2nd Samuel Chapter 7– John Karmelich
1. My title for Chapter 7 is, “God’s Promises and God’s Timing”.
2. I’ll get back to that title in a moment. First, I want to talk about the title “Son of David”.
a) Look at the first sentence of the New Testament (Mathew 1:1 NIV):
i) A record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ the son of David, the son of Abraham.
b) The bible has lots of titles and nicknames for Jesus. One of them is the “Son of David”.
c) If you think about, Jesus could have been called “Son of Adam, Son of Noah, Son of Judah, Son of Solomon. All of these people were in Jesus’ ancestral line.
d) Yet, the opening line of the New Testament specifically choose these two people that Jesus was the “son of”. The “why” question is a big part of this lesson.
e) I’m going to argue that Chapter 7 is the most important lesson in all of Samuel. This is the chapter where we find out why Jesus is called “The Son of David”.
f) It is a specific promise given to David about the coming Messiah. It is important for a good bible student to understand what the title “Son of David means and why it is significant not only to the Christian but to the Jew as well.
3. Next, it is important to talk about the great question of “What does man desire of God?
a) People want to know if they are forgiven of their faults and sins. That is the underlying question of “Can I get to heaven?”
b) Second, I believe there is a desire for living in a world of justice and peace. All adults have seen terrible things happen to innocent people. We want to live in a world where the innocent never get hurt. God does promise that will come one day. The bible teaches that Jesus will rule on earth for a 1,000-year period of world-peace. (Ref.: Revelation 20).
c) In both cases, God makes unconditional promises that these two things (forgiveness of our sins, and world-peace) will happen. Both promises are the “cure” for sin. Sin causes us to be imperfect, and a need for forgiveness. Sin causes the rotten things of this world to occur and thus a desire for a peaceful world. That is why the “sin problem” has to be removed before Jesus can rule and reign over a peaceful world.
d) So why does there have to be a 2,000-year-and-counting gap between Jesus First Coming and Second Coming? The answer is God also wants another group of “chosen people” who freely choose to follow Jesus. The same way the Israelites are a “chosen people” to bring the Messiah in the world, God desire s another “chosen people” who accept the Messiah in this world. That does not mean the “Christian era” as we know it goes on forever. As promised, there is a day of Jesus’ return.
4. Which leads us back to the question of “Why is the title “Son of David” so important?
a) It is important to understand that unconditional promises were made to David about a “future king” (i.e., “Messiah”) that tie specifically to Jesus. To call Jesus “Son of David” is to teach that Jesus is the fulfillment of the promises of a “Reigning Messiah” to David.
b) The application of this lesson is to learn that God makes unconditional promises to us and God keeps them. Further, God keeps them on His timing, not ours.
5. Now let’s get back to my title for this lesson: God’s promises and God’s timing.
a) At this point, let me summarize the chapter: David has a time of peace from the surrounding enemies. David notices that the ark of God, the object that represents the presence of God, is sitting in a tent while David is living in a king’s palace. David wants to build a big permanent temple for this ark. God tells David no, but at the same time God tells David that one of his descendants will build this temple. Further, God tells David that his lineage will rule over Israel forever. That is a hint of the coming Messiah. The last part of the chapter is a prayer by David giving thanks for this promise.
b) David wanted to do something great for God (build a temple) and God said no. Sometimes, we have to accept God’s “no” answer. It is not that God is mad at us or thinks were incapable of doing some project for Him. This is a case of us being willing to submit to His will and His timing, period. Thus, my title is “God’s promises and God’s timing”.
c) If God makes a promise to us, that promise will come true. What we have to accept is God’s timing.
d) Let me tie this timing concept to Jesus Second Coming: We can’t go to Jerusalem, build a temple, and then tell Jesus, “OK, Lord, here it is, let’s get this show on the road!” We are told to pray for Jesus Second Coming (“thy kingdom come”), but we can’t fulfill bible prophecy through our own efforts and then “demand” that God work on our timing.
e) In a sense, that is what David was trying to do here. David finished conquering the Promised Land and now had peace. It was time to build a big palace for God.
f) It is almost (emphasize almost) as if David was thinking, “OK Lord, I’ve finished the job told by Moses of conquering the Promised Land. This was told to our fathers roughly 500 years ago, and it’s finally done. OK, now it is time for you to come rule and reign from earth. Come on down Lord!”
g) God does not work on man’s timing. God does make promises to us and many of those promises are unconditional. One of those unconditional promises has to do with Jesus Second Coming. We can’t speed up that process by “construction”.
