Rather than reading the Bible through the eyes of modern secularism, this provocative six-part course teaches you to read the Bible through its own eyes—as a record of God’s dealing with the human race. When you read it at this level, you will discover reasons to worship God in areas of life you probably never before associated with “religion.”
© Charles A. Clough 1997
Charles A. Clough
Biblical Framework Series 1995–2003
Part 3: Disruptive Truths of God’s Kingdom
Chapter 6: Rise and Reign of David: The Disruptive Truth of Messianic Leadership
Lesson 67 – King David, Davidic Covenant
23 Oct 1997
Fellowship Chapel, Jarrettsville, MD
Last year we dealt with the call of Abraham, the Exodus, Mt. Sinai and the conquest, all this time period basically from the time of the flood to the time of our present history. In the last few weeks we’ve been looking at what a leadership model looks like for the kingdom. That’s basically what God is doing with David, and out of that we’ll get some insight into the process of Christian growth and sanctification. But one of the things we want to do is, if you look in the notes, we tried to give you the contrast principle again of showing you how David differed. We said that the pagan leaders, on page 105 I tried to give you some examples of what a pagan king in David’s day, how that pagan king acted. You can check it out in the libraries and read what these men did. It’s part of the method that we use in this framework so that we can learn about the uniqueness of the Bible and the uniqueness of how God’s Spirit works. When God’s Spirit works there’s a trail of footprints through time and history, and you can observe this. That’s why it’s important that you always read the Bible against its environment, because it shows the signs of the inspiration of God on the Scriptures, and His work in time.
Those two quotes on page 105 I’ve taken from some of the translations of Esar-haddon’s reign. Esar-haddon was a king in Syria, he lived centuries after David, but he represents the kind of thinking that you would have run across had you lived in that time, actually not too much different from the present day. But look carefully at the middle part of the quote on page 105, footnote 8. What we’re trying to do is analyze what made these pagan kings tick, how did they think their way through life. They were successful in their time. These are the guys that basically were successful; they are the leaders of their culture. How did those men think? The key sentence is where it says “I prayed to Asshur, Sin, Shamash, Bel, Nebo and Mergel, to Ishtar of Nineveh, the Ishtar of Arbela, and he agreed to give an [oracle] answer,” meaning that the priests would come from these different cultic temples.
Let’s think about what we just read, let’s take this apart so we can see where the Bible comes in. Let’s go back to the elementary truth that we’ve seen so many times, this slide that we’ve seen so many times. The Bible is unique in the world, because the God of the Bible is the Creator of everything. That is what makes is unique, all the rest of the stuff in the Bible comes out of this, because God is not part of the creation, He is not part of the cosmos. He is separate from it, if the cosmos never existed it wouldn’t be at all a weakness in God. God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit loved one another, had fellowship with one another, had perfect communion with one another, they did not need the cosmos.
If you deal with other religions, even monotheistic Islam for example, with a solitary God like Islam, Allah, Allah has to create a universe in order to have a compliment to himself and exercise one of his attributes called love. Love doesn’t have an object in solitary monotheism unless the creation’s there. So that makes the creation a corollary of the creator. That’s not true in the Bible. Jesus said in John 17, “Before the world was, you loved Me,” and we have conversations recorded between the members of the Trinity in the Bible. So they don’t need the universe as an object for their love. This may seem like a fine, obscure point, but take my word for it, this is not a fine, obscure point, this is very fundamental and very basic. Another way of describing what I’m trying to get at, the God of the Scripture is self-contained; He does not need anything outside of Himself. In Islam that’s not really true, although the Islamic people would say so. It really isn’t when you think about it because in order for Allah to love and exercise that attribute, he’s got to have a object for it, and if he doesn’t have an object for it, then he has to create an object for it.
So before Allah can fully reveal himself he has to have an object in this area of love. The Trinity did not have to do that. In the Scripture we have this ex nihilo Creator/creature distinction. ALL paganism goes to the Continuity of Being. There’s 84 versions of paganism but they all need the Continuity of Being. To review that expression, it means that God, man, animals, rocks, atoms, are all part of a scale, God is sort of like man, He’s a super man, that’s all. He’s a super man, or men are little elves like God, we’re all part of a continuum, all part of the spectrum. This is why Darwin did not originate this; people always think evolution started with Darwin. No it didn’t, evolution was implicit in paganism from the very start. All Darwin has done is put a time scale on development from one part of the Continuity of Being to the other. He just scaled it in time, but the idea was there all along.
When we come down to these men like Esar-haddon, that sentence that we just read, who is he praying to? He’s praying to the gods and the goddesses. Here are the gods and the goddesses, they rate on a scale of being, and here’s Esar-haddon down here, so he prays up the scale to these gods and goddesses because he wants security, he wants victory in his life, he realizes he’s finite, he realizes he’s limited, so he, because he’s made in God’s image, is made to pray, so he prays. The problem is, because he’s depraved and praying, he has to create an image out there, because obviously these gods and goddesses aren’t real, they’re demonically induced illusions, but they’re not the real thing. Therefore, he has been deluded and deceived and he hedges his bets.
