The Davidic Covenant
February 12, 2019 Pastor: Don Green
Topic: Midweek Sermons Scripture: 2 Samuel 7
Well, thank you for being with us this evening. I have the privilege of extending greetings to you from Steve Kreloff, our friend in Clearwater, Florida. Steve called me today and had a couple of things on his mind that he wanted to discuss and he loves our church like John MacArthur does and wanted me to extend greetings from him and Michelle, and so we're glad to be able to have friendships with churches in other places that are like-minded and that love us even as we love them. So hello from Steve Kreloff and the next time I talk to Steve, I'll say, "Well, Truth Community Church says hey back."
Our next text in our series on the Psalms is Psalm 89 and that is a lengthy Psalm of 52 verses altogether, a little too much to try to cover in one message, particularly because of the truth that underlies that great Psalm that closes out book 3 of the five books of the Psalms, so tonight what I want to do is to lay some groundwork for our study next week because Psalm 89 is premised entirely on the nature of God's promises to David as we will see next week, and what I want to do tonight is to help us see what God's promises to David were so that when we come to Psalm 89 next week, we'll be in a position to have those fresh in our mind and to see the significance of them.
Now this past Sunday as we were talking about Philippians, I tried to set some context to the book of Philippians in terms of the greater biblical narrative and we talked about the context of promise, the promises that God made to Abraham that were amplified to David and that provide the whole context, really, of redemptive history, that God had a plan in mind that he's been working out since before the beginning of time that's been playing out over thousands of years to bring blessing to peoples throughout all of the earth and to enter into salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, is to enter into the stream of those promises that God has planned, and this gives us a perspective on the nature of God that is very fundamental and important for us as believers to grasp and to overcome the natural suspicion of the fallen man against its Creator. You know, Adam and Eve were suspicious of God. Eve was quick to believe bad things about God suggested to her by the serpent, motivated and animated by Satan himself, that perhaps God really didn't have her best interest in mind; that God maybe was hiding something from her; that God knew that if she ate of the fruit of that tree, that she would become like God, knowing good and evil; and Satan suggests to her that, "You know, maybe God isn't really designing your good here after all." And Eve in an unfallen state, believes suspicions against God, takes of the fruit and eats it and the rest is a calamitous history of the fall of the human race as Adam is held responsible for that in a representative capacity. Eve believed a lie about God that God didn't really have her good in mind.
Now what I want to say to you is that for fallen men, that suspicion against God is the prevalent predominating way that he's viewed. You know, if God is all-powerful and good, why is there evil in the world? And they just readily drink in any suspicion of God that would justify their rebellion against him, right? But beloved, we don't leave all of that behind when we come to Christ. You know, there is still woven into our heart that unsanctified portion, that unsanctified remnant by which many of you, if not all of you at one time or another, view God with suspicion. Life doesn't go the way that you want it to go, you didn't get what you wanted, your relationships fell apart in a way that you didn't want, your business didn't work out the way that you had thought, and we're tempted to question, "Where is God in this? Why, God?" And we do not naturally respond in a sense of trust, we don't naturally respond with an acceptance from the very beginning without doubt, without hesitation, that God intends our good in this. We might as well be honest and say that's what goes on in our hearts. Now we read Scripture and we apply ourselves and we exercise faith and we get over that and we get through that and restored to a place of trust, at least we should, but there is bent in us, there is a bent in us that is receptive to appeals that question the goodness of God.
Now as believers, we should never be like that. That should not be the cornerstone, that should not be our default position. It should be so embedded in your mind and heart of the goodness of God as it has been expressed for us at Calvary, the goodness of God in extending grace to you for the forgiveness of your sins, peace with God, reconciliation with a holy God though you were a sinner, that he in grace and goodness and kindness and in patience sent Christ to be your Savior, sent Christ to be your Redeemer, sent Christ that you might be brought into his family and enjoy an eternity of blessedness with him, not to mention the overflow in this life. Beloved, the first thought that should be in your mind when you come to think about God, you think, "Holy, holy, holy," yes, right alongside that, right next to that in the same breath, in the same thought you're thinking, "That holy God is really really good and he designs my blessing, he designs my good in everything that happens to me. And even in my difficult past, even in the failures of my past and the things that went wrong or in the way the people wronged me, or the way that things came crashing down in my life, even in those things God was designing good for me even though I didn't see it at the time and maybe I still don't understand." You should be so rooted in the goodness of God that you understand that everything that comes into your life is coming by his providence and his design for your good because God designs blessing for his people. That is his nature. He is a good God, a kind God, a gracious God, a merciful God, and we should never think about him or his actions in our lives apart from those great perfections of his holy character.