h) One of my favorite scenes in the play, “Fiddler on the Roof” is near the end. The Jewish town folks were kicked out of their hometown. Everyone is sad and angry with the Russian government for giving such an order. A young man asked the rabbi, “Wouldn’t this be a good time for the Messiah to come? The rabbi responded, “Perhaps we should wait for the Messiah somewhere else!”
i) That is the wisdom to be applied to this lesson from the play. In times when we are hurting, we want Jesus to come back now. Ever notice it is never during the good times we’re in a hurry for Jesus to come back? ☺ It is only when we’re out of money or we’re in pain we cry out for Jesus return.
i) This leads back to David. David wanted to do “something great” for God and build a great temple. God said in effect, “Nice idea David, but it is not my will for your life. Don’t worry David, I’m still on the throne. I still have great plans for your life and for your country. Let me (God) work on my timing and not yours.”
i) The corollary is we are not to be passive and say, “Well, I’ll just lie in bed and wait for God to work.” God can’t guide us unless we’re moving. God can’t say yes or no unless we’re asking questions. This is about a specific request by David and a specific “wait” answer by God.
6. Last thing before I start: It is important to understand bible prophecy and “double-vision”.
a) Approximately 30% of the bible is “prophecy” or predictions. Those predictions are there to help validate the bible as the Word of God. For example, how do you know the bible is the Word of God, and not say, the Koran or the Book of Mormon? The answer is that a large chunk of the bible is predictions about the future. It is God saying, “Just so you know that this is the Word of God, I’m going to state history in advance as validation.”
b) What is important to understand is that many of the predictions are not blunt statements of “this will happen or that will happen one day”. Many of them are “patterns” that are repeated. Every aspect of Jesus First and Second Comings is either stated as a blunt prediction or stated as a word-pattern somewhere in the Old Testament.
c) The next thing to understand about bible predictions is the concept of “double-vision”.
i) A lot of the predictions in the bible have short-term and long-term fulfillments.
ii) The short-term fulfillment is usually a “partial” fulfillment. The short-term fulfillment validates the prophet as a prophet. Usually the short-term prediction will come true say, within a generation. It tells the people of that time era, “Wow, this guy really is a prophet of God as what he said came true”.
iii) What is equally as true is that if you study the literalness of the prediction, there is usually “something missing” in the short-term fulfillment. That is because there is a long-term fulfillment where the event literally comes true.
iv) Let me give an example: “This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will take the Israelites out of the nations where they have gone. I will gather them from all around and bring them back into their own land.” (Ezekiel 37:21 NKJV)
a) When Ezekiel wrote this, all of Israel was under the Babylonian captivity. They were moved out of Israel and held captive under “one nation”.
b) In the history of civilization, no nation has ever come out of captivity to form a nation again, except for Israel. They did it twice.
c) The first fulfillment was a “generation” after Ezekiel wrote this. Roughly 70 years after Ezekiel wrote this, the Babylonians were conquered by the Persians and the King of Persia gave an order allowing the Jewish people to return to their homeland. It validated Ezekiel as a prophet of God.
d) The “problem” is that Ezekiel’s prediction did not “literally” come true. Ezekiel 37:21 predicted that the Jews would be set free from the nations (plural). That has only literally come true in 1948 when Israel became a country again.
e) My point? A lot of prophesy as short-term and long-term fulfillment. The short term is a partial fulfillment to validate the prophet. The long-term fulfillment is the literal fulfillment of the prophecy.
v) This leads us back to David. Here in Chapter 7, God told David that one of his descendants would build a temple for God that would last forever. The “short term” fulfillment ties to David’s son Solomon, who built a temple. This is a partial fulfillment, as that temple did not last “forever”. The long-term fulfillment ties to Jesus Second Coming when Jesus rules from this temple over mankind forever.
d) OK, I’m on page three and haven’t touched verse 1 yet. Better get started. ☺
7. Chapter 7, Verse 1: After the king was settled in his palace and the LORD had given him rest from all his enemies around him, 2 he said to Nathan the prophet, "Here I am, living in a palace of cedar, while the ark of God remains in a tent."
a) Here is David “kicking back” in his palace. We learned in Chapter 5 that a neighboring king of Syria built this palace for David as a gift.
i) The text says there is no longer any wars with the surrounding countries.
ii) Now David, with time on his hands is thinking, “You know, here I am living in this great palace while the ark of God sits in a tent.”
b) First of all, David does not really believe that God himself actually exists in the “box”. The ark of God (i.e., “the ark of the covenant”) is a small box object that represents the very presences of God.
i) This is about David wanting a great palace as a “resting place” for God’s presence.
