The Promise of a King – Part 1: God’s Intentions for David’s Seed

Intro: Have you ever wanted to do something for God? What could you do with what you have? If you were king, you could do something big, couldn’t you?

  • Read 1 Chron 17:1-2Now it came to pass, when David was dwelling in his house, that David said to Nathan the prophet, “See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of the covenant of the Lord is under tent curtains.” 2 Then Nathan said to David, “Do all that is in your heart, for God is with you.”
  • When David expressed his desire to honor Jehovah by building Him a house in Jerusalem, Nathan though it was a grand idea, and assumed that God was approving as well. “God bless you”. But Nathan assumed too much. God did not grant David permission to build His house or Temple. God reminded both Nathan and David that He had not spoken to anyone about building a house, or temple. “Wherever I have gone with all the sons of Israel, did I speak a word with one of the tribes of Israel, which I commanded to shepherd My people Israel, saying, “Why have you not built Me a house of cedar?'”‘ (2 Samuel 7:7). I Chronilces 28 reveals at least one reason God said not to David – because you are a man of war and have shed blood.‘ (1 Chronicles 28:3). This seems to emphasize the peaceful environment and advancement of the kingdom that God desired and that would come through the Messiah. We know that, according to God’s command, the Temple of God in Jerusalem was constructed by David’s son, Solomon.
  • But sometimes when God says “no” to our requests, He has something far greater in mind for us. So it was with David. Although David was not allowed to honor God in the way he wanted, God promised to honor David in a way he could not have imagined. Read a portion of God’s response to David delivered through Nathan, the prophet:

I. God’s Promise to a King… 2 Sam 7:4-16 – God answers David’s good intentions with a promise.

A. Now or Later? We recognize these words as the familiar prophecy of God given to David concerning the establishment of his descendants as rulers in the future of Israel. His house and kingdom would be established before him (v. 16) There is an important question to answer concerning this powerful prophecy.

        • Is God speaking about David’s immediate descendants, such as his son, Solomon who would take the throne after him?
        • Or is God predicting the coming of another king from David’s family?

1. The proper answer is “BOTH”. Homer Hailey commented that. “Immediately, the prophecy pertained to Solomon; but ideally, it pertained to Christ.” These words speak to David’s son, Solomon. But they also look beyond Solomon to the coming Messiah, Jesus Christ.

a. It is in this latter sense that we see this as a promise of the coming of the kingdom of God. In fact, these words become the heart of a great expectation among the people of Israel through the centuries that follow, as they await the coming of another King who sit on the throne of His father, David, and rule over a consummate kingdom.

B. Solomon AND Jesus: It is not difficult to see the dual fulfillment. Notice 3 Elements of this prophecy:

1. The establishment of the descendant’s kingdom (vs. 12).When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom.

a. Jehovah did establish Solomon’s kingdom. Under Solomon, the Kingdom of Israel prospered, and was at peace among its enemies. Many consider Solomon’s reign to be the zenith.

b. But it is important to recognize that the reign of Solomon nor physical kingdom of Israel, was established “forever”. Israel, as the covenant nation of God, does not exist today, and there is no descendant of David sitting on a throne in Jerusalem, or Tel Aviv. But, as we shall notice, the promised Messiah, Jesus, of the seed of David, came and now sits on the throne of David.

2. Building the Lord’s house (vs. 13). “He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. “

a. In one sense, it is Solomon who built the Lord’s house when he built the temple at Jerusalem. God gave Solomon specific instructions as to its building. It was a glorious edifice. But even Solomon recognized that it was insufficient: 2 Chron 2:6But who is able to build Him a temple, since heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain Him? Who am I then, that I should build Him a temple, except to burn sacrifice before Him? His Prayer at the dedication of the Temple: 2 Chron 6:16-18 – Therefore, Lord God of Israel, now keep what You promised Your servant David my father, saying, ‘You shall not fail to have a man sit before Me on the throne of Israel, only if your sons take heed to their way, that they walk in My law as you have walked before Me.’ 17 And now, O Lord God of Israel, let Your word come true, which You have spoken to Your servant David. 18 “But will God indeed dwell with men on the earth? Behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain You. How much less this temple which I have built! He knew where God dwelled – 8 times in this prayer he petitions God to” hear from heaven“.

b. But Jesus also built a house for God; The Temple is His church. (We will discuss Jesus’ promise to build his church in Matt. 16) Notice that the apostle Peter later describes Christians as “Living stones” who are built into the house, or temple of God in 1 Peter 2:5. Paul also confirms this connection in Eph. 2 when he says we are “fitted together.. growing ” into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.” (2:22)

3. Iniquity and correction (vs. 14-15). I will be his Father, and he shall be My son. If he commits iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men and with the blows of the sons of men. 15 But My mercy shall not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I removed from before you. This seems to intrinsically apply to Solomon alone.

a. Solomon did fall away from God. The Lord did correct him and it would seem he came back to God. He shares some of the things he learned through this experience in the wisdom writings of the O.T.

b. Unlike Solomon, Jesus did not sin. (Heb. 4:15) But He did suffer the punishment associated with sin(suffering from ” the rods of men and strokes of the sons of men”). Isa 53:4-5 – …we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted. 5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed. The apostle sates… For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (2 Corinthians 5:21).

c. This parallel view of the prophecy does not diminish its impact or importance. In fact, it helps us understand the long range view of God’s promises and the unfailing way He fulfilled them. It also helps us to see other crucial distinctions in the fulfillment of this prophecy.

