The Bible: The Covenant about God’s King


Through Christ, we become part of God’s true story of salvation.


2 Samuel 7:1-17 ESV

Now when the king lived in his house and the Lord had given him rest from all his surrounding enemies, 2 the king said to Nathan the prophet, “See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells in a tent.” 3 And Nathan said to the king, “Go, do all that is in your heart, for the Lord is with you.”
4 But that same night the word of the Lord came to Nathan, 5 “Go and tell my servant David, ‘Thus says the Lord: Would you build me a house to dwell in? 6 I have not lived in a house since the day I brought up the people of Israel from Egypt to this day, but I have been moving about in a tent for my dwelling. 7 In all places where I have moved with all the people of Israel, did I speak a word with any of the judges of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, saying, “Why have you not built me a house of cedar?”’ 8 Now, therefore, thus you shall say to my servant David, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, that you should be prince over my people Israel. 9 And I have been with you wherever you went and have cut off all your enemies from before you. And I will make for you a great name, like the name of the great ones of the earth. 10 And I will appoint a place for my people Israel and will plant them, so that they may dwell in their own place and be disturbed no more. And violent men shall afflict them no more, as formerly, 11 from the time that I appointed judges over my people Israel. And I will give you rest from all your enemies. Moreover, the Lord declares to you that the Lord will make you a house. 12 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. 13 He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 14 I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son. When he commits iniquity, I will discipline him with the rod of men, with the stripes of the sons of men, 15 but my steadfast love will not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away from before you. 16 And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me. Your throne shall be established forever. ’” 17 In accordance with all these words, and in accordance with all this vision, Nathan spoke to David.


Week after week we are listening through the whole Bible to the story of God’s glory in Jesus Christ. It is beneficial for us to hear this story well, because through the good news about Christ, we become part of God’s true story of salvation. When we listen well, we learn that parts of the story are very messy and it looks like God is going to fail. Last week, we left his old covenant people Israel in terrible situation. Everyone was doing what they felt was right in their opinion, but they were choosing the destructive ways of sin. Their lives went in a downward spiral away from God and hope and glory to the verge of total ruin. The book of Samuel presents what God did to bring his people back to himself and to provide the King who would rescue his people.

Illustration: Imagine being part of a cleanup after a tornado or a flood. When there is great damage, the task can seem hopeless. In Samuel we see God beginning to clean up the mess.

The structure of Samuel (First and Second Samuel together) is built around the accounts about Samuel, Saul, and David.

[1]The faithfulness of Samuel as judge and prophet (1 Sm 1-7)

[2]The tragedy of Saul, the people’s king (1 Sm 8-15)

[3]The selection of David to be king and his conflict with Saul (1 Sm 16-31)

[4]The glory of David’s early reign (2 Sm 1-9)

[5]The failures of David (2 Sm 10-20)

[6]Reflections on David’s reign (2 Sm 21-24)

Important ideas:

[1]Samuel starts and ends with desperate prayer (1 Sm 1:8-11; 2 Sm 24:10-14). And we read other accounts of prayer (1 Sm 2:1; 7:8-9; 8:6; 12:18; 15:11; 2 Sm 7:18-29; 12:16; 21:1). The book teaches us to pray.

[2]Three great songs help bind the book together (1 Sm 2:1-10; 2 Sm 1:17-27; 22:1-51). They speak of great reversals and of God’s King.

[3]The book tells about the shift from worship at the tabernacle to the purchase of the place to build the temple. Also the Ark of the Covenant takes a journey from the tabernacle in Shiloh, to the temple of Dagon in Philistia, to a house in Kiriath Jearim, and finally to a tent in Jerusalem. Think about how the proper worship of the Lord on the Day of Atonement was disrupted for over a hundred years.

[4]God teaches us that his ways are not our ways. Many times we read of people thinking that they know what to do, and the Lord either allows their foolishness to be exposed or rescues people from their errors. Consider the wrong actions in regard to the Ark of the Covenant, the “ideal” candidate for king, David’s decisions to seek refuge among the Philistines, the people turning away from God’s chosen king David, etc. The sovereign God is always right and always wins.

[5]The importance of the inner person of the heart (1 Sm 2:1; 12:20; 13:14; 16:7; 24:5; 27:1; 2 Sm 6:16; 7:27; 24:10). God wants our hearts!

[6]God’s purpose of salvation involves his chosen King. As Matthew points out, the goal of history is Jesus Christ (Mt 1:1).


I.Important events in this part of God’s story

A.The renewal of Israel under Samuel’s leadership

1.Though some were faithful to the Lord and right worship, the religion of most had deteriorated under the influence of greed, corruption, and self-will. God’s power alone rescues the Ark from captivity (1 Sm 1:1-7:1).

