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God Keeps His Covenant Promise While Providing Rest For His People

2 Samuel 7:10 (ESV) … “And I will appoint a place for my people Israel and will plant them, so that they may dwell in their own place and be disturbed no more. And violent men shall afflict them no more, as formerly…”

The foundation for God’s purposes and dealings with the people of Israel is His covenant with Abraham (Gen. 12:1–3; 15:1–15). God chose Abraham by His grace and promised him a land, a great name, multiplied descendants, and His blessing and protection. He also promised that the whole world would be blessed through Abraham’s seed, and this refers to Jesus Christ (Gal. 3:1–16). God called Israel to be the human channel through which His Son and His Word would come to the world. God’s covenant with David builds on this covenant with Abraham, for it speaks about the nation, the land, and the Messiah.

The Lord began with the subject of Israel’s land (v. 10) and promised “rest” to His people. The word “rest” is an important word in the prophetic vocabulary and refers to a number of blessings in the plan of God for His people. The concept of “rest” began with God’s rest when He completed creation (Gen. 2:1–3), and this was a basis for Israel’s observance of the Sabbath (Ex. 20:8–11). After God delivered Israel from Egypt, He promised them “rest” in their own land (Ex. 33:14; Deut. 25:19; Josh. 1:13, 15). David was so busy fighting wars that he couldn’t build the temple (1 Kings 5:17), but when God gave rest to Israel, Solomon built the temple using the plans and materials that God gave his father David (1 Kings 5:1–4; 8:56; Ps. 89:19–23).

The concept of “rest” goes beyond any of these matters because it speaks also of the spiritual rest that believers have in Christ (Matt. 11:28–30; Heb. 2:10–18; 4:14–16). The concept also looks ahead to Israel’s future kingdom and the rest that God’s people will then enjoy when Jesus Christ sits upon David’s throne (Isa. 11:1–12; 65:17–25; Jer. 31:1–14; 50:34).

Humanly speaking, the nation of Israel would have perished quickly had not God been faithful to His covenant with David, who was “the light [lamp] of Israel” (21:17). No matter to what depths the kings and people descended, the Lord preserved a lamp for David and for Israel (1 Kings 11:36; 15:4; 2 Kings 8:19; 2 Chron. 21:7; Ps. 132:17). Whether they recognized it or not, the Jewish people were heavily indebted to David for their temple, the instruments and songs used in the temple, the organization of the temple ministry, and the protection the nation had from the enemy nations. We today are indebted to David for keeping the light shining so that the Savior could come into the world. In spite of the nation’s sins, God chastened His people, but He did not break His covenant or take His mercy away (v. 15; 22:51; 1 Kings 3:6; 2 Chron. 6:42; Ps. 89:28, 33, 49).[1]

[1] Wiersbe, W. W. (2002). Be restored (pp. 49–51). Colorado Springs, CO: Victor.


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