David’s plan to build God a house doesn’t even survive one night’s sleep, as God reveals to Nathan that his plan is actually to build David’s house. The word “house” appears fifteen times in 2 Samuel 7, with three different meanings: i) David’s palace (vv 1,2); ii) God’s temple (vv 5, 6, 7, and 13); and iii) David’s dynasty (vv 11,16,18,19, 25, 26, 27, and 29). It is the third of these meanings that takes centre stage. God’s promises pertaining to this dynasty, or kingdom, are referred to as the Davidic covenant. As we read through the chapter we find familiarity to God’s earlier covenants, confirming how his plans for David and the nation connect. Consider the following similarities to God’s covenant promises to Abraham:

  • the promise of “a great name” (Gen. 12:2; 2 Sam. 7:9)
  • the Lord will conquer their enemies (Gen. 22:17; 2 Sam. 7:11)
  • a special divine-human relationship (Gen. 17:7–8; 2 Sam. 7:24)
  • a lineage, or “seed”, perpetuates both of their names (Gen 21:12; 2 Sam 7:12–16)
  • the call upon descendants to keep God’s laws (Gen. 18:19; 2 Sam. 7:14)

Moreover, though not explicitly within 2 Samuel 7, one of the ‘royal’ psalms confirms the offspring of both mediate a blessing to the nations (Gen. 22:18; Ps. 72:17). The Davidic covenant thus continues the trajectory of God’s ‘Story of Everything’, but also puts a finer point upon this “seed” who will bless the nations: a royal seed of Abraham through the lineage of David.

Something to Understand:

Can you imagine such a turn of events for David? He goes to bed with thoughts of blessing the Lord and wakes to the news that the Lord is blessing him in a way he could never have imagined. But now more than the crown weighs heavily upon his head, he must also have thoughts of inaugurating an everlasting kingdom. I love how the Lord brings him to the lofty heights of prophetic promise: he reminds his servant David of the Sovereign mercy, plan, presence, and power David is already familiar with. He says, “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 cut off all your enemies from before you (vv8,9). What follows are the Lord’s “I wills”: he will make, appoint, plant, give, raise up, and establish. This would have helped David, as I hope it helps us, to have the faith of Abraham who was: “fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. (Romans 4:21)”