Count the number of gods and goddesses in that sentence; there are 8, so he prays to 8, in other words, if one doesn’t do it, he’s got 8 of these guys. That’s called a diversified portfolio. If one of them drops it, he’s got 7 others. Why does he have to do this, on a pagan basis? Because on a pagan basis there is no personal sovereignty. Think about the bottom part of this diagram, what did we say? Infinite personal, and the infinite impersonal, there’s no sovereign person over all the universe. What we have in paganism, ultimately, is a committee, and what happens in the committee is that from era to era one of the members of the committee take power over all the other members of the committee. So for a while, for example, Asshur would ascend in the divine councils (in their imagination) and that would explain why Assyria is ascended politically. Then when Assyria gets conquered and say Babylon comes up, then we perhaps would have Shamash or Bel or somebody like that come up, and they would explain their history, that we’ve had musical chairs in the committee and the chairmanship has changed. That’s how they explain history.
Given that mode, is it rational for Esar-haddon to pray to these people? Yes, but does he ever get real answers that mean anything? The answer is no, therefore where is his security? It gets back to the dilemma that we showed again and again, if God is sovereign and man has choice, this choice thing is only a little finite weak, weak, weak version of God’s Almighty Sovereignty. We are made in His image, so we have a finite version of what He’s like. Esar-haddon, not knowing the real God, has no access to this. What does he have to do? He has to use this. He has to build his whole career on his finite limited human choice. Notice the “I” in footnote 8, “I became mad as a lion, my soul, I called up,” notice the arrogance here, “I called up the gods by clapping my hands,” what kind of a … come on, let’s have a wing ding, he calls the meeting together, and all eight come into the meeting. Who’s controlling who here? So this is the fundamental arrogance, and we’re not doing this to pick on Esar-haddon, we’re doing this to get inside into our own flesh. This, but by the grace of God, is us. This is what sin looks like. We want to run the universe; it’s going to be done our way. Out here we have one of the other attributes, here’s God’s omnipotence. He has no access to real omnipotence, but he has access to his own political power, so he exercises this. He’s building a kingdom and a leadership model on human resources. That’s all a pagan can do, he has to rely on his human attributes, because he’s got nothing outside of himself to depend upon.
What we’re doing in this chapter is contrasting that way of life with how David did it, and David did it, while David knew he had choice, he never decided absolutely that his choice was binding, he deferred to God. Last time we went to a text in the Scripture that showed how he spared Saul. Turn back to 1 Samuel 26:10, we could take dozens of verses here, but we’ll take verse 10 because verse 10 will most clearly show how David handled himself in a political situation involving life and death and political intrigue and how Esar-haddon handled himself, and from watching these two different leaders model behavior we learn something. One was a man of faith, and the other was faithless, and faced with the same political situation, they acted completely differently. Esar-haddon, page 105 says “The culpable military which had schemed to secure the sovereignty of Assyria for my brothers, I considered guilty as a collective group and meted out a grievous punishment to them; I exterminated their male descendants.” That’s the man of the flesh. In order to protect himself, because where does his security lay? In the flesh where does our security lie? So we’re very highly protective and defensive of this. This is why the flesh can’t really love anybody; the flesh is never relaxed enough to love anybody, it can’t because it’s too busy protecting itself.
But here’s the man of faith, his security doesn’t rest in himself, so David says in verse 10, “As the LORD lives, surely the LORD will strike him, or his day will come that he dies, or he will go down into battle and perish.  The LORD forbid that I should stretch out my hand against the LORD’s anointed,” in other words, I am going to turn this over to the Lord and I’m going to leave it in His hands, and I’m going to relax, because my security doesn’t come from what I do, my security comes from what God promises. There you have the two distinctions. It’s very elementary spiritual truth, but this was a high profile political act. So we have one dynastic ruler, the usurper or looked upon in politics as the guy that’s going to take over the throne, and he has the faith to allow himself to say I am not going to take that throne, God promises that throne is going to come in His time in His way. I could blast my way and gun my way into that throne, but the same God who has protected me against seven attempts on my life, seven assassination attempts were tried against David, seven in this book of Samuel, and every one of them was thwarted. David learned a lesson, if God wanted to take me out, He could have taken me out on assassination attempt number three, but He didn’t, He protected me. He protected me from number five, number six, number seven, so God means what He says, I will be king, but it’s going to be done God’s way. That’s what we’re trying to get at here, the model of behavior between a Messianic leader and the leader of the flesh.
There are some other things that we want to review and understand in this passage. Something else that David’s going to do, a second thing we’re looking at is that David fulfilled a king-priest model that goes back prior to Israel. This is a strange thing here, and it comes out in the New Testament in Hebrews, a priest after the order of Melchizedek. But David was the one who spotted this, it was through David that God revealed this truth, and that was from the time civilization began with the sons of Noah, there were king-priests like Melchizedek. These guys were people who were elevated to the priesthood, not because of genealogy, they were picked and chosen somehow, we don’t know how, but they combined political and spiritual power in their own person. They were not only a leader, but they led their people in worship to God. So it was not a separation of church and state. These guys combined both church and state in their own person. That was made obsolete when Abraham was called out, of course Abraham actually acted as a king-priest for his family, but when you have the Exodus occur, plus the law, at that point there’s separation of church and state, in that the Levitical priests handled the religious affairs of the nation, and the elders and later on the king handled the political affairs of the nation. They’re not the same and they are kept apart.
For example, what did Saul try to do when he was finally disciplined by the prophet? He was saying, at least, that he kept all the oxen to sacrifice them. Excuse me, he’s of the tribe of Benjamin, he can’t go sacrificing. What tribe can go sacrificing? The Levites, they’re the only tribe that is commissioned by God to be doing religious things, not Saul, Saul stepped out of his tribal domain. Saul transgressed a separation of church and state, he had no business doing that. So this is kept separate, and it’s part of God’s diversifying to keep power splintered enough so the sin nature can’t ruin it. God works that way, that’s why He separates spiritual gifts, He doesn’t give a lot of gifts to one person because that goes to our head, then you get arrogance and all kinds of things. So He splits it up, so each one of us can do a little bit, but we can’t do a lot without the other person.