II. Confirming The Fulfillment in the Gospel: A crucial distinction that is often missed by the millenialists is the distinction between the physical and the spiritual. That is important here, lest we force God to contradict Himself. Does this promise foresee Jesus returning to Palestine to establish His kingdom and sit upon His throne?

A. The End of the Kings on David’s Throne: There was a physical kingship that descended from David’s seed that occupied the physical throne of Israel for centuries, just as God promised. In the book of Jeremiah the kings of Judah are spoken of as “the kings that sit upon David’s throne” (13:13); “princes sitting upon the throne of David” (17:25);

1. Turn to Jeremiah 22 – Jeremiah was sent to “the house of the king of Judah“.. those who “sit upon the throne of David” (v. 2) to issue commandments of morality that must not be ignored (v. 3). The prophet also warns against disobedience, stating that if they continue to forsake God’s words “this house would become a desolation” (v. 5) What house? the house of David, of course. The demise of David’s house is linked to the fall of the city of Jerusalem and the breaking of the covenant. Jer 22:7-10I will prepare destroyers against you, Everyone with his weapons; They shall cut down your choice cedars And cast them into the fire. 8 And many nations will pass by this city; and everyone will say to his neighbor,’Why has the Lord done so to this great city?’ 9 Then they will answer, ‘Because they have forsaken the covenant of the Lord their God, and worshiped other gods and served them.'” 10 Weep not for the dead, nor bemoan him; Weep bitterly for him who goes away, For he shall return no more, Nor see his native country.

2. Three specific kings of Judah are then condemned – kings of the house of David, who ruled upon the throne:

            • Shallum (called in other places “Jehoahaz“) – He will go forth out of this place and return no more.. He shall see the land no more. (v. 11-12) Pharaoh-necho of Egypt put him in bonds and carried him to a foreign city and he died there (2 Kings 23:31-34).
            • Jehoiakim – Pharoah Necho appointed a brother to Jehoahaz to the throne in Judah. God said of him.. “He shall be buried with the burial of a donkey, Dragged and cast out beyond the gates of Jerusalem.(Jer. 22:19)
            • Coniah succeeded his father Jehoiakim . He is also known as Jehoiachin, and is the last direct heir to the throne in Judah. His reign was short. He was placed on the throne by Nebuchadnezzar in 598, and was carried away by him to Babylon in 597. Coniah was succeeded by a puppet king placed on the throne by Nebuchadnezzar, who reigned eleven years, till the destruction of Jerusalem and the final captivity, in 586.

3. Consider the prophet’s words to Coniah…. Jeremiah 22:24-30 –As I live,” says the Lord,”though Coniah the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, were the signet on My right hand, yet I would pluck you off; 25 and I will give you into the hand of those who seek your life, and into the hand of those whose face you fear — the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and the hand of the Chaldeans. 26 So I will cast you out, and your mother who bore you, into another country where you were not born; and there you shall die. 27 But to the land to which they desire to return, there they shall not return. 28 “Is this man Coniah a despised, broken idol — A vessel in which is no pleasure? Why are they cast out, he and his descendants, And cast into a land which they do not know? 29 O earth, earth, earth, Hear the word of the Lord! 30 Thus says the Lord: ‘Write this man down as childless, A man who shall not prosper in his days; For none of his descendants shall prosper, Sitting on the throne of David, And ruling anymore in Judah.'”

a. These points challenge us: ‘Write this man down as childless” could not mean that he had no offspring, for “his seed” is specifically mentioned (vv. 28, 30), and Christ came of his lineage (Matt. 1). He was “childless” so far as one “ruling on the throne”; he had no successor to the throne.

b. But another point needing emphasis is the specific wording of his curse as it relates to the promise of 2 Samuel 7 – For none of his descendants shall prosper, Sitting on the throne of David, And ruling anymore in Judah.'” It is in Judah that no more shall one of his seed sit upon the throne and rule. This is clear. Jesus Christ nor anyone else of the seed of David can sit upon the throne of David and rule in Judah without violating this decree of God. The millenial teaching that Jesus will return and sit upon a throne in Jerusalem in fulfillment of God’s promise to David cannot be true.

B. The Throne of David and Christ. The prophecy of the end of the house of David reigning in Judah in Jeremiah 22 is followed by a prophecy of the righteous Branch of David who should reign as king in chapter 23, and repeated later in Jeremiah 33.

        • Jer 23:1-6 – “Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of My pasture!” says the Lord. 2 Therefore thus says the Lord God of Israel against the shepherds who feed My people: “You have scattered My flock, driven them away, and not attended to them. Behold, I will attend to you for the evil of your doings,” says the Lord. 3 “But I will gather the remnant of My flock out of all countries where I have driven them, and bring them back to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase. 4 I will set up shepherds over them who will feed them; and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, nor shall they be lacking,” says the Lord. 5 “Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord, “That I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness; A King shall reign and prosper, And execute judgment and righteousness in the earth. 6 In His days Judah will be saved, And Israel will dwell safely; Now this is His name by which He will be called: THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.

This is a prophecy of the coming of Jesus, the Messiah. The ideal fulfillment of God’s promise to David was and is fulfilled in the resurrection of Christ. This is a point beyond dispute. We will look more closely at this tonight.

Conclusion: The prophecy and promise of the King who would sit upon the throne of David is not a prophecy about a kingdom yet to be established in our future when Jesus comes again. Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who shall not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.” (Matthew 16:28). Jesus said this in the first century. Jesus said that those living in the first century would “see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.” The apostles preached the arrival of God’s kingdom and the absolute authority of its King. King Jesus is already reigning over His kingdom, and the gospel call today is an invitation to come into that kingdom.