David’s concern was building a house for the Lord, but the Lord’s plan was to build a house for David.
David was the rightful and ruling king of Israel. The kingdom was secure. The nation was enjoying rest from its enemies. But David had unfinished business.
A house for the Lord
David was living in a palace. The ark of the covenant was housed in a tent. This was unacceptable to David. He wanted to build a beautiful temple fit for the King. But that’s not what the Lord wanted. Through the prophet Nathan, the Lord made his will known. Read 2 Samuel 7:1-17.
It was what might be called a “mountain range” prophecy. When you view the Rocky Mountains from a distance, they look like a single block of raised earth. But as you drive up to them and through them, you realize there are separate peaks closer and farther away, sometimes separated by many miles. Think of this prophecy that way. Although spoken during David’s lifetime as a single prophecy, there are multiple fulfillments separated by centuries.
David’s concern was building a house for the Lord, but the Lord’s plan was to build a house for David. Yes, the Jerusalem temple would be built, but after David’s death. David’s son Solomon assumed David’s throne and built a majestic temple. But Solomon died, and the temple was destroyed centuries later. And yet, the Lord speaks repeatedly about a permanent throne of David and a kingdom for David.
An eternal kingdom of believers
The forever King would establish an eternal kingdom and house for the Lord’s name.
That would only be fulfilled, finally and perfectly, in the person of Jesus Christ, great David’s greater Son. He was the only one who could do it. The kingdom would be established not by might and strength but through meekness and suffering. The Father would punish his Son. Why? It was not for his own crimes but for the crimes, faults, and sins of all humanity of all time. By his resurrection, Jesus established a kingdom without end.
This spiritual kingdom isn’t defined by physical boundaries. It is made up of people from all cultures, languages, and races. They share one thing in common: faith in Christ as their Savior and King. People are brought into this kingdom by the Spirit working through the gospel. This kingdom is sometimes called the church, new Jerusalem, or Zion. Pentecost, which we celebrate this month, is the birthday of the Christian church. By the apostles’ preaching and through the sacrament of Baptism, the Spirit brought many to faith in Jesus. He continues to build this kingdom.
The season of Pentecost gives us time to consider and rejoice in the Spirit’s work. It is a time to grow in our understanding of what it means to be citizens of God’s kingdom. We even get to join with the Spirit in his kingdom-building work. As we proclaim the gospel, the Spirit brings some to faith. The Spirit’s work in and through his church will continue as Jesus promised, until Jesus the King ushers in the new heavens and new earth for his people to dwell forever.
For further thought: Read Acts 2:22-47. How does Peter connect the dots from the Lord’s prophecy to its fulfillment in Jesus?
This is the final article in a six-part series on King David and our future King.
Author: Timothy Westendorf
Volume 109, Number 06
Issue: June 2022