Gaebelein's Annotated Bible
And it came to pass, when the king sat in his house, and the LORD had given him rest round about from all his enemies;4. The Lord’s Promise to David and the Covenant
1. David’s desire (2Samuel 7:1-3)
2. Nathan receives the message for David (2Samuel 7:4-17)
3. David in the presence of Jehovah (2Samuel 7:18-29)
We reach now a climax. The Lord speaks and reveals His great purposes He had in His eternal councils for David, the king after His own heart. We behold the king in peace sitting in his own house; he had rest from all his enemies. In pious meditation the heart of the king had but one great thought, one great ambition. The prophet Nathan is in his presence and to him he speaks. “See now, I dwell in an house of cedar, but the ark of God dwelleth within curtains.” And Nathan told him to do all that was in his heart. But he had spoken without divine authority. God knew all David planned and what was in his heart. While His prophet encouraged David to carry out his wishes, God meant otherwise.
That night Nathan received an important message. The Lord told Nathan that David thought of building Him a house, but that the Lord would build David a house. Then He promises him a son. “He shall build an house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom for ever.” Solomon is first in view, but he is only a type of Him, who said while on earth “a greater than Solomon is here.” In Christ alone this great covenant-promise is to be fulfilled. Chastening for his offspring is announced, but a disannulment of the covenant is impossible, for God’s gifts and calling are without repentance. “But my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee. And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established forever before thee, thy throne shall be established forever.” More than that, this great covenant was confirmed by the oath of Jehovah. “Once I have sworn by My holiness that I will not lie unto David. His seed shall endure forever, and his throne as the sun before Me” (Psalm 89:35-36). And when He was about to come, the Son of David according to the flesh, but also David’s Lord, He who spoke these words to Nathan, it was divinely announced “the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David. And He shall reign forever and of His kingdom there shall be no end” (Luke 1:32-33). That throne and that kingdom He has not yet received. He fills the Father’s throne in the highest heaven, but all heaven and earth wait for the appointed time when He will come again to claim His crown-rights and receive the world-wide kingdom, which David in inspired songs of praise so often beheld (Ps. 72).
“And this prophecy refers neither only to Solomon nor only to Christ; nor has it a twofold application, but it is a covenant-promise which, extending along the whole line, culminates in the Son of David, and in all its fulness applies only to Him. These three things did God join in it, of which one necessarily implies the other, alike in the promise and in the fulfilment: a unique relationship, a unique kingdom, and a unique fellowship and service resulting from both. The unique relationship was that of Father and Son, which in all its fulness only came true in Christ (Hebrews 1:5). The unique kingdom was that of Christ, which would have no end (Luke 1:32-33; John 3:35). And the unique sequence of it was that brought about through the temple of His body (John 2:19), which will appear in its full proportions when the New Jerusalem comes down out of heaven (Revelation 21:1-3).
“Such was the glorious hope opening up wider and wider, till at its termination David could see ‘afar off’ the dawn of the bright morning of eternal glory; such was the destiny and the mission which, in His infinite goodness, God assigned to His chosen servant. Much there was still in him that was weak, faltering, and even sinful; nor was he, whose was the inheritance of such promises, even to build an earthly temple. Many were his failings and sins, and those of his successors; and heavy rods and sore stripes were to fall upon them. But that promise never failed.” (A. Edersheim, Bible History)
And to this we add, nor will the promise ever fail in the future. Even now all is preparing for Him who alone is the Hope of the world. “Thy Kingdom come” is still the prayer, nor will it ever come till the King’s coronation day arrives. And Nathan delivered faithfully the great covenant message. David’s response is beautiful, yea it measures up to the fullness of grace the gracious Lord had bestowed upon him. He does not seek the fellowship of Nathan to talk over this unspeakably Wonderful promise. He sat before the Lord. All the thoughts in him, planning to work and to build the Lord a house, were forever hushed. He is in His presence as a worshipper, pouring out his grateful heart. Jehovah’s grace has touched the innermost cords of his soul; they give forth their sweet vibrations, which ascend in a holy melody to the courts above. He is humbled, bowed in the dust. “Who am I, Lord God? and what is my house that thou hast brought me hitherto?”--He believes all he has heard; he trusts in every word. His prayer is “do as thou hast said.” What an hour it was when the king with the message of grace and mercy was in the presence of the Lord! May we who are the Recipients of even greater grace in our Lord Jesus Christ respond to that grace as David did.