Now, let's review a little bit, then, with those things in mind. Genesis 12, we looked at it on Sunday. We'll go back there. Hopefully I won't go on the long tangent again that I went on on Sunday. Believe it or not, those things trouble me during the week when I do that.
1 Now the LORD said to Abram, "Go forth from your country, And from your relatives And from your father's house, To the land which I will show you; 2 And I will make you a great nation, And I will bless you, And make your name great; And so you shall be a blessing [it could be rendered an imperative, go be a blessing]; 3 And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed."
Here God is bestowing blessing and promises upon Abraham, the man who would become known as Abraham, promising him land, promising him a nation that would come from his loins, promising him blessing, giving him favor that Abraham as a pagan did not deserve. And look at the orientation of God in this in verse 2, "I will make you a great nation. I will bless you and make your name great. You will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you. In you all the families of the earth will be blessed." All the families of the earth, a worldwide stage, a worldwide audience for the display of God's goodness to be manifested.
Now listen, that tells us that God is good; that God is gracious; that his disposition is one of goodness and favor and kindness, and even against rebels, those who defy his name, those who deny his name, even against the dictates of their own conscience, Scripture would tell us. God is good even to those who raise their fist against him. The sun and wind and rain he sends upon them in equal measure with those who know him. They enjoy the benefits of his common grace. Decade after decade after decade they enjoy the goodness of God. Many of them hear of the grace of God offered to them in Jesus Christ, that God is graciously disposed toward them, would receive them and welcome them if only they would come to Christ. They hear of heavenly things in addition to seeing God displayed in nature around them. When they come under the sound of the Gospel, they hear of great, gracious, heavenly things of which their ears are not worthy and they reject it, but their rejection is not something that casts a negative light on God, it's simply a manifestation of the wickedness of their own heart. God is shining the sun, the literal sun on their lives day by day from the skies and when they hear of Christ, when they have a Bible in their hands, he's shining the eternal Son of God, s-o-n, on them but they simply won't have it. But that's not a manifestation of evil in God. Far be it from that. There is no evil in God. The goodness is all around them and they simply refuse to receive it but it's not a reflection on God. God's goodness is seen that his intention from 4,000 years ago in Abraham was to bless the families of the earth, those who didn't deserve it, those who were not even recipients of the promises in the physical lineage of Abraham.
Well, so there we go. We start with that and now skipping over many Bible books and skipping over 1,000 years, let's pass to the time of David and consider David since that's really our subject for this evening. "The Davidic Covenant" is the clever title that I've assigned to tonight's message. "Really, you think that's clever?" No, I don't think that's clever at all, it's just descriptive.
The Davidic Covenant. In 2 Samuel, we find a book in the Bible that tells us historically about David's reign as the king of Israel. Saul, the first king of Israel, is now dead and David is ascending to the throne after God had anointed him by the hand of Samuel and chosen him. David is now ascending to the throne that God had appointed him to earlier in the book of 1 Samuel. And just by way of very brief summary and overview, in the first five chapters of 2 Samuel, David is ascending to the throne. He doesn't consolidate his reign over all of the territory overnight. It doesn't happen all at once. He's anointed king first in Judah and then it expands to the northern realm as well, and what's happened here, you'll remember, is that God has exalted a young man, at least by my measure of what young is looking back, God has exalted a young man who used to be a shepherd boy, keeping sheep for his father, so much so that his father overlooked whether he could even possibly be the one that Samuel was looking for. God had exalted that lowly shepherd boy to be king over his people. This is momentous. This is wonderful to contemplate and by chapter 6, David is now reigning in Jerusalem and the ark of God which represents his presence, arrives in Jerusalem.
