Lesson 5: 2 Samuel 7
Did you miss a lesson? CLICK HERE for a complete list of the printable lessons.
“Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham.” These words are among the first of the New Testament in Matthew 1:1. Matthew goes on to recount Jesus’s genealogy starting with Abraham, going through David, and ending with Jesus. Why did Matthew, under the direction of the Holy Spirit, start his gospel this way?
2 Samuel 7 answers part of this question. The events in this chapter set the stage for all the scripture that follows in both the Old Testament and the New Testament. While its historical importance cannot be questioned, it is even more important in helping us to understand our God. As you read this chapter, take some time to be in awe of God’s abundant grace towards David, and towards us.
Read 2 Samuel 7:1-3
- Who gave David rest from his enemies?
I can see why David is called the man after God’s own heart. As he finally rested from fighting Israel’s enemies, he realized that his personal living space was much grander in scale than God’s tabernacle, at least in human terms. David had taken the time to bring the Ark to Jerusalem, at much personal cost. Once it finally rested in the capital city, David felt a need to create a permanent, luxurious dwelling place for the Ark.
David asked for Nathan’s opinion. As one of God’s prophet, Nathan should have inquired of God to hear His response to David’s desire. Nathan forgoes this step, perhaps feeling that a request that resulted out of such devotion towards God could not be at fault.
Read 2 Samuel 7:4-7
- What does God’s response tell you about God’s nature?
To David and Nathan, building a permanent house of worship sounds like a good, maybe even honorable idea. God corrects their assumption. Unlike humans, He does not need affirmation of His greatness. It was not the cost of the building materials or the size of the tent that made God great. He is the creator of the universe. We cannot do anything to diminish or augment the power of his great name!
Instead of requiring David to build Him a house, God chose instead to build a “house” for David.
Read 2 Samuel 7:8-17
- List God’s promises to David and Israel. What did David have to do to receive these blessings?
While David wished to bless God by building a house for God, God did not require it. God does not need our blessings, but we do need His! God makes big, God-sized promises that surpass anything that David could imagine.
God promised David that He would establish Israel in the land, as a plant is rooted in the ground. He promised to give David and Israel rest from enemy nations. He also promised David that one of his own sons will succeed him on the throne of Israel and that God will establish his kingdom. This son will be the one to build a permanent house, or temple, for God. God will guide David’s heir directly and will not remove his blessing from the man, even if he requires discipline for wrongdoing.
God does not stop there. In verse 16, God promises David that his house and kingdom will endure forever before the Lord. Can you imagine someone telling you that your dynasty will never end? Any king would be thrilled to hear this promise from God Himself!
What does David have to do in return for these abundant blessings? Nothing. Not a single thing. God’s promise is unconditional. He will fulfill this promise no matter what David thinks, says, or does. This was not the first time in history that God offered to make an unconditional promise, or covenant, with a person.
Read Genesis 17:1-8
- What are the promises that God make to Abraham (Abram)?
- How was the life of David a fulfillment of God’s promises to Abraham?
I wonder if David understood how God had used him to fulfill the promise given to David’s ancestor, Abraham, over 1,000 years before. David was King of Israel, fulfilling the promise that God had made concerning kings (17:6). He had also restored faithful worship to God by bringing the Ark back to its rightful place (17:7). By taking Jerusalem, David allowed Abraham’s descendants to fully occupy Canaan, the land that God had promised to Abraham (17:8).
- How does the covenant God made with David extend the promises made to Abraham? How are the covenants similar?
- What do these covenants tell you about God?
Read 2 Samuel 7:18-29
David responded to God’s declaration by going “before the Lord” in a heartfelt prayer. Let’s take some time to understand what this prayer tells us about God and how he relates to His people.
- List the things that David was thankful for in 7:18-21.
- List the things that David praised God for in 7:22-24.
- List David’s requests in 7:25-29.
At this point in our study of David, we have seen his faithfulness to God, his courage to act against God’s enemies, and his patience to wait on God’s plan. Having witnessed David’s godly qualities, it becomes tempting to think that God blessed David as reward for reaching a high level of goodness or faithfulness. In fallen human logic, we like to think that if we work so hard or are faithful so many times, we will receive the greatest blessings from God. The first words out of David’s mouth dismiss this kind of thinking. “Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my house, that You have brought me this far?”
It was not David who changed his position from shepherd to king. It was not David who made himself ruler over Israel. It was not David who defeated the enemies of Israel. It was God. God brought David to his position as king. David could not take credit for any of these accomplishments. And so, it is not David who has earned any blessings; he received these blessings because it was the will of our God who delights in blessing his servants.
The promises made to David become the concern of the rest of the book of 2 Samuel, and of the books that follow. When will David have rest from his enemies? Who is the son that will build the temple? What will he do that requires correction from God? Will David always have a descendent on the physical throne of Israel?
We will not get to answer all these questions by the end of 2 Samuel. The ones that are answered will be done so in surprising and unanticipated ways. While the scope of this Bible study is limited to 2 Samuel, I recommend that you continue to study the books that follow 2 Samuel in your Bible and consider this promise God made to David. Just to get you thinking about the importance of this promise, consider the questions that would naturally arise as you continue to read about Israel’s history.
- How is God’s faithfulness to his promise evident when Israel is divided into the Kingdom of Israel and the Kingdom of Judah? (Read 1 Kings 11:11-13)
- Did God break his promise when the kingdom of Judah was exiled? (See Ezekiel 21:25-27 and Jeremiah 33:14-26)
- Why does the inspired writer of 2 Kings conclude the story of the Babylonian exile in 25:27-30 with information about Jehoiachin, the last king of Judah from the line of David? (See Matthew 1:11 also. Jehoiachin is also called Jeconiah.)
Answering these questions may take some time and study but finding the answers will help you understand an important attribute about God: He always keeps his promises. By the end of the whole Bible, we find that God kept his promise to David and Abraham in the most amazing way possible. To see how, let’s go back to the question I asked at the beginning of this chapter.
- Why is it important to know that Jesus is the son of Abraham and the Son of David?
- Read Genesis 49:10, Matthew 1:1, Luke 1:31-33, and Matthew 21:1-9.
- How did God fulfill his promises to Abraham and David through Jesus?
- Read Hebrews 11:8-12:2. Did Abraham or David see the fulfillment of God’s promises to them?
The nature of God’s promises to David and Abraham made it impossible for them to witness the fulfillment of these promises. Yet, both trusted that if God said it would happen, it would. We now live in the time when these promises have been fulfilled. How blessed are we to live under the reign of King Jesus who has blessed the whole world by establishing a promise of grace to those who have faith in him? Jesus, a descendant of Abraham and heir to the throne of David, is now, having completed his work on the cross, seated at his rightful place by the throne of God. He will reign over the New Jerusalem, where his people will be free of sin and live forever in fellowship with the God who loves them.
- Think about it: Reread 2 Samuel 7:10-13 and compare it to the description of the new Jerusalem in Revelation 21:1-7. What is similar about these descriptions? How is the passage in Revelation a fulfillment of the promises made in 2 Samuel 7?
- Take some time to pray, thanking God for the unconditional promises that he gives His faithful people.
by Christi Smith