The Sure Mercies of David

WHEN DAVID BECAME KING, the Lord greatly blessed him with riches and peace, and his heart overflowed with gratitude. As a consequence, his thoughts turned toward the building of a house for the Lord. In a report, David said to the Prophet Nathan, “Here I am, living in a palace of cedar, while the ark of God remains in a tent.” Nathan replied, “Whatever you have in mind, go ahead and do it, for the Lord is with you.”—II Sam. 7:1-3, New International Version

That night, however, God instructed Nathan to tell David that in all of Israel’s travels since leaving Egypt his dwelling had been a tent. (vss. 4-7) Moreover, he had never requested a luxurious house of cedar for himself. In fact, the Lord says, “Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. Where is the house you will build for me? … Has not my hand made all these things, and so they came into being?”—Isa. 66:1, NIV


Continuing, God said to David, “I took you from the pasture and from following the flock to be ruler over my people Israel. I have been with you wherever you have gone, and I have cut off all your enemies from before you.” God promised, “I will make your name great, like the names of the greatest men of the earth.” (II Sam. 7:8,9, NIV) He further promised Israel that he would provide them a homeland where they would receive blessings and rest from their enemies—II Sam. 7:10,11

When God said he would build a house for David, he was not thinking of an actual dwelling, but rather an eternal family and a ruling house. Moreover, the throne was to be established by David’s offspring after David’s death. Furthermore, it would last forever.


I Chronicles 22 gives us a typical fulfillment of this promise. David, as king, was allowed to gather workmen and materials for construction of the Temple, even though David himself was not permitted to have part in its actual building. David called for Solomon, charging him to build the house for the Lord. (vss. 6-11) Although David had planned to build it himself, the Lord would not permit him to do so because he had been a man of war.

It was a work to be done by his son. Solomon was a type of yet another Son to come. David’s advice to his son was: “Serve him [God] with a perfect heart and with a willing mind. … Take heed now; for the Lord hath chosen thee to build an house for the sanctuary: be strong, and do it.” (I Chron. 28:9,10) David adds: “The Lord made me understand in writing by his hand upon me, even all the works of this pattern.” (vs. 19) So David gave to his son Solomon, the pattern for constructing the Temple.

God arranged for various groups or classes of people he wanted to serve in the Temple after it had been built. The Temple was to be a picture or shadow of good things to come, foretelling the future fulfillment of God’s promise of the coming kingdom. We read: “The courses of the priests and the Levites, even they shall be with thee for all the service of the house of God: … also the princes and all the people will be wholly at thy commandment.”—I Chron. 28:21

This passage refers to those whom God prepares beforehand to administer his perfect law for man during his thousand-year kingdom. The scripture points to the Church; the Great Company; the Ancient Worthies; and finally to mankind themselves, the recipients of those blessings. Clearly this prophecy foreshadows the arrangement of good things to come in that blessed millennial kingdom of Christ.

When Solomon was finally seated upon his throne, David asked the Lord to give his son a perfect heart to keep God’s commandments, testimonies, and statutes. He was also to build the palace for which he had made provision. All of these were typical of Jesus, the one who would sit on David’s throne in God’s kingdom. Paul’s sermon at Antioch confirms this.


Offering scriptural proof of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, Paul said: “He hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee [brought you to birth]. And as concerning that he raised him up from the dead, now no more to return to corruption, he said on this wise, I will give you the sure mercies of David. Wherefore he saith also in another psalm, Thou shalt not suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell on sleep, and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption. But he, whom God raised again, saw no corruption.”—Acts 13:33-37

In the proclamation by the angel to Mary of Jesus’ birth, he said: “He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David.” (Luke 1:32) Psalm 132:11 assures us: “The Lord hath sworn in truth unto David; he will not turn from it; Of the fruit of thy body will I set upon thy throne.”