ii) The surrounding nations all had great temples for their gods. Maybe David wanted to “one up” all the other false gods.
c) Back to the ark itself. It was placed in a tent. I want you to think about the idea of a “tent” versus a “palace” in terms of its permanency.
i) When we think of living in a tent, we think of a temporary structure. Tents are for people on the move. Tents are for campers and travelers.
ii) The idea of the “tent” is the reminder that this world is not our home. We live “temporarily” on earth, but our “permanent home is in heaven. A temple is a “permanent” structure.
iii) It is almost as if David is thinking, “You know, I’ve now conquered all my enemies. It is time to “settle down permanently” in the Promised Land. It is time to build a big permanent house for God’s presence to be here.”
iv) In a few verses, God will reject David’s plan. This plan is not rejected because David did something wrong. Yes, God does want to give us “permanent rest”. Yes, God does have a plan for a king to rule over the world one day. That plan comes on God’s timing and not on ours.
8. Verse 3: Nathan replied to the king, "Whatever you have in mind, go ahead and do it, for the LORD is with you."
a) Back in Verse 2, Nathan is called “Nathan the Prophet”.
b) This is the first time, but not the last we are introduced to David’s friend Nathan.
c) Let’s face it, you don’t get the nickname “Nathan the Prophet” unless you’ve already made a few predictions that have come true. ☺ There is probably something in Nathan’s past that has validated Nathan as a prophet.
i) Back in Deuteronomy 13, there is a passage that when someone claims to be a prophet of God, you wait and see if what the guy says comes true. If it does, he “is” a prophet of God. If it doesn’t come true, you kill the guy. Therefore, being a Jewish prophet has a high occupational risk for accuracy. ☺
d) Here’s Nathan, thinking, “What a great idea David, go for it!”
i) In a sense, there is nothing wrong with what Nathan said.
ii) David was not violating any biblical principals.
iii) The only fault you could find with Nathan is that if he was David’s spiritual advisor, he didn’t pray to God for guidance.
iv) You don’t read of God scolding Nathan for saying, “go for it”. We only read of God using Nathan to tell David no in the next few verses.
9. Verse 4: That night the word of the LORD came to Nathan, saying:
a) What God actually said to Nathan begins in Verse 5.
b) What I want to stop and ponder is, “Why didn’t God speak to David directly?
i) Why was it necessary for God to use this “middle man” and go through Nathan?
ii) First of all, it’s God’s choice. He can do whatever He wants.
iii) I believe this method was for Nathan’s benefit as well as David. It is to tell David, “If it is your (Nathan’s) role to be my voice between myself (God) and David, then I expect you to listen to me. I expect you to seek my wisdom as to what to tell David and not just speak the first thing that comes out of your mouth”
iv) Third, God is going to use Nathan later to punish David when he has his adulteress affair with Bathsheba. I believe God is establishing Nathan as a spokesman for God so that God can again use Nathan as His spokesman.
c) Whenever we as Christians come to “big decisions”, we often seek God. A favorite prayer in big decisions is “Lord, bless it or block it”. God may or may not speak directly to us as he did to Nathan, but God usually does answer the prayer with the results of our actions. Our role is to accept God’s answer, be it good or bad.
10. Verse 5: "Go and tell my servant David, `This is what the LORD says: Are you the one to build me a house to dwell in? 6 I have not dwelt in a house from the day I brought the Israelites up out of Egypt to this day. I have been moving from place to place with a tent as my dwelling. 7 Wherever I have moved with all the Israelites, did I ever say to any of their rulers whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, "Why have you not built me a house of cedar?"
a) Let me try to paraphrase God: “Hey David, did I tell Moses to build me a temple? Did I tell Joshua, Moses’ successor to build me a temple? Did I tell any of the judges or Saul to build me a temple? Why would I expect you to do such a thing?”
b) Let me continue to paraphrase God: “My presence was in tents because the Israelites were on the move. Even when the Israelites settled in the Promised Land I (God) still wanted my presence in tents because it symbolized the fact that their “real” home is in heaven. Further, there will come a day when the Messiah will rule from the earth. David, you’re a great guy, but you’re not going to speed up that day.”
c) It might help to have some New Testament perspective on this. Here is what the angel said to Mary at the birth of Jesus:
i) “(The Angel said) He (Jesus) 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, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.” (Luke 1:32-33 NIV).
ii) OK, stop and think for a moment. Where in the Gospels did Jesus ever rule from a throne in Jerusalem? Where did Jesus ever “rule” from an earthly perspective?
a) This prediction has not literally come true. Jesus has never ruled from the same throne that David ruled from in Jerusalem. Notice the prediction given to Mary mentions the “throne of His father David”. To a Jewish mind, that is not the throne in heaven, that is the throne in Jerusalem.
