GOD'S PROMISE TO DAVID
Luke 1:32, ESV
He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David...
1 SAMUEL 31:1-3, 6-7 AND 2 SAMUEL 5:1-4, NIrV
1 The Philistines fought against the Israelites. The Israelites ran away from them. But many Israelites were killed on Mount Gilboa. 2 The Philistines kept chasing Saul and his sons. They killed his sons Jonathan, Abinadab and Malki-Shua. 3 The fighting was heavy around Saul. Men who were armed with bows and arrows caught up with him. They shot their arrows at him and wounded him badly.
6 Saul and his three sons died together that same day. The man who carried his armor also died with them that day. So did all of Saul’s men.
7 The Israelites who lived along the valley saw that their army had run away. So did those who lived across the Jordan River. They saw that Saul and his sons were dead. So they left their towns and ran away. Then the Philistines came and made their homes in them.
1 All the tribes of Israel came to see David at Hebron. They said, “We are your own flesh and blood. 2 In the past, Saul was our king. But you led Israel on their military campaigns. And the Lord said to you, ‘You will be the shepherd over my people Israel. You will become their ruler.’ ”
3 All the elders of Israel came to see King David at Hebron. There the king made a covenant with them in front of the Lord. They anointed David as king over Israel.
4 David was 30 years old when he became king. He ruled for 40 years.
Do you know how long it was from the time David was anointed by Samuel until he finally became king of Israel? About fifteen years! As he waited, David served as a leader in Saul’s army. But Saul’s jealously drove him to spend many of those years trying to kill his superstar soldier. God kept David safe as Saul hunted him and even gave David two chances to destroy the man trying to destroy him! But David didn’t want to become king by killing the man God had already anointed. So Saul’s reign over the nation of Israel didn’t end until he and his sons died in a bloody battle with the Philistine army.
+ Jonathan also died in the battle (1 Sam. 31:2). What things do we know about him?
+ How old was David when he finally became king of Israel? (2 Sam. 5:4)
2 SAMUEL 6:1-11, NIrV
1 Again David brought together the best soldiers in Israel. The total number was 30,000. 2 He and all his men went to Baalah in Judah. They wanted to bring the ark of God up to Jerusalem from there. The ark is named after the Lord. He is the Lord who rules over all. He sits on his throne between the cherubim that are on the ark. 3 The ark of God was placed on a new cart. Then it was brought from Abinadab’s house, which was on a hill. Uzzah and Ahio were guiding the cart. They were the sons of Abinadab. 4 The ark of God was on the cart. Ahio was walking in front of it. 5 David was celebrating with all his might in front of the Lord. So was the whole community of Israel. All of them were playing castanets, harps, lyres, tambourines, rattles and cymbals.
6 They came to the threshing floor of Nakon. The oxen nearly fell there. So Uzzah reached out and took hold of the ark of God. 7 Then the Lord was very angry with Uzzah. That’s because what Uzzah did showed that he didn’t have any respect for the Lord. So God struck him down. He died there beside the ark of God.
8 David was angry because the Lord’s great anger had broken out against Uzzah. That’s why the place is still called Perez Uzzah to this day.
9 David was afraid of the Lord that day. He asked, “How can the ark of the Lord ever be brought to me?” 10 He didn’t want to take the ark of the Lord to be with him in the City of David. Instead, he took it to the house of Obed-Edom. Obed-Edom was from Gath. 11 The ark of the Lord remained in Obed-Edom’s house for three months. And the Lord blessed him and his whole family.
The Ark of the Covenant was a gold chest made special because God met with his people above its lid. In a parade of soldiers, singers, musicians, and dancers, David began moving the ark towards the city of Jerusalem, pulled by oxen on a wheeled cart. This was a huge mistake by Uzzah, one of the men in charge of the ark. It was only to be carried by men using poles, not by animals using a cart! When the oxen stumbled, the ark wobbled. Uzzah reached out to keep the ark from falling. Instantly, he died. This was Uzzah’s second mistake: no one was to ever touch the ark, no matter the reason!
+ How was the ark supposed to be carried? (See Exodus 25:14-15 for more details)
+ What did David do with the ark after Uzzah died? (vs. 9-10)
2 SAMUEL 6:12-15, NIrV
12 King David was told, “The Lord has blessed the family of Obed-Edom. He has also blessed everything that belongs to him. That’s because the ark of God is in Obed-Edom’s house.” So David went down there to bring up the ark. With great joy he brought it up from the house of Obed-Edom. He took it to the City of David. 13 Those carrying the ark of the Lord took six steps forward. Then David sacrificed a bull and a fat calf. 14 David was wearing a sacred linen apron. He danced in front of the Lord with all his might. 15 He did it while he was bringing up the ark of the Lord. The whole community of Israel helped him bring it up. They shouted. They blew trumpets.
When Uzzah died, David left the ark at the home of a man named Obed-edom. During the three months the ark stayed there, the family of Obed-edom enjoyed many blessings from God. Eventually, David decided to try again. But this time, the ark was not placed on a cart and pulled by oxen. Instead, it was carried by men using poles, exactly according to God’s instructions. Six steps into the journey, David ordered animals to be offered as a sacrifice to God. And this joyful parade, which had ended with Uzzah’s death, began again, with King David happily dancing before the ark the entire way!
+ How was the ark carried differently this time? Why did they do it that way?
+ As David danced, what did the other people of Israel do? (vs. 15)
2 SAMUEL 7:1-7, NIRV
1 The king moved into his palace. The Lord had given him peace and rest from all his enemies around him. 2 Then the king spoke to Nathan the prophet. He said, “Here I am, living in a house that has beautiful cedar walls. But the ark of God remains in a tent.”
