Chapter 17: The Promise of a Kingdom - Radical

Chapter 17: The Promise of a Kingdom

In the Old Testament, God makes multiple covenants with his people. These covenants shape their relationship with him and their future. In this message on 2 Samuel 7, Pastor David Platt explains the hope found in the Davidic covenant, the covenant of the kingdom. He highlights three promises found in this covenant.

  1. A seed will endure
  2. An honored son will reign
  3. His kingdom will be established forever

If you have a Bible, and I hope you do, let me invite you to open with me to 2 Samuel 7. We are also going to look at 2 Samuel 11. 2 Samuel 7 is one of the most important texts, really, in all the Old Testament for understanding how God relates to His people.

One scholar said, “This chapter is the most crucial theological statement in the entire Old Testament.” That’s a bold statement, and you might not realize it when you just read through 2 Samuel 7, but what I want to show you is that what this chapter contains has so much to teach us about what’s happened up until this point, and so much to teach us about what will happen from this point, when it comes to how God relates to His people.

So, here’s the deal: we’re going to use 2 Samuel 7 as a home base. We’re going to be all over the place. So, get your fingers ready; if you need to, kind of get the table of contents ready, because this is not going to be passive listening. This is going to be a lot of work. I think we’ll go into about 20 different other places in Scripture. So, get your pencil out, get ready to mark all over the place because I want to show you how this chapter fits into the whole of Scripture.

2 Samuel 7:1 Points Toward the New Testament

Sound good? You ready? All right, here we go. 2 Samuel 7:1. We’re going to read through the chapter, and then we’re going to consider how huge this is for not only understanding what’s going on in the Old Testament, but understanding what’s going on in the New Testament, and as a result, what’s going on in our relationship with God in this room.

2 Samuel 7:1:

Now when the king [the king being David] lived in his house and the LORD had given him rest from all his surrounding enemies, 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.” And Nathan said to the king, “Go, do all that is in your heart, for the LORD is with you.”

But that same night the word of the LORD came to Nathan, “Go and tell my servant David, ‘Thus says the LORD: Would you build me a house to dwell in? 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. 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?”’ Now, therefore, thus shall you 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. 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. 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, from the time that I appointed my people judges over 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. 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. 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, but my steadfast love will not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away from before you. And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me. Your throne shall be established forever.’” In accordance with all these words, and in accordance with all this vision, Nathan spoke to David.

Then King David went in and sat before the LORD and said, “Who am I, O Lord GOD, and what is my house, that you have brought me thus far? And yet this was a small thing in your eyes, O Lord GOD. You have spoken also of your servant’s house for a great while to come, and this is instruction for mankind, O Lord GOD! And what more can David say to you? For you know your servant, O Lord GOD! Because of your promise, and according to your own heart, you have brought about all this greatness, to make your servant know it. Therefore you are great, O LORD God. For there is none like you, and there is no God besides you, according to all that we have heard with our ears. And who is like your people Israel, the one nation on earth whom God went to redeem to be his people, making himself a name and doing for them great and awesome things by driving out before your people, whom you redeemed for yourself from Egypt, a nation and its gods? And you established for yourself your people Israel to be your people forever. And you, O LORD, became their God. And now, O LORD God, confirm forever the word that you have spoken concerning your servant and concerning his house, and do as you have spoken. And your name will be magnified forever, saying, ‘The LORD of hosts is God over Israel,’ and the house of your servant David will be established before you. For you, O LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, have made this revelation to your servant, saying, ‘I will build you a house.’ Therefore your servant has found courage to pray this prayer to you. And now, O Lord GOD, you are God, and your words are true, and you have promised this good thing to your servant. Now therefore may it please you to bless the house of your servant, so that it may continue forever before you. For you, O Lord GOD, have spoken, and with your blessing shall the house of your servant be blessed forever.”

Let’s pray. O Lord God, we sit here with your Word in front of us in awe of the reality that the one whom David was praying to here is the one that we are now praying to. We want to learn how you related to him and what that means for how we relate to you. We need your Spirit to teach us; to take this Word that has persisted throughout generations and to bring it alive in our hearts.

So, we pray that your Spirit would do that in our midst; that you would change us and transform us. We pray that there would be people whose lives are changed for eternity by this Word, and your people would be built up based on your promises, your covenant toward David in 2 Samuel 7. Help us, we pray, for the glory of your name. Amen.

Different Covenants

Okay, here’s the deal: we’ve talked about the different covenants so much, and this is kind of the setup to this passage right here. We have already seen four different covenants in Scripture, and we’ve talked about all four of these covenants. First, Adam: the covenant of creation. God is relating to Adam and Eve through promises to them in the beginning, Genesis 1 and 2, and then even when sin enters the world in Genesis 3:15, God promises to send one who will crush the Adversary, crush the serpent, and redeem a people for Himself.

So, you’ve got Adam, the covenant of creation. Then, second, Noah: the covenant of preservation. Actually, the first time we see the actual word “covenant” mentioned is in God’s relationship with Noah. It’s God’s promise never again to destroy his creation, via flood, like He has done. He’s going to preserve His people to the end. The sign of the covenant is the rainbow.

