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2 Samuel 7:1-17
Luke 1:31-33

Messiah ben David

After David had settled down in his reign as king of Israel and built his own home, he had the desire to build a permanent dwelling place for the LORD God. Until this time in the history of Israel Yahweh dwelt among His people in the tent of meeting called the Tabernacle. David was ultimately forbidden the opportunity to build the Temple because he was "a man of war, and had shed blood" (1 Chronicles 22:8; 28:3). However, David built the Temple through his son Solomon. He is the only man in the Scriptures who is called "a man after God's own heart."

God made a covenant with David that when he died his descendents shall occupy the throne and be established in the kingdom (2 Samuel 7:12). Note how closely the Temple and the kingdom are related to one another (vv. 13-14). The building of the Temple goes hand in hand with the eternity of the kingdom. Moreover, the kingdom of God and the kingdom of David are inseparably linked. Here is the promise God made to David in 2 Samuel 7:12-16).

When your days are complete and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your descendant after you, who will come forth from you, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 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, but My lovingkindness shall not depart from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you. Your house and your kingdom shall endure before Me forever; your throne shall be established forever.

God's covenant with David is "forever." It is a promise that the establishment of the kingdom and the throne of David are "forever." It points beyond the time of his son Solomon and to the eternal continuance of the David's descendents. The word "seed" refers to the posterity of a person, or line of persons of successive generations. The promise includes a number of descendents who would be transmitted from father to son over many generations.

Moreover, the promise was that the throne of the kingdom of David would continue "to eternity." The house and the kingdom exist side by side for an eternal duration. The word "eternity" must be taken in its absolute sense. This is the way the Psalmist understood it in the royal Psalm 89:28-29. "My lovingkindness I will keep for him forever, and My covenant shall be confirmed to him. So I will establish his descendants forever and his throne as the days of heaven."

The prophet Isaiah saw the coming of a child with four names who would rule as Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:7). He said,

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.

Other Hebrew prophets at various times prophesied of the coming of this same person (cf. Daniel 2:44; 4:3, 34; 6:26; 7:13-14). Ezekiel wrote, "My servant David will be king over them, and they will all have one shepherd; and they will walk in My ordinances and keep My statutes and observe them. They will live on the land that I gave to Jacob My servant, in which your fathers lived; and they will live on it, they, and their sons and their sons’ sons, forever; and David My servant will be their prince forever" (Ezekiel 37:24-25; cf. 34:23-24).

It is obvious that no earthly kingdom has eternal duration. Earthly kingdoms perish, one by one, and other kingdoms take their place. This was true in Israel. After 350 years, the kingdom of David came to a physical end. Once the dynasty had fallen in 586 BC, devout Jews continued to treasure the divine promises made to David. They were confident that Yahweh would again fulfil them in a very special son of David they called the Messiah (translated "Christ"). So how then could it last for eternity?

The Old Testament scholars Keil and Delitzsch have an excellent observation on this passage.

The posterity of David, therefore, could only last forever by running out in a person who lives forever; i.e. by culminating in the Messiah, who lives forever, and of whose kingdom there is no end. The promise consequently refers to the posterity of David, commencing with Solomon and closing with Christ . . . "

The promise to Solomon and his descendents is not fully exhausted in them. The promise that the "seed" of David should endure forever is attained only in the ultimate fulfillment in Christ.

Just as the promise of building the house of God finds its ultimate fulfillment in Christ, the promise, "I will be a father to him and he will be a son to Me" (v. 14a) is fully realized in Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of the heavenly Father (Hebrews 1:5). In the Old Testament, the relationship between the father and son signifies the "deepest intimacy of love." Jesus experienced this intimacy with His Father in heaven. He said, "The Father loves the Son and has given all things into His hand" (John 3:35). Of course, Jesus did not disobey His Father and was never in any need of chastisement.

We know from history that David's son Solomon built the Temple (1 Kings 5:19; 8:15ff), but later sinned against the Lord by serving other gods. Because of his sin the kingdom was divided by civil war when his son became king. The southern kingdom remained loyal to David's dynasty (1 Kings 11:9ff). The LORD did just as He had promised and chastised Solomon with the rods of men, but He did not withdraw His hesed, steadfast love.

The seed of David turned against the Lord and the kingdom was taken away from its earthly descendents. Jesus was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, after the house of David had fallen into decay. Jesus raised up the throne of His father David again to reign forever as its king. Dr. Luke carefully observed this when he documented this fact in Luke 1:32-33:

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; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end."

Literally, "of His kingdom there will be no end." We must take those words at face value.

In fulfillment of this prophecy in 2 Samuel 7:11-13 the Lord God will give Jesus "the throne of His father David." The promise Yahweh gave to King David found its ultimate fulfillment in Jesus Christ. His descent from David, according to human nature, is definitely confirmed. The official genealogy of the Jewish people was carefully kept until the destruction of the Jerusalem in AD 70. Matthew presents the legal pedigree, according to Jewish custom, and quotes the genealogy table of Jesus Christ. He wrote, "The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham" (Matthew 1:1). Then he goes on to trace Jesus' descent through the line of the kings of the house of David, who alone are recognized as legitimate sovereigns of Israel.

The Jewish rabbi Paul wrote of Jesus after believing the evidence he had gathered. He described Him as one, "who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, who was declared with power to be the Son of God by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 1:3-4). The common people, like the blind man, acknowledge who He was saying, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" (Luke 18:38). The priest Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied saying, God "has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of David His servant" (Luke 1:69).

This descendent of David will last forever. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever; His kingdom will never end. It is not an earthly or political kingdom that is in view here, but the kingdom or rule of grace and truth established in the heart and lives of all who believe on Him as their savior. Jesus said to Pilate at His trial,

"My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm." Therefore, Pilate said to Him, "So You are a king?" Jesus answered, "You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice" (John 18:36-37).

The kingdom of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, the son of David, is a kingdom of "righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit" (Romans 14:17).

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Title:  2 Samuel 7:1-17 Luke 1:31-33 Messiah ben David
Series:  Christ in the Old Testament

Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2008. Anyone is free to use this material and distribute it, but it may not be sold under any circumstances whatsoever without the author's written consent.

Unless otherwise noted “Scripture quotations taken from the NASB." "Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, © Copyright 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission." (www.Lockman.org)

Scripture quoted by permission. Quotations designated (NET) are from the NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://www.bible.org/. All rights reserved.

Wil is a graduate of William Carey University, B. A.; New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, Th. M.; and Azusa Pacific University, M. A. He has pastored in Panama, Ecuador and the U. S, and served for over 20 years as missionary in Ecuador and Honduras. He had a daily expository Bible teaching ministry head in over 100 countries for ten years. He continues to seek opportunities to be personally involved in world missions. Wil and his wife Ann have three grown daughters. He currently serves as a Baptist pastor and teaches seminary extension courses in Honduras.

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