This goes on down through history, but in David we have a strange thing happen. There’s an incident that occurs in 2 Samuel 6 and David does a strange thing. What he does seems to violate the established order of church and state. David brings the ark of God to Jerusalem. The ark of God is something that the Levites were to take care of, and all during Saul’s reign it had stayed in this village, it had the problem down in Philistia, etc. 2 Samuel 6:12, “Now it was told King David, saying, ‘The LORD has blessed the house of Obed-edom and all that belongs to him, on account of the ark of God.’ And David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-edom into the city of David with gladness.” This act of bringing the ark from this place up to Jerusalem is commemorated in many Psalms. They’re called enthronement Psalms that evidently were written to commemorate this action.
I want to see how observant you are as we discuss this. Something’s happening here in history; in the progress of history God is doing a strange thing with David. He’s pushing the Mosaic Law to its absolute limits. A man from the tribe of Judah is moving the ark around; that was supposed to have been the prerogative of the Levites. Moreover, he is moving it to a place that was utterly non-Jewish. The city of Jerusalem was left in ruins after the conquest; it was not a Jewish city. So here David picks out a capital for his kingdom, in a city not ever used before politically in Israel, this new thing, this Jerusalem place, and he brings the ark of God up there.
He does something else, notice he’s wearing something, verse 14, “And David was dancing before the LORD with all his might, and David was wearing a linen ephod.” Functionally what does that remind you of? Who wore ephods? The priests wore ephods. Isn’t this interesting, why isn’t he being disciplined like Saul was being disciplined. We have something funny going on here. And God seems to be blessing it. Not only is God blessing it, but then we have the next incident that happens. Verse15, “So David and all the house of Israel were bringing up the ark of the LORD with shouting and the sound of the trumpet.” David was a guy that liked instrumental music, he founded the great Levitical choirs, he funded them for tremendous musical concerts in a worship service for Jehovah God. Verse 16, “Then it happened as the ark of the LORD came into the city of David that Michal the daughter of Saul looked out of the window and saw King David leaping and dancing before the LORD; and she despised him in her heart.  So they brought the ark of the LORD and set it in its place inside the tent which David had pitched for it; and David offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the LORD.” Ooh, who’s supposed to do offerings? The Levites. We clearly have David moving into something new, never before in Jewish history has a king ever done this. It would have been inconceivable for a person to do this. Something happened at this point in Jewish history that permitted a man from the tribe of Judah to be king; he had such powerful Messianic credentials that he could pull this off without a revolt.
But then we have to look, the text reminds us that it didn’t go over in all quarters too carefully, and particularly, by the way, he was probably wearing nothing else but a linen ephod and his wife doesn’t like this, and she’s going to make her little remark. Verse 18, “And when David had finished offering the burnt offering and the peace offering, he blessed the people in the name of the LORD of hosts.” Now who’s doing the blessing? The Levitical priests used to do the blessing, now we have a Jewish king doing the blessing. David offered the offerings, he’s doing the blessings. Verse 19, “Further, he distributed to all the people, to all the multitude of Israel, both to men and women, a cake of bread and one of dates and one of raisins to each one. Then all the people departed each to his house.  But when David returned to bless his household, Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David and said, ‘How the King of Israel distinguished himself today! He uncovered himself today in the eyes of his servants’ maids as one of the foolish ones shamelessly uncovers himself!’ ”
We have a little drama going on between Michal and David. Keep in mind that Michal is Saul’s daughter, David is married to her. Why do you suppose that little marriage happened? Political, let’s face it, political deals are made, that makes for nice smooth political continuity between one dynasty and another. After all, you’ve got the daughter of the previous dynastic ruler in your home. She gets very pious and self-righteous at this point; she’s going to tell David off, because David has drifted into something that’s peculiar, and she spots it, but she’s reacting to him. David’s answer, in verse 21, is what he said back to Michal. She says you violated the law here, you shamed yourself. Of course she’s really saying you shamed me, I’m ashamed to be your wife.
So in verse 21 David says, “’It was before the LORD, who chose me above your father and above all his house,” so sit on that one lady. This is the tug of war of the dynastic rulers hasn’t gone away. Remember Michal was brought up as royalty; she still bears the royal allegiance to her dad and to his dynasty. David spots that one right away, so he says “it was before the LORD,” meaning I claim the authority of my relationship with the Lord and that stands above politics, and that in particular stands above you, and your father, and your whole dynasty. He “… chose me above your father and above all his house, to appoint me ruler over the people of the LORD, over Israel; therefore I will celebrate before the LORD.  And I will be more lightly esteemed than this and will be humble in my own eyes, but with the maids of whom you have spoken, with them I will be distinguished.” And the text concludes with a historical note, “And Michal the daughter of Saul had no child to the day of her death.” See how the prophets analyzed history? They watched trends that develop in relationships and then they relate a trend over here with a net result over here. This book was written after the fact; this book was probably written after both of them died. This book was written by prophets under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and this is the Holy Spirit’s analysis, He’s just saying pay attention, look what happened here, something happened.
