Sunday School Lesson

October 22

Lesson 8 (KJV)

God’s Covenant with David

Devotional Reading: Psalm 89:1-15

Background Scripture: 2 Samuel 7:1-16; Psalm 89; 1 Chronicles 22:6-8

2 Samuel 7:1-6, 8-10, 12-16

1 And it came to pass, when the king sat in his house, and the Lord had given him rest round about from all his enemies;

2 That the king said unto Nathan the prophet, See now, I dwell in an house of cedar, but the ark of God dwelleth within curtains.

3 And Nathan said to the king, Go, do all that is in thine heart; for the Lord is with thee.

4 And it came to pass that night, that the word of the Lord came unto Nathan, saying,

5 Go and tell my servant David, Thus saith the Lord, Shalt thou build me an house for me to dwell in?

6 Whereas I have not dwelt in any house since the time that I brought up the children of Israel out of Egypt, even to this day, but have walked in a tent and in a tabernacle.

8 Now therefore so shalt thou say unto my servant David, Thus saith the Lord of hosts, I took thee from the sheepcote, from following the sheep, to be ruler over my people, over Israel:

9 And I was with thee whithersoever thou wentest, and have cut off all thine enemies out of thy sight, and have made thee a great name, like unto the name of the great men that are in the earth.

10 Moreover I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more; neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them any more, as beforetime.

 

12 And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom.

13 He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever.

14 I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men:

15 But my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee.

16 And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever.

Key Verse

Thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever.—2 Samuel 7:16

Lesson Aims

After participating in this lesson, each learner will be able to:

1. Summarize the key points in God’s covenantal promise to David.

2. Explain how Jesus brings that promise to its ultimate fulfillment.

3. Write a prayer that expresses a personal desire to serve God in a particular way and openness to a bigger plan God may have.

Lesson Outline

Introduction

A. Lasting Legacies

B. Lesson Background

I. Plan Denied (2 Samuel 7:1-6)

A. David’s Ambition (vv. 1, 2)

B. Nathan’s Approval (v. 3)

C. The Lord’s Alternative (vv. 4-6)

House Plans

II. Past Described (2 Samuel 7:8-10)

A. Blessings to David (vv. 8, 9)

B. Blessings to Israel (v. 10)

III. Promise Defined (2 Samuel 7:12-16)

A. Special Descendant (v. 12)

B. Special Duty (v. 13)

C. Special Discipline (vv. 14, 15)

D. Special Dominion (v. 16)

The Eternal Kingdom

Conclusion

A. We Are David

B. Prayer

C. Thought to Remember

Introduction

 

A. Lasting Legacies

Presidents of the United States have many avenues for leaving legacies. One such is by means of the Presidential Libraries Act of 1955. This act established a system of libraries operated and maintained by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). At the beginning of 2016, the 13 presidential libraries that are maintained by the NARA contained over 400 million pages of printed materials, about 10 million photographs, over 15 million feet of motion-picture film, and nearly 100,000 hours of audio and video recordings.

It’s natural to want to leave our mark on earth in some lasting way. King David himself had a plan as to how he would do that. But the fact that he had “shed blood abundantly” as a “man of war” (1 Chronicles 22:8; 28:3) meant that God had a different idea.

B. Lesson Background

The previous two lessons examined Scriptures dealing with God’s covenant with the nation of Israel. Today we move forward to the time of King David to consider another covenant God made—this one with the “man after [God’s] own heart” (Acts 13:22).

David was in very ordinary surroundings when Samuel came to Bethlehem to anoint a replacement for King Saul. The youngest of eight brothers, David’s viability as a candidate to be king was not seriously considered by his father, so Samuel pushed the issue: after none of David’s seven brothers proved to be God’s chosen, David was sent for and anointed as Israel’s next king (1 Samuel 16:1-13).

After Saul’s death, David became king of only the tribe of Judah, which he ruled for seven and a half years. When Saul’s son Ishbosheth was murdered, the way became clear for David to become king over the entire nation (2 Samuel 5:1-5). David proceeded to conquer the city of Jerusalem and bring the ark of the covenant there (5:6-10; 6:12-23). He also defeated the Philistines who had been a thorn in Israel’s side for some time (5:17-25).

While the above achievements were steps David took to solidify his reign, today’s lesson text records what God did to solidify that reign in a way David never could have imagined.

