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This chapter affords a pleasing view of David's mind. His zeal for God's honour and glory, prompts him to the desire of building an house for the Lord. He confers with Nathan the prophet on the subject. The Lord at night reveals his will on this occasion, and commands him to communicate the same to David. Upon receiving this message, David goeth in before the Lord, and offers a Most delightful prayer.
(1) ¶ And it came to pass, when the king sat in his house, and the LORD had given him rest roundabout 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.
How much the soul of David longed to glorify the God of his mercies, is very evident from what is here related of him. Here he was a type of the ever-blessed Jesus, whose zeal for the honour of his Father's house is said to have eaten him up. See Psalms 69:9 . compared with John 2:17 . Reader! I venture to believe that it is no small testimony of our being of the house and lineage of our glorious spiritual David, when from a love to his cause and to his person, we feel somewhat as David here felt, a certain painful concern in eating our morsel alone, and would wish that Jesus's poorest members were all partakers with us of his bounties.
(3) And Nathan said to the king, Go, do all that is in thine heart; for the LORD is with thee.
Had the prophet first made it a subject of prayer, his directions would have been better. The Lord being with his people, as indeed he always is, doth not supersede the necessity of asking continually his wisdom to guide us. Paul's advice, under the command of God the Holy Ghost, is expressed to this point; in all things by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, our requests are to be made known unto God. Observe, Reader! the advantages we derive on this point, as well as all others, in the blessed dispensation of our Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 .
(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. (7) In all the places wherein I have walked with all the children of Israel spake I a word with any of the tribes of Israel, whom I commanded to feed my people Israel, saying, Why build ye not me an house of cedar?
How beautiful a view do these verses afford, of the Lord's watching over his people. No doubt, the Lord inclined the heart of David to this intention, for the preparations of the heart are from the Lord. And by thus awakening in David's heart this desire, it tended to open this gracious communication from God to him. The Lord was pleased with the intention, as we find it is recorded, 1 Kings 8:18 , but would not allow the deed. The Lord had other work for his servant; he would permit him to make preparations for the temple, and the temple-service, in laying up gold and silver for the expenses of the building, and in composing psalms and hymns for the service; but his son Solomon, as a type of Jesus, was to be the builder. See Hebrews 3:4 . Observe, with what wonderful grace and condescension the Lord speaks of himself, in that the Ark, the symbol of his presence, had been within a poor tent and tabernacle. Reader! do not overlook the sweet and precious spiritual sense of this blessed truth. Our nature is indeed a poor and wretched tent and tabernacle; and yet Jesus made it his dwelling, when he came to tabernacle among us. Precious Lord! thou hast dwelt in no other; thou dost now dwell in no other; but in the heart of every poor sinner whom thou hast brought out of the spiritual Egypt of our fallen state. Leviticus 26:11-12 . compared with 2 Corinthians 6:16 .
(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 anymore, as beforetime, (11) And as since the time that I commanded judges to be over my people Israel, and have caused thee to rest from all thine enemies. Also the LORD telleth thee that he will make thee an house. (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 forever. (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 forever before thee: thy throne shall be established forever.