That sets the stage for the third covenant in Genesis 12, Genesis 15, and Genesis 17: Abraham: the covenant of promise. God says to Abram in Genesis 12, “I’m going to bless you, and that blessing is going to look like this when it comes to descendants.” This unfolds in the chapters to come. “When it comes to your descendants, when it comes to the land I’m going to lead you to, I’m going to give you great blessing, and the result will be all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”

Seeing Covenant Promises Fulfilled

I preached on those texts earlier this year. We looked at Genesis 12, 15, 17, 18, and 22, and we saw how they all come together. Really, after that, we see what happens with Isaac and Jacob, and we see this covenant of promise playing out. God has promised and given promises to these patriarchs, these fathers of the faith, and they are living on those promises.

That sets the stage: God’s people end up in slavery in Egypt. God delivers them out of Egypt and brings them to Mount Sinai, where, with Moses, we see the covenant of law. There at Mount Sinai, God reveals His glory to His people, and then gives him His commandments, His law. Now, we’ve talked about this before. I want to remind you again, when we see these different covenants in Scripture, when you have a new covenant come on the scene, it’s not coming on the scene in a way that nullifies everything that’s happened before. It’s not like, “Okay, now you’ve got the covenant of law with Moses, and the covenant of promise with Abraham is just off the table.” Instead, what’s happening is each one of these is building on another, and we’re seeing progressively as we walk through redemptive history, how God relates to His people. It’s going to continue all the way till we see the new covenant by which we relate to God in the New Testament.

Understanding How God Related to His People Before

However, what this means is in order to understand the new covenant and how you and I relate to God, we’ve got to understand how God has related to His people before now. This is one of the coolest things. Isn’t it an awesome thought to realize that we stand in a long line of people who for generations, all the way back to Abraham and even before, have been walking with God. Abraham’s God is your God, and the same God whom Moses met on Mount Sinai is the same God you and I meet in our quiet time tomorrow morning. That is awesome. The same God who is speaking these promises to David is the same God who is your shepherd. We talked about this last week.

So, we’re in this long line, which brings this whole picture of what’s going on in 2 Samuel 7 right into our lap, because this is huge for understanding how we relate to God. So, you have these four covenants all setting the stage for this fifth covenant that really is the last one we’re going to see in the Old Testament, with David: the covenant of the kingdom.

Now, you look in 2 Samuel 7, you say, “Well, I didn’t see the word ‘covenant’ anywhere.” You’re right, it’s not there. The closest it gets is down in verse 15 where God talks about His steadfast love, hesed, which is a word that is sometimes used as a synonym for covenant in Scripture, but you don’t really see covenant mentioned here. Now, there are other Old Testament passages that refer back to 2 Samuel 7 and talk about God’s covenant with David which is why, virtually, all Old Testament scholars call this passage the Davidic Covenant; God entering into covenant with David.

How the New Covenant Relates

Now, what I want to show you is how this covenant right here relates, builds on, and parallels all the ways God has related to His people in covenant up until this point. So, we’re not going to turn a lot right here, but if you are not opposed to writing in your Bible, I want to just show you and give you a couple of verses where you can go back and look and see that what God is saying to David here is the same thing He said to Abraham and Moses before him. If you are, then just pretend this is not happening around you, but if you’re not opposed, I want to just show you some places.

So, you look, for example, at 2 Samuel 7:9, and God says, “I’ve been with you, David, wherever you went, and have cut off all your enemies from before you. I will make for you a great name, like the name of the great ones of the earth.” Do you remember if God ever told anyone else, “I’m going to make you a great name.”? It was Abraham; Genesis 12:2. So, write a little note by verse 9 and put Genesis 12:2. That was the very beginning of God’s covenant with Abraham.

“I’m going to make your name great, Abram.” It’s the same picture. Then, you get to 2 Samuel 7:10, “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.” Has God in the past promised His people a place to dwell in? Absolutely. You look at Genesis 15:18. God said to Abraham, “I’m going to give you this land.” He spells it out. “From the river Euphrates to this area to that area.”

God Promises David What He Promised Abraham

Here’s David, sitting in the middle of that, hearing God say, “I’m going to appoint a place for you to dwell in.” It’s the same thing that God has already promised to Abraham. Now, you go down to verse 12, “When your days are fulfilled, David, 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.” Make a little note there: Genesis 17:3-7.

Genesis 17:3-7 is when God told Abraham, “I’m going to raise up offspring and give you many descendants.” It’s the same word, “offspring” “…seed that’s going to come from your line, through your family.” Then, He also says in Genesis 17, “And kings will come from you.” Here is God speaking to a king, saying, “I’m going to establish your son’s kingdom.” This is the picture. It’s exactly what God had said to Abram.

Let’s look at a couple more places. Look at 2 Samuel 7:14, “I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son.” We’re going to talk about this in a little bit, but write a little note there that points to Exodus 4:22. This is not the first time God has referred to His people or someone as His son. Exodus 4:22, when Moses was going to Pharaoh, God said, “You tell Pharaoh that Israel is my son.” So, the picture here is of a son. We’re going to talk about what this means here in 2 Samuel 7:14, but the picture of God’s relating to His people as father to a son is what we’ve seen in covenants leading up to this point.

