The Promise to David
“Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.” 2 Samuel 7:16
When you first hold your child in your arms, you really hope that things will turn out well for them. To ensure that, you may even set plans in place for them to ensure their safety and security and well-being.
As a young man, things went well for Jesse’s son David, better than he could have ever planned. When he sent this young shepherd boy to tend the sheep out in the wilderness, he no doubt prayed for his protection. Little did he know that the Lord would bless this young man with the skill to kill a bear and a lion with his sling shot to protect the helpless flock of sheep. When Jesse’s sons went off to war with King Saul against the Philistines, he no doubt prayed they wouldn’t be numbered among the casualties of war but would safely return home. Little did he know that the Lord would use his youngest son to defeat the giant Goliath, their greatest Philistine enemy, one that even the most seasoned Israelite soldier feared. When Jesse’s sons grew older, he no doubt prayed that they would find faithful wives, start their own homes, and perhaps pass on their faith and family traditions to their kids and grandkids. Little did he know that the Lord would have David work for the King, become the King’s son-in-law, and in fact become king of the Lord’s people. Yes, things went better for Jesse’s son David than he could have ever planned.
Sure, some of you may remember that things didn’t always go well for David. That’s right. Before he became king, King Saul tried to kill David numerous times. David spent much of his adult life on the run from the man he loyally served. Yet, even with the setbacks with Saul, God was strengthening and training David. Eventually, the Lord gave David convincing victories over all his enemies. Finally, God planted his people and their king in the Promised Land and gave them peace on every side.
When David looked around at all God had given him and all God had done for him, he though, “Wait a second! What am I doing? God has given me everything? What can I give him? He should have a beautiful temple to dwell in instead of this temporary tent. I’ll build him one.” Sounds like a good plan! But, God said, “No.” That’s because he had a better plan filled with promises centered on a descendant of David who would be an eternal king reigning over an eternal house. “Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever” (2 Samuel ).
At first glance, especially when you recall the verses before this, it seems like God is referring to a well known son of David named Solomon who would have an even greater kingdom than his father would—a kingdom marked by peace and prosperity. But the king God promised David is much better and much greater than Solomon. The king God promised David is the kind of king he really needed.
You see, David wasn’t perfect. Some might say he was a good man. Some might say he was a great king. But God gives us glimpses inside his heart that reveal he was just like every other human. He was just like you and me. As things went well for David, he got complacent and arrogant. One time when he should have been out with his soldiers working to protect God’s people, he decided to take it easy and kick back in his palace. When life was easy, he let his guard down, and sin came crashing in. The man after God’s own heart had a natural heart filled with lust. The man called to protect God’s people would have one of his own killed to cover up his lies. David could not reign forever, because David would not live forever. As a man born with sin he would die because of sin’s curse. The same would happen to David’s son Solomon.
That is why God promised an eternal king. An eternal king will govern his people better. He will protect his people better. He will provide for his people better. An eternal king has eternal characteristics. He has eternal power; eternal wisdom; eternal justice; eternal kindness; eternal love; eternal mercy; eternal grace. Before David was born, this king loved him. After David sinned, this king loved him. After David dies, this king loved him. It is this divine King who took on human flesh and whose birth in a stable we are looking forward to celebrating. This King’s name would be Jesus, and he would reign forever.
An eternal king needs an eternal kingdom, and that is exactly what God would establish. His kingdom isn’t a place. It is his reigning activity. Everyone who lives under the reign of the eternal king in this eternal kingdom gets the best benefits an eternal king can provide. David and every person who trusts in this King has the promise of love; the promise of eternal victory over our enemies; the promise of forgiveness; the promise of all things working out for good; the promise of eternal peace; the promise of being with this king forever. David needed that.
And don’t we, too? Things didn’t go as Tiffany’s parents might have planned. Instead of being born as a healthy baby girl as they prayed, Tiffany was born very sick. More was wrong with her body than right. Doctor’s gave her a five percent chance to live. God had different plans. Eighteen or so years later, twenty plus surgeries later, Tiffany wanted to become a nurse. She graduated high school. She began college. She was getting into her clinicals. But that’s all the farther she would go, because she kept getting sick. And sick again. And sick again. And sick again. And sick again. The most recent years of her life it seems she has spent more time in the hospital than she has at home. So much for her plans. What’s Tiffany’s hope when her life hasn’t gone as she or her parents might have planned?
She has the promise of an eternal king reigning over her in an eternal home filled with eternal benefits. When things don’t go as planned for her, she can look to her King whose promises always stand. She trusts she always has her King’s promise of mercy, of his care, of forgiveness, and of eternity.
Those aren’t just promises for other people. Those are promises for you. Don’t you need his forgiveness for your heart dark with sin? Don’t you need his victory over Satan and his temptations? Don’t you need his care in a world ruined by sin? Don’t you need his promises of a better eternal future when things don’t go as planned here? You have that promise, because your King’s kingdom extends over you. You have that promise because this King came; this King continues to reign and this King’s promises always stand. Amen.