2.God used Samuel to lead his people to repentance, and through him as the last judge, God rescued his people from Philistine oppression (1 Sm 7:2-17).

B.Israel rejects God as their king. Israel wanted a king like the other nations. Anytime God’s people want to imitate the world, you can be sure they are headed for trouble.

1.Now we must understand that God had planned to give Israel a king (Gen 17:6, 16; 49:10; Deut 17:14-20). The Lord has Samuel anoint Saul of the tribe of Benjamin and present him to the people. Samuel formalizes the kingship in a covenant renewal ceremony during which he confronts the people with their need for repentance (1 Sm 12).

2.From the start Saul shows his shortcomings. As his reign progresses he rules according to what is right in his eyes rather than in the eyes of the Lord. Finally, the Lord rejects Saul as king (1 Sm 8-15). Instead of leading the nation in true repentance, he practiced rebellion against the Lord (1 Sm 15:22-23).

C.Israel suffered and was divided under the dual leadership of Saul and David.

1.Saul was afflicted by an evil spirit, and starts to spiral downward. First, he refused to lead his people in battle against their oppressors. Next, he became jealous of David and tried to kill him many times. In the process he ordered that 85 of the Lord’s priests be killed. After finally chasing David out of Israel, Saul was pursued by the Philistines, consulted a witch, and was killed by his enemies. His legacy is a divided, oppressed nation.

2.On the other hand, after defeating Goliath as a young man, David began to lead God’s people to victory. However, David was forced to become a renegade and had to fight for survival, along with the outcasts who gathered to his leadership. Only God’s mercy spared David and the people from deeper problems when he fled to the Philistines.

D.David gradually rebuilt the nation. It took seven and a half years for him to become king of all the people and many more to bring stability.

1.The early years of his reign were preoccupied with civil war. Precious years of his life were consumed with the sins of others.

2.When David became king of the whole nation, he conquered Jerusalem and defeated the Philistines. David is like the new Joshua who leads the people to complete the conquest of the land.

3.David brought the Ark to Jerusalem and restored the worship of the Lord. It was a time of great celebration.

Point: The worship of God should be a time of great joy.

II.The Davidic covenant (2 Sm 7:4-17)

The setting is David’s good desire to do something to honor God. He wondered why he should live comfortably in a house of cedar while the Ark of God was in a tent.

Comment: American Christians are far too consumed with their pleasure while God is dishonored.

A.God kindly reasserts his authority about his worship.

1.The Lord challenges David about his view of himself (2 Sm 7:5).

2.The Lord recounts part of his story with Israel (2 Sm 7:6-7).

3.The Lord reminds David of his grace to him (2 Sm 7:8-9a).

Point: Everything we have is a gift of God’s grace (cf. 1 Cor 15:10).

B.God makes a covenant with David (2 Sm 7:9b-16). Key points:

1.God promised to make David’s name great (cf. Gen 12:2).

2.God promised to build a house for David. Unlike Saul, David’s son would succeed him as king. There would be a Davidic dynasty. His immediate successor would build the temple. David’s throne would last forever. This is the great promise that the Messiah would come from David’s line. It finds its fulfillment in the Lord Jesus Christ (Lk 1:31-33; 2:11; 22:66-70; Jn 19:33-37; Ac 2:29-36).

Point: God’s purposes are fulfilled in Jesus Christ.

III.The aftermath

A.David’s great sin and sorrows (2 Sm 11-20)

1.David broke the law covenant in a number of ways (adultery, murder, and greed). Though he deserved death, he found mercy in God’s justifying grace (Rm 4).

Point: The only way of restoration comes through the grace of the gospel and not through the law.

2.The Lord disciplined David for his sins. His problems came from his own family and spread to the nation. Only after great troubles was David secure in his kingship again.

B.A commentary on David’s rule (2 Sm 21-24)

1.David stops a famine by judgment (2 Sm 21:1-14)

2.David’s mighty men (2 Sm 21:15-22)

3.David’s victory song over enemies (2 Sm 22:1-51)

4.David’s last words (2 Sm 23:1-7)

5.David’s mighty men (2 Sm 23:8-39)

6.David stops a plague by seeking God’s mercy (2 Sm 24:1-25)

Ideas to transform our lives:

  • The worship of God should be a time of great joy
  • Everything we have is a gift of God’s grace
  • God’s purposes are fulfilled in Jesus Christ
  • The only way of restoration comes through the grace of the gospel

~ Dave

Pastor Dave Frampton
The faithful and spiritually profitable labors of Dave Frampton are featured here at CMC. As a Bible teacher he excels. Teacher and student alike will profit much from his labor in God’s Word. Visit Newtown Square Baptist Church.