This is a most gracious message from God to his servant, both in leading him back to the general review of the mercies the Lord had already shown him, and in leading him forward to the view of the blessings yet to come. Reader! I stop you in the account of them just to observe, that one of the sweetest and most precious offices of the Holy Ghost in glorifying the Lord Jesus, by taking of the things of Jesus, and showing to his people, is when he kindly acts as the Remembrancer of Jesus, in bringing again to the recollection what our ungrateful and forgetful hearts so easily suffer to slip out of our minds. And do be frequently looking out for testimonies a his gracious work in this precious office, in your own experience. David is here properly reminded of the great things the Lord had done for him. His history is traced back to the sheepcotes, from whence the Lord took him: his victories over all his enemies; the high dignity to which the Lord had brought him; the blessings he now enjoyed; the blessings opening before him; the blessings in his family, in his people, in his kingdom; the recompense the Lord would make him for the intentions he had of erecting an house to the Lord; that the Lord would build him a sure house, and establish his kingdom to his children forever, and bring him down in quietness and serenity to his grave, when the number of his days was filled. These were such gracious acts of love and mercy as could only flow from the free, sovereign grace, and loving-kindness of the Lord; and therefore he could find no cause for them in the merit of man. But, when we have paid all due attention to what is here said, as it refers to David, in his own person and household, I hope the Reader will find yet an infinitely richer subject in looking at the whole spiritually, as it referred to the person, and kingdom, and seed, of the Lord Jesus Christ, the spiritual David, of whom here most eminently this king of Israel could be no other than a type. For never could it be said in reference to David the son of Jesse, that his throne should be established forever. Here then, Reader, let us in this point of view regard the subject, and behold, in the person of the Lord Jesus, (who according to the flesh was of the seed of David) the Lord of that kingdom, which, as Daniel prophesied in after ages, the God of heaven would set up, which should never be destroyed, but endure forever. Daniel 2:44 . Of Jesus, and no other, could this be said, and of him it is literally and strictly true; for so the angel in his salutation to Mary declared, that he should be great, and be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God hath given unto him the throne of his Father David. He shall reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there shall be no end. Luke 1:32-33 . It is true indeed, that what the Lord ordered Nathan to tell David, in the latter part of this message concerning his committing iniquity, cannot be applied personally to Jesus; for he was holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners: he did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth. But yet, he was made sin for his people, though he knew no sin himself: and as such, suffered in our stead and law room, the stripes of men. And as to his mystical body, his spiritual seed, they do feel the awful effects of sin by the fall. So that in this sense the passage may be accommodated to him also. Blessed Jesus! how sweet and refreshing to my soul, amidst all the dying circumstances of kingdoms, and men around, is the thought, that of the increase of thy government and peace there shall be no end; upon the throne of David and upon his kingdom to order it, and to establish it forever. Isaiah 9:7 .
(17) According to all these words, and according to all this vision, so did Nathan speak unto David.
How delightful it is to faithful servants, ministers, and prophets, when they have gracious tidings to communicate to the people!
(18) ¶ Then went king David in, and sat before the LORD, and he said, Who am I, O Lord GOD? and what is my house, that thou hast brought me hitherto? (19) And this was yet a small thing in thy sight, O Lord GOD; but thou hast spoken also of thy servant's house for a great while to come. And is this the manner of man, O Lord GOD? (20) And what can David say more unto thee? for thou, Lord GOD, knowest thy servant. (21) For thy word's sake, and according to thine own heart, hast thou done all these great things, to make thy servant know them. (22) Wherefore thou art great, O LORD God: for there is none like thee, neither is there any God beside thee, according to all that we have heard with our ears. (23) And what one nation in the earth is like thy people, even like Israel, whom God went to redeem for a people to himself, and to make him a name, and to do for you great things and terrible, for thy land, before thy people, which thou redeemedst to thee from Egypt, from the nations and their gods? (24) For thou hast confirmed to thyself thy people Israel to be a people unto thee forever: and thou, LORD, art become their God. (25) And now, O LORD God, the word that thou hast spoken concerning thy servant, and concerning his house, establish it forever, and do as thou hast said. (26) And let thy name be magnified forever, saying, The LORD of hosts is the God over Israel: and let the house of thy servant David be established before thee. (27) For thou, O LORD of hosts, God of Israel, hast revealed to thy servant, saying, I will build thee an house: therefore hath thy servant found in his heart to pray this prayer unto thee. (28) And now, O Lord GOD, thou art that God, and thy words be true, and thou hast promised this goodness unto thy servant: (29) Therefore now let it please thee to bless the house of thy servant, that it may continue forever before thee: for thou, O Lord GOD, hast spoken it: and with thy blessing let the house of thy servant be blessed forever.
