People are always looking for someone to lead them, aren’t they? Although the people often ignored Moses, God used him to deliver the Hebrews from the harsh hand of Pharaoh. God raised up the judges to govern His people in their time of need. And when the people cried out for a king so they could be like all the other nations, God gave them their wishes despite Samuel’s warning. Though Saul proved to be a poor leader, the Lord anointed David as the king of the Israelites, promising that, through his lineage, God Himself would raise up a King to reign forever over His people. These words must have been a consolation to the Israelites as they waited in exile under the authority of foreign kings. God would keep His covenants with Abraham, Moses, and David. He would deliver them and send them a new King, who would rule in perfect justice and whose reign would bring peace. Imagine Mary’s shock when Gabriel came to visit her and shared that she would be the mother of this King, who would first come not as a conquering military leader but as a baby, born of such humble means. The Son of the Most High—who would be given the throne of David to reign over the house of Jacob forever—would be born in that Bethlehem manger. But He didn’t stay a child; He came to conquer sin, death, and the grave. He reigns at the right hand of God, and one day, He will come again in glory, and every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that He is Lord!
"A Forever Home"
The real estate agent’s sign reads, “Let me help you find your forever home.” While her marketing strategy has good intentions, we all know that the agent cannot uphold her end of the bargain. Things happen. Circumstances change. Eventually, the residents will leave their homes.
This passage reveals that David had similar good intentions for building God a home. While David was in a wonderful palace, he saw that God’s presence was residing in a temporary tent (the Tabernacle). He wanted more for God: a permanent, grand house of cedar (the Temple). He wanted to find God a forever home.
But God had other plans. In what seems to be a play on words, God communicated to David that David wasn’t going to build God a home; instead, God would build David a house that would last forever! God was not referring to an enduring, personal dwelling that would meet all of David’s needs until he was old. No, His plans were much grander than this! In fact, God promised that the royal dynasty of David would continue for all future time. Verse 16 says it this way: “Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before Me; your throne will be established forever” (NIV).
Indeed, God was establishing David’s throne as a forever home for our Lord Jesus, the Messiah who would be born many years later in the line of David. And while palaces and earthly temples come and go, Jesus’ seat on the throne is forever. Because we have an eternal King, we rest secure as His followers, knowing that our forever home is with Him.
2 Samuel 7:1-17 (ESV):
The LORD’S Covenant with David
1 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.