There is No One Like God

Then, you get down to 2 Samuel 7:23-24, and David’s praying. He’s saying, “You redeem a people for yourself.” Write a little note out to the side there: Exodus 6:6-7. It’s almost exactly the same language when God tells Moses, “I’m going to redeem a people for myself, and they will be my people and I will be their God,” which is really kind of the language of covenant.

I skipped over verse 22, but let’s go back to it. “Therefore you are great, O LORD God. For there is none like you, and there is no God besides you.” That’s the whole point of the Exodus. Write a little note there and put Exodus 15:11, Exodus 8:10, and Exodus 9:14. Write all of them. The whole point was God said all throughout the exodus, “I’m going to show Pharaoh that there is no one like me.” What they pray as they leave Egypt behind in Exodus 15:11 is, “There is no God like you.”

God is showing that there is no other name that is worthy of worship like He is. So, what you see is there are parallels all over this picture that build on what God has done already. Now, I do want you to turn to this one. Go to Deuteronomy 17 with me; it’s the fifth book in the Bible. Here’s the deal: when God gave His people the law, He told them that He was going to reign over them.

God is king over Israel

So, basically, Israel is a theocracy, which means God is king over Israel. Yahweh is king. Yahweh is the ruler. He is the one who reigns. He is king, but He knows that His people are going to be tempted to seek out another king, just like all these other pagan nations around them that have these other kings. So, He says to them here in Deuteronomy 17 where we’re about to read, “You can appoint a king, but make sure not to appoint a king like those other pagan nations.”

Here’s God’s instructions: Deuteronomy 17:14. This has huge ramifications for what is happening in 2 Samuel 7. God said to His people in Deuteronomy 17:14,

“When you come to the land that the LORD your God is giving you, and you possess it and dwell in it and then say, ‘I will set a king over me, like all the nations that are around me,’ you may indeed set a king over you whom the LORD your God will choose. One from among your brothers you shall set as a king over you. You may not put a foreigner over you, who is not your brother. Only he must not acquire [here’s kind of some regulations] many horses for himself or cause the people to return to Egypt in order to acquire many horses, since the LORD has said to you, ‘You shall never return that way again.’ And he shall not acquire many wives for himself, lest his heart turn away, nor shall he acquire for himself excessive silver and gold.

“And when he sits on the throne of his kingdom [this is what he needs to do], he shall write for himself in a book a copy of this law, approved by the Levitical priests. And it shall be with him, and he shall read it all the days of his life, that he 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.”

So, this is the picture: God says, “You can have a king, but the whole design is the earthly king needs to represent me as heavenly King. He needs to be close to my laws and following my ways, so that as he leads and you follow him as king, you will ultimately be following me as king.” So, when we come back here to 2 Samuel 7, the whole design is that, in the Davidic kingdom, it would be a reflection of the kingdom of Yahweh, the kingdom of God.

The Davidic Kingdom

It would be a reflection of His rule. So, that’s what’s happening here in 2 Samuel 7. So, you’ve got in your notes there “The Davidic Kingdom.” In 2 Samuel 5, David is anointed as king, and that’s what they would do. They would anoint him. The king was referred to as the “anointed one.” Hold onto that title, “the anointed one” or sometimes it is called, “the Lord’s anointed.” So, here he is; he is anointed as king, and God says to him, “I’m going to raise you up and establish this kingdom.”

I want you to think about three facets of this kingdom; really three facets of any kingdom: people, place, and purpose. Any kingdom is going to have people and a place for a purpose. God’s kingdom, or the Davidic kingdom consists of God’s people in God’s place for God’s purpose. So, let’s think about God’s people. Follow with me here. This is where we’re going to unpack what God is saying to David in 2 Samuel 7.

What God is telling David is that the first thing from David’s line is a continual seed will endure. This whole chapter starts off, and it’s kind of funny. The chapter starts off with David saying to God, “I want to build you a house.” God, in a startling reversal, looks at David and says, “I want to build you a house. I want your family to be a house, a dynasty that will continue.”

God is Eternal

What He says to him, and you see it down there in verses 12-13. “When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you…” The words “seed” and “offspring” are used interchangeably. “…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.” Circle that, “forever” because that’s big all throughout the rest of this passage.

Look at verse 16, “And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me. Your throne shall be established forever…” That’s the end of verse 16. Then, you get down to verse 24, when David’s praying to God, and David says, “And you established for yourself your people Israel to be your people forever.” Verse 25, “And now, O LORD God, confirm forever the word you have spoken…” Verse 26, “Your name will be magnified forever…” Verse 29, “Now therefore may it please you to bless the house of your servant, so that it may continue forever before you.” When God’s saying these things, He’s saying, “What I’m putting in place now is going to last forever.” Now, that has huge ramifications for us because if God put this in place in 2 Samuel 7, then this is still in place in the 21st century today.