iii) If you remember a page or two back, I said that prophecy has a short-term partial fulfillment and a long-term literal fulfillment.
iv) Jesus is ruling right now. He is ruling from “His Father’s throne” in heaven. The angel’s prediction is partially true “now” in that Jesus kingdom “never ends”. From the time of Jesus’ resurrection, until today, millions and billions of people swear allegiance to Jesus as their king.
d) Which leads us back to David’s request of God:
i) David wanted a “permanent home” for God, right then, right now.
ii) God responded in a sense with, “Nice idea David, but let me work on My timing!”
e) In a parallel passage, God told David he couldn’t build this temple passage because David had been a man of war”. (Ref.: 1st Chronicles 28:3).
i) God could have rejected David’s plan because God doesn’t want the world to think that you can have eternal peace by killing all your enemies. It is only God himself, dealing the “sin problem” than can bring this eternal peace.
11. Verse 8: "Now then, tell my servant David, `This is what the LORD Almighty says: I took you from the pasture and from following the flock to be ruler over my people Israel. 9 I have been with you wherever you have gone, and I have cut off all your enemies from before you. Now I will make your name great, like the names of the greatest men of the earth.
a) Let me paraphrase God some more: “David, when I first picked you, you were a nothing. You were the youngest of 8 kids taking care of sheep. Even when I told your father Jessie (though Samuel) that one of his kids would be a king, he didn’t even parade you in front of me, but only your seven brothers. I (God) am the one who won your battles. I (God) am the one who won who protected you against Saul when you were on the one. I (God) am the one who made you king. I (God) am the one who cut off all of your enemies.
b) (Continuing:) “Further, I (God) will give you a long term reputation that you will be remembered among all the great leaders in all of history.”
c) Let’s talk a little more about the promise of “I will make your name great.”
i) Remember the opening sentence of the New Testament? It includes the phrase, “Jesus, Son of David”. That title of Jesus is mentioned 17 times in the New Testament. A name is what you are “associated with”.
ii) If you think of all the great names through history, none has surpassed Jesus in terms of history and influence. The one name most associated with Jesus is “Son of David”. Even religious Jewish people that don’t recognize Jesus as the Messiah do comprehend that the Messiah will be a son of David.
iii) Even the Pharisee’s of Jesus day knew the Messiah would be a Son of David: “While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, “What do you think about the Christ? Whose Son is He?” “The son of David,” they replied. (Matthew 22:42 NIV).
iv) David can’t ask for a greater way to be remembered in history. He is personally associated with the Son of God.
d) These set of verses are also humbling to us as Christians. We need to look back all of our victories in life and realize how God was, is, always will be working in our lives for His glory. God is always looking for people willing to step out in faith and do great things for Him. David was that kind of guy.
12. Verse 10, God is speaking: And I (God) will provide a place for my people Israel and will plant them so that they can have a home of their own and no longer be disturbed. Wicked people will not oppress them anymore, as they did at the beginning 11 and have done ever since the time I appointed leaders over my people Israel. I will also give you rest from all your enemies.
a) Here we have another unconditional promise by God:
i) God promised that “my (Jewish) people”, who collectively are called Israel will be peacefully and permanently planted in Israel. They will have a home there and (here’s the key part): will no longer be disturbed”.
ii) If you know your history, this has never happened. The Israelites did live in the Promised Land for a few hundred more years. God allowed the Babylonians to conquer them and displace them out of disobedience. The Israelites did return, but did not have self-rule again for roughly 2,500 years (until 1948!).
b) The second sentence says, “wicked people will not oppress them anymore”.
i) If you study the history of the Israelites, they had lots of wars while the descendants of David ruled over them. Even when they returned from the Babylonian captivity, they had to battle Persians, Syrians, Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, etc. Even when they became a country again in 1948, they still have enemies trying to kill them.
ii) My point? My point is this verse in the bible prediction has not come true yet.
iii) Again, this promise is unconditional. There is coming a day where the Israelites will live peacefully in the Land. That day comes after the return of the Messiah.
iv) Study the last eight chapters of the book of Ezekiel. It describes life during the reign (i.e., Second Coming) of the Messiah. Among the things that happen is that Israel is redivided by tribe. (Chapter 48). This prediction will happen one day.
v) In fact, Paul makes the statement in Romans that, “Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved”. (Romans 11:25b-26a NIV). The “full number of Gentiles” refers to all the non-Jewish people being saved prior to Jesus Second Coming.
