The first book of Samuel ended with the failed kingdom of Saul and his suicide death on Mt. Gilboa to avoid torture by the approaching Philistines. David, the shepherd boy from Bethlehem, who many years before was anointed as king by Samuel as Saul’s successor and shortly after that killed the giant Goliath, had now consolidated his power, defeated Saul’s wannabe successors and was established as king over all Israel in Jerusalem.
It didn’t happen overnight. He was first crowned king of Judah in Hebron; seven years later crowned in Jerusalem as king over all Israel . A time of relative stability ensued. The Ark of God was brought to Jerusalem, where it awaited its home in the Temple later built by David’s son, Solomon.
2 Samuel 7 is clearly the pinnacle of David’s kingship. It is in this context that God delivered a remarkable message to David through the prophet, Nathan. After clarifying that David would not build the Temple, God gave this amazing promise to David through Nathan.
verse 9 – Now I will make your name great, like the names of the greatest men on earth.
verse 11 – The Lord declares to you that the Lord himself will establish a house for you:
verse 12 – I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, your own flesh and blood, and I will establish his kingdom.
verse 13 – He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.
verse 16 – Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.’ (underline mine for emphasis)
This is an amazing promise. Surely it is hyperbole, isn’t it? This can’t be literal, can it?
From this point on, David’s life is more bad news than good news. Not much Gospel in the rest of 2 Samuel.
chapter 11 – murder and adultery. David did it.
What happened to the man after God’s own heart?
chapter 13 – rape and murder. Amnon, Tamar and Absolom
chapter 14-19 – alienation and war between father and son, David and Absalom
After David’s death, Solomon led Israel to super power status… and to pluralism and syncretism as he paid homage to the gods of his many wives.
David’s foolish grandson, Rehoboam, presided over the division of the kingdom. David’s kingdom didn’t seem to last for more than 80 years, far short of forever. Yes, David’s descendants continued on the throne in Jerusalem for another almost 400 years. There were some good and godly leaders like Jehoshaphat, Hezekiah and Josiah. But there were some really bad apples too, like Manasseh the worst of the worst.
It sure doesn’t seem like David’s kingdom lasted forever. It along with Jerusalem, was destroyed in 586 BC by Babylon(Iraq). Even after the exiles returned, there was no Davidic king, no king at all except foreigners.
What went wrong? Did Nathan misunderstand the message from the LORD? Not at all!
Psalms and the prophets reiterate this promise.
Psalm 89:3, 4; 29, 35-37 – I will establish your line forever, his throne as long as the heavens endure…his throne endure before me like the sun; it will be established forever like the moon, the faithful witness in the sky.
Isaiah 9:7 – He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom…from that time on and forever.
Jeremiah 33:17 – David will never fail to have a man sit on the throne of the house of Israel.
Daniel 7:27 – His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom.
But didn’t it end in 586 BC? How can this be?
This is where we find the Gospel in 2 Samuel.
This looks far beyond David and the failed kingdoms of Israel and Judah to a physical descendant of David, Jesus of Nazareth, whose lineage is traced back to David in Matthew 1 and Luke 3, who is the fulfillment of this great promise.
Luke 1, the Annunciation – Gabriel to Mary, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”
Matthew 21:9 , as Jesus entered Jerusalem – Hosanna to the Son of David!
Revelation 11:15 – The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign for ever and ever.”
Revelation 19:16 – On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written, “King of kings and Lord of lords.”
God keeps His Promises!