I. Plan Denied

                                                                  (2 Samuel 7:1-6)

A. David’s Ambition (vv. 1, 2)

1a. And it came to pass, when the king sat in his house.

The Hebrew word translated house is used of a common dwelling place (Judges 11:30, 31). It can also describe the dwelling of a king or of a god; in fact, the word is used of both Solomon’s residence and the Lord’s temple in 1 Kings 9:1. King Hiram of Tyre sent workers and materials to build a house (same Hebrew word) for David (2 Samuel 5:11). One gets the impression that this was a very well-designed, attractive structure.

1b. And the Lord had given him rest round about from all his enemies.

We should note that the military victories recorded in 2 Samuel 8 may well have occurred prior to the events in chapter 7. The material of this book may be arranged topically rather than chronologically, with the focus in chapters 6 and 7 on David’s faithfulness and God’s blessing in response to that.

2. That the king said unto Nathan the prophet, See now, I dwell in an house of cedar, but the ark of God dwelleth within curtains.

This is the first time Nathan the prophet is mentioned in Scripture. He will appear later as the bearer of bad news after David commits adultery with Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11:1-27).

How to Say It

AhazAy-haz.

Assyria Uh-sear-ee-uh.

BabylonBab-uh-lun.

BathshebaBath-she-buh.

EphesiansEe-fee-zhunz.

HiramHigh-rum.

Manasseh Muh-nass-uh.

Pentecost Pent-ih-kost.

PhilistinesFuh-liss-teenz or Fill-us-teenz.

TyreTire.

Here David voices to Nathan his concern: he himself has a fine home in which to reside, but the ark of God dwelleth within curtains—that is, in a tent or tabernacle (2 Samuel 6:17; 1 Chronicles 16:1). To David, this is just not right! The ark of the covenant represents the presence of Israel’s true king, the Lord God Almighty, with His people. David realizes that the Lord deserves better than this.

What Do You Think?

What should a genuine concern for things of God look like today?

Talking Points for Your Discussion

During corporate worship

In small groups

In our private lives

B. Nathan’s Approval (v. 3)

3. And Nathan said to the king, Go, do all that is in thine heart; for the Lord is with thee.

Nathan’s initial reaction is to agree wholeheartedly with David. One gets the impression that Nathan does not consult the Lord at all. He seems to assume that the idea is a good one; what could be wrong with building such a structure for the Lord?

C. The Lord’s Alternative (vv. 4-6)

4, 5. And it came to pass that night, that the word of the Lord came unto Nathan, saying, Go and tell my servant David, Thus saith the Lord, Shalt thou build me an house for me to dwell in?

Nathan has spoken in haste. His earlier words of approval were his own, not the Lord’s.

Years later at the dedication of the temple, King Solomon will recall what the Lord had told David about his desire to build a house for the ark: “Forasmuch as it was in thine heart to build an house for my name, thou didst well in that it was in thine heart” (2 Chronicles 6:8). David’s intentions are good, but it is not God’s desire that he should be the one to carry out this noble task.

What Do You Think?

What are some ways to correct the wrong thinking of someone who has good intentions?

Talking Points for Your Discussion

Considering the person’s spiritual maturity

Considering the danger posed by leaving the thinking uncorrected

Other

6. Whereas I have not dwelt in any house since the time that I brought up the children of Israel out of Egypt, even to this day, but have walked in a tent and in a tabernacle.

For God to have the kind of house that David desires to build has never really been high on God’s list of priorities. To this point the tabernacle and the tent that covered it, as prescribed by God to Moses centuries earlier (Exodus 26), have sufficed.

At the dedication of the temple, Solomon, David’s son, will cite the words of the verse before us (see 1 Kings 8:16). He then will note in the same verse that while God was not concerned about choosing a city in which to dwell, He was concerned about choosing a person. This is what the Lord addresses in the next part of His message given through Nathan.

House Plans

I looked out the window of our mud hut in Africa to admire the piles of wood and cement that had just arrived. Soon we would build our own cement-block house! Then we would learn the local language, get to know people, and help them translate the Bible into their own language. But two months after we moved into our new home, we had to evacuate the country because of political instability. What a loss it seemed! And now medical issues are further delaying our return. Why did God take us away from the house and the ministry in Africa that we had planned for His kingdom?

