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 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. 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 rods 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. (2 Samuel 7:10-16 ESV)
There are a lot of echoes of God’s promise to Abraham in this promise He makes to David. There’s the promise of offspring, of a nation, of a land to dwell in, and of divine protection and blessing. And again, there’s the implied promise of a Savior, one whose kingdom will be established forever.
But there is also another promise in these verses, the promise of discipline to the human offspring of David who would commit iniquity. As we continue further into the Old Testament, we see how this happens. God’s people, the Israelites, fall away from Him. They embrace the religions of their neighbors, turning to other gods. They forget God’s promises and rely on themselves and the countries around them. And God disciplines them. Israel is conquered by other nations, its people are sent into exile in a foreign land.
Even in exile, God’s promises don’t leave them. In Ezekiel 37: 24-28 we read, “My servant David shall be king over them, and they shall have one shepherd. They shall walk in my rules and be careful to obey my statutes. They shall dwell in the land that I gave to my servant Jacob, where your fathers lived. They and their children and their children’s children shall dwell there forever. I will make a covenant of peace with them. It shall be an everlasting covenant with them. And I will set them in their land and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in their midst forevermore. My dwelling place shall be with them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people” (ESV).
Even in exile, even when they were disobedient, God’s steadfast love did not depart from them, and neither did His promise. We are reminded of this in the Psalms:
I will not violate my covenant
Or alter the word that went forth from my lips.
Once for all I have sworn by my holiness;
I will not lie to David.
His offspring shall endure forever,
His throne as long as the sun before me.
Like the moon it shall be established forever,
A faithful witness in the skies. (Psalm 89:34-37 ESV)
Our God is faithful, and He keeps His promises, and He loves us with a steadfast love. Just as He did not lie to David, He does not lie to us. He sent His son, Jesus, a descendant of David, to show us just how great and how deep His love for us is.
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. (Luke 1:31-33 ESV)
In your prayer today, thank God for the specific ways He has kept His promises to you. Ask for forgiveness for the times you have forgotten those promises and sought help or wisdom elsewhere. And praise Him for Jesus and for His great love for us.