WHEN ASSESSING ONE’S LIFEWORK
2 Samuel 5:1-8:18(1 Chron 11:1-9; November 9 2008
The defection of Abner and the assassination
ofIsh-bosheth spelled the end of Saul’s dynasty. Even
though he was king only over Judah, David was without
rival in Israel. Therefore the leaders of the other tribes
traveled to David’s capital at Hebron to crown him king
over their tribes as well. He ruled for another 33 years.
Soon after being anointed king over all Israel,
David attacked the Jebusites, a clan of the Canaanites.
The war ended when David defeated and took control of
the city of Jerusalem. David then moved his capital to
the captured city.
Soon the Philistines declared war once more.
Before responding, David sought God’s guidance. By
following God’s instructions David defeated the
Philistines. His military victories expanded his
Since the catastrophic destruction of Shiloh,
the ark had rested in a remote village near the border
with the Philistines. David determined to relocate it
to Jerusalem. He may have feared a reprisal for his
capture of Philistine idols (5:21). The ark’s proximity
to Philistine territory made it a likely target. David
may have had another reason for wanting the ark
moved. He may have wanted it in Jerusalem for
protection-for himself as well as for his new capital
city. David also may have wanted to establish
Jerusalem as the place of corporate worship in his
The transportation of the sacred object was not
consistent with biblical law, and one man died on the
journey. Thus the relocation was temporarily
postponed. When the ark finally arrived, David
himself led the procession. When David began to
plan a temple to house the ark, God stopped him.
Construction on the temple would have to wait
another generation, but God made an eternal
covenant with David.
1. It’s Not About You (2 Sam. 5:9-12)
2Sam. 5:9 David then took up residence in the
fortress and called it the City of David. He built up
the area around it, from the supporting terraces
inward. 5:10 And he became more and more
powerful, because the LORD God Almighty was with
him. 5:11 Now Hiram king of Tyre sent messengers
to David, along with cedar logs and carpenters and
stonemasons, and they built a palace for David. 5:12
And David knew that the LORD had established him as
king over Israel and had exalted his kingdom for the
sake of his people Israel.
Supporting Terraces . Stone terraces on the steep
slopes of the hill, creating additional space for
buildings ( Jdg 9:6). Hiram king of tyre . This
Phoenician king was the first to accord the newly
established King David international recognition. It was
vital to him that he have good relations with the king of
Israel since Israel dominated the inland trade routes to
Tyre, and Tyre was dependent on Israelite agriculture
for much of its food (also true in the first century A.D.;
Acts 12:20). A close relationship existed between these
two realms until the Babylonian invasions. TYRE. An
important Phoenician seaport on the Mediterranean coast
north of Israel ( Eze 26-27). David knew that the Lord
had established Him as king . In the ideology of the
ancient Near East the king’s possession of a palace was
the chief symbolic indication of his status. For the sake
of His people Israel . David acknowledged that his
elevation to kingship over all Israel was the Lord’s
doing and that it was an integral part of his continuing
redemptive program for Israel —just as the ministries
of Moses, Joshua, the judges and Samuel had been .
2. But What Does God Say? (2 Sam. 7:1-5)
2Sam. 7:1 After the king was settled in his palace and
the LORD had given him rest from all his enemies around
him, 7:2 he said to Nathan the prophet, “Here I am,
living in a palace of cedar, while the ark of God remains
in a tent.” 7:3 Nathan replied to the king, “Whatever you
have in mind, go ahead and do it, for the LORD is with you.
” 7:4 That night the word of the LORD came to Nathan,
saying: 7:5 “Go and tell my servant David, ‘This is what
the LORD says: Are you the one to build me a house to
(7:1-29) God’s great promise to David . Although it
is not expressly called a covenant here, it is elsewhere
(2 Sam.23:5; Ps 89:3,28,34,39; Ps 132:11), and David
responds with language suggesting his recognition that
a covenant had been made (2 Sam. 7:20,28). (2 Sam. 7:1)
After the king was settled in his palace . (2 Sam. 5:11,12).
Aand the Lord had given him rest from all his enemies .
Chronologically the victories noted in (2 Sam.8:1-14)
probably preceded the events of this chapter. The
arrangement of material is topical (2 Sam. 5:17 )—ch. 6
records the bringing of the ark to Jerusalem; ch. 7 tells
of David’s desire to build a temple in Jerusalem in which
to house the ark. Nathan . The first reference to this
prophet (2 Sam.12:1-14; 1Ki 1). Tent . (2 Sam.7:6; 6:17).
Now that he himself had a royal palace (symbolic of his
established kingship), a tent did not seem to David to be
an appropriate place for the throne of Israel’s divine
King (2 Sam.6:2; Psalms 132:2-5; Acts 7:46). He wanted
to build Israel’s heavenly King a royal house in the capital
city of his kingdom. Nathan replied . In consulting a
prophet, David sought God’s will, but Nathan boldly
voiced approval of David’s plans in the Lord’s name before
he had received a revelation from the Lord. Are you the
one . . . ? David’s desire was commendable (1Kings 8:18-19),
but his gift and mission were to fight the Lord’s battles
until Israel was securely at rest in the promised land
(2 Sam.7:10; 1Kings 5:3).
