your plan and purpose in history and our role in it as Church-Age believers. We pray in Christ’s name. Amen.”