I will sing of the LORD’s great love forever; with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known through all generations. I will declare that your love stands firm forever, that you have established your faithfulness in heaven itself. You said, “I have made a covenant with my chosen one, I have sworn to David my servant, ‘I will establish your line forever and make your throne firm through all generations.’”
Psalm 89:1-4 NIV
Points to Ponder:
Of the five or six official covenants or promises that God made to His followers in Old Testament days, His covenant with David is arguably one that specifically connects the establishment of His kingdom to David’s throne. The proverbial nuts and bolts of this Davidic Covenant are concisely detailed in 2 Samuel 7:8-17, but the basic idea of God’s statement begins with a review of promises He has previously kept to David followed by a list of new promises for David’s future. There was the promise that David would be recognized as one of the greatest men on earth. And the promise of a permanent home for Israel, the nation over which David reigned. And – get this – the promise that Israel’s own Messiah, Jesus Christ, would come not only from the Israelite tribe of Judah itself but from the very lineage or family of David himself. Through David’s descendants, in other words, God’s kingdom would be established and would endure forever.
“But wait,” as the slogan goes, “there’s more.” As it turns out, the Davidic Covenant required no action from David or even the nation of Israel as a whole. These promises rotated around the axis of God’s faithfulness alone. He says so Himself when He lists the terms of the covenant: “I will be his Father, and he shall be My son. If he commits iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men and with the blows of the sons of men. But My mercy shall not depart from him… (2 Samuel 7:14, italics mine).
Sound familiar? It should, because the final result of God’s covenant with David would be the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. And the birth of this same Jesus would result in salvation through His grace alonefor believers everywhere throughout the ages (see Ephesians 2:8-9).
This parallel demonstrates the timelessness of today’s main passage of Scripture. Psalm 89 was written as a grateful response to the promise of the exceptional reign of David through the covenant in question, but Christians can confidently echo with excitement words from verses 1-4 as we await the glorious reign of Christ that is promised to follow His return to earth. Think of it… From a physical perspective, the Davidic dynasty ended because Israel is no longer governed by kings. From an eternal perspective, however, the story is far from over. Jesus Christ, a direct descendent of David, now sits on His throne in Heaven at the right hand of God the Father! God promised David that He would establish his kingdom foreve. And through Christ, He did! God promises to free believers from the penalties of sin. And through Christ, He does! God promises to extend to those same believers and others like us the gift of life eternal lasting “through all generations.” And through Christ, He will!
– Copyright 2016, Carole Anne Hallyburton. All Rights Reserved.
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Focus for Reflection:
Why do you think the Davidic Covenant excluded active requirements on the roles of David and the nation of Israel?
Does Psalm 89:1-4 give you cause to look expectantly to Christ’s return? Explain your answer.
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