The Davidic Covenant

In that day I will raise up the booth of David that is fallen and repair its breaches, and will raise up its ruins and rebuild it as in the days of old” (v. 11).

- Amos 9:11–15

A new era for the people of God dawned when the Lord established His everlasting covenant with David (2 Sam. 7:16). Gone would be the days of insecurity, corrupt judges, and harassment from enemies. Peace and security would be the new state of affairs as Israel enjoyed the reign of a king who promoted justice and righteousness according to the Law (vv. 4–15).

That was the intent of the covenant, anyway. Yet we know from the Old Testament that the sons of David did not live up to this ideal. Corrupt rulers led the people into idolatry, and as the result of their flagrant sin, God sent the people into exile just as He had promised (Deut. 28:58–68; 2 Chron. 36:15–21).

Exile, however, would not be the final word concerning the line of David. The Lord pledged never to remove His steadfast love from David’s line (2 Sam. 7:14–15), so although his descendants would be disciplined, they would never be completely forsaken. Such a truth was hard to believe when the people were in exile and there was no throne in Jerusalem. But those who believed the Word of God realized that along with the chastisement of exile came the promise of restoration. Amos 9:11–15 contains one of the most well-known prophecies of restoration found in the old covenant. The prophet reminded the people that David’s booth would be rebuilt after falling — that Israel would return to the land and a new era of glory would be ushered in under the reign of a new son from David’s line.

During the hundreds of years of prophetic silence following the death of Malachi, Israel truly began to yearn for the time when the throne would be restored to David. Hope for a Messiah grew strong as the people waited for Elijah to come and announce the Day of the Lord on which the final Son of David would be revealed (Mal. 4:5–6). They were waiting for the kingdom of God to come.

This kingdom took many Israelites by surprise because it came in a manner many did not expect. Elijah came, but not the same Elijah who prophesied against King Ahab of Israel. Instead, one went forth in the spirit and power of Elijah proclaiming a baptism for the remission of sins (Luke 3:1–6). God’s kingdom came first as a spiritual kingdom and will later be consummated as a visible, political realm.

Coram Deo

Precisely because God is sovereign over all things, He will always be able to fulfill the promises He has made. Yet He is not obligated to keep them according to how we think they ought to be kept. The Lord is always faithful to His people and He always does what is best for us, but what we think is best is not always what He says is best. Let us learn to trust our Creator even when it is difficult and to love His sovereign will that controls all things.

Passages for Further Study

Hosea 3:1–5
Zechariah 12:10

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