Lenten Devotional #16 • The Davidic Covenant

Read 2 Samuel 7:1-16

Last week Psalm 95 gave us an example of how to worship God as a mighty creator exalted above his creation. This week we are brought deeper into the life of King David, the worshipper-in-chief of the nation. 

The ark of the covenant has returned to the City of David. David humbled himself “dancing with all his might” before the eyes of Yahweh. His wife hated the gesture, but David was concerned only with the pleasure of God. This is the heart of worship with which David decides in 2 Samuel 7 that he wants to build a grand house for Yahweh to dwell.

When David relates his plans to Nathan, the prophet responds with approval as any good preacher would respond to a generous donation to the church. But after going home and talking it over with God, Nathan must return to David with a different message. This is a message that I think David could not have possibly seen coming.

“David, nice gesture. I know that you mean well. But there’s not anything that God needs from you. Everything that you are and your nation has become is because God has done it. He doesn’t need you to repay him. He doesn’t want you to repay him. A gift is a gift. 

I know that your desire is to build God a house, but instead, he told me that he’s going to build you a house. I’m not talking about this beautiful palace you have built. I’m referring to offspring who will sit on your throne forever, well past the day when you are dead and gone. The king on your throne will be treated as my own son. I will discipline him with the iniquity of men, but my love will never and can never depart from him. Your throne is established forever.”

Could there be a more wonderful promise given to anyone in the history of kingship? But what’s so cool about this covenant is that this is our covenant. We get to live as subjects of the eternal king. He has been given stripes on our behalf so that we can live in the protection of his wings forever.