The Land Covenant, The Davidic Covenant
God's Plan for the Ages – Dispensations Lesson #11
June 3, 2014
"Father we are thankful that we can come together this evening to reflect upon Your Word and think through Your plans and purposes in history. Father, as we come to understand that You do not deal with every era, every age, every dispensation the same. We pray that we could understand how You make these distinctions and why; and as we go through the Scriptures we get a review or overview of all of the Bible and this helps just to reinforce in our minds the scope, the framework, the purpose of Your revelation. We pray that as we think about these things that it is not just but one that has tremendous value for us as we seek to read and understand the Bible for ourselves. We pray this in Christ's Name, Amen."
We will start off with just a quick review of charts that are becoming familiar to you. It should be embedded in your thinking. One of the distinctions in the philosophy of ministry that I hold to in the pulpit is in contrast with what is normally taught in seminaries, which is that you teach things in kind of a memorable fashion, but you don't repeat things too much. You don't want people to get bored or turn you off. So you just want to teach in a memorable way. There is a vast difference between teaching in a memorable way and teaching in a way that people can't forget. The way to teach people so they can't forget is to just go over it and over it in different ways so that it gets embedded. Sometimes it is the same way, sometimes differently. You don't want to always say it the same way because then it becomes white noise. But some things, especially certain visuals are critical to just helping us understand and conceptualize what is happening in terms of Scripture and revelation and theology.
So we have this chart showing three categories here (see slide #3, 8 Biblical Covenants.) The initial Gentile Covenants, which are in my understanding, are basically the same covenant with modifications; the original Creation Covenant until the Fall; then it is modified because of sin and we have the Adamic Covenant, Genesis 3:14-19. And that has to be modified after God judges the world again because of its evil at the worldwide Flood. At the conclusion of the Flood God gives a new covenant to Noah (Noahic). There are certain features that are similar in each of these covenants, but get modified each time as we saw when we studied them. We are still under the Noahic Covenant, which still means that capital punishment is authorized. God is not going to destroy the world by water again and every time you see a rainbow that is a reminder of that covenant. We are authorized to eat animal flesh, whether it is fish, fowl, or meat.
The Jewish covenants began after the failure of the Tower of Babel. God called out Abraham and gave him a covenant that combined three elements. It promised him a specific piece of land, that his descendants would be innumerable, and that it was through them that they would provide a worldwide blessing. Each of those elements of land, seed and blessing are expanded in the Land or Real Estate Covenant of Deuteronomy 30, the Davidic Covenant of 2 Samuel 7, and the New Covenant of Jeremiah 31. Now so far what we have done in our studies is we have looked at the initial covenants as each covenant introduced a new dispensation up to the Mosaic Covenant. After that the Church Age doesn't really begin with the New Covenant. The Millennial Kingdom will begin when the Land Covenant, the Davidic Covenant, and the New Covenant all come into effect at the same time. They are given in the Old Testament (OT). But they are not inaugurated, and that is an important word to understand, they are not inaugurated until the Second Coming of Christ. So we anticipate those covenants and we will get into those covenants tonight.
We broke down history in a broad sense with large ages (see slide #4, The Ages of Civilization), the Age of the Gentiles, from Creation to the Tower of Babel, technically the call of Abraham. Then the Age of Israel from Abraham to the Cross, but then the last seven years are postponed to the Tribulation. We will talk about that when we get there. Then we have the current Church Age, which ends with the Rapture of the Church; and then you have the last seven years of Israel, which is the Tribulation. Then the Lord returns at the Second Coming establishing the Millennial Kingdom, the Messianic Age. Then we go into Eternity Future with the New Heavens and the New Earth.
I ended up last time talking about the five cycles of discipline that are outlined for Israel as part of the Mosaic Covenant. The Mosaic Covenant is a kind of covenant or modeled after the kind of covenant that was used in the ancient world. I argue that the original covenant that God made with man becomes the archetype of all covenants. When you say who came first God or man? God came first. God gives a covenant to man. That becomes a pattern by which man then develops his concept of covenants. Law originated with God and man learns the concept of law in contract from God. One kind of covenant that existed in the ancient world; there were two kinds of covenants actually. There is a royal grant covenant, which was a free gift that was made by a king or overlord to a loyal subject; and he gives him freely land or certain responsibilities or certain domains. The Abrahamic Covenant is patterned after a royal grant treaty.
