LESSONS FROM 2 SAMUEL 7
Reading: 2nd Samuel 7: 18 – 29
In our reading from 2nd Samuel seven we find an incident in David’s life, which is highly instructive for us, as we once more come around this table of our Heavenly Father’s continuing love. That we each might remember the sacrifice of our beloved Lord, who through his death mediated the New Covenant and confirmed the promises, made unto the Fathers, making sure and steadfast our hope.
For as we all know brethren and sisters this seventh chapter contains the promises given unto David. Which form one of the two great Biblical covenants that make up the backbone of our faith even the glorious hope of Israel. The very basis of the gospel message of the things concerning, the kingdom of God and the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
2nd Peter chapter 1 and at verse 4
“Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust”.
Indeed these exceeding great and precious promises have been extended to each and every one of us in Christ and we hold them dear and long for them to be fulfilled. That our Lord might come, even today and begin that next phrase of his marvellous work, establishing the kingdom of God once more in the earth.
Therefore the events in this chapter are of the utmost interest to us brethren, because through the one we have come to remember, we are made partakers and joint heirs. Therefore in the mercy of our Heavenly Father in Christ, we each will have a part in the final outworking and fulfilment of this incredible covenant. Now it is David’s response to the covenant that we want to consider by way of exhortation in the second half of this 7th chapter.
For from David’s example we gain an insight of how we each ought to view this solemn meeting, this breaking of bread, as we come week by week to sit before our Heavenly Father.
We are provided here with a means of honest hearted reflection, through David’s exemplary response by which we today can examine ourselves, before we partake of the emblems.
Now in verses eighteen through to the end of the chapter in verse twenty-nine we are granted access to a private meeting between king David and our Heavenly Father. We are given the incredible privilege of being able to hear the king’s initial response to our Heavenly Father’s revealed plan, purpose and will for him and his enduring house.
That house brethren and sisters with its descendants both natural and spiritual. Whose house, are we, as we read in Hebrews, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.
Ephesians chapter 1 and verses 3 – 7
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace”.
Our adoption into the covenant promises provides for us a powerful exhortation upon which to evaluate our continued personal response to that, which has been achieved through our Lord Jesus Christ for us.
Now the chapter opens with King David and the prophet Nathan talking together. Where David reveals to Nathan his desire to build a permanent home for the ark, now that it is safely in Zion. Nathan encourages David in his desire, but that very night our Heavenly Father intervenes with a redirection of his desire and a promise rather to build David a house. So what follows brethren and sisters in verses eighteen to twenty-nine is a prayer given in response to this magnificent covenantal promise.
2nd Samuel chapter 7 and verse 17 – 20
“According to all these words, and according to all this vision, so did Nathan speak unto David. Then went king David in, and sat before Yahweh, and he said, Who am I, O Adonai Yahweh? and what is my house, that thou hast brought me hitherto? And this was yet a small thing in thy sight, O Adonai Yahweh; but thou hast spoken also of thy servant’s house for a great while to come. And is this the manner of man, O Adonai Yahweh? And what can David say more unto thee? for thou, Adonai Yahweh, knowest thy servant”.
It appears David’s immediate response was to go to the tent where he had sited the Ark of the Covenant and present himself before our Heavenly Father. Not since Moses has someone communed with our Heavenly Father in this way in his presence.
Exodus chapter 25 and verses 21 & 22
“And thou shalt put the mercy seat above upon the ark; and in the ark thou shalt put the testimony that I shall give thee. And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel”.
Yet what is truly fascinating here brethren and sisters is that David does something that had never been done before in the scriptural record in that he “sat before” our Heavenly Father. In doing so David types his greater son our Lord Jesus Christ.
Psalm 110 and verse 1
“Yahweh said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool”.
Interestingly chapter eight of 2nd Samuel is all about our Heavenly Father securing the kingdom unto David, by subduing his enemies. Undoubtedly David sat or kneeled upon the ground before the ark and uttered this prayer of thanksgiving and praise unto our God.
Now David begins this prayer in the most unusual way brethren and sisters by asking two rhetorical questions. “Who am I, O Adonai Yahweh? and what is my house, that thou hast brought me hitherto?” These two questions display before us the humility of the king. David here contrasts his own humble begins with the greatness of his God. In these questions there is an acknowledgement of his unworthiness of the least of all God’s mercies to him. That he had no claim upon nor did the Almighty owe him.
Equally David accepts and declares in this second question that all that he has been and is this day is the direct result of the blessing of our Heavenly Father. In a period of some ten years our Heavenly Father through much tribulation prepared David for his role as king, moving him some six miles by a circuitous route from little Bethlehem to the capital Jerusalem via Hebron.
What of us brethren and sisters: should we not acknowledge these same things as David here? “Who am I” that Almighty God should choose me or indeed who is any of us? That we should be present this day together before these emblems associated to these very same covenantal promises, as the great patriarch David?
For there is nothing in any of us brethren and sisters to warrant such blessing other than our Heavenly Father’s sovereign choice! As the Apostle exhorts the Corinthians: “For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?” Think to your self, brother – sister of all the way our Heavenly Father has brought and guided you in life to this very point?
