The Kingdom of David Established Forever
May 21st, 1961 @ 7:30 PM
2 Samuel 7-10
THE KINGDOM OF DAVID ESTABLISHED FOREVER
Dr. W. A. Criswell
2 Samuel 7-10
5-21-61 730 p.m.
This is a glorious passage tonight that I follow in the Book, 2 Samuel chapter 7, 2 Samuel chapter 7. This is the exaltation and the prayer of thanksgiving and glory after Nathan the prophet delivered the message to David that his throne should be established forever [2 Samuel 7:12-17]. Now, this is the word of David that we are going to read, after Nathan the prophet had made that glorious announcement to him. Second Samuel 7, verse 18; and we shall read verse 18 to the end, through verse 29. Second Samuel chapter 7, verses 18-29, now let us all read it together:
Then went David in, and sat before the Lord, and he said, Who am I, O Lord God? and what is my house, that Thou hast brought me hitherto?
And this was yet a small thing in Thy sight, O Lord God; but Thou hast spoken also of Thy servant’s house for a great while to come. And is this the manner of man, O Lord God?
And what can David say more unto Thee? for Thou, Lord God, knowest Thy servant.
For Thy word’s sake, and according to Thine own heart, hast Thou done all these great things, to make Thy servant know them.
Wherefore Thou art great, O Lord God: for there is none like Thee, neither is there any God besides Thee, according to all that we have heard with our ears.
And what one nation in the earth is like Thy people, even like Israel, whom God went to redeem for a people to Himself, and to make Him a name, and to do for You great things and terrible, for Thy land, before Thy people, which Thou redeemedst to Thee from Egypt, from the nations and their gods?
For Thou hast confirmed to Thyself this people of Israel to be a people unto Thee for ever; and Thou, Lord, art become their God.
And now, O Lord God, the word that Thou hast spoken concerning Thy servant, and concerning his house, establish it for ever, and do as Thou hast said.
And let Thy name be magnified for ever, saying, The Lord of hosts is the God over Israel: and let the house of Thy servant David be established before Thee.
For Thou, O Lord of hosts, God of Israel, hast revealed to Thy servant, saying, I will build thee an house: therefore, hath Thy servant found in his heart to pray this prayer unto Thee.
And now, O Lord God, Thou art that God, and Thy words be true, and Thou hast promised this goodness unto Thy servant:
Therefore now let it please Thee to bless the house of Thy servant, that it may continue for ever before Thee: for Thou, O Lord God, hath spoken it: and with Thy blessing let the house of Thy servant be blessed for ever.
[2 Samuel 7:18-29]
Isn’t that magnificent? Oh, the lift and the glory in the Word of God!
The last time that I preached here, Sunday evening before last, the sermon was on the bringing of the ark into Jerusalem. In the sixth chapter of 2 Samuel, verse 17, “And they brought in the ark of the Lord, and set it in his place, in the midst of the tabernacle that David had pitched for it: and David offered offerings before the Lord” [2 Samuel 6:17]. And that was the occasion of the beautiful Psalm, “Lift up thy head, O ye gates . . . and the King of glory will come in” [Psalm 24:7], as they brought in the ark into Jerusalem. David had just made the city of the Jebusites, Jerusalem, his capital [2 Samuel 5:7-14]. And he, under the direction of God and the Spirit of the Lord, wished to make it also the great center of worship. So he brought in the ark and built there a tabernacle of curtains for it [2 Samuel 6:17]. There are two places at this time that Israel is worshiping the Lord. The high place in Gibeah, where Zadok ministered as priest, was the tabernacle, the one that was fashioned in the wilderness [1 Chron 16:39]; but the ark was in Jerusalem, in a tabernacle fashioned for it by David [2 Samuel 6:17]. And Abiathar, [son of] Ahimelech is the high priest in Jerusalem [2 Samuel 15:27].