The second kind of treaty was one that is technically called a suzerain-vassal treaty. The suzerain would be the overlord, the great king. When a king would capture a territory then he would enter into a treaty with the ruler of that smaller territory who would become a vassal. We would call it a client nation. It would become a vassal to the great king and the king would outline in this covenant his past history, what he had done to aid and help the vassal, and what the vassal's responsibilities were to the great king. Then at the end of the document he would spell out what the consequences would be if the vassal violated the contract; and if the vassal was faithful and obedient then there would be promised rewards from the suzerain for good behavior and for backing the suzerain. So the Mosaic Law fits that pattern. Deuteronomy fits it to a tee.
There are like five different elements that you have in a suzerain vassal treaty and that is the outline basically for the book of Deuteronomy. The Mosaic Law follows that pattern with the conclusion of the blessings and the curses and the blessings are identified in Leviticus 26:1-13 and Leviticus 26:14-46 outline these five stages of discipline. I went through them last time (see slides #5–11, Five Cycles of Discipline). Each one (cycle) gets increasingly worse. They're all related to the economy of the people in the land and since it is an agrarian economy many of the curses are related to agriculture, which in turn means if there is a failure, if there is a curse, judgment on the land, then it is going to impact economy, impact the crops, impact these things in the first cycle of discipline.
Part of the first cycle of discipline is that they (Israel) become militarily weak and are defeated by their enemies. Now these cycles of discipline are for Israel. These are not for anyone else because not one single thing in the Mosaic Law applies to anybody but an Israelite, because that is a covenant. Otherwise it is like going over and reading your next door neighbor's mail. There may be a lot of similarities between your credit card bills and your neighbor's credit card bills. But you do not go over to their credit card bill and say, oh, that applies to me. Nothing applies. Don't pervert the word application; not one thing applies. There may be implications; there may be parallels, but not one thing applies. That is a horrible way to use that word. We have to be more precise with it. We use it to mean anything under the sun and that is not right.
There may be similarities but the reason is that they are not the same is because God didn't give France to the French. God didn't give Italy to the Italians. There is no contract. God didn't give England to the Brits. Now those people may not like it, but He didn't. There is no contract. God didn't give North America to the Americans. There is no contract. So there is nothing that applies. God only entered into a one-on-one contract with one people and that is Israel, no one else. Period. You cannot substantiate it at all biblically. So there may be similarities in ways that nations collapse in terms of the cycles of civilization and the rise and fall of civilizations, but they are not the same. These penalties, if you read the text of Leviticus 26, are ultimately all related to God saying I promise you the land. If you are obedient it is going to be wonderful and you are going to live in the land and enjoy its bounty. But if you are disobedient I am going to take you out of the land. It is all related to those Abrahamic promises.
The reason I am going over this this evening is I just wanted to focus on one thing I commented on last week. I got an email this morning that came in related to this second point under the third cycle of discipline. I make this point every time I teach this, that God promised that if the Israelites were obedient to Him that He would remove the ravenous wild beasts from the land. Now if you have got an agricultural economy you do not want lions, tigers, and bears coming in and taking out all of your sheep and your goats and threatening your children and everything else. So God said, if you are spiritually obedient these animals will disappear, if you are disobedient these animals will show up.
Now you cannot chart that on a graph. You can't go into the laboratory and draw a cause and effect relationship between spiritual obedience and disobedience and the weather. You can't draw a direct correlation with that and the presence or absence of ravenous animals because we don't live in a closed universe. We live in an open universe and God governs these things. That is the weakness in modern environmentalism. It is that they treat the universe as a closed system. It always surprises them and their computer models don't work out because they don't take into account the fact that God rules the affairs of men.