In 2 Samuel 7:1-6, King David also had great plans of constructing a building. But God essentially said, “No, I have other plans.” And God’s plans were much greater than David’s! David would have erected a building that time would soon destroy, but God established the house and kingdom of David forever (7:16), which turned out to bless all nations on earth through Christ.

Even though we haven’t been able to return to our house in Africa yet, we are already starting to see how God’s plans are greater than ours. Two national Bible translators have been able to use the house we built as an office, and another dislocated missionary family has found a home there, from which they can continue their ministry for now.

Has the Lord said no to any of your great plans? If so, take heart. His plans are infinitely greater!

—D. & L. G.

II. Past Described

                                                                 (2 Samuel 7:8-10)

 

A. Blessings to David (vv. 8, 9)

8. Now therefore so shalt thou say unto my servant David, Thus saith the Lord of hosts, I took thee from the sheepcote, from following the sheep, to be ruler over my people, over Israel.

The Lord calls attention to what He has done for David. David did not work himself up from the position of shepherd to become king of Israel. Rather, it was God who took him from following the sheep and set him apart to become an infinitely greater kind of shepherd: ruler over my people, over Israel (compare Psalm 78:70, 71).

What Do You Think?

Why is it important to remember what one’s condition was before becoming a Christian?

Talking Points for Your Discussion

Regarding what we think of ourselves

Regarding how we view others

Regarding obligations imposed on us

Other

9. And I was with thee whithersoever thou wentest, and have cut off all thine enemies out of thy sight, and have made thee a great name, like unto the name of the great men that are in the earth.

When Samuel anointed David to be king of Israel, “the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward” (1 Samuel 16:13). Not long afterward one of Saul’s servants said of David, “the Lord is with him” (16:18). That became the key to David’s greatness (2 Samuel 5:10).

The Lord goes on to list specific blessings that have resulted from His being with David. The first is the defeat of David’s enemies. Second, the Lord has given David a great name, like unto the name of the great men that are in the earth. This is reminiscent of what God had promised to Abraham (Genesis 12:2). First Chronicles 14:17 states, “And the fame of David went out into all lands; and the Lord brought the fear of him upon all nations.”

B. Blessings to Israel (v. 10)

10. Moreover I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more; neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them any more, as beforetime.

The greatness God has granted to David was not for David’s benefit alone. The Lord is concerned for His people Israel. God desires not only to give David “rest” (2 Samuel 7:1, above) but also to give His people a place of their own and relief from those who have afflicted them in the past (as, for example, during the time of the judges as noted in 7:11, not in today’s text). God did indeed desire a place—not for himself but for His people.

But that was only the beginning of God’s intentions. At the end of 2 Samuel 7:11, the Lord elaborates on His desires for David: “The Lord telleth thee that he will make thee an house.” God has asked David, “Shalt thou build me an house for me to dwell in?” (7:5). The Lord’s answer is, “No, you are not going to build me a house. I am going to build you a house!” (paraphrase of 7:11).

III. Promise Defined

                                                                (2 Samuel 7:12-16)

 

A. Special Descendant (v. 12)

12. And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom.

Here the Lord sketches the “when” and “through whom” regarding the promised house and kingdom. The first two phrases of the verse before us establish the when: it will happen after David’s death (another kind of “rest”). After that becomes reality, God will work through David’s seed, or offspring, to fulfill the promise. But to whom does the word seed refer?

B. Special Duty (v. 13)

13. He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever.

The first phrase in this verse and history as it unfolds seem at first to indicate that David’s son Solomon is the one to build a house for the Lord. But the second phrase must give us pause since our knowledge of history reveals that the promise is not limited to fulfillment via Solomon. Rather, Jesus Christ is the ultimate seed of David through whom God’s for ever promise comes to pass.

This fact begins to be established in the New Testament when the angel Gabriel tells Mary that “the Lord God shall give unto [Jesus] the throne of his father David: and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end” (Luke 1:32, 33). On the Day of Pentecost, Peter ties the fulfillment of the promise to the resurrection of Jesus (Acts 2:29-32; compare Acts 13:23; Galatians 3:16-19).

Though many in Jesus’ time thought of the kingdom primarily in political terms, Jesus’ kingdom is a spiritual one (John 18:36). It is the church, comprised of those who have come out of the “darkness” of sin (Colossians 1:13) into His “marvellous light” (1 Peter 2:9).

What Do You Think?

What strategies can we use to ensure we stay focused on the spiritual nature of God’s kingdom?