Now, we begin chapter 7: “And it came to pass, when the king sat in his house, and the Lord had given him rest round about from all of his enemies; That the king said unto Nathan the prophet…” [2 Samuel 7:1-2]. This is the first time that Nathan is mentioned, and from here on Nathan will have a great part in the life of David and of Solomon. The chronicle, the story, the history of David’s reign and of Solomon’s reign was written by Nathan the prophet and Gad the seer. And this is our first introduction to Nathan. And it came to pass, as David sat in his house, “That the king said unto Nathan the prophet, See now, I dwell in an house of cedar, but the God, the ark of God dwelleth within curtains” [2 Samuel 7:1-2]. So, he mentions to Nathan what’s in his heart, to build a great temple for God and for the ark.
Now, David was like some of us. “Look now,” he says, “I dwell in an house of cedar.” Hiram, king of Tyre, had sent to David carpenters and workmen and cedar from Lebanon. And in their ingenuity and their gifts and their craftsmanship, they had built for David a beautiful house [2 Samuel 5:11]. And David remembered those days when as a shepherd boy he slept under the starry sky. If he had a place, it was a mere hut. And David remembered when he was a refugee and an outcast fleeing for his life before Saul, and he lived in the cave of Adullam [1 Samuel 22:1], and now, this beautiful home [2 Samuel 5:11]. And then David remembered his reign in Hebron for seven and a half years [2 Samuel 5:4], with no palatial embellishments and surroundings and accouterments, and now, this beautiful and gorgeous palace. And he said within himself, “How is it that I live in so glorious a place, but the ark of the Lord is in curtains?” [2 Samuel 7:2].
I watch our children now. When I was growing up, I thought it was a tragedy, the kind of a place that I had compared to what many others had. When I was a boy, a small boy, we had no running water in the house, didn’t have any bathroom. When I was a boy growing up, we did not have any electric lights. I studied those years of my teenage and childhood with a coal oil lamp. We did not have an automobile. We never had any of the things that these youngsters enjoy today. But the reason I am glad that I grew up like that is this, our children today, my own and yours, go into the house and sit down under an electric light. They are absolutely unconscious of the fact that they have electric lights. I notice it in my house today. I am conscious of the fact that there are electric lights in that house. Our children bathe and wash in a bathroom, absolutely unconscious that there is running water in the house. I never cease to thank God that I have a house in which there is running water. Our children get in a car and drive down the way absolutely unconscious of the fact that they live in an affluent family and in a nation where they have roads and where cars are plentiful. I never cease to thank the dear Lord that I have an automobile and wonderful roads on which to drive it. There are a thousand things like that, that I am conscious of that the youngsters, the boys and girls growing up in our homes, are oblivious to. David was that way. He grew up as a shepherd lad, without any of the emoluments and stipends and rewards of life. And when he came to the kingdom and God set him over Israel, and Hiram, king of Tyre, made it possible for him to have that beautiful home, he was conscious of it. He was sensitive to it! He noticed it. He did not take it just for granted. And as he sat in his house and was thinking about how God had blessed him above anybody in the world, just like God seemingly has blessed me above anybody in the world, he began to think about the ark, and it dwelt in curtains [2 Samuel 7:2]. So when Nathan heard what was in David’s heart, Nathan said, “Wonderful, wonderful. God bless thee and the Lord help thee as you build this beautiful home for the symbol of the presence of the great God and our Savior” [2 Samuel 7:3]. That is what Nathan said to him.
Well, that night the word of the Lord came to Nathan and then—I don’t have time to read it now, the service would be too extended if I did, but when you get home I want you to read the kindest, sweetest “no” that God ever said in this whole world. When you read what God said to David; “No, you cannot build Me that house” [2 Samuel 7:4-17], when you read it, you will think God said “yes.” The Lord said no so graciously and so kindly and so lovingly. “No, no, you cannot do it” [2 Samuel 7:4-17]. Now here in the passage that I am following in 2 Samuel, the reason is not given; but when I turn to 1 Chronicles, chapter 22, in the charge that David gives to his son Solomon, in that charge, he tells what God said to him [about] why he could not build the house. In 1 Chronicles 22, and verse 6:
Then he called for Solomon his son, and charged him to build a house for the Lord God of Israel.