I admire the conduct of David upon this occasion. He doth not answer the prophet. He sends not back his grateful thanks by the hand, or mouth, of Nathan. His business was with the Lord himself. It would have been robbing God of his honour, and David's own soul of his joy, to have conveyed what he had to say by him, or by any man. Reader! You and I have a man, the man Christ Jesus, our precious Mediator, by whom we may offer up the sacrifice of praise to God continually. Hebrews 13:15 . But then this man is God also; one with the Father, over all God blessed forever. In whom, through whom, and with whom, all prayers and praises are presented and centre. But in the days of David this glorious High Priest was not so fully known, not so clearly revealed. Observe David's words and manner in this delightful prayer. It seems as if his whole heart was turned upward, and going forth in all the affections of gratitude, love, and praise. Every part and portion in this conduct of David is interesting. He went in, it is said, before the Lord; perhaps, in before the ark. He sat down before the Lord. Like the Church, when sitting under the shadow of the tree. See Song of Solomon 2:2 . The posture of solemn meditation. His whole soul occupied in the thought; in whose presence he then was. After due deliberation, not rushing at once, as the unthinking horse rusheth into the battle. David opens his mouth in prayer. How humble and lowly his beginning. What can he say? what ought he to say, by way of expressing the humblest views of himself, the highest thoughts of God? He then begins to advert to the Lord's favors; but, as if it were impossible to enumerate them, he breaks out into the admiration, that the Lord had not done with blessing him, but hath spoken of a great while to come. Swallowed up in the contemplation, he leaves the subject of the gifts to admire and adore the giver; and after praising God's glory, and expressing his veneration for the Lord God of Israel, he concludes with expressing his entire confidence in God's covenant promises, and in the assurance that the Lord will do as he hath said. Whether David saw as much as you and I do, Reader, in the prospect of the Lord Jesus, and his spiritual and eternal kingdom, I cannot take upon me to say. But to us, who are enabled to read those promises of God to his Old Testament saints, now explained in the New Testament dispensation; nothing can more fully manifest the faithfulness of Jehovah in these gracious promises; nor anything more highly calculated to confirm our faith in God's mercy through Christ, in whom all the promises are yea and Amen. 2 Corinthians 1:20 .
I WOULD pause over the perusal of this chapter to admire the blessed properties of grace, in disposing the heart of David to such a frame of thankfulness, and grateful affection to God. It is sweet to see the mind brought into this suitable frame, to discern from what source all our mercies flow, to give the author of them all the glory, that while we receive all the benefit, God may have all the praise.
But I would pause yet more, to admire the blessed tokens of distinguishing grace, and above all, the Great Author of that grace, whose infinite benignity and condescension shines yet more and more bright (like the heavenly bodies in the darker nights) from being manifested, notwithstanding all the unworthiness of the objects of his clemency. Yes! Great Source and Fountain of all the sure mercies of David! it is from the covenant love, and faithfulness, and grace, given us in Christ Jesus, thy ever dear, and ever blessed Son before the world began, that this kingdom promised to David and his seed, is made sure, permanent, and eternal. Even thee, thou blessed Jesus, in thy glorious mediatorial fulness, and finished salvation, art the gift of God our Father. And no less, the Holy Ghost, with all his saving gifts and graces, and influences, cometh forth to thy people as the Sent, both of the Father and the Son. Lord God! make this sure house thou didst promise to David and his seed, sure to my soul. And amidst all the unworthiness of my heart, let thy promise, like thyself, be my constant comfort and support. Though thou hast said, if the children of the Lord Jesus commit iniquity, and break thy statutes; though they break thy laws; yet thou wilt not break thy promised mercy. Though thou visit our sins with the stripes of men; yet thy covenant wilt thou not break, nor alter the thing which is gone out of thy lips. Thou hast once sworn by thy holiness thou wilt not lie unto David. Oh! precious promise of - a more precious promising God in Christ! Be it unto me according to thy word!
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 7". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Fourth Week after Epiphany