Talking Points for Your Discussion

Regarding techniques that invite interaction with culture

Regarding techniques that resist interaction with culture

C. Special Discipline (vv. 14, 15)

14, 15. I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men: but my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee.

The first statement in verse 14 is quoted in Hebrews 1:5, which clearly affirms its fulfillment in Jesus. This portion of the promise raises questions, especially since we have already proposed a fulfillment in Jesus. But how can sinless Jesus be the fulfillment when it is possible for this son of David to commit iniquity? If the promise refers to Solomon, how can God say that my mercy shall not depart away from him? We recall that God judged Solomon for his foolish acceptance of the gods of his many wives who turned his heart away from the Lord (1 Kings 11:4, 9-13, 31-33).

It is clear from a study of Old Testament history that not all the kings who descended from David were men after God’s own heart as David was. Some of them, such as Ahaz and Manasseh, were guilty of great wickedness against God (2 Kings 16:1-18; 21:1-16). Those kings who behaved in this manner were disciplined by the Lord. He used the rod of men—the nations and armies of Assyria and Babylon—to bring judgment upon the kings who failed to trust and obey the true king of God’s people.

None of these instances of rebellion by kings who were descendants of David nullified the covenant promises to David recorded in our text. The promise “I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever” remains intact.

Regarding God’s word to David, Psalm 89:30-34 states this: “If his children forsake my law, and walk not in my judgments; if they break my statutes, and keep not my commandments; then will I visit their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes. Nevertheless my lovingkindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer my faithfulness to fail. My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips.”

Concerning Jesus, one could say that He was treated as though He had committed iniquity. He took the stripes inflicted by the rod of men along with various other abuses, climaxed by the crucifixion (Isaiah 53:4, 5). But that suffering at the cross was not the consequence of personal guilt; rather, He took upon himself the punishment that guilty sinners (every human) deserves.

All of what God has in store for David is quite a contrast with the Lord’s treatment of Saul, David’s predecessor. Given David’s knowledge of God’s treatment of Saul, David can offer personal testimony regarding both God’s stern judgment (toward Saul) and steadfast mercy (toward David).

D. Special Dominion (v. 16)

16. And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever.

This verse summarizes the essence of the covenant God has made with David. The house that God will build for David will be far more wonderful and enduring than any house David could ever build for God. Even when Solomon’s magnificent temple falls to ruins before the Babylonian army, God’s promise to David remains unshakable. That house, that kingdom, is the church of Jesus. And what Jesus said of his church remains as true today as on the day He said it: “The gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18).

The Eternal Kingdom

My family lives and works with refugees who have fled their country in Africa. Their president and military are dropping bombs and sending soldiers against their homes. There have been many stories about horrific abuses of civilians.

About a year after most of them fled to a refugee camp across the border, the country in which they were seeking safety fell into civil war between that country’s government and anti-government forces. Again many terrible stories of abuse have emerged from both factions. Meanwhile, our friends in the refugee camp have faced food and water rationing and constant fear of violence.

Caught between so many warring “kingdoms,” imagine how they must feel when they encounter God’s promise to David, fulfilled in Christ: “And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever” (2 Samuel 7:16).

How blessed we are to be under the ultimate rule of one who is just, merciful, and eternal! So many injustices have been done and so little mercy has been shown to our refugee friends, but they can take hope in the eternal king who will make things right and show mercy to them forever.

If you are facing difficulties or persecution because of earthly leaders or “kingdoms,” take comfort in the promise that in Christ’s kingdom we will be under the leadership and protection of one who loved us so much that He gave His own life for us, and that He will rule forever.

—D. & L. G.

What Do You Think?

How should citizenship in God’s eternal kingdom affect how we interact with the various authority structures of the world?

Talking Points for Your Discussion

Regarding political structures

Regarding business structures

Considering Luke 20:25; John 18:36; Acts 4:19; 5:29; Romans 13:1-7; 1 Peter 2:13-17

Conclusion

A. We Are David

On November 14, 1970, the Marshall University football team was returning from a game in North Carolina to the Marshall campus in Huntington, West Virginia. The charter plane they were on crashed, killing all 75 individuals on board. Those who perished included 37 players, head coach Rick Tolley, members of his coaching staff and the school’s athletic director, and 25 athletic boosters. In 2006 a movie was made to tell the story of that team and that tragedy. Its title was brief but compelling: We Are Marshall.

