The Divine Dynasty
A royal lineage. A King to come. But this is no ordinary ruler. Join Dr. Marty Baker as we look at 2 Samuel 7:8-18 and the prophecies foretelling Jesus Christ, The Promised King.
What are the odds Jesus could have arranged His life so He purposefully fulfilled all the exact ancient prophecies concerning the mission of the Messiah? Math Professor Marvin Bittinger crunched the numbers from just nine of sixty prophesies, prophesies like the Messiah would be from the tribe of Judah (Gen. 49:8-12), he would be born in Bethlehem (Mic. 5:1-2), a friend would betray him for thirty pieces of silver and so forth. What did the mathematician conclude? I’ll let him tell you:
Take a domed football stadium of average size and empty it of everything (stands, seats, lockers, et al.), then proceed to fill all remaining space with grains of white sand—white, except for one grain you’ve marked by coloring it red. What would be the odds of your selecting the same grain out of that whole stadium four times in succession? The answer is 1 in 10 to the 76th power.
It’s almost cognitively impossible to wrap your thinking mind around this massive number; however, this is, in fact, the odds of Jesus’ fulfilling just nine prophesies regarding His coming. And to think He fulfilled not just nine, but sixty. This leads us to make one logical conclusion: Jesus was, and is, the long-awaited Messiah in the prophecies form of the God-man (Isa. 7:14; 53:1ff; Mic. 5:1-2).
This leads me to pose a personal question: If you are not a Christian, what are you going to do with this hard, incontrovertible evidence? Will you ignore it? Will you put it off to consider it at a more convenient time? Will you disregard it because it is too exclusive? Or will you drop to your knees and potentially place your faith in the One who came to be your Savior and King?
Here’s a question for Christians: Do you know the precise prophecies and how Jesus fulfilled them, and if so, do you share this mathematical proof with those who don’t know Him by faith? Remember, “faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom. 10:17). So, share what the prophetic Word says about how Jesus fulfilled all of the prophecies of the Messiah so that the seed of faith can sprout in the rich soil of this extraordinary evidence.
From Genesis 3, verse 15 through Numbers 24:15-25, we have learned how God slowly revealed His prophetic plan concerning the messianic Savior/King. From Genesis 3, we learn how the Messiah would be “bruised” by the Devil (a veiled reference to His crucifixion), but He would ultimately destroy him. From Genesis 12, verses 1 through 3, we encounter how the Messiah would come through Abraham, the father of the Israelite nation. From Genesis 48, verses 8 through 12, we know the Messiah would be THE King of Peace from the tribal line of Judah. Numbers 24 , verses 16-19, contains a prophecy regarding the future king of Israel who will defeat all of her enemies and bring peace to God’s chosen people (Deut. 7). That king would be the Messiah. Jesus, of course, fulfilled each of these ancient prophecies He could not personally control to the letter.
God had more to say as the prophets of old formed the Holy Scriptures. From 2 Samuel 7, verses 8 through 17, God informs David how the Messiah will arise specifically from his line and go on to form an eternal Davidic dynasty of peace. Again, from Christ’s genealogical lists in Matthew 1 and Luke 3, we discover how He came exclusively from the regal bloodline of King David. Once more, there is no way He could have controlled this prophecy. He, therefore, perfectly fulfilled even this specific prophecy, showing His messianic credentials.
Come with me as we sink our interpretive spades into this rich, regal soil of 2 Samuel 7. What will we discover? At a geo-political, socio-cultural time where hope is in short supply, God gives us this hope-generating message:
God Promises His People A Glorious Future Through The Messiah’s Reign (2 Sam. 7:8-17)
The prophecies about the Messiah are basically divided into two quadrants. Some denote how He will be the Savior for sinners by means of His holy and perfect sacrifice for their sins (Isa. 53). Others emphasize how He will establish a kingdom of spiritual and earthly peace. Those who by faith embrace Him as the Savior will, in turn, rule and reign with Him on earth when He returns at the close of the seven-year Tribulation (Rev. 19; “And Thou has made them [Christians] to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth,” Rev. 5:10). In the exciting passage before us, God prophetically reveals through the prophet Nathan how He would personally establish a regal dynasty through David for the Messiah to become the final King of Kings and Lord of Lords (1 Tim. 6:15; Rev. 19:16).