Let’s back off from this and think, when we read in the New Testament “a priest after the order of Melchizedek,” of whom are we reading? Jesus Christ. And who is Jesus Christ modeled after, He is Jesus The Christ, The anointed one, The Messiah, who is the son of David. Now David is introducing a new theme into Jewish history, and that is that there’s going to be that old Gentile model of Melchizedek is going to come back in history when there will be a leader who will not only combine tremendous leadership, but he will be priest. Think of what else Jesus Christ combines, He not only is going to be King Jesus, He is priest Jesus, and who does He offer? So He is the Sacrifice Jesus. So combined in one person we have the politics, we have the spirituality, and we have the atonement.
This is what’s developing theologically at this point in Old Testament history, as early as 1000 BC the pieces are starting to fall together to point a picture at what Messiah is going to look like. The Jews had a terrible time with, until even in Jesus’ day they thought there was going to be two Messiahs, there was going to be a suffering Messiah and a glorious Messiah, they couldn’t mesh those two things together, so they had various Messiahs. This is still a stumbling block, this is why you have orthodox Jews, they’re still looking for the Messiah to come to reestablish… there were orthodox Jews in Israel, believe it or not, who fight against Israel. I think it was the Six Day War, a Hebrew Christian was telling me that the orthodox Jews sided with the Arabs against the Jews, and the reason they did that was they do not believe that the Jews have a right to establish a state with currency and with law until the Messiah comes to establish the state. They’re so insistent that the Messiah must come first that they don’t even like the present state of Israel. So that’s how strong this belief still is.
The pieces of the Messianic role have been fractured out. We believe as Christians that Jesus Christ is the Messiah, the pieces assemble in time. It’s not that there’s going to be a second Jesus, it’s rather that at this time Jesus fills this part of the role, then He finishes this part of the role, then He finishes this part of the role. You have a little bit of that setting up in the book of Samuel, because we said that you have Saul on the throne, Saul goes on until he is declared to be the guy that’s rejected, so we said in 1 Samuel 8-15 we have the story of Saul’s rejection, and then he just peters out until he’s killed at the end of the book of Samuel. David rises at chapter 16 and he’s anointed, and he increases until 2 Samuel. There’s a transition here. Think about this transition. There are a number of features that point ahead in history. We’re starting to get into prophecy now. As we move on into the Old Testament we’re going to get more and more into prophecy. We’re starting to see it set up here. This king-priest model that David fulfilled was strange to the Old Testament ear. It’s pointing forward to something, and it’s pointing forward, not to a Jewish priest because the Jews didn’t have king-priests. It’s pointing to a Gentile king-priest model. What does that mean? Worldwide rule, a worldwide Ruler, and the Messiah therefore will not just be Messiah of the nation Israel; He will be the Messiah of the entire world. So the universal role of Christ starts ever so slightly to come into focus here.
Another thing to notice in this parallel is that just as David was anointed, and what happened, why wasn’t David able to take the throne right away? What was in the way of the throne? Saul, another dynasty was ruling. See the analogy. Jesus was anointed in the New Testament, He doesn’t take the throne because… why? Who is the god of this world? Satan. And who is the god of this that genuinely tempted Him—bow to me and I will give you the kingdoms of the world. Jesus didn’t say, no you don’t have rule over the kingdoms. Jesus didn’t answer the temptation that way. He fully accepted the fact that Satan is the god of this world, that’s what made it a temptation. If Satan didn’t have the kingdoms then it wasn’t a temptation to Jesus, so obviously if it was a real temptation, it must have been a genuine offer.
What did David do all during this time? He fled assassination attempts, seven of them. What corresponds to this assault today, down through history? In Jesus life were there attempts on His life? There sure was, and after Jesus died and went to heaven, who was it that persecuted the church that met Him one day on the road to Damascus. Paul. And what did Jesus say to Paul on the road to Damascus? “Saul, why do you persecute Me?” Did Saul ever see Jesus in the flesh up to that point? No. Then how could he be persecuting Jesus? He was persecuting the church, which is the body of Jesus. So are there assaults against Jesus after Jesus rose from the dead? Obviously, the persecution of the church. During this time where does David go and build his army and from what material does he build his army that will one day rule with him? If you read the book of Samuel, the cave of Adullum, and all the people who were in debt, all the rejects from society, we’d say all the social scumbags, show up at the cave of Adullum. It’s with that unlikely material that David builds the leadership corps for his coming kingdom. Is there a parallel? Do you see how the Old Testament has a fore view of what’s going on today, and if we’re going to be accurate in interpretation of prophecy, we want to get the cues, these are all cues that are setting up in the text here, and we want to see these parallels.
Let’s look at the Davidic Covenant, and again I’m going to use the approach of contrasting this covenant with how the pagan kings operated. 2 Samuel 7:1, “Now it came about when the king lived in his house, and the LORD had given him rest on every side from all his enemies,  that the king said to Nathan the prophet, ‘See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells within tent curtains.  And Nathan said to the king, ‘Go, do all that is in your mind, for the LORD is with you.’  But it came about in the same night that the word of the LORD came to Nathan, saying….” We pause here in verses 3-4, this is one of those neat little places in the text, if you look very carefully you’ll see the real humanness of the Bible, that the Bible is so genuinely human. In verse 3 what is it that Nathan says? Whom does he profess to have spoken in the name of? The Lord. Who is speaking to Nathan in verse 4? What is the Lord doing, He’s correcting him. Had Nathan got a word from the Lord in verse 3? He was speaking hot air, it was just a lot of religious words, blah, blah, blah, the Lord bless you kind of thing, it didn’t mean a thing, just a lot of religious hot air.