a) I don’t think this statement means that every Jewish person in that day automatically goes to heaven. Paul is referring to the fact that Israel as a nation has a future “saved destiny” as a nation to fulfill this promise.
vi) This gets back to God’s unconditional promises. God saves the Nation of Israel “in the end” not because they deserve it, but because of unconditional promises made to David, and to Abraham and others.
c) Now let’s get back to my opening premise: “God’s promises and God’s timing”.
i) Here was David having peace all around him. David wants to set up a big temple for God next to his palace. David wants “happily ever after” right then and there.
ii) God’s response to him (and to us, hint-hint☺) is, “David I raised you up and gave you all sorts of great free gifts and free gifts. I will continue to do great things of your family name. However, I work on My timing and not your timing. There will come a day of great peace. It just so happens that the guy who will bring that peace is one of your descendants. However, you will still have struggles in this lifetime and when I say it is time for that to happen, it will happen.”
13. Verse 11 (cont.): `The LORD declares to you that the LORD himself will establish a house for you: 12 When your days are over and you rest with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, who will come from your own body, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.
a) Now we get to the key verses of the book of Samuel. God is telling David that an offspring of his will build a house for David and God will establish his kingdom forever.
b) This gets us back to the idea of “short term and long term” fulfillment of prophecy.
i) The “short term” fulfillment is David’s son Solomon built a great temple. People who lived soon after the time of David can look at Solomon’s temple and say, “Hey, God’s prediction to David did come true.
ii) However, the key word is “forever”. This prediction given to David did not literally come true through Solomon. Solomon’s temple was eventually destroyed a few hundred years later when the Babylonians conquered the Nation of Israel.
c) If you ask a religious (Orthodox) Jewish person today, “How will you recognize the Messiah when he comes? The answer is usually something like, “The Messiah will lead us in rebuilding the temple”.
i) In a sense, that is true. That is what is literally predicted to David here. Verse 13 says, “He is the one who will build a house for my Name”.
ii) So does that mean when Jesus comes back, he’ll have a construction hard-hat on and lead a bunch of guys to rebuild the temple? ☺ More likely, once Jesus comes back and establishes a throne, a new temple comes under His rule.
d) The temple that is being predicted to David is described in detail by Ezekiel in Chapters 41-44. That is the temple that will built under Jesus’ reign after his Second Coming.
i) During the 7-year tribulation when the Antichrist shows up, the bible does predict that he will somehow “desecrate” the temple.
ii) To sum up a lot of end-time prophecy, a coming world leader (“Antichrist” will bring world peace for three and a half years. He will allow the Jews to rebuild their temple. Many will hail this guy as the Messiah as a temple will be built. After this time frame, he will double-cross the Jewish people and demand to be worshipped as God. (This is the “abomination of desolation” as described by Jesus and predicted by Daniel. Ref: Matthew 24:15; Daniel 9:27; 11:31; 12:11).
iii) My point is a future temple (that does not exist today) will be “corrupted” by the antichrist. The temple predicted to David here in 2nd Samuel refers to a different Temple built under the reign of Jesus as described in Ezekiel 41-44.
e) Here is something else interesting. Let’s read ahead to Verse 19 of this chapter:
i) “You have also spoken of Your servant’s house for a great while to come.” (2nd Samuel 7:19, NKJV). I use the NKJV here as the NIV sort of “misses this point”).
ii) What’s the point? David understood that this promise of the Messianic dynasty was a long way off. David understood that his son would reign and David understood that his descendants would rule for a long time. I believe David also “got it” and understood that God’s timing of eternal peace on earth was a long ways away from the time of David.
f) Some final thoughts on these verses: It still amazes me that God picked “this guy”. We’ll read of David the adulterer and David the murderer coming up in a few chapters. David had his share of lying and other sins. Yet, God picked David and said to him in effect, “Through you will come the guy who will bring eternal peace to the earth.”
i) The point is God picks imperfect people to do His work. If God can use David, God can use you are me. If God can use David to be His instrument to get His will accomplished, God can use you and me.
ii) I have stated often in these lessons that there is no greater thrill in life than to be used by God to get His will done. In a sense, that is our purpose in life, to live for God and do His will. Some of us get used on more of a grander scale than others. It is God’s job to decide the level that each of us is to be used. Our job is simple to be “willing” and step out in faith that God is working in our lives.
