So much has happened recently that bears significance for David, for Israel, and for the rest of the Old Testament, that it’s a good day to catch our breath.
We first met David as the youngest son of a shepherding family in Judah. He was a fierce and skilled soldier, first in his father’s service and later in King Saul’s. His battlefield prowess drew the admiration of the people and respect of foreign rulers. Not only was the Spirit of the LORD upon him, but David seemed aware of this – in a way that Gideon, Jephthah, Samson and Saul did not.
In chapter 7 David’s relationship with the LORD reaches a zenith. The LORD makes three promises. First, He promises that He “will make for [David] a great name, like the name of the great ones on earth.” Only Abraham has been given such a pledge before.
Second, the LORD assures Israel that He “will appoint a place for [His] people Israel and will plant them…” giving them “…rest from their enemies.” This promise of security and permanence had been made to the wilderness generation, but never has a convergence of leadership, resolve, and political opportunity brought it this close to fulfillment.
These two blessings intersect when the LORD makes His third and final promise: “When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.” The LORD has no interest in David mimicking the kings of other nations and building a capital temple to his favorite God. Rather, the LORD will build David a house – a more permanent house than can be built with cedar. The LORD “will be to him a father, and he shall by my son.” More importantly, “…My steadfast love will not depart from him, as I took it from Saul...”
Let those words sink in: a house, a throne, a kingdom, forever. Israel’s security and David’s name would now be forever linked. So the events you’ll read today of David’s continued conquests might seem a foregone conclusion. Moab, Syria and even the mighty Philistines are subdued. Garrisons are established in Edom – Esau now under Jacob’s feet – bringing previously unknown peace and prosperity to Israel.
Most importantly, by administering justice and equity to all his people, David is fulfilling the centuries-old hope that Israel should have a king who “may learn to fear the Lord his God by keeping all the words of this law and these statutes, and doing them, that his heart may not be lifted up above his brothers, and that he may not turn aside from the commandment, either to the right hand or to the left, so that he may continue long in his kingdom, he and his children, in Israel.
Our verse for this week is John 14:6: “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
2 Samuel chapter 8. Now let’s read it!
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.