Now David is abundantly satisfied with his position as king before our Heavenly Father, he acknowledges that God has brought him a great way from watching the family sheep to now being a shepherd of his people Israel (glance at verses 8 – 9).
Jerusalem Bible: verses 18 – 19
“What is my lineage, for you to have led me as far as this? Yet, to you, Adonai Yahweh, this seemed too little”.
David continues into his prayer awe struck that our Heavenly Father, desires to extend his blessing to him beyond what he has already received and in a way beyond David’s wildest imagination. As we read in:
“And this was yet a small thing in thy sight, O Adonai Yahweh; but thou hast spoken also of thy servant’s house for a great while to come. And is this the manner of man, O Adonai Yahweh?”
In light of the revelation David has received all that our Heavenly Father has done for him so far, seems as nothing of no consequence, completely insignificant and let us remember that David is now king and a successful one at that. He has all the best this life has to offer; yet to our God this is only an insignificant thing!
There are two things for us, here brethren and sisters, firstly what our God had done for the king was only an earnest we might say of what the Almighty had planned. Secondly we see the power of our God, who is truly transcendent and totally sovereign over his creation and history to fulfil all his will.
1st Samuel chapter 13 and verses 13 & 14
“And Samuel said to Saul, Thou hast done foolishly: thou hast not kept the commandment of Yahweh thy God, which he commanded thee: for now would Yahweh have established thy kingdom upon Israel for ever. But now thy kingdom shall not continue: Yahweh hath sought him a man after his own heart, and Yahweh hath commanded him to be captain over his people, because thou hast not kept that which Yahweh commanded thee”.
Our God brethren and sisters desires to give us the kingdom in essence he has spoken of our house, the ecclesia for a great while to come. But if we are to be present in that day, we must then respond to his overtures with the same humility, gratitude, praise and obedience as David models here. We must seek to be men and women after God’s own heart. We must heed the warning given here through the failure of Saul, who could have had it all, as David was given.
Now at the end of verse nineteen we have that enigmatic statement, “and is this the manner of man”. According to Genesius the word “manner” indicates a type or a pattern. Literally this reads “and this is the type of the Adam”, which is a reference to the Lord Jesus Christ the 2nd Adam, whom we have come to remember.
In the parallel passage in 1st Chronicles we find the same idea expressed this way, “and hast regarded me according to the estate of a man of high degree”. Again the word translated “estate” is the same word “manner” meaning, “type” in 2nd Samuel. So literally, we can read this, “and hast regarded me according to the type of the Adam who is on high”. This reminds us brethren and sisters of Psalm eight.
Psalm 8 and verses 4 – 6
“What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet”.
David is humbled, astonished and awe-struck in total wonder that he is being linked to that special seed of Genesis (3:15). David realises that firstly the Christ will be of his lineage and secondly that he David was himself to be a type/pattern of his greater son. Now we too brethren and sisters in our day are equally called upon to be a type of the one we shall shortly remember. We each have been called upon to follow his pattern, to be conformed to his image.
Indeed brother Thomas translates the following, “and hast regarded me according to the estate of a man of high degree” from 1st Chronicles seventeen. In this way, “and hast viewed me according to the law of the ascending Adam”. As the Lord Jesus Christ rose to fulfil all that our Heavenly Father desired of the first Adam in the beginning, so we too are to ascend that we might be men and women who daily manifest our God.
Philippians chapter 3 and verses 13 – 15
“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded”.
How about us then brethren and sisters are we as humbled, astonished and awe-struck in wonder, as David was here at being linked and related to the Lord Jesus Christ, the ascending Adam?
No wonder, that David states, in verse twenty, “and what can David say more unto thee?” How privileged we are brethren and sisters to have been called out of the teeming millions upon this earth and to be associated with these exceeding great and precious promises in Christ Jesus our Lord. How humbled and thankful we should be to have been called to manifest the life of our Lord Jesus Christ in our own unique way to those that are still in darkness around about us. How then are you brother – sister, how then am I doing with that?
Has this past week been one of ascending to the pattern of the one we have come to remember or have we been descending after the manner of the first Adam? Indeed what will it be like for the coming week? How are we to individually choose, being reactive to the pressures of life, and being led by our emotions or by proactively making a choice to so ascend? After the example of the one represented before by the emblems.
You will have noticed brethren and sisters the concentration of various titles of the deity in this short section of verses. Especially the title of Adonai Yahweh, which appears six times overall. Four times in verses 18 – 20 and then twice more in the last two verses, so bracketing the section.
Now this title is very rare in scripture and unique here in Samuel and it links us back to its first use in Genesis chapter fifthteen. Where it is used in connection with the giving of the promise of the seed singular and the seed plural and importantly with the cutting of the Abrahamic covenant. So David fully perceives that our Heavenly Father is revealing here to him personally a little more about how the Abrahamic covenant will be fulfilled through the king and his descendants.
In translating this title (Adonai Yahweh), we can do it in two ways firstly in the present by “he who is my ruler”. Therefore acknowledging our Heavenly Father’s complete sovereignty over our lives, as David does here. We can also translate this title in its future sense of “he who will be rulers”, speaking of the fulfilment of the covenant. As we look forward to our role in the age to come as a kingdom of priests under the Lord Jesus Christ.
