“An Eternal Kingdom”
Lesson Text:2 Samuel 7:4-16
Background Scripture: 2 Samuel 7
Devotional Reading: Psalm 98
2 Samuel 7:4-16 (KJV)
4 And it came to pass that night, that the word of the Lord came unto Nathan, saying,
5 Go and tell my servant David, Thus saith the Lord, Shalt thou build me an house for me to dwell in?
6 Whereas I have not dwelt in any house since the time that I brought up the children of Israel out of Egypt, even to this day, but have walked in a tent and in a tabernacle.
7 In all the places wherein I have walked with all the children of Israel spake I a word with any of the tribes of Israel, whom I commanded to feed my people Israel, saying, Why build ye not me an house of cedar?
8 Now therefore so shalt thou say unto my servant David, Thus saith the Lord of hosts, I took thee from the sheepcote, from following the sheep, to be ruler over my people, over Israel:
9 And I was with thee whithersoever thou wentest, and have cut off all thine enemies out of thy sight, and have made thee a great name, like unto the name of the great men that are in the earth.
10 Moreover I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more; neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them any more, as beforetime,
11 And as since the time that I commanded judges to be over my people Israel, and have caused thee to rest from all thine enemies. Also the Lord telleth thee that he will make thee an house.
12 And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom.
13 He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever.
14 I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men:
15 But my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee.
16 And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever.
To summarize God's promise to David.
To explain how Jesus brings that promise to its ultimate fulfillment
Think of new ways in which you can honor the Lord.
The Ideal Leader
What constitutes the ideal leader? We might assemble quite a list of traits: expertise, communication skill, honesty, courage, humility, persistence, compassion, levelheadedness. The demands of leadership are many. Success in leadership requires an impressive list of qualities.
Then we can ask, "Who has ever embodied the ideals of leadership?" We might name many famous figures of the past and perhaps some from the present. But many leaders we know of today fall short of the ideal. In fact, it is easier to name a leader's faults than to name an ideal leader.
Our frustration in finding the ideal leader is nothing new. It is reflected throughout history, and especially in the Bible. Much of the Old Testament focuses on the failures of the man appointed leaders of God's people. They failed time after time, generation after generation. "When," the faithful ask, "will God send a leader who truly reflects God's own greatness?" Today's text is central to that question.
Today's text marks a high point in Old Testament history. After generations of living in the promised land under the leadership of judges, Israel had begged God to give them a king, so they could be like the mighty nations around them (1 Samuel 8:5-7). God reluctantly pointed Israel to Saul, a man who appeared quite kingly because of his impressive stature and accomplishments on the battlefield (11:14, 15). But Saul willfully disobeyed God. Rejecting Saul as king, God sent the prophet Samuel to the household of Jesse, where Samuel anointed David, the youngest of Jesse's sons, as king (16:1, 11-13).
David rose to prominence soon after he defeated Goliath and won other triumphs on the battlefield. Saul, still on Israel's throne, thought that he had a dangerous rival in David (1 Samuel 18:7-9), so Saul spent the latter years of his life pursuing David off and on to kill him. David hid himself successfully and never attempted to harm Saul directly in retaliation (24:1-7; 26:7-12). Saul was mortally wounded in battle and took his own life (31:4).
With Saul dead, the tribe of Judah acclaimed David as king (2 Samuel 2:4). He led Judah's armies in battle against the Jebusites (5:6, 7), conquered their city Jebus, renamed it Jerusalem, and made it his capital. Soon all Israel affirmed David as king. In the early years of his reign, David enjoyed economic and military success. He built himself a palace in Jerusalem (5:11). To that city he brought the tabernacle, Israel's portable center of worship (6:17).
As 2 Samuel 7 begins, David had surveyed the situation in Jerusalem and announced that it was unfitting for him to live in a palace while God was worshipped in a tent. At first, the prophet Nathan approved David's plan—presumably to build a temple to replace the tabernacle. At this point our text begins; the date is about 1002 B.C. (1 Chronicles 17:3-14 is parallel).