I was sent this email this morning and here is one of the pictures (see slide #8). This is a pack of gray wolves in the Whippany area in Idaho. Each one of these wolves eats twenty four elk a year. This group alone will consume over 600 elk. That doesn't account for any of the hunting or sport kills or anything like this. Now you really don't get a good sense of how large these animals are in that picture, but you do in these pictures (see slide #9). These are enormous beasts. They are huge. They weigh 200 lbs or more. The Canadian gray wolf, according to this article, says that for every animal they kill to eat they will kill about three more just for the fun of it. It is called sport reflex killing or lustful killing. It goes on to say that they call these "federal" wolves because the "federal" government reintroduced them into states like Idaho and Montana because in all of their wisdom they want to control the environment, which they can't. Basically what they are doing is they are bringing these different forms of judgment upon us and now it is a major problem in Idaho and Montana and probably some in Wyoming because the situation has become out of control. It is now an emergency situation up there. So in all of our wisdom when we deny God and God's involvement in the universe all we do is bring upon judgment on ourselves.
XII. The Land Covenant (see slides beginning with #12 on The Land Covenant)
Scripture: Deuteronomy 29:1-30:20
Let me advance beyond our review from last time. I am going to start this evening; I want to look at the Land Covenant. Sometimes in older dispensational writings it was called the "Palestinian" Covenant. This is called the Land Covenant. It is in Deuteronomy 30. So I want you to turn your Bibles to Deuteronomy 29:1. It covers Deuteronomy 29:1 to Deuteronomy 30:20 is where this is laid out. In Deuteronomy 28 we have the parallel to Leviticus 26. That is the list of the blessings and the cursings and it is stated again to some degree in Deuteronomy 29. At the very beginning of this chapter we read, "these are the words of the covenant, which the LORD commanded Moses to make with the children of Israel in the land of Moab." Moab is located today in part of the Hashemite kingdom of Jordan. It is on the Transjordan, the east side of the Jordan River. It is the territory that the Israelites stopped before they entered into the land that they had promised them in terms of the conquest.
So this isn't a covenant that is given when they first came out of Egypt. It is distinct in terms of its location; it was made in the land of Moab. Then the next clause really clarifies it saying, "besides" and that word means "in addition to" the covenant, which He made with them in Horeb. Horeb is another word, another name for Mt. Sinai. So this is an additional covenant. It is not the same covenant as the covenant of Mt. Sinai. This is a covenant that focuses on the land itself. The covenant itself is made between God, Who is the party of the first part as an unconditional covenant, and the nation Israel. This is seen in Deuteronomy 29:10-15. We have a lot of Scripture we are going to look at this evening and so I want to set this up in Logos over here so it is a little easier for everybody to read it. (Setting up computer screen…)
Let's skip down to Deuteronomy 29:10, "You stand today, all of you, before the LORD your God: your chiefs, your tribes, your elders and your officers, even all the men of Israel;" Deuteronomy 29:11, "your little ones, your wives, and the alien who is within your camps, from the one who chops your wood to the one who draws your water."
So there is a recognition there that not all the people that are there are ethnically Jews. There are those who are aliens. Not that is a politically incorrect word now, which I think is just another subtle way to attack a lot of biblical translations. "Aliens" was a perfectly good word and had nothing to do with extraterrestrial life until about two decades ago. The "alien" just refers to the non-citizen within their camps. "From the one who chops your wood to the one who draws your water," Deuteronomy 29:12, "that you may enter into the covenant with the LORD your God, and into His oath which the LORD your God is making with you today."
So this is the key phrase right here; that God is the One Who makes that with the Israelites. God is the One Who makes the covenant. It is a unilateral covenant, a one-sided covenant. It is not a covenant that is two-sided that is based upon mutual conditions. He makes that covenant in Deuteronomy 29:1. Deuteronomy 29:13, "in order that He may establish you today as His people and that He may be your God, just as He spoke to you and as He swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob." So this is connecting this covenant back to the Abrahamic Covenant as an expansion of what was in the Abrahamic Covenant. In Deuteronomy 14 he says, Deuteronomy 29:14-15, "Now not with you alone am I making this covenant and this oath, but both with those who stand here with us today in the presence of the LORD our God and with those who are not with us here today."
In other words, future generations. So they were standing there as representatives of all of the future generations of the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
C. Provisions (slide #13):
1. The first provision is identified in Deuteronomy 29:2 through Deuteronomy 30:1. Israel would be scattered for disobedience, suffering, sickness, death, and they are taken out of the land if they are disobedient. They will encounter all of these various curses that are listed there in this chapter.