14. Verse 14, first sentence: I will be his father, and he will be my son.
a) In Hebrew thought, a father and son of the same essence. A father is greater in rank, but they are equal in essence. You will notice in the bible that people don’t have last names. For example, David’s “full name” is usually, “David, the son of Jessie”. That is because one is associated with the family name.
b) This sentence in Verse 14 states that when this future “king” arrives, God himself declares that “I will be his father, and he will be my son.”
c) This prediction in Verse 14 is “more special” than being “the Son of David”. This is God giving the prediction that when this Messiah comes, he will be directly associated with God the Father himself.
d) Two of the titles associated with Jesus are “Son of God” and “Son of Man”. Jesus is both. Because Jesus was born a human being, he was a “son of Adam”, thus the title “Son of Man”. Jesus is also a “Son of God” as He is God.
e) Let’s go back to a verse I quoted in Matthew 22:41-45 (NIV). I’ll add a few more verses:
i) “While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, “What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?” “The son of David,” they replied.” He (Jesus) said to them, “How is it then that David, speaking by the Spirit, calls him ‘Lord’? For he says, “‘The Lord said to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet.”’ (Jesus quotes Psalm 110, written by David). If then David calls him ‘Lord,’ how can he (The Messiah) be his son?”
ii) The point of this exchange is that in Psalm 110, David wrote, “The Lord (#1) said to my Lord (#2)”. The word “Lord” refers to a person or entity superior in rank to you. David is speaking of “Two Lords” in Psalm 110. Everybody acknowledged that the Messiah is the Son of David. Yet in Jewish thought, a son is always lower in rank than a father is. Yet, here, David refers to his descendant as “Lord”.
iii) Jesus is trying to teach how the Messiah is superior to David in rank. This leads back to the idea that the Messiah is linked to the “Son of God”. The Messiah will be associated with the Son of God as a more important relationship than the fact he happens to be a decedent of David. That is the idea of this prediction to David.
15. Verse 14, Second Sentence: When he does wrong, I will punish him with the rod of men, with floggings inflicted by men.
a) Now we’re back to short-term and long-term predictions intermingled.
b) If you read about Solomon in 1st Kings, the guy makes lots of mistakes. He marries many foreign women and it causes Solomon to also bring idols and their statues into Israel. Solomon is punished by God for this action. Further, the descendants of Solomon also have “lots of troubles” and God does punish them for their misbehavior.
c) The point of Verse 14 is that God does promise David his descendants would rule over Israel, but God does not turn a blind eye to their sins in exchange for this promise. These future kings are still held accountable for their actions and are punished accordingly.
i) That is a nice little lesson for us Christians as well. Yes we are still saved when we misbehave, but there are still consequences for the sins we commit.
d) So what about Jesus on the cross? Is this verse predicting that Jesus is punished for his own sins? The answer is no. This verse clearly says, “when he does wrong”.
i) The New Testament clearly states that Jesus never sinned. (Ref. 2nd Cor. 5:21).
ii) There are lots of other predictions about the “Suffering Messiah” in the Old Testament. The only way to reconcile the idea of a “Suffering Messiah” with a “Ruling Messiah” is to conclude that either 1) there are two of them or 2) the same one comes twice. I happen to support the latter theory. ☺
iii) So, is this sentence “predicting” that Jesus will be punished for the sins of the other kings? I think it’s a stretch, but some see it that way. Personally, I think it’s a non-issue. There are plenty of places in the Old Testament (study Isaiah 53) that give detailed predictions of Jesus dying for the sins of mankind. Whether or not this verse is also part of that prediction is debatable.
iv) I think this sentence focuses on the “short term” aspect of the prediction that David’s future descendants will be punished when they sin. It may, or may not also hint of Jesus dying for all of our sins.
v) The focus of these predictions is on the events of Jesus Second Coming. Whether or not this prediction in Verse 14 ties to the Cross is debatable. This verse does not deny the reality of what Jesus did on the cross!
16. Verse 15: But my love will never be taken away from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you. 16 Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.' "
a) God is talking about all the individual kings who will be descendants of David. To put Verses 14 and 15 in context, God is saying, “When one of your descendant kings messes up, I will punish him, however, they will not be removed from being king”.
b) If you study the history of the kings (1st and 2nd Kings), some of the descendants of David were rotten guys. Yet God continues to let them rule. They are punished for their mistakes, but they still rule.
c) The other key word in these verses is the word: “Forever”
i) It is important to understand what is not being said. God never says, “This lineage of kings will continue uninterrupted until the Messiah comes and brings peace to the world”. To paraphrase Verse 16, “David, your throne will be established forever. That “forever” does not begin today. It will begin someday. When “someday” happens, then it will continue forever.”
d) Again, we are back to “short-term” and “long-term” predictions.
i) The short-term validation of this prediction comes true when David’s descendants are kings for the next few hundred years.
ii) The long-term validation is when Jesus comes and rules forever.
e) For this verse to literally come true, Jesus must rule from the throne of David (i.e., in Jerusalem) forever.
i) This gets back to what was predicted to Mary: “(The Angel said) He (Jesus) 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, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.” (Luke 1:32-33 NIV). The point is Jesus has never ruled from the throne of David, “just” from God the Father’s throne. The literal fulfillment of this prediction only happens when Jesus comes the second time.