The Lord’s Faithful Presence (2 Samuel 7:4-7)
1. What command did God give to the prophet Nathan regarding King David’s plans? (2 Samuel 7:4-7)
As David considered his situation, he concluded that it was not right for him to live in his cedar palace while the ark was left in a tent. Therefore, he called in Nathan the prophet and stated what was bothering him. Nathan responded by encouraging the king to pursue the noble project he had in mind (2 Samuel 7:3). The prophet reasoned that the Lord had blessed David by making his kingdom great. However, Nathan spoke on the basis of his own understanding, for he had not consulted the Lord on the matter.
God is about to speak against David's plans. God does not communicate directly to David, but sends the message through the prophet Nathan (v. 4). This man also needs a corrective since he has embraced David's wrong thinking.
The message brings assurance and correction (v. 5). God's address of David as my servant brings to mind the fact that David, unlike Saul, has sought to obey God even when doing so seemed to go against David's own interests. But now David plans to build a house for God, just as David had built a house for himself. God commended David for his desire to build a temple (see 1 Kings 8:18). However, Scripture reveals one reason why God would not permit David to build a temple. The king had waged many wars and was somehow defiled by all the, blood he had shed in battle (see 1 Chron. 22:8). Although God did not permit Israel’s king to build the temple, the Lord allowed him to make extensive preparations for its eventual construction (see 22:2-5; 28:2).
God stated that ever since the time He brought the Israelites out of Egypt, He did not have an earthly temple in which to manifest His presence (2 Sam. 7:6). His people had moved the ark, which symbolized His presence, from one location to another. Also, throughout Israel’s history the Lord had never complained about the lack of a cedar temple in which to dwell (v. 7). God had been satisfied with the tabernacle arrangement, and was still satisfied with it.
The Lord’s Establishment of David (2 Samuel 7:8-9)
2. What did the Lord first remind David of (2 Samuel 7:8-9)?
Now God's message takes a positive turn as the all-powerful Lord reminded His servant David of His earlier blessings to him. David had been a humble shepherd who tended sheep when God chose him to be the ruler of His people (2 Sam. 7:8).
Wherever David went, God was present to lead him and enable him to defeat his enemies (2 Sam. 7:9a) In fact, it was divine grace that sustained David as he journeyed on a long and rocky road to his assumption of rule over Israel and Judah (2:8-5:5).
2 Sam. 7:9b reveals that the Lord pledged to make David’s name as great as the names of the most famous people in the world. The fulfillment of this is found in 8:13.
Now that David has attained the throne, he still is not in a position to do a favor for God, even as a gesture of thanks. God remains in control of His gifts and His plans.
What Do You Think?
When was a time you were surprised to discover that your service for God turned out to be God's service and blessing for you? What did you learn about God from this experience?
Talking Points for Your Discussion
Involving a "behind the scenes" ministry | Involving an "out in front" ministry
The Lord’s Pledge of a Homeland (2 Samuel 7:10-11a)
3. What did the Lord promise His people Israel (2 Samuel 7:10-11a)?
God promised to give the Israelites a land of their own where they could live in peace. They would not have to tremble in fear anymore, for evil nations would not oppress them as they had from Israel’s beginning in Egypt until the end of the period of judges. Psalms 44:2 and 80:8 record the fulfillment of these promises to God’s people. The Lord also pledged to give David rest from all his enemies. This means God would enable David to triumph over antagonistic nations that threatened Israel (2 Sam. 7:10-11). By the end of David’s reign Israel enjoyed peace from all its foes (see 1 Chron. 22:18).
The Promise of a Davidic Dynasty (2 Samuel 7:11b-12)
4. What kind of “house” did the Lord promise David (2 Samuel 7:11b-12)?
God promised to do several other things for David after his death. In particular the Lord pledged to establish David’s house. Although God would not let David build a physical house, or temple, for Him, He would build a lasting house, orroyal dynasty, for David. God also promised to establish the throne and kingdom of David forever. The Lord would choose one of David’s sons to be king when David reached the end of his life and was buried (2 Sam. 7:11-12).