2 Samuel 6. We can turn there now for the text. 2 Samuel 6. David responds with great joy to the arrival of the ark that represents the presence of God. In verse 12 you see this,
12 Now it was told King David, saying, "The LORD has blessed the house of Obed-edom and all that belongs to him, on account of the ark of God." David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-edom into the city of David with gladness. 13 And so it was, that when the bearers of the ark of the LORD had gone six paces, he sacrificed an ox and a fatling. 14 And David was dancing before the LORD with all his might, and David was wearing a linen ephod. 15 So David and all the house of Israel were bringing up the ark of the LORD with shouting and the sound of the trumpet.
This is a great and glorious day that's taking place. David is ascended to king and now the ark of God representing the presence of the God who elevated David to be king over his people, is now being united with David in that geographic location. It is a time of great joy and what I want you to see just in passing, is the profound joy that David had at the presence of God. Look at it there again in verse 15, "shouting and the sound of trumpet," sacrifices having taken place. David was beside himself with joy.
Now he realized that he was uniquely on the receiving end of blessing from God, but beloved, what I want you to see is in the context of what we've been saying here already this evening is that David recognized that the presence of God was good, that the presence of God was a symbol of his blessing and that he reveled in. He loved the presence of God and being under his blessing and to be in that presence was the greatest thing that he had and was a promoter of joy in his heart.
How much more we who have the indwelling Holy Spirit, how much more we who know the fullness of Christ, David's greater son, how much more we who saw that God not simply received Old Testament sacrifices but God the Son actually gave himself and offered himself as the sacrifice so that his people could be reconciled to him, the Son of God sacrificed on our behalf manifesting before us the goodness of God, fully accomplishing reconciliation with this God from whom we have been alienated, and now we are in his presence and his presence dwells within us by the Holy Spirit, beloved, I want you to see that no matter what else is happening in your life tonight, there is grounds for joy and shouts of triumph from your heart, if not from your actual lips and motions, to realize that God has blessed you with his presence and reconciled you and justified you and sanctified you with the full intention that one day he will glorify you. Let's not ever go back to the doubt and suspicion of Eden in our hearts. Let's settle this in our mind once-for-all that this God is good and worthy of our praise, and not a stingy praise that is cluttered with thoughts of earthly difficulty but rather is consumed with the great glory of this God and how he has so greatly blessed us in Christ. Only when that is anchored in your heart as the cornerstone of your thinking and worldview can you possibly begin to live the Christian life in the proper way. God has been good to you, Christian brother, God has been good to you, Christian sister. No matter what else has happened, if you are in Christ, you are greatly greatly blessed and therefore we praise him and no manner of fiscal or physical affliction or life disappointment diminishes that in any way because that same God is the God who said, "I'll work it all together for good to you in Christ Jesus."
So we're humbled by our tendency to doubt but that is swallowed up in the greater grace and glory of the recognition that this God has received us and accepted us in Christ despite our sin, despite our doubt, despite our failures. This God receives us in Christ. This God receives sinners just like you in Christ and blesses them and anoints them and secures them for all of eternity. He's good. I don't even have to make the argument, I just need to declare the truth.
Well, David's rejoicing at the presence of God and he settles into his reign and out of a loving response to the God who has been so good to him, he wants to do something special for God. He wants the ark, he wants the symbol of God's presence to have a lofty permanent dwelling that it did not presently have. In 2 Samuel 7:1, look at it with me, it says,
1 Now it came about when the king lived in his house, and the LORD had given him rest on every side from all his enemies, 2 that the king said to Nathan the prophet, "See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells within tent curtains." 3 Nathan said to the king, "Go, do all that is in your mind, for the LORD is with you."
So David says, "I want to build a temple that is worthy of this God who has given me such blessing." He has lofty thoughts, lofty plans, lofty aspirations in his heart and he wants there to be a greater manifestation, a greater house for the ark of God that corresponds to the lofty dwelling place that he himself has on earth, but it turns out that God had other plans, that what David wanted was not the right time in God's plan.
In verse 4, look at it with me,
4 ... in the same night the word of the LORD came to Nathan, saying, 5 "Go and say to My servant David, 'Thus says the LORD, "Are you the one who should build Me a house to dwell in? 6 "For I have not dwelt in a house since the day I brought up the sons of Israel from Egypt [this is now 400 years later], even to this day; but I have been moving about in a tent, even in a tabernacle. 7 "Wherever I have gone with all the sons of Israel, did I speak a word with one of the tribes of Israel, which I commanded to shepherd My people Israel, saying, 'Why have you not built Me a house of cedar?'"'
