Have you ever sat at a stoplight that turned green only for your car to remain unmoved because the car ahead of you doesn’t seem to notice the light changed? A few seconds is not a big deal, but when it becomes six, seven, or eight seconds you start wondering if you should honk your horn. Of course you don’t want to appear impatient, so you hesitate, inwardly hoping someone behind you will. It just seems unthinkable to remain unmoved by a green light. Even more so, it is unthinkable that you or I remain unmoved by God’s revelation. As Dale Ralph Davis says, “Our Lord does not declare His promises and plans to us…so that we can allow it all to sit in cold print” (2 Samuel: Out of Every Adversity, 97, thankful for his analogy above too).
The promises of God are spoken first to Nathan, and from Nathan to David (2 Sam. 7:12-16). What follows is David’s praise of amazement (vv. 18-24) and prayer of fulfillment (vv. 25-29). Yahweh has spoken throughout 1 and 2 Samuel but not usually at great length. In fact, it was back in 1 Samuel 3 when Yahweh spoke at greater length about the house of Eli. Perhaps you remember that Yahweh told Samuel that He was going to destroy Eli’s house (see 1 Sam. 3:10-14). But here Yahweh promises to build David a house, referring to a dynasty (2 Sam. 7:11b), for David already lived in a physical house (2 Sam. 7:1). While David desired to build a house for Yahweh, he was not the one to do it (2 Sam. 7:5-8), but he was the one whom Yahweh was going to build a house for. Yahweh tells David “your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before Me. Your throne shall be established forever” (2 Sam. 7:16).
This promise is referred to as the Davidic Covenant. While the word covenant does not appear in these verses, there are other passages of Scripture that speak of it as such (see Ps. 89:19-37; 132:10-12). Some of the promises reiterate the promises given to Abraham (in the Abrahamic Covenant). Yahweh promised Abraham that He would “make your name great” (Gen. 12:2b) and this promise is reiterated for David “I will make for you a great name” (2 Sam. 7:9b). It was through David, a seed of Abraham, that all nations of the earth would be blessed. And ultimately through David and Abraham’s seed (see Matt. 1:1). Yahweh spoke of David’s son as His son, “I will be to him a father, and he shall be to Me a son” (2 Sam. 7:14a). We know from reading 1 & 2 Kings that as the king goes so goes the people. Certainly the conduct of the people of Israel in general was important, but much more hinges on the conduct of the king. As Peter Leithart writes, “The fortunes of Israel would henceforth turn on the iniquity or righteousness of the ‘son’” (A Son to Me: An Exposition of 1 & 2 Samuel, 198). Solomon married and married some more, 700 wives and 300 concubines (1 Kings 11:3), and as God warned (Deut. 17:17) they turned his heart away from Yahweh. The kingdom gets split and divided in the days of Solomon’s son, Rehoboam, for Solomon’s sin (and Rehoboam added his folly to the mix, see 1 Kings 12:1-15). The fortunes of Israel turned on the iniquity of the son. This point is particularly driven home as it relates to Manasseh and Judah going into exile (see 2 Kings 23:26-27).
However, the fortunes of Israel turn on the righteousness of the Son as well, Jesus Christ! The Good Shepherd laid down His life for the sheep (John 10:11) as the perfect spotless Lamb of God (John 1:29). Jesus has secured our redemption. A point that reminds us we are free in Christ, but not independent from Christ. John 8:36, “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” Since Jesus paid a high price, His very own blood, while we are free we are not our own, for we belong to Christ (see 1 Cor. 6:18-20).
Consider briefly with me now, David’s amazement and wonder that Yahweh would build for him a house AND tell him about it (2 Sam. 7:19, 22, 27). David comes before Yahweh and sits down and says, “Who am I, O Lord Yahweh, and what is my house, that you have brought me thus far?” (v. 18). David was born and raised in the town of Bethlehem and is now in Jerusalem, only about 6 miles away. Yet for those who have read of David since he was “following the sheep” (v. 8), know all too well “Tis grace has brought [David] safe thus far and grace [has led him] home.” Not much has changed between saints of the OT and saints of the NT, or even saints (aka Christians) now.
After David marvels at God’s promises he says, “And now, O Yahweh God, confirm forever the word that you have spoken concerning your servant and concerning his house, and do as you have spoken” (v. 25). Do you see what David does here? Better yet, do you do what David does here? David asks God to do what He has promised back in vv. 12-16. We ought to pray the promises of God back to God! This requires us to know the promises of God, and for those who know God, He is faithful to His promises then, now, and forever. Dale Ralph Davis again writes, “Yahweh’s promise gives prayer its passion, boldness, and confidence. David knew that. That’s why he sat down (v. 18a) and stood on the promises of God” (2 Samuel Out of Every Adversity, 106). “Standing, standing, standing on the promises of God my Savior; standing, standing, I’m standing on the promises of God,” are you?