2. Ultimately though, the promise and the hope is laid out that they would repent; they would turn back to God. Deuteronomy 30:2 states; in verse one it says:
Deuteronomy 30:1-2, "It shall come to pass when all these things come upon you, the blessing and the curse which I have set before you and you call them to mind among all the nations where the LORD your God drives you and you return to the LORD your God and obey (His voice) Him."
So it is a "turning" to God; that is a key word we have studied many times indicating a turning away from the idols and turning to God in obedience, which is the second phrase: "obey His voice according to all that I command you today, you and your children, with all your heart and with all your soul that the LORD your God will bring you back from captivity and have compassion on you and gather you again from all the nations where the LORD your God has scattered you," Deuteronomy 30:3.
3. After this Messiah will return, Deuteronomy 30:3.
So there is a promise at the end that they will disobey God; God will remove them from the land and then He will restore them to the land when they turn back to God. This is at the time when the Messiah comes, at the Second Coming of Jesus.
4. Israel will be regathered fort its final restoration to the land, Deuteronomy 30:3-4.
So this is the future blessing, but it is conditioned upon their spiritual turning back to God. I think I told you last year or the year before I had a chance to go to another church here in town. I was invited and the speaker was a Rabi Zadok. He is a brother to the owner of Zadok Jewelry here. Some of you are familiar with that establishment down in the Galleria area. He's a rabbi in Israel and he has a store over there and does a number of other things, but he preached on this passage. What was fascinating was that he put the Hebrew and English up on the overhead like I do. I've never seen anybody else do that. He put the Hebrew and English up on the screen and he went through and he is using this as a rational for showing that the current return of the Jews to the land is this return. It is not. This is the return when the Messiah comes back. He just skipped Deuteronomy 30:1-2. He just completely skipped it. He went through the end of Deuteronomy 29 skips Deuteronomy 30:1-2 and just kept right on rolling with Deuteronomy 30:3 and saying that Deuteronomy 30:3 was this current return that we are witnessing of Jews to the land. So that is how they handle some things. It is always easy to handle Scripture if you can ignore portions of it.
5. Israel will possess and enjoy the land, Deuteronomy 30:5 (slide #14).
Deuteronomy 30:5, "And the LORD your God will bring you into the land which your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it; and He will prosper you and multiply you more than your fathers." So it is going to be a time of incredible blessing and prosperity when the Lord returns.
6. They will be regenerated in Deuteronomy 30:6 and they will remain a saved nation during the Millennial Kingdom.
Notice Deuteronomy 30:6 says, "And the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants." Now that is not literal. You don't go literally in and circumcise or cut something literally off of the heart. It refers to a separation in terms of the removal of sin. It is used that same way in the OT. It refers to a separation of sin. It is not a removal completely of the sin nature because during the Millennial Kingdom they will have children; they will have sin natures, but their heart will be circumcised. It has to do with the defeat of the power of the sin nature. The term "circumcision of your heart" is used in the NT as a parallel to the baptism of the Holy Spirit. It is not saying here that this is the baptism of the Holy Spirit, but it is similar in that it over powers the tyranny of the sin nature and that will be a part of the spiritual life in the Church Age and you will love your God with all your heart and with all your soul that you may live.
This is a key verse to remember. It doesn't identify this time as the New Covenant, but that language of circumcising their heart and loving the LORD thy God with all their heart and soul that they may live is language that we will see later on that is part of the New Covenant. It is the characteristic of the spiritual life identified by these New Covenant passages that we'll get too later on in Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel.
7. Israel's enemies will be judged, Deuteronomy 30:7.
8. Israel will enjoy the blessings of the Messianic Age, Deuteronomy 30:8-10.
The LORD your God will put all those curses on your enemies and on those who hate you, who persecuted. And again, the reiteration of the point in Deuteronomy 30:8-9 that they will be obedient and they will enjoy all the blessings that God has promised them in the past. Verse 8 says, you will again obey the voice of the LORD and do all His commandments which I command you today. The LORD your God will make you abound in all the work of your hand and the fruit of your body, and the increase of your livestock, and in the produce of your land for good. For the LORD will again rejoice over you for good as He rejoiced over your fathers."