We’re in what would be classified as “forever”, and we’re pretty much always going to be there. Eternity is being shaped here in 2 Samuel 7, and what God is saying here persists right now to this day. So, now, this text is really in our lap. This has huge ramifications for us. So, the picture is a continual seed will endure. “One from your line, your offspring, will endure forever.” That’s a bold statement.

Foreshadowing Solomon

Second, an honored son will reign. Your seed will endure, and an honored son will reign. Now, this is where it gets really interesting. Go back to verse 13. God has just said, “I’m going to raise up your offspring after you who shall come from your body. I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son.” Who is the “him” there? Who is the “he”? Who is that talking about? David’s son Solomon, the next king. He’s the one who’s going to build the house. He’s the one who’s going to build the temple. Let me show this to you. Go over to the right to 1 Chronicles. So, you’re going to go past just three books. Go past 1 and 2 Kings, and the third book is 1 Chronicles. Look at 1 Chronicles 22.

This is fascinating, what is being set up here, because what God is saying is that a son of David will be like a son of God. “He will be a son to me, and I will be his father.” That’s stout language, and it’s exactly what happens. Look in 1 Chronicles 22:6. This is David getting near the end of this life, and it says,

Then he called for Solomon his son and charged him to build a house for the LORD, the God of Israel. David said to Solomon [and basically, he’s going to recount here what God had said to him in 2 Samuel 7], “My son, I had it in my heart to build a house for the name of the LORD my God. But the word of the LORD came to me, saying, ‘You have shed much blood and have waged great wars. You shall not build a house to my name, because you have shed so much blood before me on the earth. Behold, a son shall be born to you who will be a man of rest. I will give him rest from all his surrounding enemies. For his name shall be Solomon, and I will give peace and quiet to Israel in his days.’”

Solomon Will Reflect His Father

Listen to verse 10: “He shall build a house for my name. He shall be my son, and I will be his father, and I will establish his royal throne in Israel forever.” The picture is God is raising up Solomon as king to be as a son. Like a son reflects a father, that’s what Solomon is going to do.

It gets even deeper. Go to the very last chapter in 1 Chronicles. Look at 1 Chronicles 29:22. These are astounding verses right here. Listen to 1 Chronicles 29:22. David is now on his deathbed, and so Solomon is being anointed as king. Listen to this; it is midway through verse 22: “And they made Solomon the son of David king the second time, and they anointed him as prince for the LORD, and Zadok as priest.” That’s a big deal; “prince for the LORD.” Solomon is ruler for the Lord, but then listen to verse 23: “Then Solomon sat on the throne of the LORD as king in place of David his father.” Did you catch that? Let me read that again. “Solomon sat on the throne of the LORD as king.” Who sits on the throne of the Lord? Are you going to sit on the throne of the Lord? The Lord sits on the throne of the Lord. God sits on God’s throne, but this text is saying Solomon sat on the throne of the Lord.

Don’t miss what’s going on here. What God is doing is He is raising up kings. In this whole picture of the kingdom, the king will be the one through whom God will relate to His people. The king will mediate God’s covenant with His people. The king will represent God to His people; the earthly king will be a representative of the heavenly king, as a son. “I will be his father, and he will reflect me as father to my people.”

An Honored Son Will Reign

That’s huge. An honored son will reign. A seed will endure, and a son will reign forever. His kingdom will be established forever. This is mind-boggling. So, you have that. God’s people: a seed will endure; a son will reign in God’s place. Now, come back to 2 Samuel 7. We’ve seen this over and over again in the Old Testament as we see the people of God. The importance of land, and God is bringing them to a land.

We won’t turn there, but Deuteronomy 11 and Deuteronomy 12 both talk about how God says, “I’m going to bring you to the land where I’m going to give you rest from all your enemies around you, and you’re going to be established in that land.” So, when in 2 Samuel 7:10 He says, “I’m going to appoint a place for my people Israel and will plant them so they may dwell in their own place and be disturbed no more. Violent men shall afflict them no more, and I will give you rest from all your enemies.”, here’s what God’s doing. God is bringing them to a place where they will enjoy God’s rest. Throughout their days, since Abraham, they have been wanderers, living in tents, always on the move from place to place. Now, God is saying, “In my kingdom, in the Davidic kingdom, I’m bringing you to a place of rest where you will experience rest from all your enemies around you.”

A place where you will enjoy God’s rest, and then, a place where they will encounter God’s glory, because the glory of God has also dwelled in a mobile fashion in the tabernacle. The ark of the covenant is being transported from place to place, but Solomon is going to build a house. In verse 13, it says, “He’s going to build a temple where my glory is going to dwell here in Jerusalem. In this place where I bring you rest, my glory, my glorious presence is going to dwell among you, and you will encounter my glory here.” That’s the promise He’s setting up in the kingdom, and that’s what’s going to happen. Solomon is going to build the temple, and we’re going to read about that, and this is where the glory of God is going to dwell among His people.