The Hebrew noun rendered “house” (v. 11) lies at the heart of this passage. David saw his own house (or palace) and desired to build a house (or temple) for the Lord. But God declared that He would build a house (or dynasty) for David. And the king’s son would build a house (or temple) for the Lord. The New Testament reveals that the Father’s promises to David are fulfilled in the Son. He keeps the conditions of the covenant perfectly (Heb. 4:15), serves as the mediator of the covenant (9:15), and promises to return as the conquering King (Matt. 24:29-31).
What Do You Think?
What are some things your church can do to make sure that its "building" plans are in harmony with God's plan for building His kingdom?
Talking Points for Your Discussion
Regarding building spiritual maturity of members
Regarding building local outreach programs | Regarding building outreach programs abroad
Regarding adding church staff | Other
The Promise of a Davidic Kingdom (2 Samuel 7:13-16)
5. What kind of “kingdom” did the Lord promise David (2 Samuel 7:13-16)?
Every king is concerned about the future of his kingdom, and the Lord promised David something above and beyond anything he could have imagined.
David did not have to worry whether his kingdom would endure after his death, for the Lord would make the royal throne of his son secure for all time (2 Sam. 7: 13). God also pledged to establish an intimate Father-son relationship with David’s descendants. When a Davidic king did wrong, the Lord would punish him just as parents discipline their rebellious children (v. 14). We learn from Scripture that God’s punishment of David’s successors would culminate in the loss of land and temple (see 1 Kings 9:6-9). Yet the Lord would never withdraw His love from His covenant people.
Moreover, the Davidic kings did not have to fear that God would remove His loyal love from them as He had with Saul (2 Sam. 7:15; see 1 Sam. 15:28). God’s promise to establish forever the dynasty, kingdom, and throne of David, would not fail (2 Sam. 7:16), being one day fully realized in Jesus (see Jeremiah 33:14-26; Micah 5:2-5), the promised king, the builder of the true temple! It is in His death and resurrection that the true temple is built. It is in Jesus that forgiveness becomes available to all who accept Him (Acts 2:38). Jesus is the one who grants that God's Spirit might dwell in us as His body, the temple that will permeate the whole world (see John 2:19-21; 4:20-24; 1 Corinthians 3:16, 17; Ephesians 2:19-22).
The Father, who promised to do great things for David, has also done great things for us through the Son. Because we trust in Him for eternal life, our sins are totally forgiven, and we look forward to a glorious future with God in heaven.
POINTS TO PONDER
1.While it’s wise to get all the counseling we can, in the end we must trust God to help us make something out of our lives. (2 Sam. 7:4-9)
2.The Lord will provide when we are obedient! (Genesis 22:8; 2 Sam. 7:10, 11)
3.Only what we do for Christ will last. (2 Sam. 7:12-15; Philippians 3:7)
4.David believed what God promised to him (2 Sam. 7:16). Likewise, we are refreshed, encouraged, and inspired by God’s promises to us. We live in hope because we believe in the total reliability and trustworthiness of God. He cannot lie (Titus 1:2; 2 Timothy 3:16).
Jesus, Son of David
Today's text was a source of hope for Israel for centuries. When rulers were corrupt and enemy nations threatened, God's promise of a great son of David encouraged people to look to a greater future, one secured by God's faithful Word and accomplished by His mighty power.
We recognize that God brings this promise to fulfillment in Jesus. He was and is the promised son of David. He was and is God's Son, having exercised power and authority that God alone possesses. In Jesus, God became present in the world as a human to reclaim what was rightfully His.
Jesus established His rule not through military might but through voluntary lowliness. From that position He defeated the forces of darkness by receiving every evil thing that they could deliver, surrendering himself to die by crucifixion for our sins. In dying, rising, and ascending, He assumed the eternal throne, from which one day He will truly and completely rule all the world (Philippians 2:6-11). From that position He now builds the true temple: His people from every nation.
God's promise to David involved more than David could have imagined. It involves more than we can imagine, except for the amazing good news of Jesus that we now have. Knowing Jesus as king changes everything.
Our Heavenly Father, we praise You for Your faithfulness and for Your love that did not spare Your Son. We hail Him as king as we worship as the temple that He is building. In our king Jesus' name, amen.
THOUGHT TO REMEMBER
Honor Jesus as the promised seed of David.