Deuteronomy 30:10, "If you obey the (voice of) the LORD your God to keep His commandments and His statutes which are written in the book of the law, and if you turn to the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul." So there is a condition for experiencing this, but the covenant itself is unconditional and eternal. But to enjoy the blessings of the covenant there is a spiritual condition, which we'll see is resolved by the New Covenant.
D. Importance (See slide #15):
The importance of the Land Covenant is that first of all:
1. It reaffirms Israel's title deed to the land in spite of disobedience.
One of the arguments you'll hear today from some Christians is the presence of Jews in the land of Israel today is really not significant or not important because they are back in the land but they are still apostate. They haven't accepted Jesus as Savior; they are in spiritual rebellion; and this has no spiritual significance. And so we don't really need to worry about blessing Israel. It is a backdoor anti-Semitism. The problem with that is that even in the OT when Israel was at its spiritual worst and they were immolating their infants on fiery alters; even when they were burning them in worship to Molech, those who came along, the Assyrians and the Babylonians, caved into anti-Semitism and God judged those nations. We don't see too many Assyrians and Babylonians running around today. God judged them historically; and so the principle of blessing Israel is not conditioned upon their spiritual condition. It is based upon the fact that they are God's chosen people. So the Abrahamic promise is still in effect.
2. It shows that the conditional Mosaic Covenant doesn't nullify or supersede the unconditional Abrahamic Covenant.
The New Covenant still promises the land and says they will be permanently in the land and it is means that the Mosaic Covenant when it came in doesn't nullify or replace the old covenant. Now that is important because as we look at these three covenants that come together: the Land Covenant, the Davidic Covenant, and the New Covenant; they all are after the Mosaic Covenant. There are some people who get the idea that the New Covenant replaces everything previous including the Abrahamic Covenant. I mentioned that somebody did ask me a question similar to that the last time. Then I had another question or comment from the Pittsburg area which said, "I have had the sad opportunity of some covenant theology acquaintances twisting" and he cites Jeremiah 31:31-32, but the same thing could apply here.
Then he quoted that and he says, "What they come up with is the idea, using their allegorical hermeneutics, they argue that when God said a New Covenant with Israel He really means that the Church Age believers replace old Israel. So that old Israel is replaced. I argue that it means New as in an additional covenant or in addition to; that we are not replacing them." Actually the New Covenant replaces the old covenant. It doesn't replace Israel; it doesn't replace the Abrahamic Covenant, which is still in effect. The New Covenant, the Davidic Covenant and the Land Covenant are still in effect. The only thing that the New Covenant replaces is the Mosaic Covenant, which was designed to be temporary, which is the thrust of Hebrews 8, which we will look at a little later on.
3. It amplifies the land aspect of that covenant.
A third thing is that it amplifies for us the land promise that God made to Abraham back in Genesis 12, 15, and 17 and that God hasn't changed His mind. It is still in effect. He said that it was an everlasting covenant then and it is still an everlasting covenant.
E. Confirmation: Ezekiel 16 (see slide #16).
Now this is confirmed in an OT passage in Ezekiel 16. We are going to be in that territory for awhile tonight so you might want to turn in your Bibles over to Ezekiel 16. This is one of the longest chapters in Ezekiel. We are not going to go through the whole chapter, but if you look to the end of the chapter there are 63 verses in Ezekiel 16 and we don't have enough time to go through this verse by verse. I want to give you a basic outline and you can use that to go through and read the chapter for yourself.
In the first seven verses God states His clear love for Israel and He uses the analogy of the birth of an infant; that it describes from the very beginning of the nation's birth in the land of Canaan that God loved the nation and took care of her. In Ezekiel 16:8-14 this analogy is further developed emphasizing God's choice of Israel corporately for His purposes and that Israel as a nation is related to God by marriage and becomes the bride of Yahweh. So that is one analogy that is used in the OT. You also have the analogy of adoption. These are just different pictures that God uses to emphasize the permanence of that relationship with Israel. In these verses the Mosaic Covenant is the marriage contract between God and Israel.
