Advent 4, December 20, 2020
Praise David’s Son Text: 2 Samuel 7:(1–7) 8–11, 16
2 Samuel 7 is an important link (BOWTIE)in the chain of messianic prophecies that stretches throughout the Old Testament.
Genesis 3:15 foretold that he would be a descendant of Eve;
- Gen 9:26, of Shem;
- Gen 12:3, of Abram;
- Gen 49:10, of Judah.
Our text is a further “narrowing down,” indicating that the Messiah would be a descendant of David.
- Is 9:7; 11:1, 10; Jer 23:5; Ezek 34:23–24; 37:24–25; Mt 21:9; Lk 1:32–33; 18:38–39; Jn 7:42; Acts 2:30; 13:23; Rom 1:3.
The first line of our text summarizes what has preceded the scene: the bulk of David’s troubles as he became king and consolidated his power are now over. An enormous irony occurs, however, in what succeeds this scene: David still has troubles to come, but they will be primarily with . . . his own house! David’s sin with Bathsheba, their child’s death, incest among his children, and rebellion from a son (and others) are the main stories in the rest of 2 Samuel.
Praise David’s Son.
- We praise David’s Son because of who he is.
- The last sentence of v 11 surely is the most important line and most surprising truth and turn in the text. Without precedent is given the promise that Yahweh will build a “house” for David! ESV’s “moreover,” perhaps something even stronger, is a necessary rendering to show the radical change of the message’s direction.
There is a nice “turn” on words in this verse.
- David had wanted to build a house, that is, a temple, for the Lord (7:2, 5).
- The Lord tells David (through the prophet Nathan) that he is not the one to build this sanctuary (cf. also 1 Chron 17:4; 28:2–3).
- However, God gives the king the good news that he, the Lord, will “build” or “make” (better translations than “establish”) a house for David.
- Here in v 11b, though, “house,” according to the following context, means “dynasty.”
- In the history of the ancient Near East, where Israel was located, there were many ruling houses, or dynasties, in various countries. Each of these dynasties lasted for a period of time . . . and then came to an end.
- Yet in God’s promise to David, the concept of “forever” is strongly emphasized: “your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me” (v 16, emphasis added).
- Our text, from 2 Samuel 7, is the background for a number of well-known Scripture passages, all of which Christ is fulfilling with his Kingship.
- Besides praising the Son of David for whom he is and what he has accomplished, we praise him for his present and future activity.
- When human beings try to do something for God, he says, “No, you have it wrong. You can do nothing for me. I do it all for you.”
- “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain” (Ps 127:1). God does encourage your heart, as he did David’s (v 3), to look to do things for him. But what is most important is always to know what he has done for you in the past and what he does for you and through you in the future.
- THE descendant of David is reigning, just as God foretold.
- Our lives are different and changed because we do believe, because faith has been placed into our hearts by the activity of God through his Holy Spirit. The Lord’s promise has endured, and will endure forever.