From an exegetical analysis of the passage, the Holy Spirit inspired Nathan to demonstrate how the promise of a glorious future for mankind would be embedded in a four-fold promise to King David.
The Promise Is Providential (2 Sam. 7:8)
David did not become the King of Israel by accident. No, God took him from being an obscure, young, and innocent shepherd of sheep, and He placed Him in various situations where he would eventually be positioned to be God’s king after the abject failure of Saul’s role as Israel’s first king. Whereas Israel chose Saul based on his physical stature and good looks, God chose David based on what He saw in David’s heart and spiritual walk (1 Sam. 16:7). God’s divine selection of David as His choice for kingship is detailed by the prophet Nathan in verse 8:
8 Now therefore, thus you shall say to My servant David, 'Thus says the LORD of hosts, "I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, that you should be ruler over My people Israel (2 Sam. 7).
The Hebrew is most emphatic here with the statement: “and now thus” (וְ֠עַתָּה כֹּֽה ). When it appears in the inspired text, God demonstrates that something important and profound is about to occur. Interestingly, the first time this phrase occurs in the OT is in Genesis 3:22, where the Trinity decrees they must take action to keep sinful Adam from eating of the tree of life. Had this occurred, he/we would have lived eternally in a sinful state with no hope of redemption. The second time it occurs is when God curses Cain for murdering his brother, Abel, over how to approach God (Gen. 4:11). The third time it occurs is when God expresses concern at the time of Nimrod when humanity’s unified language enabled him to build a ziggurat to deify humankind (Gen. 11:6). Hence when you encounter this phrase, you should immediately sit up and take note of what’s coming from God. It’s going to be big.
In this verse, God reminds David how he is his chosen servant. Interestingly, God calls himself “the LORD of hosts,” underscoring His rulership over angelic armies of incalculable numbers (Jude 14). The Septuagint translates this phrase “the LORD Almighty,” which is from the Greek, Pantokrator (παντοκράτωρ), a word denoting one who possesses all power. In the NT, this unique title is rightfully applied to Jesus, for He, the ultimate Davidic king, will use all of His divine power to deal effectively and definitively with Satan and his followers in the Tribulation (Rev. 1:8; 4:8; 19:6, 15). The point of this title is clear: Since God is “the LORD of hosts,” He can, and will, use those hosts to enable His chosen people to set the world stage for His salvific/kingdom plans . . . and there will nothing the Devil can do about it.
God’s divine choice of David as THE first king of the new dynasty to end all dynasties is completely providential. What is providence? The Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary gives us this helpful definition:
PROVIDENCE God’s benevolent and wise superintendence of His creation. Of this superintendence, the Westminster Confession of Faith (1647) states, “God, the great Creator of all things, doth uphold, direct, dispose, and govern all creatures, actions, and things, from the greatest even to the least, by his most wise and holy providence, according to his infallible foreknowledge and the free and immutable counsel of his own will, to the praise of the glory of his wisdom, power, justice, goodness, p 1341 and mercy.” As this indicates, God—from whom nothing is hidden (cp. Pss. 33:13–15; 139:1–16; Isa. 40:27–28) and whose power is surpassingly great (cp. Job 42:2; Jer. 32:17)—wisely oversees and sovereignly controls all creation. In so doing He attends not only to apparently momentous events and people but also to those that seem both mundane and trivial. Thus, while He holds the lives of both kings and nations in His hand (cp. Isa. 40:21–26; Jer. 18:1–6), God also concerns Himself with the welfare of the lowly and meek (cp. Pss. 104:10–30; 107:39–43). Indeed, so all encompassing is God’s attention to events within creation that nothing—not even the casting of lots—happens by chance (cp. Prov. 16:33).
God’s providence is comforting and ominous all at the same time.