3. Have You Completed Your Assignment? (2 Sam. 7:8-11)
2Sam. 7:8 “Now then, tell my servant David, ‘This is what
the LORD Almighty says: I took you from the pasture and from
following the flock to be ruler over my people Israel. 7:9
I have been with you wherever you have gone, and I have cut
off all your enemies from before you. Now I will make your
name great, like the names of the greatest men of the earth.
7:10 And I will provide a place for my people Israel and
will plant them so that they can have a home of their own
and no longer be disturbed. Wicked people will not oppress
them anymore, as they did at the beginning 7:11 and have
done ever since the time I appointed leaders over my people
Israel. I will also give you rest from all your enemies. ‘The
LORD declares to you that the LORD himself will establish
a house for you:
I have cut off all your (2 Sam.7: 1). I will provide a place
for my people Israel . It is for this purpose that the Lord has
made David king, and through David he will do it. At the
beginning . In Egypt. Leaders . During the period of the judges .
I will also give you rest from all your enemies . ( 2Sam.7:1,9).
David’s victories over threatening powers will be complete,
so that the rest already enjoyed will be assured for the future.
The lord Himself will establish a house for you . Compare this
statement with the rhetorical question of(2Sam. 7:5). In a
beautiful play on words God says that David is not to build
him a house (temple); rather, God will build David a house
(royal dynasty) that will last forever (2 Sam.7:16). God has
been building Israel ever since the days of Abraham, and now
he commits himself to build David’s royal house so that the
promise to Israel may be fulfilled —rest in the promised land.
It is God’s building that effects his kingdom. This covenant
with David is unconditional, like those with Noah, Abram
and Phinehas ( Gen. 9:9; also “Major Covenants in the OT,
” Genesis 9:9), grounded only in God’s firm and gracious
purpose. It finds its ultimate fulfillment in the kingship
of Christ, who was born of the tribe of Judah and the house
of David (Psalms 89:30-38; Isa 9:1-7; Matt 1:1;
Luke 1:32-33,69; Acts 2:30; 13:23; Rom 1:2-3;
2Tim .2:8; Rev 3:7; 22:16).
4. God’s Best Is Yet to Come (2 Sam. 7:18-21)
2Sam. 7:18 Then King David went in and sat before
the LORD, and he said: Who am I, O Sovereign LORD,
and what is my family, that you have brought me this
far? 7:19 And as if this were not enough in your sight,
O Sovereign LORD, you have also spoken about the future
of the house of your servant. Is this your usual way of
dealing with man, O Sovereign LORD? 7:20 “What more
can David say to you? For you know your servant, O
Sovereign LORD. 7:21 For the sake of your word and
according to your will, you have done this great thing
and made it known to your servant.
(2 Sam.7:18-29) David’s prayer expresses wonder
that God would make such commitments to him and his
descendants. But he also acknowledges that what God
had pledged to him is for Israel’s sake, that its purpose
is the fulfillment of God’s covenanted promises to his
people —and that its ultimate effect will be the honor
and praise of God throughout the world. (2 Sam.7:18)
Went in . Presumably into the tent (2 Sam. 6:17) in which
the ark was kept. Sat before the Lord . The ark was the
symbol of God’s presence with his people (Ex 25:22;
1Sam. 4:3-4,21). Is this your usual way of dealing with
man , O sovereign Lord? The meaning of this clause is
uncertain (1Chron. 17:17). It has also been taken as an
exclamation (“This is your law for man, O Sovereign
LORD!”) and understood as a summation of the divine
decree concerning David and his house. Know . Or
“especially acknowledge” or “choose” (Gen. 18:19,
“chosen”; Am 3:2, “chosen”). David recognizes God’s
promise as a covenant (2 Sam. 23:5). Your word .
Probably God’s covenant word of promise to his people.
Today most people associate the term "prophet" with
predicting the future. Whereas prophecy indisputably
includes a predictive element, the prophet’s primary
function was laid out by the simple phrase, "This is what
the LORD says:’
Most of the Bible had not yet been written in David’s
day. This limited his opportunities to discover Scriptural
guidance. Many situations were without precedent. For
example, David lacked adequate information to determine
if his desire to build the temple was God’s will. No
Israelite king had built a religious structure. Nor was
there a Bible verse that might divulge what to do.
Therefore God sent Nathan to tell David what to do.
The prophet’s mission was to persuade his audience
to conform to God’s demands. If the audience was
disobeying God, the prophet called for repentance and a
change in behavior. If those addressed were obeying God,
the prophet would exhort them to remain faithful.
The true prophet spoke only as the Lord directed. The
connection between the words spoken by the prophet and
words revealed by God was so strong that the prophet
frequently spoke in the first person for God. A careful
reading of the personal pronoun "I" in 2 Samuel 7 clearly
reveals that the words were from God, whether they were
spoken by God to the prophet or by the prophet to his
audience. The prophet was not at liberty to alter the
message in any way. Rather he was to quote it verbatim.