And David said to Solomon, My son, as for me, it was in my heart to build an house unto the name of the Lord my God:
But the word of the Lord came to me, saying, Thou hast shed blood abundantly . . . and you have been a man of war: thou shalt not build Me an house, because thou hast shed blood upon the earth in My sight.
[1 Chronicles 22:6-8]
David was a man of war [1 Samuel 16:18; 2 Samuel 17:8]. And all of his life he was at the head of the battalions and the brigades, marching with his men, warring against the enemies of God. And the Lord said, “David, you cannot do it. Not you.” And when Solomon built the house, he remembered what David his father had said to him. In 2 Chronicles chapter 6, and verse 7:
Now it was in the heart of David my father to build a house for the name of the Lord God of Israel.
But the Lord God said to David my father, Forasmuch as it was in thine heart to build a house for My name, thou didst well that it was in thine heart.
[2 Chronicles 6:7-8]
Now, I want to talk about that for a moment, if you will listen. God said, “No, no, no” [2 Chronicles 6:9]. But He also said a group of other things. And the first thing He said was this; “David it is wonderful, it is fine that it was in thine heart to do it” [2 Chronicles 6:7-8]. But the little part of the sermon I want to preach right here is this. Some of us have it in our hearts to do, but we are not able, maybe; we are not privileged, maybe; and God does not elect it for us, maybe. But it is in our heart just the same, and we would if we could. I tell you dear people, if I could preach sermons like I want to preach, oh, oh, oh! About nine-tenths of the time when I am through preaching the sermon, “O Lord, with what stammering lips and with what feeble words.” Oh, if I could tell that story like it ought to be told, like it really is, describe heaven as God has promised it, portray the love of God in Jesus as really it is, and all of the rich promises and gifts in God as they are, oh, oh, if a man could just say it like it is, like it is; but the Lord, He knows we would if we could. It’s in our hearts, whether we are able to do it or not. How many times have I found a man who wanted to be a missionary, or a girl who wanted to be a missionary; and he is tied down to a desk somewhere, or she is tied down to a task somewhere; but it was in her heart to go, and it was in his heart to go? And God looks upon it in his heart as though he did it. It was well, said God to David, that it was in thine heart to do it even though it is interdicted and you cannot [2 Chronicles 6:7-8]. That widow of Zarephath, she shared her bread with the prophet Elijah [1 Kings 17:8-16], she shall receive a prophet’s reward [Matthew 10:41].
Let me tell you some things that I see in my pastorate once in a while. I will see a girl that so wanted to give all of her life to the work of Christ, and it was in her heart to do it, but there is an invalid mother, and somebody must take care of that invalid mother. And you will find that girl investing her life in the quiet, menial ministries around a bedside and in a humble home. But it was in her heart to work for God in some conspicuous place on a church staff or on a foreign field; but she is ministering there by the side of her mother. It was in her heart, and God said, “It is well, it is well.” And He will reward, as though she had done it.
Once in a while, I will see a family, and there is a crippled child in the home. And there are a thousand ministries that they would do for Jesus in the church and in many other areas, but this child; and they are bound down to that child. But it is in their heart, and God looks upon it as though they had done it. And aren’t you glad that there are a thousand things in life that you never have been able to do, but you would have done it if you could? It is in your heart to do it. You want to do it. And the Lord judges us by what we want in our hearts.
I repeat, you go home and you read this passage. You never saw a “no” in your life like this “No,” as God stoops over David to bless him [2 Samuel 7:4-17]. Then I have another thing to point out to you. God said, “No, no, no, you cannot build that house.” But, He says, “I will give you a son out of thy loins. And he shall be My son. And I will be to him a Father. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men and with the stripes of the children of men. But My mercy, I will never take away from him; nor will I depart from him as I departed from Saul, when I put him away before thee [2 Samuel 7:12-15]. You are going to have a son. You are going to have a son, and he will reign in your stead, and he will be great, and I will make him great, and he shall build the house for Me [2 Samuel 7:12].