Then the next section is rather lengthy, it is from Ezekiel 16:15-34. This describes Israel as the wife of Yahweh is now unfaithful and is adulterous and is unfaithful to her husband; nevertheless, God continues to be faithful to Israel and doesn't kick her out. Then in Ezekiel 16:35-52 we see that there are various punishments that are brought upon Israel including their worldwide scattering in the Diaspora. Then in Ezekiel 16:53-63 we are told that this dispersion is not permanent. It is not but there is going to be a future time when they are going to be regathered and restored and this is on the basis of the Land Covenant.
In Ezekiel 16:58 we read, "For you have paid for your lewdness and your abominations." That is a reference to their spiritual apostasy. Then Ezekiel 16:60, "Nevertheless, I will remember My covenant with you in the days of your youth and I will establish an everlasting covenant with you." Now I think that is making a connection between the covenant in their youth, which is the Abrahamic Covenant, which of course includes the land promise, and the future New Covenant. What we see is that when the New Covenant comes into effect, in looking at these three covenants: the Land Covenant, the Davidic Covenant, and the New Covenant.
When we look at the New Covenant we will see that when it comes into to effect it is at the same time that the Davidic Covenant is fulfilled and a Davidic king is put on the throne in Jerusalem; and the Jews return to the land in obedience to God at the time of the full restoration to the land that God promised, which means we can't be living in any way, shape or form in a time of the New Covenant. We don't have a descendant of David on the throne in Jerusalem and the Jews haven't been restored to the land. People say wait a minute; we've got a New Testament (NT). The NT is called the NT; that just another form of saying the New Covenant. We'll we will get to that as we go through this. But that is where we are driving and we have to see how the Bible connects and intertwines these three aspects that have their root back in the Abrahamic Covenant.
This is the confirmation passage later on. The other thing I am pointing out here is that you don't just have passages where the covenants are given or described, but they are reconfirmed subsequently in Scripture; so that you can't just read the OT and isolation. You have to connect the parts together. You can't just come in and say, awe, I am going to read these five chapters out of Deuteronomy today and a couple chapters out of Jeremiah, and a couple of chapters out of Acts, and then I have done my daily Bible reading because you loose the fact that there are these internal threads that run through Scripture connecting it together. This is one reason why a lot of Christians get in trouble when they start talking or hearing some arguments against the Bible from unbelievers; is that they don't really know their Bible as an interconnected whole. They don't spend time reading it, so they are not familiar enough with it; and they haven't worked it through.
That is the brilliant aspect of Charlie Clough's Framework Series is that it treats the whole Scripture in this interconnected and interdependent manner where you see that if you read in one section it is reaffirmed and strengthened by things that are said in other sections of the OT. The Bible cannot just be chopped up. This is sort of the old saying that "united we stand divided we fall". What happens with the liberal methodology is to divide the Scripture and attack it piece mill and because Christians don't know how these things interconnect they just lose their faith in the Scripture. Once you see it as a connected whole then you don't really have these problems.
The last thing I want to say about the Land Covenant is in terms of its status. It is unconditional. All of Deuteronomy 29 has been fulfilled in terms of the scattering down through Deuteronomy 30. We are waiting on the last part to be fulfilled, which has to do with their repentance in turning back to God. So that is the final part of that covenant.
XIII. The Davidic Covenant (see slides starting with #17)
Now the second covenant we are going to look at tonight is the Davidic Covenant. This is the covenant that God entered into with David in terms of the future leadership of the nation. In order to have a nation what do you have to have? You have to have a people; you have to have a territory where the nation exists; and you have to have a ruler. What we have here is the ruler. The Land Covenant takes the place of the location; then the New Covenant is going to define the kind of people that will be part of that kingdom.
Two basic passages, 2 Samuel 7:11-14 that emphasizes more the fulfillment of the covenant through Solomon, David's immediate seed; then 1 Chronicles 17:10-14, which looks a little more at the long-term fulfillment in David's Greater Son, the Messiah.
God and David as representative of the Davidic Dynasty.