Again we are being shown in these things brethren and sisters that not only have we each been separated out of the world, we have equally been separated to Almighty God and for his sovereign purpose. Truly then is our Heavenly Father the ruler of our lives now? Is he to us Adonai Yahweh, he who is my ruler?
Some ten times in this prayer David refers to him self before our Heavenly Father, as “thy servant”, such should be our mindset brethren and sisters. If we want to be among those who with David will enjoy the full privileges of this incredible covenant then we must choose to make him the sovereign of our lives now.
Verse 21 & 22
“For thy word’s sake, and according to thine own heart, hast thou done all these great things, to make thy servant know them. Wherefore thou art great, O Yahweh Elohim: for there is none like thee, neither is there any God beside thee, according to all that we have heard with our ears”.
David now breaks forth into praise, extolling the greatness of his God, because of what has been revealed to him, especially concerning himself and his family line. In doing so David is fully acknowledging that Almighty God is capable of fulfilling all his will and keeping his word faithfully unto his servant.
What of us brethren and sisters, when was the last time you or I even personally broke forth in such praise, because you came to appreciate or understand some portion of scripture clearly? I suggest brethren and sisters if it is not something you are prone to do from time to time – that you start! Take a portion of scripture over the coming week that means something to you, now it might be from the daily readings or not. Then take five to ten minutes to meditate upon it until you have something to praise our Heavenly Father for?
Such praise is comely, as we read elsewhere and indeed it is also healthy for us brethren to maintain a true perspective of our God, as David shows to us here. In verses twenty-three and twenty-four David relates all that has been revealed to him in its wider context of our Heavenly Father’s people Israel.
Verses 25 – 29
“And now, O Yahweh Elohim, the word that thou hast spoken concerning thy servant, and concerning his house, establish it for ever, and do as thou hast said. And let thy name be magnified for ever, saying, Yahweh of armies is the God over Israel: and let the house of thy servant David be established before thee. For thou, O Yahweh of armies, God of Israel, hast revealed to thy servant, saying, I will build thee an house: therefore hath thy servant found in his heart to pray this prayer unto thee. And now, O Adonai Yahweh, thou art that God, and thy words be true, and thou hast promised this goodness unto thy servant: Therefore now let it please thee to bless the house of thy servant, that it may continue for ever before thee: for thou, O Adonai Yahweh, hast spoken it: and with thy blessing let the house of thy servant be blessed for ever”.
We come now to the climax of David’s prayer where he closes his response to our Heavenly Father’s gracious covenantal gift to him boldly with a number of requests. Note how in verse twenty-seven David in deference states that he is only praying with such courage because of what has been revealed to him. And because as verse twenty-eight declares he desires to see this goodness, because our Heavenly Father brethren and sisters is a God of truth (or faithfulness).
Now although David desires to see the promises of God fulfilled in his life and in the lives of his descendants, especially in regard to that special seed even, our Lord Jesus Christ. David is careful here to couch his requests in a manner that our Heavenly Father may be magnified or glorified as verse twenty-six shows. “And let thy name be magnified for ever”. Brethren and sisters David was ever conscious of the glory of God and in magnifying his God. Do we each have this same sensitivity? For in this he also typifies our Master his Lord and greater son.
John chapter 17 and verses 1 & 4
“These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do”.
David boldly prayers for our Heavenly Father to establish his promise to him. In verses 25, 28 & 29 we have the phrases “and now or therefore now”, which in the Hebrew is a phrase used in covenants by the superior to move from stated will to action. But here David, who is the lesser party in this covenant uses it three times calling upon our Heavenly Father to establish his promise. Equally he uses a number of imperative requests in verses 25 & 29, urging our God to fulfil these promises.
David powerfully displays that he implicitly believes the word of our God and in doing so he has no fear, only faith in calling upon our Heavenly Father to fulfil that which he has spoken unto him. We brethren and sisters need to be equally as bold and courageous as David is here in our prayers calling upon the Father to specifically fulfil his revealed will.
As we turn our thoughts now to the emblems before us upon the table, which speak to us of the Lord Jesus Christ the one who will bring to fruition all of David’s and our own desires. For as we read elsewhere, “all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God”.
We see in this bread, the word of life that we like David can hold to and let it shape us to be more like our beloved Lord from one degree of glory to another. Then in the wine we see the price that was paid in the shedding of his blood in that one sacrifice for sins. That we might learn to present our bodies as living sacrifices holy, acceptable unto God, which is our reasonable response. Let us leave the last words to David:
2nd Samuel chapter 23 and verses 1 & 5 + 2nd Samuel 7:29
“Now these be the last words of David. David the son of Jesse said, Although my house be not so with God; yet he hath made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure: for this is all my salvation, and all my desire, although he make it not to grow. Therefore now let it please thee to bless the house of thy servant, that it may continue for ever before thee: for thou, O Adonai Yahweh, hast spoken it: and with thy blessing let the house of thy servant be blessed for ever”.