In a sense all Christians can say, “We are David.” True, few of us have had any experience watching sheep or fighting wild animals in defense of sheep. But what the Lord said to David in 1 Samuel 7:8, 9 could be applied to His treatment of any of us. God took us from what we were (lost, sinful) and made us part of His family. We did nothing to deserve such a status; what we deserved was condemnation. But Jesus, who had done nothing to deserve death, gave His life for us at the cross.

Paul states the contrast first by describing humanity’s sorry status: “dead in trespasses and sins . . . fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind” (Ephesians 2:1, 3). Then comes the welcome remedy: “But God, who is rich in mercy, . . . hath quickened us together with Christ” (2:4, 5). This is the same mercy that took David from the humble task of watching sheep to become Israel’s greatest king and the recipient of a very special covenant indeed.

While few of us have had any experience watching sheep, we have all had experience acting like sheep by “going astray” (1 Peter 2:25). And we have all been rescued by the good shepherd.

B. Prayer

Father, thank You for the mercy You have shown us in Christ Jesus. We are so unworthy of such treatment; Your faithfulness is such a stark contrast to our unfaithfulness. May our lives each day reflect our awareness that we are not our own; we have been “bought with a price” (1 Corinthians 6:19, 20). In Jesus’ name, amen.

C. Thought to Remember

What God builds with us endures.

What we build without Him does not.

Visual for Lesson 8. Point to this visual as you invite learners to give examples of times God’s will superseded their own.


October 29

Lesson 9 (KJV)

God’s Covenant with the Returned Exiles

Devotional Reading: Psalm 103:1-14

Background Scripture: Nehemiah 9, 10

Nehemiah 9:32-38

32 Now therefore, our God, the great, the mighty, and the terrible God, who keepest covenant and mercy, let not all the trouble seem little before thee, that hath come upon us, on our kings, on our princes, and on our priests, and on our prophets, and on our fathers, and on all thy people, since the time of the kings of Assyria unto this day.

33 Howbeit thou art just in all that is brought upon us; for thou hast done right, but we have done wickedly:

34 Neither have our kings, our princes, our priests, nor our fathers, kept thy law, nor hearkened unto thy commandments and thy testimonies, wherewith thou didst testify against them.

35 For they have not served thee in their kingdom, and in thy great goodness that thou gavest them, and in the large and fat land which thou gavest before them, neither turned they from their wicked works.

36 Behold, we are servants this day, and for the land that thou gavest unto our fathers to eat the fruit thereof and the good thereof, behold, we are servants in it:

37 And it yieldeth much increase unto the kings whom thou hast set over us because of our sins: also they have dominion over our bodies, and over our cattle, at their pleasure, and we are in great distress.

38 And because of all this we make a sure covenant, and write it; and our princes, Levites, and priests, seal unto it.

Nehemiah 10:28, 29

28 And the rest of the people, the priests, the Levites, the porters, the singers, the Nethinims, and all they that had separated themselves from the people of the lands unto the law of God, their wives, their sons, and their daughters, every one having knowledge, and having understanding;

29 They clave to their brethren, their nobles, and entered into a curse, and into an oath, to walk in God’s law, which was given by Moses the servant of God, and to observe and do all the commandments of the Lord our Lord, and his judgments and his statutes.

Key Verse

Howbeit thou art just in all that is brought upon us; for thou hast done right, but we have done wickedly.Nehemiah 9:33

Lesson Aims

After participating in this lesson, each learner will be able to:

1. Recount the main themes of the prayer offered by God’s people.

2. Give an example of God’s faithfulness in contrast with the ancient Israelites’ faithlessness.

3. Make a plan to correct the problem of (or resulting from) one unkept commitment.

Lesson Outline

Introduction

A. Never Forget

B. Lesson Background

I. Pleading with God (Nehemiah 9:32-37)

A. Faithful God (v. 32a)

Keeping

B. Unfaithful People (vv. 32b-37)

It’s Their Fault?

II. Pledging to God (Nehemiah 9:38; 10:28, 29)

A. Stated Commitment (9:38)

B. Solemn Ceremony (10:28, 29)

Conclusion

A. The Greater Work

B. Prayer

C. Thought to Remember


Standard Lesson Commentary KJV (2017-2018).

"Suggestions for families are taken from Standardlesson.com,

Standard Publishing Group, LLC. Used with permission. More resources for families are available at Standardpub.com.


God Bless