Then the Lord says okay, Nathan, I’m going to give you the word, verse 5, “Go and say to My servant David, ‘Thus says the LORD, Are you the one who should build Me a house to dwell in?  For I have not dwelt in a house since the day I brought up the sons of Israel from Egypt, even to this day; but I have been moving about in a tent, even in a tabernacle.  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 build Me a house of cedar?’”  “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.  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.  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,  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.  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.  He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.”
There’s some language here I want you to track very carefully. This is the first time in the history of Scripture that these words are used the way they are going to be used here, and it represents a fundamental step forward in the progress of revelation, because out of this we’re going to be studying about sanctification, personal confession of sin and eternal security, and it’s going to be built around what’s happening here in verses 13-14, so watch carefully the text.  “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.  But My lovingkindness shall not depart from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you.” We’ve got to take that verse apart because there are a number of tremendous truths there, and we can read it so fast we miss it. So let’s take a little time. What is he introducing by way of a relationship that occurs for the first time? Remember back in the Exodus I said that Israel was looked upon as a son, that the nation had a son; but that was corporate. This is the first time we have a real father-son relationship in Scripture between God and an individual. Now God is beginning to reveal some more things.
In association with this father-son relationship, I want to show you why verses 14-15 have to be taken together. We live in a generation of sentimentalism, and people like to read things based on how they feel, and when they get into hard times, they fall apart because they built their lives on how they feel, and when they get into hard times they don’t feel good, and so the whole thing, if it’s built on emotion the house of cards caves in. You can’t build your life on a house of cards, you have to build your life on something that’s going to be true in the bad times as well as the good times, if it isn’t, it’s not strong enough to trust. We all go through hard times, so we have to get our feet on the ground spiritually.
Now watch the text, watch what happens here, this is a gift of God. Verse 14, “I will be a father to him and he will be a son to Me, when he commits iniquity,” is that the word for sin? Yes, is this guy going to sin? Yes. Is he going to be an infallible son? No. He’s going to be a sinning son; does sin have a price? Yes, sin has a price. But what do you read as how sin is dealt with in verse 14, “I will correct him with the rod of men and the strokes of the sons of men.” What’s the metaphor, “rod” and “stroke?” God put the gluteus maximus there for a purpose, and it’s a lot less brutal correct discipline, correct corporeal discipline done in a loving spirit, not being brutal about it, than it is to constantly beat down kids with words. Words hurt, words cut, and you can verbally abuse far worse than you can corporeally abuse. This is not an excuse to go beat kids, this is just saying that in the Scripture corporeal physical punishment is legitimatized entirely in the book of Proverbs. With all due apologies to all the welfare people, they’re looking in on you to see if somebody swatted somebody on the behind. God would be called in for fines because of child abuse.
Verse 14, “…I will correct him with the rod of men and the strokes of the sons of men.  But My lovingkindness shall not depart from him,” this is a word that’s going to come up more and more so let’s get it here. Lovingkindness is almost 95% translating off a Hebrew word called chesed; chesed is a Hebrew word that means covenant love. The Hebrew had two words for love, ahav and chesed. Using an analogy of marriage, before a couple is married, they ahav one another; after marriage it’s chesed because after marriage there is a marital covenant established. [blank spot]
Verse 15, “My lovingkindness shall not depart,” when you read the Psalms you remember this word, because whenever you read in any of the Davidic Psalms about “My lovingkindness shall not depart” don’t read that just as sort of light poetry and something we sing 15 times in a hymn that sounds nice, that’s not what it’s talking about. When you see the word “lovingkindness” in your Bibles and a song, it is talking about 2 Samuel 7, right here, it’s a reference to this covenant, “My lovingkindness shall not depart from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you.” What kind of kingship had Saul established? It was a conditional kingship. So what we’re going to have now is an unconditional covenant, an unconditional covenant. That means that it is an expression of the sovereign will of God and nothing in history is going to change it because what is God? God is self-contained; He is not at the beck and call of anybody outside of Himself. And nobody is going to tell God how to run His creation. If He says this is the way it is, then that is the way it is, period, over and out. What did He do to Saul? He removed him dynastically, this is not just a rejection of Saul, it’s a rejection of all of his seed, it’s a rejection of Jonathan, it’s a rejection of Jonathan’s son, it’s a rejection of all of the Saulites. But David, the lovingkindness will never depart from you.
Now we have some interesting things. Verse 16, “And your house and your kingdom shall endure before Me forever; your throne shall be established forever.” We have a covenant and we’re going to study it under four parts, just like we studied all the other covenants. We say the best way of studying Biblical covenants is first to remember that a covenant is a contract; in the same sense that you sign a contract for your house, for your car, or for anything else. A covenant has two parties; two people come into this covenant, so we have to analyze who are the parties to this particular contract? Who’s doing the talking? God, so God is party number one to this contract. Who is made with? David and his seed, so the parties to this contract, God and David + s; David + his seed. Think back when we had previous contracts in the Bible. We had the contract between God and Noah, that was God on one party, who was the other party, very interesting, Noah, his family, and non-human animals. The Noahic Covenant includes animals, the first case of genuine animal rights, long before PETA. So we have the animals, and this is ecology, long before Vice President Gore God had firmly established the security of the environment. He made a contract; He made a covenant with it. Then in the days of Abraham we have a covenant, a contract with God, with Abraham and his seed, promising three things: land, seed, worldwide blessing.
