(Another sample from The Curses and the Covenants available here.)
(The full study available for sale here.)
(Based on 2 Samuel 7 + Revelation 19:6-16)
“I will be his Father, and he will be my Son. If he sins, I will punish him with a rod and with blows inflicted by people. But I will never stop showing him my love as I did to Saul, whom I took out of your way. Your royal house will remain in my presence forever. Your throne will be established forever” (2 Sam. 7:14-16).
“[…] ‘Hallelujah! The Lord our God, the Almighty, has become king’ […] He wears clothes dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God […] On his clothes and his thigh he has a name written: King of kings and Lord of lords” (Rev. 19:6b. 13, 16).
“I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give this testimony to you for the churches. I am the root and descendant of David. I am the bright morning star” (Rev. 22:16).
As we have every week so far, we’ll see the making of the covenant in the week’s Overview and then, in the first days of the week (after the “curse” day), we’ll back up to see the events that preceded and prompted it. (Then, in Day 7’s wrap-up this week, we’ll read the astonishing story of how God chose to make the promises of His covenant with David come true.)
As usual, there were too many events that preceded and prompted the covenant for me to do justice to half of them. I’ve chosen the ones I think have the most significance to this study, but one I could only touch on lightly in our intro page: the fate of the ark of the covenant before 2 Samuel 7.
First, you need to understand the deeper meaning behind the ark of the covenant. I mentioned it last week as the symbol to Israel of God’s power and presence with them, but it symbolized that power and presence in a very specific way: It was the visible representation of God’s invisible throne.
There was a “seat” on it (though no human would have dared sit on it). It was called the “mercy seat” or “throne of mercy” (Ex. 25:17). The idea was to think of God as invisibly seated above this box. Wherever God is, there is His throne. The two are inseparable. It’s the first fact we need to know about God. He is King. Sovereign. God. The One in control. Of His universe.
No, no box can contain Him. He overflows universes of universes (1 Kings 8:27). The point of the ark was that it was portable. It went wherever God’s people went. It was a reminder to them that God was always with them. And that He is always on His throne. He was meant to be their King.
Throughout the New Covenant, we read about “the kingdom of God” as a very important concept in that Covenant. And knowing the sovereignty of God emphasized throughout all the Bible, the obvious questions arise, “Isn’t God the ultimate Sovereign One? What, then, is the kingdom of God? Isn’t everywhere the kingdom of God? Isn’t everything the kingdom of God?”
And the not-so-obvious answers are that God is the ultimate Sovereign … except of one territory. The kingdom of God (very simply) is all that over which God is King. And everywhere and everything would be God’s kingdom. Were it not for one, tiny, huge fact: He is the God of freedom.
It goes back to that ol’ Genesis-3 decision: Who will be god? Of me?
Here’s the mind-blowing truth of that Genesis-3 decision that we see exemplified in the ark of the covenant: God, while very much in charge in His universe, will only reign in my heart and life when I ask Him to.
The territory that does not encompass God’s kingdom is every human being that chooses against His rule. There He will not enforce His reign.
All this is necessary background knowledge to the new kingdom that we’ll see created through God’s covenant with David. We’ll see, yet again this week, those two emblematic pathways of flesh vs. faith. We’ll see Saul’s kingdom (first king of Israel) as the kingdom of flesh. Self-first. And we’ll see, yet again this week, that the way of faith is the way of God in control. God as King. This was the state of David’s kingdom. Although David got it very, very wrong very, very often, his overall life-choice was God on the throne—God as his king. That was the choice he made early on in life, confirmed from the start of his reign, and finished out his days still embracing.
Did you notice the “Dad joke” God made with David?
David’s fondest wish was to build a house for God. This week, we’ll see his longing to be near God, to move the ark where he had ready access, and to build a house for it just as God had built him a palace.
Instead, God said to him, “No, David. You won’t be the one to build a house for me. I’m going to build a house for you!” And “house” was a play on words. David had in mind the physical structure we call a house: four walls and a roof. God had in mind a different kind of house: a royal house of sons and daughters. A dynasty. A reigning line of inhabitants on David’s throne.
Do you see the turnaround? David desired to build God a house. In turn, God built a house for David. David desired to seat God on the throne of His life. In turn, God seated David and his descendants on the throne. Forever.
The “forever” kind of language God used in making this covenant with David clues us into the fact that the promised “Son of David” of 2 Samuel 7 had a fulfillment bigger than just an earthly one.
Being fond of double meanings, God spoke words to David about his son (and his Son) that would have dual fulfillments. One set would find their fulfillment through a son named Solomon. The other … well, you know!
We’ll be seeing more of His life this week: the events that led up to one very important week in His life that began with His (almost) coronation.
We’ll see an important truth this week regarding “… who is really God and who God really is.” We’ll learn something we need to know about who God really is in order to know who is really God. The truth we’ll see through our New-Covenant passages is that Jesus, Son of David, was God Himself!
And this is the inconceivable truth we see through God’s covenant with David. Through David’s desire to build a house for God and God’s plans to build a house for David, David would build God’s true house. David, the son of God in a human sense, would become the human father of the true Son of God—God-come-to-earth. God would intertwine their houses.
God made a culturally-appropriate covenant with David involving his royal house. In David’s day (as in most historical monarchies), nations made alliances by intermarrying their royal houses and intertwining houses through their offspring (1 Kgs. 3:1, 11:1-8). Hard to engage in open warfare with your own family! In God’s covenant of 2 Samuel 7, He intertwined His royal house and David’s. It was (almost) the ultimate act of peace-making.
Tomorrow, we’ll see the people of Israel enter into covenant with God as their King. It lasted one chapter. God wasn’t Israel’s king under Saul’s reign. But an interesting thing happened with Israel’s second king. Because his King was God, David’s kingdom was really God’s kingdom.
When God finally came to earth as the Son of David and announced His Kingship, His acceptance by the nation again lasted about a chapter. At which time, He was again rejected as His nation’s King, but in the ultimate act of peacemaking, He created a New Covenant. And a new, New Kingdom.
And so we’ll find in a later day when God will officially be Israel’s one and only King again, it will be through One called “the Son of David,” the Son of one who had desired Him as the true King of his kingdom. The King of kings.