God's saying, "David, I didn't ask for this. I didn't command this." And he's saying the people were not negligent in not building a permanent house for the representation of my presence, it simply wasn't time, and in a stunning redirection of what the intentions of David's heart were, God goes on to explain in the rest of 2 Samuel 7 something that's, I mean, I run out of adjectives. I use the word staggering far too often. This is staggering. This silences the human heart to realize what's happening here in what I am about to describe and take you through in the text. God here is telling David, "David, you will not build a house for Me, instead I will build a house for you." That's crazy gracious. This is stunning and it leads us to one of the great foundational texts of Scripture. Remember, David was going to build a physical structure for God, that's what he wanted to do and God said, "No, you're not the man to do it. Rather instead, David, I am going to build an eternal house for you. I'm going to build from your loins a line of kings that will culminate in the great King and your name and you will be the foundation and your line will be the line through which I extend My blessing to all the world." David's line would become the extension, the amplification, in one sense the next stage of the blessing that God promised through Abraham, to bless all of the nations, and now it's going to come through David.
Beloved, David, this man who just a few years earlier was shepherding sheep is now king and God is about to bestow on him some of the greatest promises that have ever been spoken to any man. First of all, as we go through this text, first of all, what comes next is that God reviews the past with David and he's telling Nathan, the prophet, what to go say to David in verse 8. He says,
8 "Now therefore, thus you shall say to My servant David, 'Thus says the LORD of hosts, "I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, to be ruler over My people Israel. 9 "I have been with you wherever you have gone and have cut off all your enemies from before you;
He says, "David, remember the past here. I delivered you from Saul and all the times that Saul tried to kill you. I protected you. You're here safe now. Remember further back how I called you out of a pasture to be king over My people." Beloved, speaking to you here tonight, beloved, with that term, beloved, God's people, God's nation, the uncanny, the unspeakably great privilege given to David to be the one who would be the leader of God's people, who in a sense would be the mediator in that time between God and his people, to have the great privilege of being their king, this is what was given to a shepherd boy by the hand of a gracious God and God is just simply setting the context for the greater promises that he's going to do in the future for David.
Look at the middle of verse 9 there. He says,
and I will make you a great name, like the names of the great men who are on the earth. 10 "I will also appoint a place for My people Israel and will plant them, that they may live in their own place and not be disturbed again, nor will the wicked afflict them any more as formerly, 11 even from the day that I commanded judges to be over My people Israel; and I will give you rest from all your enemies. The LORD also declares to you that the LORD will make a house for you.
Now, God here is talking about promises that will be fulfilled in David's lifetime whose kingdom is going to flourish still more, but he goes further and he speaks these words and establishes a covenant with David and it's a covenant that is very very broad.
Verse 12, look at it with me. He says,
12 "When your days are complete and you lie down with your fathers [in other words, after you die], I will raise up your descendant after you, who will come forth from you, and I will establish his kingdom.
God is telling David, "David, you are going to have an heir and I'll establish a kingdom for him as well and your son, he," verse 13, look at it with me, alluding to Solomon, he says,
13 "He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.
"So David, this isn't going to happen in your lifetime but your son will be great also. He will build the temple that was in your heart to build for Me and in your son I am going to establish a line that will be established forever."
Verse 14, he says,
14 "I will be a father to him and he will be a son to Me; when he commits iniquity, I will correct him with the rod of men and the strokes of the sons of men, 15 but My lovingkindness shall not depart from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you.
Now let's just pause and take a breath here. There's a lot going on here. The temple and the throne were promises that God would fulfill beyond David's lifetime after that. Solomon would reign for a season. His sons would come up after him. God recognizes and acknowledges that the sons would sin and he would discipline them, but even in that, so great was God's promise and faithfulness to David that even when his descendants sinned against God, God would not take away the throne from them forever. The throne would not be removed out of faithfulness to God's promises to David. In other words, God is giving David a house and a throne and a kingdom that is going to endure into the indefinite future.