17. Verse 17: Nathan reported to David all the words of this entire revelation.
a) We are now finished with Nathan’s predictions from God to David.
b) The remainder of the chapter is a prayer by David in response to these predictions.
18. Verse 18: Then King David went in and sat before the LORD, and he said: "Who am I, O Sovereign LORD, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far? 19 And as if this were not enough in your sight, O Sovereign LORD, you have also spoken about the future of the house of your servant. Is this your usual way of dealing with man, O Sovereign LORD?
a) David is humbled by all of this. David contemplated how God took him “from being a nobody” and raised David up to be a king. Further, David contemplated how he went from being “a nobody” to the person through which the Messiah would come.
b) The point is David gives God the credit and not himself. David shows gratitude to the one that has lifted him up.
i) We can go into a whole sermon here on gratitude. Give God all the credit for the victories of our lives. If for no other reason, it is a reminder that we serve God and live for Him!
c) We’re going to see a pattern in this prayer where David repeats back the promises God made to Him. David does not do this as if God can forget. ☺
d) I believe God enjoys it when we repeat back His promises to us in prayer. Repeating God’s promises reminds us of what God will do. It keeps the promises fresh in our mind.
e) Notice that three times in these two sentences the term “Sovereign LORD” is used.
i) Without getting into theological details, this simply means, “God does what He wants when He wants.” David reminds himself (and us) of that fact and given that fact, David is in awe that God choose him for this plan.
ii) Every now and then, I think we need to be in “awe” of how God has picked us. The “double-sided” coin of salvation is that from our perspective, we “freely choose” to follow God. From God’s perspective, God knows all things and He “picked us in advance” as God cannot learn. Therefore, we have to accept the fact that God did pick us out of His sovereign will!
iii) For that alone, we need to be as grateful as David is. Anything else we get in this life is a bonus. I have found that all who follow God and are willing to boldly live their lives for God get all sorts of “bonuses” over and above salvation. Those “bonuses” should never be a motivation to follow God. It is only out of God’s love for us that He showers us with love and favor in this lifetime as well as the next.
19. Verse 20: "What more can David say to you? For you know your servant, O Sovereign LORD. 21 For the sake of your word and according to your will, you have done this great thing and made it known to your servant.
a) In Verse 20, David is speechless. This is David who wrote a good chunk of the Psalms. The “speechless” doesn’t last very long as David has more to say in this chapter. ☺
b) The point is David was awestruck by God’s unmerited favor to him, to the point where he couldn’t think of anything more to say, other than to thank God.
c) Notice the phrase, “For the sake of your word”.
i) David had some sort of vague concept that a Messiah would come one day even without this prediction. There were predictions in Genesis given to Jacob that someone from the “tribe of Judah” would be the Messiah. David was of that tribe.
d) One of the greatest honors one could have in the Old Testament is to have God’s will revealed to them. When you study those who are “greatly loved” of God, be it Abraham, Daniel, or David, they got the privilege of knowing God’s future will.
e) We as Christians are the beneficiaries of these predictions. We have the advantage of seeing history unfold through time and many of these predictions come true. David understood that he was a “piece of a big puzzle” that is being put together through time.
i) Remember that the bible was written over a huge time span. We as readers have the advantage of hindsight as seeing the bible as a whole
20. Verse 22: "How great you are, O Sovereign LORD! There is no one like you, and there is no God but you, as we have heard with our own ears. 23 And who is like your people Israel--the one nation on earth that God went out to redeem as a people for himself, and to make a name for himself, and to perform great and awesome wonders by driving out nations and their gods from before your people, whom you redeemed from Egypt? 24 You have established your people Israel as your very own forever, and you, O LORD, have become their God.
a) It’s time to talk about idea of “Why Israel”? Why did God pick a specific nation and call them “My people”?
i) God wanted a group of people to be His representatives to the world. God wanted them to tell the world about Him and be his “witnesses” to the world.
ii) In exchange for being God’s chosen people, the Israelites have a number of unconditional promises made to them. Among those promises is that the land of Israel will belong to them forever, period! They also get the privilege of bringing God’s word into the world as well as the Messiah himself.
b) With that stated, I believe David “got it”. He understood the big picture. David understood that God picked the Israelites to be a special people. In a dramatic fashion, God took them out of the nation of Egypt into the Promised Land. David understood that a specific descendant of the Nation of Israel, through David would be the Messiah. This paragraph is David thanking God for that promise!
c) This prayer is not just so David could thank God for those promises. It is there to remind us of those promises. God makes unconditional promises all through the bible. God gives us an unconditional promise that if we trust in Jesus, we will be in heaven. If we can’t trust the promises made to the Nation of Israel, how can we trust the promises made to us through Jesus Christ?