And then God said something else. And three times does the Lord say it. Second Samuel 7:13: “I will stablish his throne and the throne of his kingdom for ever and for ever.” Now, He repeats it again, verse 16: “And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee” [2 Samuel 7:16]. And then He repeats it a third time: “thy throne shall be established for ever” [2 Samuel 7:16]. Oh what God hath done! Thrice, and thy kingdom and thy throne shall be established for ever and for ever! Look at what that means, look at that.
Look at this. In the garden of Eden, in the beginning, the Lord said to the woman, “I will put enmity between thy Seed and the seed of the serpent, this devil, this dragon, this Satan. And that seed of Satan shall bruise His heel, but thou shalt crush his head! [Genesis 3:15]. Now, there is what we were talking about the other night, the “Protevangelium,” the first gospel, the gospel before the gospel. There is a promise. This Seed, this great Messiah and King that is coming, He shall be born of a woman, not of a man. The old rabbis used to pore over that, seed belongs to a man, not to a woman. A woman doesn’t have seed. A man has seed. And the old rabbis pored over that prophecy; and when it came to pass [Matthew 1:20], born of a woman, not of a man, born of a woman, that is the first promise.
Then I turn the page. I turn the page. This promised One, who is to reign for ever and be Lord God of all the earth, and all creation, He shall be born of a woman [Genesis 3:15]. Then I turn the page and in Genesis 22 I read: “And the Angel of the Lord called unto Abraham, out of heaven [Genesis 22:11] . . . And said, By Myself have I sworn, saith the Lord” [Genesis 22:1], because there was no greater, He swore by Himself. “By Myself have I sworn, saith the Lord, because thou hast done this thing [Genesis 22:16] . . . in blessing I will bless thee, in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars . . . as the sand on the seashore . . . and in thy seed” [Genesis 22:17]. And Paul takes that as text and says, “as of one” as of one; “And in thy seed,” as of one, “shall all the nations of the earth be blessed” [Genesis 22:15-18; Acts 3:25], born of a woman and now going to be born in the nation of the Hebrew people, the children of Abraham. And I turn the page; in Genesis 49: “And Jacob called unto him his sons . . . Gather around me,” he says, my sons, “that I may tell you what shall befall thee in the last days” [Genesis 49:1]. And then he speaks to his elder son, Reuben; then to his second son, Simeon; then to his third son, Levi [Genesis 49:3-7]; and then to Judah, the fourth boy. Judah:
Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren will praise: . . .
Judah is a lion’s whelp: from the prey, my son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he crouched as a lion, [and as] an old lion; and who shall rouse him up?
The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come—until the Son of God come—and unto Him shall the gathering of the people be.
So He is to be born of a woman [Genesis 3:15]; so He is to be of the household of Abraham [Genesis 22:15-18]; and now He is to be born in the line of Judah; the Lion of the tribe of Judah [Genesis 49:8-10].
And now I turn to my text. “And Nathan was sent of the Lord and said to David, “Thou shalt have a son. Thou shalt have a son. And I will establish his kingdom for ever and for ever. That Son shall sit upon the throne of David, and of His kingdom there shall be no end. And so, He is coming, in the house of David” [2 Samuel 7:12-13]. Oh! How God stooped down and over this holy man, this humble king; and promised him that in his house should be born the Savior of the Lord. “And now, little Bethlehem . . . little among the cities of Judah, out of thee, the City of David, of the line and lineage of the king shall He come who shall govern and rule and save My people [Micah 5:2]. And then it was that David went into the house of the Lord—I would suppose in that curtained tabernacle—and sat down before the ark, and he thanked God, “Who am I, O Lord God?” [2 Samuel 7:18]. Did you ever notice these saintly people in the Book? And Abraham tarried before the Lord and said, “Who am I, that I should speak unto Thee, I who am but dust and ashes?” [Genesis 18:27]. And David went in and sat before the Lord and said, “Who am I, O Lord, God? . . . that Thou hast brought me hitherto” and made this promise saying, Thy throne shall be established for ever?” [2 Samuel 7:16, 18]. Oh, these things they move you so. They move you so.