Many leaders in our world today have completely forgotten that God gives them the right to rulership, and that one day their inferior/sin-tainted rule will be replaced by the rule of His ultimate Davidic King, the Messiah. The prophet Daniel, some five hundred years after Nathan, gave arrogant, power-hungry King Nebuchadnezzar this divine insight. In the vision of the massive giant, God revealed how the world empires, starting with Babylon, would play out as they wound down to the arrival of His chosen king, the Messiah:
37 You, O king, are the king of kings, to whom the God of heaven has given the kingdom, the power, the strength, and the glory; 38 and wherever the sons of men dwell, or the beasts of the field, or the birds of the sky, He has given them into your hand and has caused you to rule over them all. You are the head of gold (Dan. 2).
Nebuchadnezzar was only the king by God’s design, not by his. At the end of time, God’s providence would destroy man’s statist power (the final kingdom form for mankind) by sending the stone, i.e., the Davidic Messiah to take it out so His prophesied kingdom could arrive. Here is how Daniel describes this:
43 And in that you saw the iron mixed with common clay, they will combine with one another in the seed of men; but they will not adhere to one another, even as iron does not combine with pottery. 44 And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed, and that kingdom will not be left for another people; it will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, but it will itself endure forever. 45 Inasmuch as you saw that a stone was cut out of the mountain without hands and that it crushed the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold, the great God has made known to the king what will take place in the future; so the dream is true, and its interpretation is trustworthy (Dan. 2).
What God has providentially prophecied will transpire. David would become God’s head of a new messianic dynasty, and that dynasty would one day lead to a kingdom of peace, as we shall see. Are you not glad God’s providence is always in play behind the complexities we encounter in our personal lives and on the twisted and troublesome world geo-political and cultural stage?
The Promise Is Protective (2 Sam. 7:9)
Here God informs David how all of his military successes on the battlefield were not his doing. No, God was behind all of these in order to make sure David remained safe and positioned to be seen as the greatest king of Israel.
9 And I have been with you wherever you have gone and have cut off all your enemies from before you; and I will make you a great name, like the names of the great men who are on the earth (2 Sam. 7).
Making David’s name great reminds us of how God made Abraham’s name great (Gen. 12:2). As a descendent of Abraham, David’s exploits as a powerful, godly king set him up as the standard of measurement for all future kings. As the quintessential king of kings, David’s life, of course, merely set the stage for the ultimate Davidic King of Kings, the Messiah, to fulfill this historical imagery to the letter. This is why Paul wrote these words about Jesus some 1,000 years later:
9 Therefore also God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Phil. 2).
Believers and unbelievers will bow one day before Jesus, THE greatest and most famous of the Davidic kings. And just as the Father protected David so he could be victorious, the Father put angels at the disposal of His Son from His birth to His crucifixion and resurrection. Angels will also go before Him when He comes in judgment prior to the erection of His glorious kingdom (Rev. 7:1-2; 8:2, 6, 13; 9:14-15; 12:7-9; 14:10; 15:1, 6, 7, 8; 16:1; 17:1; 21:9, 12 ). God’s providential protection assured the establishment and durative nature of David’s dynasty which would culminate with the arrival of the Messiah 1,000 years later. That same providential power will make sure that God’s promises to David will be realized when the Lord is ready.
The world stage is set now. Light and darkness are duking it out, and it appears that darkness is pulling ahead; however, God’s protective power is still at work to accomplish His kingdom purposes, just as much as it was in David’s day
The Promise Is Precise (2 Sam. 7:10-11)
Tapping into the land promises of the Abrahamic Covenant (Gen. 15:18), God informs David how Israel will, in fact, have a land over which His dynasty will reign. And within these verses we also get our first inkling of what will occur in the eschatological future for Israel:
10 I will also appoint a place for My people Israel and will plant them, that they may live in their own place and not be disturbed again, nor will the wicked afflict them any more as formerly, 11 even from the day that I commanded judges to be over My people Israel; and I will give you rest from all your enemies. The LORD also declares to you that the LORD will make a house for you.(2 Sam. 7).
In Genesis 15, verse 18, God promises Abraham that his people would enjoy the land from the Nile River on the west to the Euphrates River on the east. After God freed His people from Egyptian bondage, He planted them in Israel. The book of Joshua recounts their militaristic seizure of the land (Josh. 1:3-4), and prophets like Isaiah speak specifically about Israel being a vineyard planted by God himself on this hallowed land (Isa. 5:2).
