2 Samuel 7:16 (ESV) … “And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me. Your throne shall be established forever.’”
The whole message from the Lord for David finishes by returning to the permanence of what was being promised with a twice repeated “forever”: “And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me. Your throne shall be established forever” (v. 16).
“House,” “kingdom,” and “throne” are virtually synonyms here. “Your” is singular and refers again to David (v. 16). In his offspring the reign of David will be secure forever.
“Made sure” represents a Hebrew word that suggests reliability, trustworthiness, faithfulness, stability (v. 16). The promise was anticipated in the words of Abigail in 1 Samuel 25:28. This idea has been important at several points in the story that the books of Samuel have told. In 1 Samuel 2:35 the Lord promised that he would raise up “a faithful priest” and would build him “a sure [reliable] house.” In 1 Samuel 3:20 Samuel was known as a trustworthy “prophet.” David had a reputation for faithfulness (1 Samuel 22:14; cf. 26:23). Ironically even Achish “trusted David” (1 Samuel 27:12). Faithfulness is a gift from God that David promised to bring (2:6). The long-anticipated stability, trustworthiness, and faithfulness will come in the royal house of David that will be reliable forever.33
There are many different ways in which this promise could now be traced through the pages of the Old Testament. In time David’s kingdom was, in fact, destroyed. After Solomon it divided into two kingdoms (1 Kings 12). Each of these was, in turn, devastated by an enemy, first the Assyrians (2 Kings 17), then the Babylonians (2 Kings 25). This was the Lord’s doing because the kings and their people “sinned against the Lord their God” (2 Kings 17:7, 19). This was a terrible tragedy and a mighty challenge to those who believed God’s promise to David (see, for example, the book of Lamentations; Psalm 89:38–52).
However, through the decline and fall of the kingdom, there were prophets who insisted that the promise of 2 Samuel 7 stood. For example the prophet Isaiah proclaimed the continuing validity of this promise: “There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.” “Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore” (Isaiah 11:1; 9:7; see also Psalm 18:50; 89:3, 4, 19–37; 122:5; 132:11, 17; 144:10; Isaiah 16:5; 22:22; 37:35; 55:3; Jeremiah 17:25; 23:5; 30:9; 33:14–26; Ezekiel 34:23, 24; 37:24, 25; Hosea 3:5; Amos 9:11; Zechariah 12:7–13:1).
The New Testament introduces Jesus as “Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham” (Matthew 1:1). One day Jesus engaged in a searching conversation with his disciples in the region of Caesarea Philippi. He asked them, “Who do you say that I am?” It was Peter who answered, perhaps on behalf of them all, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:13–16). It is almost certain that Peter had in mind the promise of 7:14, as well as echoes of this promise elsewhere in the Old Testament Scriptures (such as Psalm 2:7). The two aspects of Peter’s identification of Jesus come from that context. “The Christ” means the anointed one, like David himself. “The Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16) identifies Jesus in terms of the promise in 2 Samuel 7:14a. Peter had recognized that Jesus was the promised Messiah, the offspring of David, who was God’s Son.
In response Jesus affirmed Peter’s insight and said, “On this rock I will build …” (Matthew 16:18). David’s son, Solomon, built the temple in Jerusalem, in which the ark of God was placed, but the promise in 2 Samuel 7 found its fulfillment in Jesus. He was the offspring of David, in whom the purpose of God would finally reach its end. As promised, this son of David would build a house for the Lord’s name. It would not now, however, be a temple in Jerusalem, but “… my church” (Matthew 16:18). Those whom Jesus would gather to himself would become a spiritual house, of which the temple built by Solomon was only ever a shadow (see 1 Peter 2:4–8; 2 Corinthians 6:16–18).