God’s Covenant with David

Key Verse: “Thus shalt thou say unto my servant David, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I took thee from the sheepcote, even from following the sheep, that thou shouldest be ruler over my people Israel: And I have been with thee whithersoever thou hast walked, and have cut off all thine enemies from before thee, and have made thee a name like the name of the great men that are in the earth.”
—I Chronicles 17:7,8

Selected Scripture:
I Chronicles 17:1-27

WE RECALL FROM OUR previous lesson that the ark had been returned by David to Jerusalem and continued to be kept in a tent. “I [God] have not dwelt in a house since the day that I brought up Israel unto this day; but have gone from tent to tent, and from one tabernacle to another.” (I Chron. 17:5) David was also troubled by this, as evidenced by his words to Nathan the prophet, “I dwell in a house of cedars, but the ark of the covenant of the Lord remaineth under curtains.” (vs. 1) It points again to David’s love for his God, and his constant concern to inquire of the prophets concerning the will of the Heavenly Father.

Although he was a devoted servant, Nathan would be given a word from God, and would be instructed to speak to David concerning this matter. He was informed that he would not be called upon to build a house for the Lord. “Thou shalt not build me an house to dwell in.” (vs. 4) We are given the reason, “Because thou hast been a man of war, and hast shed blood.” (chap. 28:3) The Lord further explained through his prophet that he had never wished a temple, nor had he commanded one to be built.

These events bring us to the focus of our Key Verse. As though to console David and to insure him that God did appreciate his good intentions, Nathan was instructed to recite some of the many evidences of Divine care and supervision of the king’s affairs. David had come from humble beginnings, as a shepherd who had faithfully and bravely taken care of his flock. (I Sam. 16:11-13) He had been made a prince and leader of his people, conquering his enemies, which stood before him. “He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them which hated me: for they were too strong for me.” (Ps. 18:17) God further assured him that such a blessing would continue with him until his name should be known amongst the great men of the earth. His house would continue its dominance through Solomon, who would be called upon to build to build a temple in Jerusalem. “He shall build me an house, and I will stablish his throne for ever.”—I Chron. 17:12

The Lord also declared that a blessing would come to Israel. One day they would no more be oppressed or scattered by their enemies. This prophecy had a temporary fulfillment under David and Solomon, but it will have its real accomplishment under the kingdom of our Lord and Saviour, Christ Jesus.

One of the titles of our Lord was the “son of David.” (Matt 1:1) This was in harmony with the expectation of all Israel, that ultimately Messiah, the promised seed of Abraham would come from the seed of David and would be an everlasting king. This promise is the “sure mercies of David.”—Acts 13:34

Dawn Bible Students Association
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