“I will be His Father, and He shall be my Son; and I will not take My lovingkindness away from Him, as I took it from him who was before you. But I will settle Him in My house and in My kingdom forever, and His throne shall be established forever.”
1 Chronicles 17:13-14
So, David felt bad that he was living in a “permanent” house while the Ark — the symbol of God’s presence — was sitting in a tent. He decides that he wants to build a permanent dwelling for the Ark and the prophet Nathan thinks it’s a great idea. This morning’s verses are the tail end of what God tells Nathan to say to David. The summary is that God is pleased that David is so concerned about God and about God’s glory and about the obvious disparity between Israel’s king and Israel’s God at that moment. God tells David that he (David) will not build a house for God, but that God will “build a house” for David. This promise includes the promise that the Messiah would be of the line of David — this morning’s verses.
God promises that the King He establishes will be God’s Son. Jesus is the Son of God and is of the line of David. God promises not to take away His lovingkindness — sometimes rendered “mercy” — away from this King. The promise continues that God will establish this King in His (God’s) house and kingdom forever. Ultimately, God promises that one of David’s descendants will be the Messiah. No other figure in Israel’s history receives that particular package deal of promises.
Fast forward to the NT. One writes, “Behold what manner of love the Father has given to us that we may become to children of God.” God, through Christ, extends the promise of sonship to everyone who believers. Another writes that those who believe are not destined for wrath, implying that God’s mercy rests on us. Jesus says that He has gone to prepare a place for us in His Father’s house where there are many mansions. The promises made to David are fulfilled in Christ and Christ then extends many (not all) of those promises to those who believe. Why? As Paul wrote, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. Old things have passed away. Behold, all things are new. The emphasis added reminds me of why those promises are extended to me as a believer. They are extended because I am in Christ. Christ is the intended recipient.
Application? God has made promises both lovely and frightening. Am I living as the recipient of those promises? A quick jaunt through scripture reveals that I am promised grace sufficient to withstand the trials and temptations in my life and many, many other things. Am I receiving those promises and living accordingly? If not, I am probably a pretty sad excuse for what I could be in Christ. If not, why not?