Israel’s divine planting on this holy land never enjoyed the peace prophesied here. To study the period of the Judges or that of the Kings is to see Israel battling all kinds of internal and external enemies be it the Philistines, Assyrians, Egyptians, or Babylonians to name a few.
So, while God prophesies to give David a dynastic house, that house would not know peace until the far future. True, King Solomon, David’s son, ruled over 60,000 square miles; however, Israel always knew moments when their enemies disturbed them. King Asa was defeated by Zerah the Ethiopian (1 Kings 15:8-24), King Jehoram lost dominion over Edom and was assaulted by the Philistines (2 Kings 8:16-24; 2 Chron. 21:1-20), and so on. Therefore, the peace prophesied here can, and will, only be realized when the Messiah establishes it.
Isaiah prophetically speaks about this in chapter nine of his book. In verses 3-5, he reveals how one day the Lord will deal with the enemies:
3 Thou shalt multiply the nation, Thou shalt increase their gladness; They will be glad in Thy presence As with the gladness of harvest, As men rejoice when they divide the spoil. 4 For Thou shalt break the yoke of their burden and the staff on their shoulders, The rod of their oppressor, as at the battle of Midian. 5 For every boot of the booted warrior in the battle tumult, And cloak rolled in blood, will be for burning, fuel for the fire (Isa. 9).
After God properly deals with Israel’s enemies, is when we read these unique words of prophecy about the messianic king:
6 For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. 7 There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this (Isa. 9).
Although He is not mentioned in 2 Samuel 7, the Davidic Messiah here is pictured as the only one qualified to fulfill the worldwide peace promise of the Davidic Covenant. Times are tough and trying now, even alarming and disconcerting; however, we, as saints, know that God in His providence is working carefully to bring the messianic King, Jesus, back to earth to address Satan and sin and to establish peace for Israel and the world as prophesied by Nathan.
The Promise Is Powerful (2 Sam. 7:12-13)
How so? Let’s see:
12 When your days are complete and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your descendant after you, who will come forth from you, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever (2 Sam. 7).
David wanted to build a house for God, yet God prohibited him from doing it because he had been a man of war and bloodshed. God would, on the contrary, do something more significant. He would graciously give what David didn’t ask for. He would build him an eternal dynasty of kings. That dynasty would move out from one of his sons into the future. Of course, we know it was Solomon whom God chose to be this king, and he was the one who built a God a glorious temple (1 Kings 8:12-26).
Granted, God never said there would always be a Davidic king sitting on the throne until the coming of the One who could make the dynasty eternal. What is promised is an eternal dynasty, and from what we know from history, that dynasty has its moments of great weakness (under Queen Athaliah, for instance) and times when it was cut down, as when the Babylonians invaded (606, 598, and 586 B.C.). Yet, with the birth of Jesus, the One who could set things in motion for the kingdom to have a perpetual king had finally arrived. No wonder the angel told the fearful shepherds, “I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:10-11). It was a moment of celebration for the King had come. True, He had first to become man’s sin sacrifice, and then He would bring His kingdom to earth at the right time. And when the King arrives, He will build a forever kingdom.
Throughout the Old Testament, the prophets foretold of a Davidic messianic king who would establish an earthly kingdom. Isaiah 11 is one of those key passages, as is Jeremiah 23.
5 Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, When I shall raise up for David a righteous Branch; and He will reign as king and act wisely and do justice and righteousness in the land. 6 In His days Judah will be saved, And Israel will dwell securely; And this is His name by which He will be called, 'The LORD our righteousness' (Jer. 23).
The Branch which would come from the stump of David would be the Messiah. His reign would bring true worldwide justice, righteousness, and peace, and upon His arrival, Judah and Israel would be saved by turning to Him as their Savior and King (Zech. 12-13).
During His first coming, He offered the kingdom to Israel (Matt. 10:7; Luke 4:43), but they rejected Him, so He turned to the Gentiles, and the kingdom went into its present mystery form (introduced in Mattew 13), being spiritual in nature, as opposed to physical (this facet represents the now and not yet tension of the Lord’s kingdom). However, we learn from Jesus’ parables how He will one day bring the kingdom to earth as propohetically promised to David (viz., the Parable of the Minas where the nobleman, i.e., Jesus, went away and received a kingdom, and then returned to establish the kingdom, Luke 19:12ff).