The Davidic covenant, beloved, is this, it is God's unconditional promise to David and his descendants that they would receive an eternal house, an eternal throne, and an eternal kingdom. The Davidic covenant is God's unconditional promise to David and his descendants that they would receive an eternal house, an eternal throne, and an eternal kingdom. This house, this throne, this kingdom is going to endure forever. That's how great the grace of God was to David. This is how great his promises were to him.
Now look at verse 16 and you see God spelling this out in detail. He says in verse 16,
16 "Your house and your kingdom shall endure before Me forever; your throne shall be established forever."'" 17 In accordance with all these words and all this vision, so Nathan spoke to David.
Now, the word "covenant" is not used in 2 Samuel 7, it is used in 2 Samuel 23:5. Here's what I want you to see is this, is that these great promises that God made to his servant David were guaranteed. They were promises that God would keep and that means something, beloved, it means that an earthly reign of David's son is the appointed outcome of human history. Human history has as its goal the fulfillment of this promise that God made to David.
Well, I don't think there's any way for us to put ourselves in David's place and what that must have been like to receive that promise. David understood it as we'll see in a moment. It is stunning. It is magnificent. It is overwhelming to think that a man like David who by nature, so to speak, was a shepherd boy, would be on the receiving end of promises like this that his name and his descendant would endure in that kind of way throughout all of human history.
Well, let's pause for a moment there, leave David standing, as it were, in his sandals on the brink of his prayer that he's about to pray. You know, God chose David and gave him blessing like that that is, well, that's a good word, let's use staggering. It's staggering but, beloved, honestly, those of you who are in Christ tonight should have a same sense of the awe and the majesty of the privilege that God has given to you simply to be adopted into his family; to be chosen by God before the foundation of the world; to have all of your sins forgiven; to be united with Christ; to be an heir with him, a co-heir with Christ; to be on the receiving end of the divine love and divine favor which can never be revoked; to be on the receiving end of a perfect salvation of which we only have a small sampling taste in this life, a magnificence to be fulfilled that eye has not seen nor ear has heard the wonder of the things that God has for us in Christ Jesus that will be revealed for us in days to come, a glory that will dwarf and by comparison will cause us to forget the blessings of this life for the sake of the greater blessings that are to come, and that is yours in Christ. Beloved, if you understand that at all, you're staggered by it. It's awe-inspiring. It's humbling to realize that we who were shepherd boys, metaphorically speaking, wandering about in the fields of the world with no purpose to our lives, in darkness that we loved and that we chose, and as we rejected Christ, to realize that when we were like that, less than a shepherd boy, a sinner dead and condemned in guilt and under the righteous wrath of God, for us to be in a position now to be under his blessing, now to be forgiven, now to be received in love.
We bow low, don't we? We're humbled to be on the receiving end of such magnificent grace, such magnificent promises that can never be broken and I want to tell you, not because of any eloquence of mine but because of the sheer magnitude, the El Capitan of grandeur of which we speak here tonight, if you can hear things like this and say, "Meh. How soon will this be over?" Beloved, I fear for your soul. I can't imagine how anyone could truly be a Christian and be indifferent and cold toward the things of which we're speaking here tonight. You may say with your mouth you're a Christian but look at your heart and ask whether it's responding in praise to these great things of which we speak tonight because the redeemed heart will find an echo that wakes it up and resonates with that and says, "Yes, amen!"
David in response to these great promises of God responds in a prayer of great worship and we know from what he says here that he understood that God was speaking of things that went beyond his lifetime. We can understand the proper way of looking at God's promises earlier in the chapter by the way David responds to them immediately in prayer in verse 18. He says,
18 Then David the king went in and sat before the LORD, and he said, "Who am I, O Lord GOD, and what is my house, that You have brought me this far? 19 "And yet this was insignificant in Your eyes, O Lord GOD,
He says, "God, who was I that You'd make me king like I am now? Who am I that You would do that for, an insignificant one like me and You've given me this kind of blessing? Why would You do that? What is there in me that You would do this for me and my household?" Then he goes on in verse 19 and he says, "And yet this was insignificant in Your eyes, O Lord GOD," in other words, "What You have done for me to this point is insignificant compared to the things You have promised for me in the future." Look at the rest of verse 19, he says,
for You have spoken also of the house of Your servant concerning the distant future. And this is the custom of man, O Lord GOD.