Now, I must close. I want to run through, just briefly, through chapter 10, now. Chapter 8, David now is being established, in the first verse, over the Philistines [2 Samuel 8:1]; and in the second verse of chapter 8, over Moab [2 Samuel 8:2]. I wonder why over Moab? Moab was where he sent his father and his mother [1 Samuel 22:3]. Tradition says that Moab proved false, and they slew David’s father and mother. And he made them lie down, and he put two lines over them and measured it, and those he put to death, and the third line that he measured, those he kept alive [2 Samuel 8:2]. Now, in [verse] 5, he is king over the Syrians [2 Samuel 8:5]. You see, this is an instance, an illustration of the ultimate victory of the Son of God. First over the Philistines, verse 1; then over Moab, verse 2; then over the Syrians, verse 5; and then over Edom, verse 14 [2 Samuel 8:14]. Then in chapter 9, you have his kindness to Mephibosheth the son of Jonathan [2 Samuel 9:1-13]. And I had much prepared for that, but we haven’t time to mention it. Then in chapter 10, you have the beginning of the great victories of Joab [2 Samuel 10:1-19]. And we are going to take it there next Sunday evening, following the life of Joab.
And now, in those days we’ve just mentioned, as God gives him victory; as God—one nation after another comes to pay tribute to David—as this kingdom and as his throne is established in the earth, that is when he wrote Psalm 2, the second psalm [Psalm 2:1-12], when the nations roared and said, we will not have this Man reign over us [Luke 19:14]. [It is] kind of discouraging sometimes, when so many in this world say, “We will not have Him reign over us. We will not make Him King of our hearts. We will not accept Him as our Lord and Savior.”
It is discouraging sometimes and especially when one of these tyrants, one of these empire builders, one of these men great in the eyes of his people and in his own eyes, and he scorns the kingdom of God, and makes little the name of the Lord, and threatens to bury God’s people in the earth. And then someday, the atheism, and the agnosticism, and the unbelief and infidelity, and all that goes with godlessness; they say, “We are going to be triumphant over the earth. There will not be another church. There will not be another preacher. There will not be another pastor. There will not be another Bible, but the whole earth will be godless.” Psalm 2:
He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh, shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.
He shall speak unto them in His wrath, and vex them in His sore displeasure.
For I have set My King upon My holy hill in Zion.
I will declare the decree: The Lord hath said . . . Thou art My Son; this day have I begotten Thee.
Ask of Me, and I shall give Thee the heathen for Thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for Thy possession.
Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; Thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.
Be wise: be instructed, O earth.
Serve the Lord with fear, rejoice with trembling.
Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and you perish from the way, when His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are they that put their trust in Him
That is when the second psalm was written, when God established the throne of David and said, “And every knee shall bow . . . and every tongue shall confess that Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” [Philippians 2:10-11].
Oh, to do it now, to do it now, to do it now; not someday when it is too late; not someday in the coercive wrath and judgment of God. But to do it now, with a believing heart and a yielded surrendered spirit. ”O God, Thou shalt be my God. O Lord, Thou shalt be my Lord. O Christ, Thou shalt be my Savior. To Thee I offer my heart, my soul, my life, my destiny, and my forever.” Would you do it tonight? Would you? While we sing this song of appeal, in faith coming to Jesus, in surrendered trust giving your life to Him, would you make it tonight?
The great throng in this balcony, somebody one, somebody you; in the press of people on this lower floor, somebody one, you, coming to Jesus; a family you, as the Spirit of God shall say the word and lead the way, would you make it tonight? “Pastor, I give you my hand, I give my heart to God.” “We are coming into the church,” or, as the Spirit shall lead in confession and faith, make it tonight, “Here I am. Here I come,” while we stand and while we sing.
THE KINGDOM OF DAVID ESTABLISHED FOREVER
Dr. W. A. Criswell
2 Samuel 7-10
I. Ark of the Covenant
1. In a tent, temporary structure
2. David’s proposal to build the temple, he lives in a house of cedar
II. David not allowed to build
1. Gathers material with help of Hiram
III. The throne forever with victorious illustrations