Before His ascension into heaven, the disciples posed the logical question to Jesus:
Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel? (Acts 1).
If the kingdom weren’t coming, Jesus would have corrected them, but He didn’t. He turned and told them what they should be doing:
7 He said to them, "It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; 8 but you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth (Acts 1).
These are our marching orders, but this does not mean the King and the Davidic kingdom are not coming. On the contrary, all which is prophesied is right on track. Nothing, and no one will stop it, and we are right to look for the coming King for nowhere in the NT does it ever say Jesus is currently sitting on David’s throne. That fulfillment will occur when He appears a second time. Unitl then, we are to be His witnesses to the power of the gospel to transform lives of sinners into saints.
Finally, in this unconditional covenant (Psalm 89), God provides a dose of reality followed by hope.
The Promise Is Punitive & Pleasant (2 Sam. 7:14-17)
The period of the Judges saw many Israelite leaders who tripped and fell spiritually. What would happen when, not if, that occurred with the Davidic kings? Would the Davidic covenant then be summarily abrogated? No. Why? Here is God’s answer:
14 I will be a father to him and he will be a son to Me; when he commits iniquity, I will correct him with the rod of men and the strokes of the sons of men, (2 Sam. 7).
God would treat the Davidic kings like a father would a son. When they would drift into sin, He would discipline and seek to restore them.
Did David’s descendent sin? Unfortunately, the answer is yes. Solomon by having one too many wives, many of whom were foreign-born, which was verboten.
1 Now King Solomon loved many foreign women along with the daughter of Pharaoh: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women, 2 from the nations concerning which the LORD had said to the sons of Israel, "You shall not associate with them, neither shall they associate with you, for they will surely turn your heart away after their gods." Solomon held fast to these in love. 3 And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines, and his wives turned his heart away. 4For it came about when Solomon was old, his wives turned his heart away after other gods; and his heart was not wholly devoted to the LORD his God, as the heart of David his father had been. 5 For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians and after Milcom the detestable idol of the Ammonites. 6 And Solomon did what was evil in the sight of the LORD, and did not follow the LORD fully, as David his father had done (1 Ki. 11).
Did Solomon’s sinful behavior annul the promise of an eternal Davidic empire? No. God disciplined Solomon, as He did the other wayward kings; however, none of their sinful activities caused God to termiante the covenant. He graciously gave David a perpetual King and Kingdom over all the earth.
On the other hand, God doubled down by highlighting His loyal, unbreakable love for David and His royal descendants.
15 but My lovingkindness shall not depart from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you. 16 And your house and your kingdom shall endure before Me forever; your throne shall be established forever. 17 In accordance with all these words and all this vision, so Nathan spoke to David.
Wow. Despite David’s sins of lying, adultery, and murder, Solomon’s sins of sexual perversity and toleration of idol worship, Hezekiah’s swift move of permitting the Babylonians to see the wealth of the Temple of God, and so on, God’s love kept Him committed to making sure the Davidic covenant remained on track by lovingly sending His Son, Jesus, to be the final King of King’s mankind would ever need. No wonder the angel Gabriel said these words to Mary:
31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb, and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. 32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; 33 and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever; and His kingdom will have no end (Lk. 1).
The King is coming again. Will you be part of His kingdom? The only way you can rule and reign with Him is to let Him rule and reign, by faith, over your heart and life right now.
And if you know Him, tell others about Him so they can become saints. Also, be expectant this Christmas, for the King is coming. And who is this king? The old carol tells us:
1 What Child is this, who, laid to rest,
On Mary's lap is sleeping?
Whom angels greet with anthems sweet,
While shepherds watch are keeping?
This, this is Christ, the King,
Whom shepherds guard and angels sing:
Haste, haste to bring Him laud,
The Babe, the Son of Mary!
(Author: W. Chatterton Dix Tune: Greensleeves)
 Marvin L. Bittinger, The Faith Equation (Literary Architects, 2007), chapter 4, 1867.
 Douglas Blount, “Providence,” ed. Chad Brand et al., Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary (Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 2003), 1340–1341.