What David is saying here is, "God, I understand that the ramifications of what You just promised to me, the ramifications go far beyond my immediate sons. This is an unfolding of the future course of human history. This affects the distant future from where I stand." And he's staggered by it. You see, David thought that word. No, he didn't. Somebody get me a thesaurus because my tongue has reached the limits of its ability to extol the majesty of God in these things. Human language fails us yet again. There are no words. The Apostle Paul could speak of the apostolic ministry given to him, speaking of the privileges and the responsibilities of ministry and says, "Who is adequate for these things?" When you truly come to grips with and understand the truth and the revelation of God, it overwhelms you to a point of lacking articulation for what needs to be said.
David here could not articulate the greatness of what had just been revealed to him and so what does he do? In the following verses he does this, he thanks God for his mercy to the nation of Israel and he extols the sovereignty of God and he extols it in great humility. Beloved, he is not puffed up, this is just by way of preface, he's not puffed up in what he's about to say. The promises of God do not make him a proud and arrogant man. Quite to the contrary and thus it always is in true salvation, true salvation does not make a man boastful, rather it simply makes a man boast in the cross of Christ as the Apostle Paul said in Galatians 6:14, "God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of my Lord Jesus." True salvation, the doctrines of election, the doctrines of the Reformation, do not produce proud arrogant men when they are truly known in the human heart, they humble a man just like God's promises did to David here.
Verse 20. I'm going to read these five verses and then I'm going to point out something very important to you. Verse 20,
20 "Again what more can David say to You? For You know Your servant, O Lord GOD! 21 "For the sake of Your word, and according to Your own heart, You have done all this greatness to let Your servant know. 22 "For this reason You are great, O Lord GOD; for there is none like You, and there is no God besides You, according to all that we have heard with our ears. 23 "And what one nation on the earth is like Your people Israel, whom God went to redeem for Himself as a people and to make a name for Himself, and to do a great thing for You and awesome things for Your land, before Your people whom You have redeemed for Yourself from Egypt, from nations and their gods? 24 "For You have established for Yourself Your people Israel as Your own people forever, and You, O LORD, have become their God. 25 "Now therefore, O LORD God, the word that You have spoken concerning Your servant and his house, confirm it forever, and do as You have spoken, 26 that Your name may be magnified forever, by saying, 'The LORD of hosts is God over Israel'; and may the house of Your servant David be established before You. 27 "For You, O LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, have made a revelation to Your servant, saying, 'I will build you a house'; therefore Your servant has found courage to pray this prayer to You. 28 "Now, O Lord GOD, You are God, and Your words are truth, and You have promised this good thing to Your servant. 29 "Now therefore, may it please You to bless the house of Your servant, that it may continue forever before You. For You, O Lord GOD, have spoken; and with Your blessing may the house of Your servant be blessed forever."
He praises God in response to this great covenant that God has made with him and his descendants to follow after him. He worships him. He acknowledges the supremacy of God in his mercy upon his people Israel and what I want you to see is this, beloved, this is the king praying, this is the recipient of these promises who is praying, one who is given great privilege by God who is praying, and his self-reference throughout this prayer 10 times in the text is, "I'm Your servant. Your will is my will. I bow before You. I'm Your servant. I'm here as an instrument of Your will and my only prayer is that You would fulfill the promises that You have made here to me today, Your servant."
You know, I'm going to preach a series next month dealing with some things in the modern spirit of our age but, beloved, this mindset that somehow God exists for our purposes, that God exists in order to make us happy and to do our will, is utterly contrary to the true spirit of true salvation and what Scripture describes and what the men of God before us modeled. David says, "I'm Your servant. I'm Your slave. I belong to You. Thy will be done, not mine." This is the mark of the one who understands that salvation and the promises of God.
So what God has done here with David, has established promises of blessing upon him and his descendants going into the indefinite future. That's going to be very important as we consider Psalm 89 next week. Let me just say it again, here in 2 Samuel 7 and the parallel passage in 1 Chronicles 17, God has made promises of blessing upon the throne of David that are to extend into the indefinite future. Keep that thought in mind for 168 hours and we'll come back to it later on.