God is Redeeming His People

Why? Why is God giving these extravagant promises? For God’s purpose? Why is God saying these kind of things to David? Two-fold: number one, to redeem a chosen people. That’s clear. We’ve read it in verses 24 and 25. God is redeeming a people for Himself; a people that will belong to Him among all the peoples of the earth. The people of Israel will belong to Him, but not just for the people of Israel. Yes, to redeem a chosen people, but don’t miss it. Look in 2 Samuel 7:23. “Who is like your people Israel, the one nation on earth whom God went to redeem to be his people, making himself a name…” You have to love that phrase. What God is doing is He’s making a name for Himself. That’s why, you get further down, and it says in verse 26, “Your name will be magnified forever.”

You heard it as we were reading: “O LORD God…” “O LORD God…” “O LORD God…” When you get to the end, look in verse 28, “And now, O LORD God, you are God.” It’s just redundant. The point is God is showing His greatness. So, the purpose here is to redeem a chosen people, and then to extol the incomparable God. To show the nations that there is no one who compares to Yahweh. There is no one like God. He is the only God. That’s going to be the whole point.

When we read about the temple, and it’s dedicated in 1 Kings 8:41-43, when Solomon dedicates this temple, what is he going to say? He’s going to say, “Lord God, people from all nations and foreigners from all places are going to come to this place, and they’re going to see that you are God. You are making a name for yourself among all the nations to show all the nations that there is no one like you.”

The Picture of God’s Kingdom on Earth

That was the picture: God setting up a kingdom, the Davidic kingdom, through this covenant here in 2 Samuel 7, that will endure forever through a son who will reign as the mediator between Him and His people, where they will enjoy His rest and encounter His glory. A redeemed people making His greatness known among the nations. That was the Davidic kingdom, and that’s the way it was set up. (Nations will come to the temple and behold God’s greatness.)

Defective Kings…

However, there was a problem. You see these extravagant, grace-filled promises in 2 Samuel 7, and you see victory in 2 Samuel 8 and 10. David is conquering. Then, you get to 2 Samuel 11, and you come to verse 2.

It happened, late one afternoon, when David arose from his couch and was walking on the roof of the king’s house [when he should have been at battle; it was the time kings went to battle], that he saw from the roof a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful. And David sent and enquired about the woman. And one said, “Is this not Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?” So David sent messengers and took her, and she came to him, and he lay with her. (Now she had been purifying herself from her uncleanness.) Then she returned to her house. And the woman conceived, and she sent and told David, “I am pregnant.”

It started with a glance, and within a matter of moments became adultery, which led to pregnancy, which led to an attempt at cover-up. Brothers and sisters, you cannot cover up your sin. Maybe for a little while, but you cannot cover up your sin. It is impossible for us to cover up our sin. So, cover-up turns into murder, and by the end of 2 Samuel 11 in verse 26, the wife of Uriah hears that her husband has died, and she laments.

When the mourning was over, David sent and brought her to his house, and she became his wife and bore him a son. However, the thing that David had done displeased the Lord. This is David, the Lord’s anointed, set up to display the glory of Yahweh as king, and from this point on everything changes. Everything changes from this point on. See sin’s anatomy here, because this is where we see Davidic kingdom led by defective kings; it becomes a kingdom with kings who displease the Lord.

Flee From Sin

Sin’s anatomy appears so subtly. It started with a glance. It starts with a glance. Close your eyes, men. “Gouge out your eyes,” Jesus said. If your eye causes you to sin, brothers, gouge it out and throw it away. It says that in Mark 9. It is better for you to enter into heaven with one eye than enter into an eternal hell with both eyes. That’s radical. Gouge it out, and it makes sense. If David had to do it all over again knowing what he knew and the consequences that flowed from this, he’d have gone blind in an instant, but he looked, and the subtlety crept in. Brother or sister, if there is the slightest foothold of lust or greed or pride or covetousness or bitterness that is in your heart, run. Run fast. Even the slightest bit that doesn’t even seem like much at all, run from it.

It appears so subtly, and it harms so deeply. Who can measure the effects of sin? Who can measure the effects of one sin? Sin does not just affect you. Your sin never just affects you. My sin never just affects me. Any sin in me affects my wife and my children and the people God has entrusted me to lead. Any sin in your life goes far beyond you. You may think, we may think it doesn’t; we may think we’ve got it compartmentalized. It is not compartmentalized. It is having huge effects, and it’s all over this story. A child born from adultery in 2 Samuel 11 is dead in 2 Samuel 12.

Then, David’s son does pretty much the same thing he did only he does it with his half-sister, and David does nothing about it. Setting the stage for, two years later, one of his other sons, Absalom, who will go and kill his brother and lead a revolt against his father. A revolt that had temporary success; an entire revolt against the kingdom. When the curtain closes on David’s life, what you’ve got is a picture of strife between the northern tribes and the southern tribes developing.

Sin takes Control Quickly

It harms so deeply. It controls so quickly. Sin spirals downward so quickly. It devastates so painfully. This whole picture started with one look on one day, but here’s the deal: all of these effects were not the worst of it. Yes, those were consequences, but that’s not what’s most tragic. Sin’s tragedy: we see the effects on others, but the real tragedy of David’s sin, and the real tragedy in any sin is the defiance of God.