3 Nathan replied to the king, “Go ahead and do what you want to. The Lord is with you.”
4 But that night the word of the Lord came to Nathan. The Lord said,
5 “Go and speak to my servant David. Tell him, ‘The Lord says, “Are you the one to build me a house to live in? 6 I brought the Israelites up out of Egypt. But I have not lived in a house from then until now. I have been moving from place to place. I have been living in a tent. 7 I have moved from place to place with all the Israelites. I commanded their rulers to be shepherds over them. I never asked any of those rulers, ‘Why haven’t you built me a house that has beautiful cedar walls?’ ” ’
The Ark of the Covenant had always been kept inside the Tabernacle, the “Tent of Meeting.” It was inside this special tent that Israel’s sinless God met with his sinful people. But after bringing the ark back to Jerusalem, David felt guilty. He told the prophet Nathan, “How can I live in a huge house of beautiful cedar wood while the Ark of God is in a tent?” That night, God gave Nathan a message to give to David: for hundreds of years, the Ark had been perfectly fine in a tent. God didn’t need a house back then, and he wasn’t asking for David to build him one now, either!
+ Why did David feel guilty? (vs. 2)
+ What did God say that he had never asked for? (vs. 7)
2 SAMUEL 7:8-17, NIRV
8 “So tell my servant David, ‘The Lord who rules over all says, “I took you away from the grasslands. That’s where you were taking care of your father’s sheep and goats. I made you ruler over my people Israel. 9 I have been with you everywhere you have gone. I have destroyed all your enemies. Now I will make you famous. Your name will be just as respected as the names of the most important people on earth. 10 I will provide a place where my people Israel can live. I will plant them in the land. Then they will have a home of their own. They will not be bothered anymore. Evil people will no longer crush them, as they did at first. 11 That is what your enemies have done ever since I appointed leaders over my people Israel. But I will give you peace and rest from all of them.
“ ‘ “I tell you that I, the Lord, will set up a royal house for you. 12 Some day your life will come to an end. You will join the members of your family who have already died. Then I will make one of your own sons the next king after you. And I will make his kingdom secure. 13 He is the one who will build a house where I will put my Name. I will set up the throne of his kingdom. It will last forever. 14 I will be his father. And he will be my son. When he does what is wrong, I will use other men to beat him with rods and whips. 15 I took my love away from Saul. I removed him from being king. You were there when I did it. But I will never take my love away from your son. 16 Your royal house and your kingdom will last forever in my sight. Your throne will last forever.” ’ ”
17 Nathan reported to David all the words that the Lord had spoken to him.
A prophet had the job of hearing words from God, then sharing those words with God’s people. This night, God gave Nathan a message filled with incredible promises for David. Here’s what God had Nathan tell David: Though he’d fought many battles, God promised to give him peace from his enemies. And while God told David he did not need a house, God promised to give David’s son the chance to build a beautiful home for the Ark of the Covenant. And finally, no matter what happened, God’s love would never leave David’s family. Unlike Saul’s kingdom, David’s would last forever!
+ What promises did God have for his people, the Israelites? (vs. 10)
+ How was David’s kingdom going to be different from Saul’s? (vs. 15-16)
LUKE 1:26-33, NIRV
26 In the sixth month after Elizabeth had become pregnant, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee. 27 He was sent to a virgin. The girl was engaged to a man named Joseph. He came from the family line of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel greeted her and said, “The Lord has blessed you in a special way. He is with you.”
29 Mary was very upset because of his words. She wondered what kind of greeting this could be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary. God is very pleased with you. 31 You will become pregnant and give birth to a son. You must call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High God. The Lord God will make him a king like his father David of long ago. 33 The Son of the Most High God will rule forever over his people. They are from the family line of Jacob. That kingdom will never end.”
Because Saul disobeyed God, his kingdom ended the day he died. No one from his family ever became king after him. But God made a promise to David that his love would never leave David's family. God gave his word that David’s children would rule over the kingdom of Israel forever. And at first, it was pretty easy to believe that God was going to keep his promise.
When David died, his son Solomon became king. And when Solomon’s life was over, David’s grandson Rehoboam sat on the throne of Israel. But it was then that things began to go downhill. After Rehoboam forced his people to serve him as slaves, half of the kingdom of Israel left him to follow another king. Rehoboam was still a ruler, but his kingdom, now called “Judah”, was half the size his father’s kingdom had been.
For hundreds of years, the family of David ruled over the kingdom of Judah. When one son died, the next one took over. Some of them were good kings, but most of them were awful. As these kings turned away from God's laws, the people did, too.
The sin of the people grew and grew. Eventually, God allowed another kingdom, Babylon, to conquer them in battle and carry their people off to live in far-off land. The kingdom of Judah was finished and David's family no longer ruled as kings. At that point in history, it looked like God had failed to keep his promise to David.
But almost 600 years after the last of David's children sat on the throne, God sent an angel to a young girl named Mary. The angel's message to Mary was almost too crazy to be believed, but it had some good news about God’s promise to David.
The angel said Mary would have a baby even though she was a virgin. Mary’s child would be the Son of God. In fact, God had already picked out a special name for his Son: Jesus. The angel said Mary's baby would be a king, just like his many-times-great grandfather King David was. And Mary's boy would rule over God's people forever.
Jesus is how God kept his promise to David! He was David's many-times-great grandson. Since he was the Son of God, he wasn't just the king of Israel, but king of the entire universe! When David and his sons died, their children took their place as king. Their kingdoms lasted for a few years, and then were over. But when Jesus died, he rose from the dead, never to die again! Because of that, his kingdom will never end!
+ Whose throne or kingdom did the angel say God would give to Jesus? (vs. 32)
+ How did God keep his promise to David to have a son on the throne forever?