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God's Promises

11th October 2006, hej

 

5) Promises to King David

David having recently conquered Jebus and made it his capital under the name Jerusalem, wants to build a house for his God. The reply is a very public promise. The promise to David was delivered by the prophet Nathan and recorded in the book of Samuel, which was always intended as a public history.

Thus says Yahweh of Armies, I took you from the sheep pen, from following the sheep, that you should be prince over my people, over Israel; and I have been with you wherever you went, and have cut off all your enemies from before you; and I will make you a great name, like the name of the great ones who are in the earth. (2Sam 7:8)

First David was given a personal promise. And this has been fulfilled: who does not know of this king David? It goes on to speak of Isarel.

and as from the day that I commanded judges to be over my people Israel; and I will cause you to rest from all your enemies. Moreover Yahweh tells you that Yahweh will make you a house. When your days are fulfilled, and you shall sleep with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who shall proceed out of your bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be his father, and he shall be my son: if he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men; but my loving kindness shall not depart from him,... Your house and your kingdom shall be made sure for ever before you: your throne shall be established forever. (2Sa 7:9-16)

This was not talking about the kingdom of Israel BC 1000. Why would they need a place appointed then? They had a reasonable territory (somewhat larger than present day Israel) at that time. They only lost it later. In fact at that time also their enemies were quiet. This promise is to take effect long after king David is dead. At some point of time long after David was dead he would have a descendant who was also to be the son of God. At this point there seems nothing in this for David. Does it really matter if he has a son who's throne goes on forever if he can't know of it or enjoy it?

Then we come to the last section where David is promised that his family and his kingdom would last for ever in his presence. David is promised that he will personally see “before him” his descendant who reigns forever sitting on his thone in Jerusalem.

This thone was a real physical thing over a territory that we can identify today. Further,

Yet the LORD would not destroy Judah for David his servant’s sake, as he promised him to give him alway a light, and to his children.2 Kings 8:19

We can look back over history and note the last of the king descendants of David was carried away to Babylon and the kingdom ceased in BC 580 a mere 400 or so years after the promise.Until the years AD though Judeans, or Jews as they came to be known, knew who were of the royal line. However in AD 70 the records were lost with the destruction of the temple and Jerusalem. It can only be concluded that the promise to David is yet to be fulfilled or a people were deluded. The second option has suprising reasons for being unlikely.

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