When David prays in confession in Psalm 51, what does he say to God? “Against you, you only, have I sinned.” What? No, you sinned against Bathsheba, and you sinned against Uriah, but the reality is that pales in comparison to sin before an infinitely holy God. This is the primary offense. Brother or sister, if you are hiding in secret sin, and if you in your mind or your heart right now are squirming and thinking, “I don’t need to hear this. I don’t want to listen to this. I’m not coming back”, I want to, with grace and love, speak a word of truth into your life. You cannot hide your sin from God. He hates it, and it’s good that He hates it. It’s good that He hates what hurts you. See His hatred for sin in your life and His grace in bringing you here at this moment; see it as evidence of His great love for you.

Do not turn aside from His love. See the effect of sin, which is defiance of God, and see how it leads to the destruction of men, such that one sin against this God is enough, is sufficient, to condemn you or me to an eternal, everlasting hell. This is the effect of sin. Sin is serious, and we see it in David’s life, and then after him, Solomon. God said it. He said, “The king needs to stay close to my Word. Do not acquire wives…” Solomon had wives everywhere. “Do not acquire excessive silver or gold”, and we even talk about this. We say, “Well, obviously, excessive silver and gold is good, because God blessed Solomon, and he had it.” No. This stole his heart from God. So, this is the picture of Solomon, and the kings that would come in succession after him. As we’ll read in the days to come, the kingdom does divide into the north and into the south, and the south is where Jerusalem is. Judah is the nation in the south.

A King Who Displeases The Lord

This is where you see king after king who is defective and who is displeasing the Lord. It’s the same in the north, but the south is where the line continues. There are bright spots here and there in Josiah. Even he, though, at the end of his life, turns away from the Lord. Over and over again, you see this happening now. Now, get the picture: what happens is as this just spirals worse and worse, then God does what He said in 2 Samuel 7.

God brings discipline with the rod of men, and He sends nations. He says, “You’re going to be shocked. You’re going to be amazed what I do when I bring nations to bring you down and show you my discipline.” That’s exactly what happens, and the northern kingdom is destroyed, and the southern kingdom, where Jerusalem and the temple is, Babylonians come attack Judah, destroy Judah, destroy the temple, and take those who are still surviving into exile.

What happens is the prophets, during that time, are either saying, “Hey, this is coming; destruction is coming!” Or, they’re speaking after it’s happened. Let’s try to put ourselves in the shoes of the people of God at that point. What do you do when your whole life is torn apart, and your whole family’s torn apart, and you’re in a foreign land like a slave, and nothing is the same, and there seems to be no hope, and you’re looking, and you’re longing for some kind of hope to hold onto? What’s the hope that you’re going to hold onto? 2 Samuel 7, because God said it; He said, “I’m going to establish this kingdom forever, and a seed is going to endure forever, and the son will reign forever.” So, you’re holding onto this hope, and that’s exactly what we see all throughout the prophets.

There is Hope in God’s Promises

Let me show you. Go to Isaiah 9. We’ll just look at a couple of these. There is so much. It all comes alive when you realize the importance of 2 Samuel 7. Look at Isaiah 9:1. You’ll recognize this. Now, this is Isaiah speaking to a people who are in the middle of darkness, in the middle of gloom, and he’s looking forward. He’s giving them hope and promises from God. Isaiah 9:1, “But there will be no gloom for her who is in anguish. In the former time he brought into contempt the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the latter time he has made glorious the way of the sea, the land beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations. The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shined.”

Now, skip down to verse 6. This is where it’ll get very familiar to you. “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end.” Listen to this: on the throne of who? “On the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.”

What is Isaiah saying? He’s saying to the people of God, “There’s one who is coming from the throne of David who will establish the throne of David again, and His justice and His righteousness will reign and rule. The zeal of God is going to accomplish this. It’s hope.” You get over to Isaiah 11:1, and it’s same thing. Isaiah 11:1, “There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.” A stump of Jesse, that’s David’s father. It’s from the root of David. “And the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.” It just talks about how righteousness he will wear. You get down to verse 10, “In that day the root of Jesse, who shall stand as a signal for the peoples – of him the nations shall inquire, and his resting place shall be glorious.”

Hope in the Line of David

Ah, they’re looking forward. There’s one who is coming. Go to the next major prophet, Jeremiah. Look at Jeremiah 23:5, one book over and see what Jeremiah says. They’re looking forward. They’re giving hope in the middle of all of this, “Where is the hope?” Listen to what happens. In Jeremiah 23:5, he says, “Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch.” That’s someone that comes from the root of David; a branch from the line of David. “And he shall reign as king, and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In his days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely. And this is the name by which he will be called: ‘the LORD is our righteousness.’” It continues on.

We won’t turn to all of these, but Ezekiel 37:24-28 talks about one who will come from the line of David. Hosea 3:4-5 talks about how Israel will wander around without a king, but then there will be one who will come from the line of David. Amos 9:11-12 says God is going to take that which has been ruined in the line of David, and He’s going to repair it. He’s going to rebuild it, and all the nations are going to come and see His kingdom. Zechariah 12:7 and following says same thing. Over and over again, all these prophets are saying, “Amidst all these defective kings, there is one who is coming from the seed of David as a son of God who will usher in the kingdom.”

