Befuddlement is the proper response upon reading 2 Samuel 7:8-16. David desired to build a house for God to live in, and God responds, not in the manner we expect, and says that instead of David building a house for God, God is going build a house for David. And not only a house, but an eternal house/throne/kingdom that would endure forever and ever. This is a strange God indeed. Can you see why this chapter could easily be one of the 7 summits of the Bible and one of the largest moments in the redemptive history? David was just told he would receive an eternal kingdom, and that he would never lack a son to rule on the throne of Israel. This is stunning to say the least. Here before us we have what the Church, for ages, has called the Davidic Covenant. And in this Davidic Covenant God promises that David’s throne would extend forever.
There is much happening in these few verses. God promises that Solomon will reign in David’s place one day, but it is not Solomon that will reign forever and ever. This is why 7:14 says, “When he commits iniquity, I will discipline him with the rod of men, and the stripes of the sons of men…” Yes, Solomon will reign but he will not reign perfectly, he will sin and need the Lord’s discipline, and eventually Solomon’s life will end. But verse 13 and 16 make clear that David’s kingdom will reign forever, it will be an everlasting kingdom. So God is making eternity shaping promises here, and Israel would have placed all their hope in the line of David. Yet, even in the midst of David’s reign Israel learned what happens when the king disobeys God; it always brought the nation to ruin, but God had promised (!) the line of David would not end. So the people would begin to yearn and groan for a king to come who would actually fulfill the conditions of the covenant, obey God fully, bring the nation to flourish under God’s mighty hand. They knew that such a king could only come from God Himself, a righteous, obedient descendant of David ruling justly on the throne.
Then David dies, and Solomon dies, and king after king after king come and go, mainly showing themselves wicked not righteous, and bringing destruction, ruin, and even exile to the nation. Then in the prophets writings we see glimpses of hope coming, that one day the king their looking for will come and make all sad things un-true.
Ezekiel says this in 34:23, “And I will set up over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he shall feed them: he shall feed them and be their shepherd. And I, the Lord, will be their God, and my servant David shall be prince among them. I am the Lord; I have spoken.” Jeremiah 23:5-6 says it too, “”Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In his days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely. And this is the name by which he will be called: “The Lord our Righteousness.” Isaiah says it in 9:6-7, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.”
This last prophecy from Isaiah teaches us that the Davidic covenant is glorious because it shows the One whose coming goes by the name, Wonderful Counselor, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, and Mighty God. What does this mean about who the King is? The coming King will none other than God Himself! God Himself will come as King and sit on the throne of David. In spite of all their sin and all their wandering God will come to His people and do good to them in His way and His timing. So you can almost feel the anticipation that existed within the heart of an Israelite. They had some dark days, and the night is darkest just before the dawn, and how glroious the sight would be of the coming of the King! O’ to see the New Day Dawning, to see the King come and sit on His throne, to see the people of God seeing what they have for so long yearned for! The King will come, and rule in righteousness and faithfulness forever.