21. Verse 25: "And now, LORD God, keep forever the promise you have made concerning your servant and his house. Do as you promised, 26 so that your name will be great forever. Then men will say, `The LORD Almighty is God over Israel!' And the house of your servant David will be established before you.
a) Here is another paragraph where David is saying in effect, “OK God, you stated these promises in the bible. Now keep them! (As if, somehow God can forget. ☺)
b) Again, we pray God’s promises for our sake and not for God’s. It is to remind us that God does keep His promises on His timing!
c) Occasionally the bible has this strange concept of “praying for something to happen” and at the same time, accepting that God is responsible for the timing. Somehow, God does give us some power over the timing.
i) For example, we are told by Jesus to pray to pray for His return. That is what is meant by “thy kingdom come” (Matthew 6:10 KJV) in the Lord’s Payer. At the same time, we have to accept the fact that only God the Father knows the day that Jesus returns. (Reference: Matthew 24:36, Mark 13:32).
ii) Another example is Jesus commanding us to pray that when the tribulation comes, the “key day” not be on the Sabbath or during the winter (Ref.: Matthew 24:20). This implies that God wants us to pray over when “that day” occurs. (A Jewish person of that day might be afraid to run on the Sabbath, as it is a day of rest. The reason “winter” is mentioned is Jerusalem is in the mountains, and the passes are difficult to travel through in the winter.)
iii) Which leads back to David’s prayer: David is praying in effect, “Come on Lord, let’s get the show on the road! Yes, I accept your timing, but I still want (and should) pray for these events to happen as promised!”
d) Finally, look at David’s motivation for this prayer:
i) Verse 26 says, “Then men will say, `The LORD Almighty is God over Israel!”
ii) David is concerned that as many people as possible realize that the “true” God is the God over Israel. The God that we as Christians worship is a “Jewish” God!
iii) Phillip Yancey is famous for the line, “The mistakes the Jews make is they fail to see Jesus as the Son of David. The mistake Christians make is they fail to see Jesus as the Son of Abraham (i.e., identify with the “Jewishness” of God).
22. Verse 27: "O LORD Almighty, God of Israel, you have revealed this to your servant, saying, `I will build a house for you.' So your servant has found courage to offer you this prayer. 28 O Sovereign LORD, you are God! Your words are trustworthy, and you have promised these good things to your servant. 29 Now be pleased to bless the house of your servant, that it may continue forever in your sight; for you, O Sovereign LORD, have spoken, and with your blessing the house of your servant will be blessed forever."
a) Look at the second sentence in Verse 27: “So your servant has found courage to offer you this prayer”. After David states the promises made to David, he states how that fact has given David the courage to pray this prayer of, “You said it, now let it come to pass”.
b) This is a reminder that it “Begins with God and then God works through us”.
i) Once we discover what God has done for us, it is only then that God can and does work through us for His ultimate glory in our lives.
c) Finally, David asks for blessings on him and his house (“descendants”). The key is that David does not do this because he is a great person, but only because God says so.
d) This reminds us that we are to pray based on God’s promises and not our goodness. I’ll given an example of this in the closing prayer.
e) Before I do that, let me summarize with the key point of “God Promises on God’s timing”.
i) This chapter is all about God giving unconditional promises to us and those promises come on His timing and not on ours.
ii) We are to pray for those promises to come as if we have some power over the timing. We are to pray to remind us of those promises and that they will happen.
iii) We remind ourselves of those promises so that when they do happen, we will give God the glory and not ourselves. These prayers are a way to keep us humble and to remember that we are being “used” by God to get His will done.
23. Let’s pray: Heavenly Father, we thank You that You have chosen us. We don’t know why You picked us, but You did. Further, You have blessed us with all sorts of spiritual blessings and special talents to be used by You. Further, Your word is full of promises to us that we can claim as our own. Help us, not for the sake of our goodness, but only because You promised You would. Further, we accept your timing of the events of Jesus Second Coming and at the same time, we pray for it to happen soon! May we go boldly based on Your promises and glorify You in all our lives. We ask this in Jesus name, Amen.