The Divine King

Now, the stage is set for the divine King. Now turn to Luke 1. You can leave 2 Samuel 7 behind; that’s old covenant. We’re moving on to new covenant now, and listen to Luke 1. We could go to Matthew. Matthew’s intentional in showing us this, but Luke is really intentional. I want you to see this. Here’s the picture of the divine King who ushers in God’s kingdom. God’s people in God’s place for God’s purpose.

Think about God’s people. Luke 1:26 says, “In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David.” This is not a coincidence. “And the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, ‘Greetings,’” and he begins to speak to her. Look down at verse 32; this is talking about her son Jesus. Verse 31, “And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David.” There it is. Write a little note of 2 Samuel 7: God is going to give to Him the throne of David. “The kingdom that was promised to endure is going to endure through your son, Mary.” “He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” God had said in the Davidic kingdom, “A continual seed will endure.” Here we see in Jesus, and Jesus came from the seed of David. In order for 2 Samuel 7 to be true and for the kingdom to endure, then one must come who is from the seed of David.

Now, go over to Luke 2:8. This passage that’s so familiar to us when we read it. Look at verse 8. Now, read it just in the light of all that we’ve seen. “In the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, ‘Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ…”

The Meaning of the Messiah

Now, this is where I am not pleased with ESV. It doesn’t have a little note here. The NIV has a little note. “Christ”, “the Christ”, that’s the Greek. Does anyone know what the same word for “the Christ” in the Hebrew means? It means “the Messiah”; that’s the Hebrew. That’s what Christ means. The Messiah; the anointed one; the Lord’s anointed. “Today in the city of David is born the one who is anointed King. The Messiah is here.” He came from the seed of David, and He came as the Son of God. Jesus is the perfect representation of the Father as Son.

What the kingdom is intended to show is happening in Christ. He is a perfect representation of the Father. He is an earthly king who is a perfect representation of the heavenly King. Jesus came from the seed of David as the Son of God. God’s people in God’s place. In Christ, we find our rest. In Him is the place where we find our rest. Go back to Luke 1:68. This is Zechariah talking. He’s going to be the father of John the Baptist, but he’s talking about what God has done. Listen to this: “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has visited and redeemed his people and has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David, as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old…” Listen to verse 71; it’s the same language we saw in 2 Samuel 7. “…that we should be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us.” It goes on farther down.

Verse 74: “…that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies, might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.” This is why the author of Hebrews in Hebrews 4 says that Christ is our rest; that in Him we find rest. We find rest from all of our struggles to earn a righteousness before a holy God. You rest from that, because Christ is your righteousness. You find rest from all of your struggles with sin because Christ is your righteousness. This is the picture.

Jesus is the Divine King

In Christ we find our rest, and in Christ we see His glory. He is the place where we encounter the glory of God. In John 1 and John 2, Jesus says, “I am the temple.” We have beheld His glory, the glory of the one and only. 2 Corinthians 4, “We have seen the glory of God in the face of Christ.” You want to see the glory of God? Look at Jesus. This is the manifestation. He is the manifestation of the glory of God. This is the picture: Christ is fulfilling this in God’s people, God’s place, for God’s purpose.

He comes as the divine King. Why? Two-fold: number one, to save a chosen people. Okay, just a couple more places to turn, I promise, but stick with me; it’s worth it. Keep going to the right and go to Acts 2:29. The King, Christ, came; the Messiah came to save and to redeem a chosen people.

So, Acts 2 is when the Holy Spirit came down at Pentecost, and this was the first Christian sermon. So, Peter’s about to preach the first sermon ever preached, and it’s going to be written down for years to come. He’s got a crowd of Jewish people in front of him, so what does he do? He starts talking about David. He starts talking about what David said, and God’s promises to David. You look in verse 25, 26, 27, and 28, and he’s quoting from David, and when you get to verse 29, he says, “Brothers, I may say to you with confidence about the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day.” In other words, David is dead. These pictures that the Old Testament was pointing to are pointing us to someone else.

“Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants on his throne…” 2 Samuel 7, that’s it. God had sworn to him that he would set one of his descendants on the throne. David “foresaw and spoke about the resurrection of the Christ…” the Messiah. There it is again. David spoke about the resurrection of the anointed one, the Messiah. “…that he was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption. This Jesus God raised up, and of that we are all witnesses.” He gets to the conclusion; this is the last statement in the sermon, verse 36, “Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.”

Turn From Sin

Feel the weight of that statement. Peter says to a crowd of Jewish people, “You took the Messiah, the Lord’s anointed, the one who came in the line of David as the son who would reign, and you nailed him to a cross. You crucified him.” So, they say, “What shall we do?” Peter looks at them, and he says, “Repent. Turn from your sin and trust in the Messiah.” He says the same thing that I want to say to every single person. If you have never turned to Christ as Lord, I want to urge you to repent, to turn from your sin, and to turn from yourself.

This is not about religious games. Turn from your sin and yourself, and trust in Jesus as your only hope, as the one who is promised to come to save you from your sins. Trust in Him as King over your life. This is salvation. Follower of Christ, do not be content, then, any longer to dwell in sin. Turn. You have been set free; find your rest in Christ. Seek His glory, know His glory, and throw aside everything that keeps you from Him, that He might be the sole desire of your heart; the hope upon whom you lean in every circumstance. He is King.

