It’s been a long road for David.
He was the youngest of eight sons, nearly forgotten by his father on that fateful day that Samuel, the nation’s mediator before God, came to anoint the future king of Israel.
He spent years on the run from a jealous king and, in the process, was torn away from his best friend.
He fought numerous battles on the way to establish his throne, first in Hebron and then in Jerusalem.
But now, the ark of the covenant was safe in the City of David and the king was settled in his home. Yet, he wasn’t quite at ease.
Now when the king lived in his house and the LORD had given him rest from all his surrounding enemies, the king said to Nathan the prophet, “See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells in a tent.”
(2 Samuel 7:1-2 ESV)
And with that was born the dream of building a house – a temple – for the Lord.
It was a short-lived dream.
That very night the Lord gave Nathan, the prophet, a message for the king.
“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. I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son. When he commits iniquity, I will discipline him with the rod of men, with the stripes of the sons of men, but my steadfast love will not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away from before you. And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me. Your throne shall be established forever.’”
(2 Samuel 7:12-16 ESV)
In short, God said, “No, I’m going to build you a house. And your throne? It’s going to last forever.”
This man, who had shed too much blood to be permitted to build the temple (1 Kings 5:3; 1 Chronicles 22:8), would be the father of kings. Through the years, those kings may fall away or rebel against God, but they would be disciplined and the line of David would remain a royal one.
The promise, known as the Davidic covenant, found its initial fulfillment when David’s son, Solomon, came to the throne. After him came 20 more rulers. Some, like Hezekiah and Josiah, did what was right in God’s eyes. Others, like Manasseh, were evil. Most were a mixture of the two.
But when these human kings failed and the nation was led into exile and subjugation under other nations, that didn’t mean the promise was null and void. There was another, perfect fulfillment left to come.
Ultimately, that came in Jesus, the son of David, the Son of Abraham.
The Son of God.