We have another contract with Israel but that one has ifs, if you do this I will bless you, if you do this I will curse you, a conditional covenant; the parties are the twelve tribes and God. Embedded also is one we skipped over, that’s the Palestinian Covenant, Deuteronomy 30, when God promises that you will return to the land. So that’s the Abrahamic promise number one, land, sea, worldwide blessing; that number one promise of the Abrahamic Covenant gets re-ratified in the Palestinian Covenant. The second promise in the Abrahamic Covenant is land, seed, worldwide blessing. Here’s the seed coming up again. The promise that was with Abrahamic Covenant, I will protect your seed and the seed will continue; now we have more information because now this contract is going to add to our information about God’s plan for history. And that is, that David and his seed will be tied in with the ruler ship of this world, that from this point on this dynasty will be utterly unlike any other human dynasty that has ever lived.
We’ve got the parties, now the sign of the covenant. The sign isn’t explicitly mentioned here, it has to be implied. The best guess is the sign of the covenant is the existence of the dynasty, the continuing existence of the dynasty. If you look in the notes when I mention this I point out 2 Kings 25, page 107. Turn to the end of 2 Kings. Why am I doing this? I want to show you how the thinking of this covenant shaped how Israel viewed her history. We’re skipping forward by centuries. We’re now looking at the history of the nation Israel after they had been defeated, a horrible time; it’s awful to watch your country go down the tube. We probably will live to see it for our country, unfortunately. It’s not pleasant to live in the generation when your country falls apart, and it wasn’t a very nice experience to go through military defeat, economic destruction and all the havoc judgments that God wreaked upon His nation. And the nation went into captivity, I mean the foreign armies came in and said you, you, you, you, out of here, and put you in chain gangs and marched you hundreds of miles across the desert. Psalm 119 was written during that humiliating march across the desert. Not a very nice experience, everything is in shambles, total political chaos, everything lost, fortunes lost, land lost, assets gone, companies and businesses destroyed, families were wrecked, children killed, and in the middle of all this chaos, notice at the end of 2 Kings verse 26, “Then all the people, both small and great, and the captains of the forces arose and went to Egypt; for they were afraid of the Chaldeans.” This is a group that’s fled into Egypt.
How does 2 Kings end, on what theme? Verse 27, “And it came about in the thirty-seventh year of the exile of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the twelfth month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, that Evil-merodach, king of Babylon, in the year that he became king; released Jehoiachin king of Judah from prison.  And he spoke kindly to him and set his throne above the throne of the kings who were with him in Babylon.  And Jehoiachin changed his prison clothes, and had his meals in the king’s presence regularly all the days of his life;  and for his allowance…” etc. What was chosen by the Holy Spirit as a concluding note to the existence of this nation in history? The survival of the Davidic dynasty. Notice he says he is a king of who? The north or the south? King of Ephraim or the king of Judah? The king of Judah. Who survived this horrible catastrophe in history? David’s line. Why? Because in the New Testament what line has to be there. When the New Testament begins, what does it attach itself to, right away, first chapter? The son of David. The Davidic line has terminated in history but it’s fulfilled a prophecy that it shall exist forever and ever. Why? Because it terminated in an eternal person. Jesus Christ is God and Jesus Christ is man. Jesus Christ is eternal, therefore Jesus Christ fulfills the terms of the Davidic Covenant and this great covenant points to Jesus Christ.
Turn back to 2 Samuel. These covenant ideas underlie the structure of the Old Testament and we have to pay attention to this underlying structure because this underlying structure turns out to be the underlying structure of history itself. That’s why the Bible is the history book, and all other histories have to sit on top of the Bible because the Bible is the foundation for where history is going. Notice that this is the sign, the eternal existence of the dynasty, the eternal existence of David’s seed. Now we come to the terms of the covenant. The terms of the covenant in 2 Samuel 7, I list them on page 107 in the notes, “can be summarized in three promises, each having a particular application to the royal family of Israel and a universal application to the royal family of the Greater Son. First,” here’s the first term of the Davidic Covenant, “First, the king would enjoy a ‘father-son’ relationship with God.” A father-son relationship with God, Jesus is called the Son of God. Here’s where it’s all set up, Psalm 2 is one of the great hymns of the Old Testament that introduces us to the title of the Son of God; it has to do with Jesus’ kingship. “The king would be ‘adopted’ into God’s family. Later those ‘in Christ’ would be called ‘sons of God.’” Why are we called that? There’s a rich heritage behind this “sons of God” business, it’s not just a sweet little term.
“Second,” this is the second legal provision in this contract. “Second, if the seed of David should sin, they would be chastened but never rejected—the dynasty would survive because it was unconditionally elected. Those, too, who are elect in David’s Son, though disciplined, are never lost,” some New Testament theology coming out here. “Third, David’s dynasty would always be centered at the cultic city of Jerusalem in the kingdom of Israel. Similarly, those in Christ are destined to be centered at the Throne of God as priests and kings forever,” and the book of Revelation ends with what descending from heaven? The New Jerusalem. From this point forward there’s a locality in the cosmos where God will meet man, it’s called Jerusalem.
The last element that we study in the contract structure, we’ve deal with those three terms, finally the fourth element is all these Biblical covenants are introduced by a sacrifice, and the strange thing is, this is the only covenant that doesn’t appear to have a sacrifice with it. Use your religious imagination, from what you know of the Word of God, and suggest a solution to this dilemma. Why is the Davidic Covenant lacking a sacrifice? The Abrahamic Covenant, Sinaitic Covenant, the Noahic, the New Covenant is going to come after this one, the New Covenant talks about a sacrifice also. Where’s the sacrifice? The sacrifice is the King. He’s missing here, there’s an unresolved tension that is only resolved later in the New Testament, lo and behold, the Son of David who comes is the Lamb of God, and He turns into His own sacrifice for His own covenant. But there’s no record of the sacrifice being done at this point. The only hint, as I say on page 108, is a strange hint in Psalm 16:10 which is cited by the Apostles in Acts 2 that David’s soul would never see corruption.