As you read on in the unfolding of God's word in 2 Samuel and then into 1 Kings, you find that his son Solomon fulfilled some of the promises that God made here. Solomon did build a temple according to the plans that David himself had made but, beloved, when you look at the fullness of biblical revelation, you realize that these promises to David were pointing to an ultimate fulfillment that transcended any mere human descendant of his, a mere human descendant of his. The ultimate fulfillment of these promises that God made to David are found only in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Look at the book of Isaiah 9, a text that we often look to at Christmas time. Isaiah 9. You'll read this passage with a fresh sense of appreciation. Isaiah 9:6 says,
6 ... a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
Speaking of a child who is God himself. And what would the nature of this child's career be? What would be his purpose on earth? What would he do? What would be accomplished in him? Verse 7,
7 There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this.
Isaiah in his day prophesying a few centuries after the time of David says, "There's an advance coming on the Davidic covenant. There will be a child who will arise in the line of David who is God Himself, and on Him, He will sit on the throne of David. He will reign over His kingdom. He will establish it. He will uphold justice and righteousness." These promises made to David called out for more than simple human fulfillment, they required no less than the Son of God in the line of David to be fulfilled.
The New Testament opens by calling attention to these promises that God made to David. Look at the Gospel of Matthew, the Gospel of Matthew 1:1, from the very beginning. As you're turning there, Matthew 1:1, the New Testament opens, you open the New Testament and it is presupposing that you understand an awful lot about the Old Testament and the promises that God made to his people centuries before this Gospel was written.
Matthew 1:1, we kind of see it all summarized here, the things of which we have been privileged to speak tonight. Matthew 1:1,
1 The record of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham:
In one verse, the Abrahamic covenant and the Davidic covenant brought together and fulfilled in the person of Jesus Christ. Then Matthew goes throughout his Gospel vindicating that claim, culminating in the crucifixion and resurrection, showing forth the means by which this covenant would be established forever.
Luke 1 in verse 31. Luke 1:31, the angel speaks to Mary, tells her that she's been favored by God, and in verse 31 the angel says to her,
31 "... behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; 33 and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end."
The angel prophetically tells Mary what's going to happen with this son that would be born, conceived in her virgin womb, and tells her that, "This Son that you will bear is going to be the fulfillment of the promises that God made to David 1,000 years ago upon which biblical, the biblical narrative rests. Mary, this is the privilege given to you, favored one. You're going to bear the Son who will be the fulfillment of all of those promises that God made to David."
So, beloved, when we contemplate these things, we get a sense of the transcendent nature of the way that God works out his eternal plan and it is done in a way that transcends our individual lives, our ups and downs, our joys and sorrows, our successes and adversities. All of this, all of this sweeps over us, transcends us, transcends our lifetimes, transcends and dwarfs us and yet somehow also includes us by the great hand of God in his mercy that he's given to us in Christ.
Beloved, think about it. From today going back to Abraham is about 4,000 years. Four thousand years ago God made his promises to Abraham. A thousand years after that, he made... 1,000 years, beloved, 1,000 years after that, he makes his promises to David. From David to Christ is another 1,000 years, talking in round terms. Four thousand years ago, Abraham; 3,000 years ago, David; 2,000 years ago, Christ. Go forward 2,000 years ago and here we are, living as Christians, sharing in some of the intended overflow that God had in those promises that he made to the patriarchs that were fulfilled in Christ. Jesus Christ is the climactic figure in the Davidic dynasty and we know him. Not only do we know him, he gave his life for us. He called us to himself. He names us as his own. This Christ who is the fulfillment of everything promised to David is ours. We are his and he is ours and so great is this Christ and so magnificent is the plan of God, that David's ultimate Son, Psalm 110:1 and places quoted multiple times in the New Testament, David's ultimate Son would prove to be his own Lord.
Christ will fulfill these promises to completion when he reigns in a future millennium on earth and his reign during the millennium will be the fulfillment of these promises that God made to David to have a Son with a worldwide reign. Beloved, what I want you to see for tonight even transcends just preparing for Psalm 89 and we come back to a theme that we've been talking about multiple times in recent weeks and months. We can't say it enough because repetition is the key to learning, we are all dull and slow to learn and we're not quick to grasp the significance of the things that God's word says to us but, beloved, we're dwarfed in a recognition of this great and simple truth, plain and simple truth: God has a plan for human history that he is working out not over days or months or years or decades or centuries, God has this great plan that he decreed before the beginning of time and he is working it out across the millennia, existing beyond time and yet working in it, to do his will, to accomplish those things that will bring him glory in the end with the ultimate climax that there will be a universal worldwide recognition that Jesus Christ is Lord and every tongue will confess it and every knee will bow and confess that great truth, Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father, and the fulfillment of everything that God promised to David will reach its great and visible climax, and God's great sovereignty guarantees the fulfillment of that.
