The Sure Blessings of David

As for the fact that he raised him from the dead, no more to return to corruption, he has spoken in this way, ‘I will give you the holy and sure blessings of David’” (Acts 13:34).

- Acts 13:13-52

Certainly, the most important blessing recorded in the Bible is God’s promise to Abraham to increase his offspring and give his family back the dominion that Adam and Eve forfeited in Eden (Gen. 1:28; 3:1–21; 17:1–8; 22:15–18). This blessing, which determines the destiny of the people of the Lord, was passed down via Isaac to Jacob and all his descendants (27:1–45). The descendants who inherit the blessing are those who are incorporated into Jacob’s lineage by faith alone (Gal. 3:7), and they begin to enjoy the blessing as they trust in the promises of God, demonstrating this faith through good works of charity and service (James 2:14–26). In blessing others, the Lord’s holy people are blessed themselves (Prov. 11:24–26).

Ultimately, the blessing of Abraham is secure because it is given to Christ, who shares it with His people (Gal. 3:16, 29). This giving of the blessing to Jesus is seen first in God’s covenant with David and his line. Dominion and all its attendant benefits, He promised, would be realized most fully in the everlasting throne of the Davidic king, which shares the blessing with its subjects as the representative of the people of God (2 Sam. 7:12–16; Isa. 53). Through the work of being utterly faithful to God’s covenant on behalf of the people, the Davidic king would unite everyone in the kingdom in order that they might share in the fullness of the blessing.

Keeping the Almighty’s covenant meant that a chosen descendant of David would have to bear the punishment of death for the sins of David’s family, and, therefore, the sins of the people whom David’s royal line represents (2 Sam. 7:14; Isa. 53). But keeping the same covenant also meant that God would have to preserve the throne forever, lest He be a God who breaks His word (2 Sam. 7:13). The only way to fit these things together is through resurrection, for a descendant of David who dies for his people remains on his throne only if he is restored to it by coming back from the dead.

So the promise to give the right descendant “the holy and sure blessings of David” in today’s passage (Acts 13:34) is really a promise to raise this descendant from the dead. And God has resurrected this chosen descendant — King Jesus — ensuring that we might share in the blessings of life and prosperity first given to Abraham.

Coram Deo

Being faithful and true, God must keep His covenant promises, so His pledge to give David’s greater son the holy and sure blessings of David is a pledge to bring Him back to life that He might, as the God-man, enjoy these blessings forever. If we are in Him, the Lord has also promised us the same life, which is the fulfillment of all the blessings that He speaks of in Scripture. In Christ, we have life eternal and will be resurrected on the final day.

Passages for Further Study

Psalm 22:26–27
John 11:25–26a
Romans 1:1–4
Galatians 6:8

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