Davidic Covenant I

And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me. Your throne shall be established forever” (2 Sam. 7:16).

- 2 Samuel 7:1-17

The establishment of the Mosaic covenant was a high point in the unfolding of the covenant of grace. The people of God were saved from slavery and constituted as a nation. They were given laws that would mark them off as God’s holy people and make them a witness of the God of Israel to the nations.

However, while the Mosaic covenant was a high point in the history of redemption, it was not to be the last word concerning the covenant of grace. We have seen in our study of Hebrews 8, and in our look at the old covenant, that the Mosaic covenant points beyond itself to a day when its requirements would not be solely on physical tablets but when the law of God would be written on the heart.

But this is not all that the Mosaic covenant looked forward to. Moses also wrote of the days when a king would be set over Israel who would be required to rule in righteousness (Deut. 17:14–20). We see this aspect fulfilled and expanded in the next “sub-covenant” found under the covenant of grace, namely, the Davidic covenant.

After David brings the ark of the covenant to Jerusalem, he expresses a desire to build God a house. But God does not allow David to build Him a house. Instead, God pledges to build David a house, and we find this promise in 2 Samuel 7:1–17.

In this passage, the prophet Nathan comes to David and declares the promises of God to David and his descendants. It is at this point that God enters into a covenant with David, the example, par excellence, of all the kings found under the old covenant’s administration. We will briefly note several things about this covenant. First of all, it is a covenant based on God’s sovereign grace. David is chosen to be king without any reference to his own goodness or actions. He is made king simply because God so willed it (v. 8). Second, the people of God will enjoy peace under the reign of David and his sons (vv. 9–11). Third, God pledges to build David a house and establish his descendants as rulers over Israel (vv. 12–13). Finally, God will be a Father to David and his sons. Though they sin, God will discipline them and His love and mercy will not depart from them so that David’s dynasty will continue forever (vv. 14–16). In the coming days, we will examine how God has kept these promises.

Coram Deo

Some people think that God never intended for there to be a king over His people. But the history of redemption shows us that although God alone is the ultimate ruler, He purposes to reign over His people through the means of vice-regents. When God sets godly rulers over us, we obey God by obeying them.

Passages for Further Study

Gen. 49:8–10
2 Kings 25:27–30
Ps. 2
Matt. 1:1–16

We Recommend

Permissions: You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that you do not alter the wording in any way, you do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction, and you do not make more than 500 physical copies. For web posting, a link to this document on our website is preferred (where applicable). If no such link exists, simply link to www.ligonier.org.

Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: From Ligonier Ministries, the teaching fellowship of R.C. Sproul. All rights reserved. Website: www.ligonier.org | Phone: 1-800-435-4343