First Reading: 2 Samuel 7: 1-5, 8b-12, 14a, 16

Divine Favor

1 It happened, when the king lived in his house, and YHWH had given him rest from all his enemies all around, 7:2 that the king said to Nathan the prophet, "See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells within curtains."

7:3 Nathan said to the king, "Go, do all that is in your heart; for YHWH is with you."

7:4 It happened the same night, that the word of YHWH came to Nathan, saying, 7:5 "Go and tell my servant David, 'Thus says YHWH, "Shall you build me a house for me to dwell in?"

7:8 Now therefore you shall tell my servant David this, 'Thus says YHWH of Armies, "I took you from the sheep pen, from following the sheep, that you should be prince over my people, over Israel. 7:9 I have been with you wherever you went, and have cut off all your enemies from before you. I will make you a great name, like the name of the great ones who are in the earth. 7:10 I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in their own place, and be moved no more; neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them any more, as at the first, 7:11 and as from the day that I commanded judges to be over my people Israel. I will cause you to rest from all your enemies. Moreover YHWH tells you that YHWH will make you a house. 7:12 When your days are fulfilled, and you shall sleep with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who shall proceed out of your bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. 14a I will be his father, and he shall be my son. 7:16 Your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before you. Your throne shall be established forever."

World English Bible

These verses from 2 Samuel summarize the Davidic covenant. Unlike the other great covenants (Noah, Abraham, and Moses), YHWH did not speak directly to David, but made his covenant through the prophet Nathan. Thus, God not only raised up David's status, he also elevated the place of the prophet in salvation history. Prophets now revealed God's will to Israel's and Judah's royalty (whether they wanted to listen or not).

The narrative turned on the phrase "house." David wanted to build YHWH a house (i.e., Temple) in which to dwell. But, through the prophet, God proposed to build David a "royal house" (i.e., a dynasty) that would forever enjoy divine favor. Notice YHWH asserts his dominance and initiative as he speaks. He took David from the fields and made him king. He would care for him in life and give him honor after death. This was not a reward for David's loyalty but a vehicle for the divine will. Through the covenant he offered David, God revealed his intentions and his nature. He was a loving, even doting God.

As Christians, we see the fulfillment of God's covenant with David in Jesus. Why? Because he was a "Son of David" not only in his lineage, but in his revelation. The mission and ministry of Jesus revealed God as that loving deity David enjoyed. But, now, we enjoy the loving initiative David enjoyed so long ago.

God declared David "his son." Through Christ, we are sons and daughters of God. How have you enjoyed God's favor this week? How can you show others they, too, are children of the Almighty?