On page 107 I want to contrast David with another Gentile king, this time not Esar-haddon but a Pharaoh, Thutmose III, another famous Gentile king. This is taken from some of the Egyptian literature, a translation of Egyptian literature, done when Thutmose, like David, had finished his military conquest and had settled down to a political reign. So both men are at a parallel point in their career. At this point Thutmose III settles down and he receives this word, apparently from the priests. “Welcome to me, as thou exultest at the sight of my beauty, my son and my avenger,” notice the “son,” there’s a father-son relationship between King and God. “‘…Thou treadest all foreign countries, thy glad heart. There is none who can thrust himself into the vicinity of thy majesty, while I am thy guide…. My serpent-diadem which is upon thy head, she consumes them….’ Then, after mentioning his help of Thutmose in the campaigns, Amon-Re turned to the matter of temple-building,” so the gods, meaning the priesthood that ran for the gods, when the king finished his conquest, what would the king come back to the homeland with? Booty. Guess who has to pay? Excuse me, the priests say, where’s ours. You came back with thousands and millions of dollars of confiscated property, guess where you’re going to invest it. We’re going to build a new temple here. So the religious crowd comes out in the street, they smell money, want big donations. “‘Thou hast erected my dwelling place as the work of eternity, made longer,” notice, Amon-Re is bragging to Thutmose, “longer and wider than that which had been before…. Thy monuments are greater than [those of] any king who has been. I commanded thee to make them, and I am satisfied with them,’” I’m satisfied with them. “Finally” in an interesting parallel, “Amon-Re promised to Thutmose III, ‘I have established thee upon the throne of Horus for millions of years, that thou mightest lead the living for eternity.”
How long do you suppose that the new kingdom of Egypt existed? The Thutmosian Dynasty lasted only for about 200 years at most. David lived in 1000 BC, how long did his dynasty last. We have the record of the perpetuation of that dynasty all the way of 1000 BC to the time of Mary and Joseph, they dynasty lived, the dynasty survived. Who’s promising who? See what’s parallel here and what is at contrast here. The style of the Gentile leader is one where he does something for his god, even his gods depend upon him, and in this case Thutmose gives to his god. What happened in 2 Samuel, I made mention of something that Nathan did when Nathan walked into David; what did Nathan say? Oh yea, go ahead, customary thing, back from war, go ahead, give it to God. What did God do through Nathan? No, you’re not going to give Me anything, in fact David, I’m going to give more stuff to you, I gave you your career, I gave you your anointing, I gave you military victory, I gave you this throne, and now I’m going to give you a living eternal dynasty. Who’s the God of grace? See the difference in the character of the theology of paganism and the theology of Scripture. In paganism the gods receive; in the Bible God gives. There’s the God of grace, that’s the God whom we worship, that’s the God who exposes Himself, if you look carefully enough at history. And His promises ring true. The promise of millions of years wasn’t fulfilled, this is a lie, this is a deception, this is sweet religious deception, but God’s Word lives forever, it’s empirically proven that the Davidic Covenant of 2 Samuel 7 endured.
Question asked: Clough replies: The question is what do Jewish people say about the fact that there’s no Davidic line that you can identify, and that’s because it’s not necessary for the Davidic Covenant, most Jewish people today are liberals in their view of the Old Testament, so I think the people to answer that would be orthodox Jews and I’m not sure what they say. I know that it’s interesting that in, I think it’s Numbers 25, there’s a prophecy that one of the Jewish tribes will forever maintain its identity, and it’s the Levites, and they have, because any Jewish name ending in Levi, or Levite, or Cohen, that’s the Hebrew word for priest, any Jewish name in that ball park, probably, you can’t prove it from blood, but it’s a transmission of a name identity, so it’s ironic that of all the 12 tribes none of them have distinct names except the Levites, even today.
Question asked: Clough replies: When I say Jerusalem is a “cultic center,” I don’t mean a cult like some far out cult, like the Mormons or something like that, the way that word is used in that context, a “cultic center” is just a worship center, it’s the center where there’s public worship. You can worship any place, obviously, but cultic worship means that you have a temple or you have an altar, or something centered that’s physically obvious.
Is everyone clear on what I tried to do tonight? The covenant contrast, that the covenants form, is very parallel to a lot of pagan forms. Even evangelical scholars kind of make it appear when you read their books that the Bible is borrowing, God accommodated Himself to a prior existing structure. I prefer different chronology and I think Thutmose and these guys followed David and I think it’s mimicking the Davidic Covenant. I think probably the Davidic Covenant was the original and these others are just secondary come-ons, Satan’s just mimicking what God was doing. But the point is that there is that difference. To me those are basic fundamental ideas, what we’re looking at here, we’re not looking at something heavy and deep in detail, we’re looking at very, very fundamentally basic ideas. The God of the Scriptures is the God of grace, and it comes through again and again, and there were some powerful things there tonight with the Davidic Covenant. And what more contrast could you have than the pagan god expecting, expecting his little human king to give him a temple. God doesn’t need our temples, and He makes it real clear from the start. Now later on He accepts the temple from Solomon, that’s all right, but I think it’s so neat that God always starts out giving with giving. We start out doing the receiving, and then after that grand act is in place, then we’ll talk about worship and what we can give God, but not until He’s given to us, otherwise we wouldn’t have anything to give to Him.