These promises are further confirmed in the wonderful and enlightening scriptures recorded by the Prophet Isaiah: “The government shall be upon his shoulder. … Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth and even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.”—Isa. 9:6,7


The Abrahamic promise, which includes blessings for both the church and the world of mankind, promises a seed; and, in addition, blessings for all the families of the earth to come through that seed. Paul explains, ‘That seed is Christ.’ (Gal. 3:16) The promise of the blessings is sure, for it was sealed by God’s oath, which, knowing there is none greater, we never question. Likewise the covenant God made with David was firm, true, and real, and also included a promise of that same kingdom which will bless all of mankind. It, too, was sealed with God’s pledge of fulfillment. (Ps. 89:3) “I have made a covenant with my chosen, I have sworn unto David my servant.”

Isaiah briefly describes how God’s covenant is to be carried out in his 1000-year kingdom. “Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? And your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David. Behold, I have given him for a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people. Behold, thou shalt call a nation that thou knowest not, and nations that knew not thee shall run unto thee because of the Lord thy God, and for the Holy One of Israel; for he hath glorified thee.”—Isa. 55:1-5

A similarly impressive picture of the kingdom is given in Revelation 22:1,17: “He shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. … And the Spirit and the Bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” Clearly, the water of life in that glorious kingdom is to be made available for whoever desires it—all without money and without price. The time for receiving the water of life freely has not yet arrived. Those who seek eternal life now, must first count the cost. (Luke 14:28) They must take up their daily cross to follow Jesus. So our way is just like His way—one of self-denial and self-sacrifice.


We have already seen that the Church—in association with our Lord Jesus—is declared to be the Seed of Abraham. To carry out his work of restitution in the kingdom, God has commissioned the faithful Little Flock to bring his blessings to all mankind. (Gal. 3:29) Likewise, a related promise to the Church describes our inheritance to sit on the throne of David together with our Lord and Head, Jesus. It is: “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.” (Rev. 3:21) What is more, both of God’s promises—those to Abraham and to David—are unconditional. God’s word is: ‘I am going to do this!’

Psalm 89 speaks about David; it is not written by him. It also refers to the blessings guaranteed by the sure mercies of David. Psalm 89:3,4 reads: “I have made a covenant with my chosen, I have sworn unto David my servant.” Continuing, God pledges to David, “Thy seed [Christ] will I establish forever, and build up thy throne to all generations.”

Psalm 49:7 says that no man “can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him.” God reassures us in Psalm 89:20, however, that he has found a ransom, for he says: “I have found David my servant; with my holy oil have I anointed him.” David, here, typically received the holy anointing oil, picturing Jesus’ having been anointed with God’s Holy Spirit when he came to earth to be our ransom sacrifice.

God, speaking under oath, said: “My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips. Once have I sworn by my holiness that I will not lie unto David. His seed shall endure for ever, and his throne as the sun before me. It shall be established for ever as the moon, and as a faithful witness in heaven.” (Ps. 89:34-37) God certifies that he will fulfill the promises that have gone forth out of his mouth.


David, during his reign, was privileged to gather materials for construction of the Temple. These articles were all collected and prepared under conditions of strife, war, ridicule, humiliation, and confusion then existing; but the actual building was to be erected at a later date. In like manner, the living stones—the materials NOW being gathered during the stressful times of this Gospel Age—when assembled, will comprise God’s true holy temple in his kingdom. First, however, there is a work to be done. These rough stones, having been quarried, must be chiseled, shaped, and all perfectly fitted for their respective positions in that heavenly temple before it is assembled. These are the very same ‘living stones’ Peter described as being built together, “a spiritual house, an holy priesthood,” a habitation for God.—I Pet. 2:5

How beautifully this entire secret operation is described in the Old Testament. “The house, when it was in building, was built of stone made ready before it was brought thither: so that there was neither hammer nor ax nor any tool of iron heard in the house, while it was in building.” (I Kings 6:7) Very soon, when all the living stones are perfected and made ready, in the midst of an ignorant and unmindful world, that glorious spiritual temple will be erected.

For some 2,000 years, these materials—Christ and all his brethren—have been in preparation to fill all the glorious spiritual positions in the house of God, that his name might be glorified. Truly, then, in his kingdom, all the world shall come to know our Lord, “from the least of them unto the greatest.”—Jer. 31:34

Keeping that work in mind as our goal, let us strive to remain faithful that we might become part of that tabernacle of David, and share in the work of blessing all the families of the earth in association with our Lord Jesus.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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