Saving the Chosen People

He came to save a chosen people, but that’s not it. It’s the same picture; just like He came not just to redeem the people of Israel, just like we saw in 2 Samuel 7, He came to make a name for Himself. So, Jesus the divine King came, yes, to save a chosen people, but also to exalt the incomparable God. That, through our salvation, it might be clear to the nations around us that there is no one like our God. Oh, God, help us to be finished and done with an “easy-believism” that claims to trust in Christ as Messiah, and our lives demonstrate nothing different to the world. No, our lives are intended to be a display of the glory of the one who has saved us, that it may be clear something has happened by the grace of God for the glory of God.

Now, just as they came to see God’s glory at the temple, they might see your life and my life and the church. 1 Corinthians 6 speaks of them seeing God’s glory individually, and 1 Corinthians 3 speaks of them seeing it together, and they might say, “There is no God like yours.” That’s the whole goal, that all the nations might do that. When you get to Acts 15, you see this picture of the gospel going to the nations, and they’re wondering, “Is this okay that all these Gentiles are coming into the family of God?”

Saving the Gentiles

You know what James does? James is a part of this meeting when they’re having the council at Jerusalem, and he quotes from Amos 9:11-12. This is one of the places that I mentioned that refers to the Davidic covenant. James says, “This is exactly what God had said, that one would come who would reign, and all the nations would be drawn to Him, and that’s what God is doing, so we need to embrace global mission.”

That’s what they decided in Acts 15, and that’s the picture. We are created to exalt the incomparable God. All right, one last place; this is it, I promise. Look at Revelation 5. I want you to see where this all heads. Revelation 5; here’s the deal: John in Revelation 5 has a heavenly vision, and the picture is they’re waiting for someone who can usher in God’s kingdom fully and finally, once for all. Longing for someone who can overcome the sin and suffering and sickness and problems and hurt and pain and tragedy that we experience in this world. What happens?

Revelation 5:1, “Then I saw on the right hand of him who was seated on the throne a scroll written within and on the back, sealed with seven seals. And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, ‘Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?’” Who is worthy to usher in the kingdom? “And no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or look into it.” Could David open it? Absolutely not. Could Solomon open it? No. Could Abraham open it? No. Could Moses open it? No. None of these people could open it. Could Peter open it? Could Paul open it? Nobody. Listen to this:

And I began to weep loudly because no one was found worth to open the scroll or to look into it. And one of the elders said to me, “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.” And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. And he went and he took the scroll from the right hand of him who was seated on the throne. And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.”

A New Creation

This is where it’s all headed, brothers and sisters. There is coming a day when our King will usher in a new creation kingdom where He reigns, and we reign with Him as His sons and daughters. There’s coming a day when we will be God’s people in God’s place for God’s purpose, and all of eternity we will worship Him.

So, what do we do now? We don’t sit back and just wait. We give our lives to advance this kingdom on this earth. We don’t sit back and expect nations to come to us, nations to come to the temple. No, we are the temple, and now the temple goes to the nations to declare God’s greatness.

The Purpose of Our Lives

This is what we do: we spend our lives going to the ends of the earth to every nation, tribe, people, and language telling them the Messiah has come and can save them from their sins. I got a letter from a mom in our faith family who had been to Guatemala, and she had come back, and another church had asked her to share, and this is what she shared:

I made the decision to go to Guatemala after seeing in God’s Word that He commands us to go and make disciples of all nations. I was going out of obedience, not because I had a heart for missions or a passion for the people of Guatemala. I want you to understand that I am a wife, mother, and I work part-time. I’m not a missionary, and I’m certainly not a preacher. I was just being minimally obedient to what I believe God’s Word tells us all to do.

Praise God, He is not minimally faithful and does minimally bless us! After spending a week around precious children who eat a small cup of porridge a day, the question I’ve come back to Birmingham asking God is why He has blessed me when others have so little, and this is what God has showed me. “I have blessed you for my glory. Not so you will have a comfortable life with a big house and a nice car. Not so you can spend lots of money on vacations, education, or clothing. Those aren’t bad things, but I’ve blessed you so that the nations will know me and see my glory.” All my life, I have completely disconnected God’s blessing from God’s purpose, and now I realize what I had never seen: God has blessed me to show His love to Domingo. [It’s an elderly man who came to Christ that week in Guatemala.]

God has blessed me to show his mercy and grace to children in Guatemala. That is why God has given me income and education and resources; God saves me so that the nations will know Him. He blesses me so that all the earth will see His glory.

So God, raise up moms across this faith family, who with their children and throughout this community and to the ends of the earth declare His glory. God, raise up dads who lead the way. God, raise up a faith family that is being spent for the proclamation of the glory of the Messiah to the ends of the earth.

David Platt

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder of Radical.

David received his Ph.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of Don’t Hold Back, Radical, Follow MeCounter CultureSomething Needs to ChangeBefore You Vote, as well as the multiple volumes of the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series.

Along with his wife and children, he lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area.


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