Question asked: Clough replies: This is a good question, the question is when we read the passage in 2 Samuel 6 where David is bringing the ark up, you don’t see God commending that anywhere, it seems like, it looks like David is just kind of doing it. This is a rugged place in the Old Testament, volumes have been written about this tension that’s going on in the Scriptures, and the liberals like to go in and say, well see, you had competing ideas, and David started his own thing, that kind of stuff. We can’t accept that. The Lord somehow led David to do that. Here’s the tip where I think he does show very consciousness of it. Look at Psalm 110, David sang about this later. This Psalm is loaded, it’s packed with stuff, you could spend a lifetime trying to unravel this one, because this Psalm is quoted very frequently in the New Testament, and it’s quoted in very profound context, dealing with the nature and the person of Jesus Christ.
Psalm 110, notice the language carefully and watch the names for God here, every word counts. “A Psalm of David,” so you know David’s the author. “The LORD,” notice in the English translation, the two nouns “Lord” occur and they’re translated differently, notice one is capitalized. That means they are two different words. The first one is a translation of the Hebrew word Yahweh, the second one is the translation of a Hebrew word Adonai. “The LORD says to my Lord” here’s the problem; the first L-O-R-D refers to God. The question is what does the second L-o-r-d refer to? It’s a person, the person is superior to David because David is calling him Lord, but it’s the Lord who sang to that LORD, “Sit at My right hand, until I make Thine enemies a footstool for Thy feet.” Now why does David say “my Lord?” Probably because he’s looking down through the corridors of time at his own dynasty, so he’s looking at his seed. The Lord says David in some… how has this happened, by the way. Nobody has ever answered this question, what was going on in the heads of the guys that wrote the Psalms. They had prophetic insight, in some way the Holy Spirit put into their heads a vision of some sort. This is real vision.
“The LORD said to my Lord,” and then there’s a quote, this is a quote, so in this vision that David sees, he heard God speaking to this person down through the corridors of time, “Sit at My right hand, until I make Thine enemies a footstool for Thy feet.” And then it says, “The LORD will stretch forth Thy strong scepter from Zion,” that’s Jerusalem, “saying, ‘Rule in the midst of Thine enemies.  Thy people will volunteer freely in the day of Thy power; in holy array, from the womb of the dawn, Thy youth are to Thee as the dew.’  The LORD has sworn and will not change His mind, ‘Thou art a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.’  The Lord is at Thy right hand; He will shatter kings in the day of His wrath.  He will judge among the nations, He will fill them with corpses, He will shatter the chief men over a broad country.  He will drink from the book by the wayside; therefore He will lift up His head.”
This is loaded with interpretive questions, I’m not even going to get into it tonight, this is one tough passage of Scripture to interpret, you can’t even get through the first line of this thing without having a problem. But in response to the question, this shows there’s a deep theology behind what David did, and he was conscious of it. And it wasn’t a random act, that he just felt hokey one day and decided this would be a neat thing to do. This was deeply and profoundly related to what had happened in Jerusalem in the days of Abraham. Remember David had access to Genesis, and David, when he was thinking and praying about where should he build his capital for his kingdom, he must have gone back to the Genesis text. And all we can infer from this is that God the Holy Spirit must have spoken to his heart, David, remember where Abraham met King Melchizedek, that’s where I want My capitol. And if it’s true that Melchizedek, there’s a long scholarly tradition that says that Melchizedek was an alter-name, or a pseudonym name, or an alias for Shem, that what happened in that Abraham narrative of Genesis 14 was a passing of the scepter from the Noahic family to the Abrahamic family, and it was done through Shem, the son of Noah, who shows up under this name, Melchizedek. That is speculation, the identity of Melchizedek, that is speculation, that’s not in the Word. But it’s speculation by godly men who examined this question over many, many years.
Something is going on in Psalm 110, and whatever is going on, that’s what’s being pulled off by the author if the book of Hebrews, to explain Jesus Christ. Because that passage, the rest of verse 1, “Sit at My right hand,” is clearly implied in the New Testament to whom? Who’s saying that, the Father is saying that to the Son, so quite clearly the New Testament authors looked at Psalm 110 and said, there’s Jesus, and Jesus is the son of David, so David somehow gets locked into this thing, and I don’t profess to know all the details of it, it’s just an amazing section of Scripture. And it’s one of those things where we think we’ve got God in a box and everything works out, and then all of a sudden He pulls something like this, this was a genuine surprise.
It’s not just that Michal, Saul’s daughter who was his wife at the time was probably ticked off at the way he looked, going around half nude in the street in front of young ladies, and acting like, what she perceived to be an idiot. She despised him, but the text blames her for something more than just being upset about her husband exposing himself. She’s upset for a deeper reason, she’s upset the way Zipporah is said to be upset when Moses came and said I want to circumcise our son… you’re not going to circumcise, what a bloody God you have. Moses left her in the desert. Michal does the same thing, she despises whatever the work is that God is doing in David. And that’s why she’s childless, not because of whatever the social problem was, there’s something going on with David, there’s a strangeness to David that doesn’t fit the Jewish mold, and that’s what points ahead to the fact that the son of David isn’t going to exactly fit the Jewish mold either. That’s why to this day Jews have a hard time with Jesus, just like Michal had a hard time with David. There’s something about this that doesn’t quite fit their understanding of the way God ought to work.