King David said to God, “I will build a house for you.” But God said to David, “No, I will build a house for you” (2 Samuel 7:11). God was not referring, of course, to a building of bricks and mortar, but to a dynasty, a line of descent that would continue.
“When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.” (2 Samuel 7:12-13)
There will be one person, in the line of David, whose reign will continue forever.
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. (Isaiah 9:6-7)
“The promise,” Isaiah says, “does not mean that there will always be a Davidic king.” Hope for God’s people does not lie in a dynasty. Hope for God’s people lies in a person, one person, who will be born into the line of David, and who will fulfill the promise given to David. His reign will be forever.
The New Testament opens by introducing this Son of David: “The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David…” (Matthew 1:1).
Hebrews 1:5 picks up God’s promise to David and relates it to Jesus Christ: “For to which of the angels did God ever say… ‘I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son’”? (Hebrews 1:5).
And at the end of the New Testament, the cry of victory sounds out from the angels of heaven: “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever” (Revelation 11:15). This promise is ours in and through Jesus Christ!
Lean on This Promise
I want to identify three places in life when this promise (given to David, and which belongs to us through the Lord Jesus Christ) will be especially valuable to you.
1. Lean on this promise when you don’t get to do what you wanted to do.
This was David’s situation. He wanted to build the temple and he didn’t get to do it. Since then David and Solomon have been in the presence of Jesus for centuries. How much do you think it matters to David, in the presence of Jesus, that Solomon got to build the temple and not him?
The answer to the bucket list of all the things you were not able to do in this life is that you have an eternal future with Christ in glory.
2. Lean on this promise when you mess up what you might have done.
There are times in life when our own sins, our own foolishness, closes a door that otherwise might have been open.
Think of David in the presence of the Lord. Later in David’s life, he messed up big time (2 Samuel 11). What matters to David now, is not what he did or did not get to do in this life. What matters now and forever is that God did not take his steadfast from David and, in Christ, he will never take his steadfast love from you.
3. Lean on this promise when you no longer know the joy you once did.
When the joys of life have diminished for you, remember the forever that lies ahead of you. It’s beautifully described in the book of Revelation: “For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes” (Revelation 7:17). Brother, sister in Christ, you will never tire of the life that God has in store for you. It will never seem long, stale, routine, or dull.
This promise gives us a marvelous glimpse of our hope in Jesus Christ. What good would a promise be, if it died with us? What good would a promise be, if it was canceled when we sin? And what good would a promise be, if it expired after a certain period of time?
But God’s promise to us in Jesus Christ is stronger than death, greater than sin, and longer than time itself. When we come to the New Testament, Peter says,
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. (1 Peter 1:3-4, NIV)
This promise can never perish, so death can’t end it!
This promise can never spoil, so sin can’t ruin it!
And this promise will never fade, so time can’t diminish it!