Author's Note: All previous volumes of this series are here. The first 56 volumes are compiled into the book "Bible Study For Those Who Don't Read The Bible." "Part Two," featuring volumes 57-113, was published in December.
Event Alert: My friend, Rabbi Aaron Allsbrook, is hosting a Messianic Jewish Passover Seder on April 6 (the night of the Last Supper) at the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C. The keynote speaker is Dr. Michael Brown – well known to Townhall readers. Buy tickets before this event sells out.
Thanks for joining today’s study about a Messianic prophecy conveyed to King David by Nathan the prophet, approximately 1,000 years before the birth of Jesus Christ. If you are not familiar with Nathan, he was a messenger used by God when critical interventions needed to be conveyed during the reigns of King David and his son King Solomon.
The verses we study today are in the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) book of 2 Samuel, Chapter 7. We will learn how God used Nathan to convey His eternal plans beyond David’s proposed temple-building project — more than David could ever ask or imagine.
The first time Nathan’s name appears in the Hebrew Bible is in a conversation with King David in the royal palace. David lamented that he lived in more luxurious surroundings than the ark of God. Remember, the "ark of God" famously housed the Ten Commandments God had written on stone tablets and given to Moses on Mt. Sinai. The Commandments were God’s covenant with the people of Israel, often called “The Ark of the Covenant.” (See Volume 150). Nathan and David’s conversation reads:
“After the king was settled in his palace and the Lord had given him rest from all his enemies around him, he said to Nathan the prophet, ‘Here I am, living in a house of cedar, while the ark of God remains in a tent.’ Nathan replied to the king, ‘Whatever you have in mind, go ahead and do it, for the Lord is with you’” (2 Samuel 7:1-3).
However, Nathan’s affirmation of David’s building plan was Nathan’s gut reaction based on David’s reasonable complaint rooted in the king’s guilt. Then hours later, God intervened: “But that night the word of the Lord came to Nathan, saying:
‘Go and tell my servant David, ‘This is what the Lord says: Are you the one to build me a house to dwell in? I have not dwelt in a house from the day I brought the Israelites up out of Egypt to this day. I have been moving from place to place with a tent as my dwelling. Wherever I have moved with all the Israelites, did I ever say to any of their rulers whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, “Why have you not built me a house of cedar?”’ (2 Samuel 7: 5-7).
God explains why he hasn’t needed a “house” in verses 8 -10. The Lord’s key message to David, as told through Nathan, begins in the middle of verse 11 — a Messianic prophesy that is jaw-dropping:
“‘The Lord declares to you that the Lord himself will establish a house for you’” (2 Samuel 7:11).
But the Lord is talking about more than a physical house. Instead of David building a house for God, it is God that will build David’s house. God’s architectural plan is eternal. That juxtaposition demonstrates why our God is an awesome God! Moreover, David’s “house” will be from where Jesus descends and why the first verse of the Gospel of Matthew — the first book of the New Testament — reads:
“This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham:..” (Matthew 1:1). Note that throughout the New Testament, the connection between David and Jesus is prominent and reinforced.
The Lord explains His building plan to Nathan as if He is speaking to David directly:
“‘When your days are over and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, your own flesh and blood, and I will establish his kingdom. He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever’” (2 Samuel 7:12-13). God is double speaking here.
Consider that David’s son Solomon will build the physical temple, but God was also speaking about the Messiah when He said, and I repeat: “‘He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.’” And then the Lord continues intertwining the sons — Solomon and Jesus when He said:
“‘I will be his father, and he will be my son. When he does wrong, I will punish him with a rod wielded by men, with floggings inflicted by human hands. But my love will never be taken away from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you. Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.’ Nathan reported to David all the words of this entire revelation” (2 Samuel 7:14-17).
Next is David’s reaction to God’s message, subtitled “David’s prayer,” recorded in verses 18-29. It is magnificently written and recommended inspirational reading. David begins very humbly:
“Then King David went in and sat before the Lord, and he said: ‘Who am I, Sovereign Lord, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far?’” (2 Samuel 7-18). Verse highlights include David saying to God:
“‘You have established your people Israel as your very own forever, and you, Lord, have become their God. And now, Lord God, keep forever the promise you have made concerning your servant and his house. Do as you promised, so that your name will be great forever. Then people will say, ‘The Lord Almighty is God over Israel!’ And the house of your servant David will be established in your sight’” (2 Samuel 7: 24-26).
David ends his prayer by saying, “..with your blessing the house of your servant will be blessed forever.”
Today, those who believe in Jesus know God’s promise applies to us exactly as it did to David. Our lesson is what we plan is sometimes not God’s plan for us – His plan can be even greater and beyond our imagination. Amen to that!
And on that note, here is my favorite saying: “How do you make God laugh? Tell Him your plans.”
Myra Kahn Adams is a conservative political and religious writer with numerous national credits. Her book, "Bible Study For Those Who Don't Read The Bible," reprints the first 56 volumes of this popular study. "Part 2,” with the same title, reprints Vols. 57-113. Order it here.
Myra is also the Executive Director of SignFromGod.org and the National Shroud of Turin Exhibit. Both are donor-supported ministries dedicated to Shroud of Turin education. Contact: MyraAdams01@gmail.com and Twitter @MyraKAdams.