Look, we can't even keep our cars on the road when the road is icy sometimes. We can't add a day to the appointed term of our life. When the day of death comes, we have no power over it. We are weak. We are frail. We are a vapor in the wind. God is under no such limitations. In contrast to our frail mortal existence, the God of the universe, the God of the Bible, the God of our salvation is so great and so transcendent and so self-existent and so sovereign, so sovereign that he can establish a plan outside the bounds of time, step into time and work it out to perfect execution of the detail, as Ephesians 1 tells us, working all things after the counsel of his own will.
There is an overarching sovereignty to the greatness of God, to the plan of God. We are included in that as believers. We are small parts of that. We are blessed that God knows us by name and numbers the hairs on our head. We're blessed for that but to understand that in biblical context is to realize that God's plan far transcends my life, infinitely transcends my life, my existence. What God is doing is far greater than me, and that gives us some perspective on life.
His great sovereignty means that when Jesus said in Matthew 16:18, "I will build My church," that tells us, do you know what? Christ is going to build his church. He will do it because he can, and all of the pollsters and doomsayers that say the church has to change or it's going to go out of existence, they're just showing their own insanity in their own minds and their utter lack of understanding of how great God is in his sovereignty and Christ's ability to do exactly what he says. People stop praising him, he'll raise up rocks that will cry out the glories of his name.
The church will be built but there is an individual application to us, beloved, as we think about these things, a verse that we'll come to probably in like 18 months in Philippians 1:6. Yeah, I know. I'm glad that somebody laughed at that.
Understand that it's that great God of whom we have spoken, the God of Abraham, the God of David, the God of Christ, the God of human history, of whom Paul spoke when he said, "I'm confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus." Are you here today in weakness, in sorrow and disappointment, beloved, feeling as though you're just barely clinging on to the outer edge of the robe of Christ in your desire to persevere but you feel like you're about to sink for the final time? Understand that the God of your salvation is the God of Abraham, the God of David, the God of Christ, this God of great sovereignty, and while it may look out of control to you, it's not out of control to him and the promises that he has made to you in Christ will most certainly be fulfilled. If he has begun the work, he'll perfect it. If 4,000 years haven't hindered his purpose to Abraham, what makes you think that four years of difficulty in your life are somehow going to hinder the ultimate fulfillment of the purpose that he established when he appointed you for salvation before the beginning of time? I mean, you could slice your hand and nothing would stop it, not that I recommend that. No, no, we serve a great God who is worthy of your trust. We serve a great God in Christ who is worthy of your love. If he started the work, he'll perfect it, he'll finish it, and with those things in mind, we give him glory and we join with David in praying in awe to him, "God, why did You take note of me? Surely for nothing in me but only according to Your own goodness, Your own wisdom, Your own purpose, and in that, Father, I respond in grateful adoration."
Father, our minds have swept from eternity past to eternity future across the millennia of human time, across ever so briefly the great pages of Scripture. What can we say except what Scripture quotes of another saying, "My soul exalts the Lord and my spirit has rejoiced in God, my Savior." You, O God, the mighty One, you have done great things for us. Holy is Your name. Your arm has done mighty deeds. You bring down rulers from their thrones, You exalt those who are humble. God, we worship and honor You. You have given help to Israel as you spoke to their fathers, to Abraham and his descendants forever, and now, Father, You have given no less measure of grace to us to bless us and to keep us also. For this one moment, O God, we cast aside every thought of our problems, our challenges, the things that weigh us down, we put it all aside and in purity of heart, united in purpose, Father, we simply tell You that we worship You, we adore You, we trust You, we love You, and we commit ourselves to You, and with David, we say we are Your servant. We belong to You. Use us as You will. Simply give us understanding that we might know Your testimonies and obey them. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.