David is famous for his victory over the Philistine giant, Goliath and for the songs, or Psalms, that he taught us to sing. He’s also remembered for his adulterous encounter with Bathsheba and murder of Uriah. Still, God chose to make a lasting covenant with the shepherd-boy who became the conquering king.
“This is what the Lord of Armies says: ‘I took you from the pasture, from tending the flock, to be ruler over my people Israel. I have been with you wherever you have gone, and I have destroyed all your enemies before you. I will make a great name for you like that of the greatest on the earth. I will designate a place for my people Israel and plant them, so that they may live there and not be disturbed again ... I will give you rest from all your enemies’ ” (2 Samuel 7:8-11, CSB).
God made David successful and famous, and God gave his people rest.
Rest. That’s what God did after the sixth day of creation. He rested.
Rest. That’s what God commanded. He called it Sabbath. “You are to labor six days and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God... the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and declared it holy” (Exodus 20:9–11, CSB).
Rest. That’s what Jesus promised. “Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28, CSB).
The Davidic Covenant also promised a lasting kingdom. “The Lord declares to you: ‘The Lord himself will make a house for you. When your time comes and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up after you your descendant, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom... Your house and kingdom will endure before me forever, and your throne will be established forever’ ” (2 Samuel 7:11–16, CSB). God’s covenant of rest is no flash in the pan, here today and gone tomorrow!
David had been a man of war, so God directed Solomon, his son, to build the temple. He accomplished that task, but he made an utter mess of his life and his family. “King Solomon loved many foreign women in addition to Pharaoh’s daughter: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women from the nations about which the Lord had told the Israelites, “You must not intermarry with them, and they must not intermarry with you, because they will turn your heart away to follow their gods.” To these women Solomon was deeply attached in love. He had seven hundred wives who were princesses and three hundred who were concubines, and they turned his heart away” (1 Kings 11:1–3, CSB). It’s no wonder God allowed the kingdom to be divided.
Following Solomon, David’s grandson, Rehoboam, became king. He was followed by David’s great grandson, then David’s great, great, grandson... until David’s great, great, great... great grandson, Jesus began His eternal reign.
That was God’s promise, God’s covenant. God kept His promise.
His promise to us today remains... lasting rest in the kingdom of David’s Son, Jesus.