In terms of the persons of the covenant you have God on the one hand entering into a unilateral covenant, an unconditional covenant with David. I want to look at the passage in 2 Samuel 7:11-17 and just read through this. God reminds David of how He has been faithful to him and taking care of him. Starting 2 Samuel 7:8 He says, "Now therefore, thus shall you say to My servant David, 'Thus says the Lord of hosts: "I took you from the sheepfold, from following the sheep, to be ruler over My people, over Israel."' So this is a reminder to David of how God has raised him to his current position; how God has provided for him and blessed him. God says in 2 Samuel 7:9, "And I have been with you wherever you have gone, and have cut off all your enemies from before you, and have made you a great name, like the name of the great men who are on the earth." Now what does that remind you of? It should take you back to the covenant that God made with Abraham where God promised Abraham that He would make his name great. That was in contrast to what happened at the Tower of Babel where the people gathered together in opposition to God in order to make their name great.
You see how you connect the dots and tie the threads together to show that the Bible is an interconnected whole. There is a purpose. God is going to make great whom He wills to make great and it is going to be based on their humility and dependence upon Him and His grace toward them. Then we read in 2 Samuel 7:10, "Moreover I will appoint a place for My people Israel"; what is that? That is the Land Covenant. He connects the covenant He is getting ready to make with David to the promise of the Seed. He says, "that they may dwell in a place of their own and move no more; nor shall the sons of wickedness oppress them anymore, as previously, since the time that I commanded judges to be over My people Israel, and have caused you to rest from all your enemies. Also the Lord tells you that He will make you a house."
So this is the beginning of the promise. God will make him a house. This doesn't mean that God is going to build David a nice palace. It is actually alludes to the fact that previously, in the previous chapter David had expressed his desire to build a temple for God; and God is saying, no, it is not going to be your role to build a temple for Me; instead, I am going to build you a house. It is a play on words. God is going to build David a house meaning a dynasty. He says in 1 Samuel 7:12, "When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom." Notice, God is the One Who is enforcing and bringing into effect the covenant, not David. It is a one-sided covenant initiated by God.
2 Samuel 7:13, "He shall build a house for My name…" This is referring to Solomon. Solomon will build that temple. "He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 14 I will be his Father, and he shall be My son." He is still talking about Solomon. That is why it is pointed out, 2 Samuel 7 focuses more on its immediate fulfillment through Solomon and then the Chronicles passage deals with the ultimate fulfillment in Jesus Christ in 1 Chronicles 17:10. 2 Samuel 7:14 says, "I will be his Father, and he shall be My son. If he commits iniquity,…" another clue that He is talking about a human object at this point. "I will chasten him with the rod of men and with the blows of the sons of men. 15 But My mercy shall not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I removed from before you. 16 And your house and your kingdom shall be established forever before you. Your throne shall be established forever." (before you.)
So this is a promise to David that his house, that is his dynasty and his kingdom will be established forever. It is another eternal, everlasting covenant; "and your throne shall be established forever."
*C. Importance [skipped]
So what God promises here, in terms of the provisions:
1. He promises a house, 2 Samuel 7:11; 2 Samuel 7:16-17; 2 Samuel 7:10.
2. He promises that Solomon will be established upon David's throne, 2 Samuel 7:12.
3. He promises that Solomon will build the temple, not David. Although David did all the pre-work. He laid everything out, laid out the plans, help Solomon get everything ready to go, but it was going to be Solomon who built the temple, 2 Samuel 7:13.
4. The throne of Solomon's kingdom would be established forever. That is in terms of his dynasty as well, from David, not that Solomon is going to be forever, but the throne of the kingdom would be forever, 2 Samuel 7:13:16.
5. Solomon would be punished for disobedience, but God's covenant love would not be removed from him. God would be faithful to his covenant even though Solomon would be disobedient or unfaithful, 2 Samuel 7:14-15.
6. In 1 Chronicles: 17:10-14 the emphasis is on the Messiah, His throne, His house, and His kingdom will be established forever. That is the long-term application of the Davidic Covenant.
So four eternal things are promised: an eternal house, which means an eternal dynasty, the Davidic dynasty. If you think about it, if it is coming physically through the seed of David, can a human being be eternal? No, so the only way that you can have an eternal house is if you have an eternal succession, a never ending succession of descendants or if one of those descendants is Himself eternal. So embedded within the Davidic Covenant in this concept of an eternal fulfillment is the implication that it is not just going to be a human being that fulfills the covenant, but a human being that is also God, Who Himself will be eternal. So four eternal things are promised: an eternal house, an eternal kingdom, an eternal throne and an eternal descendant.
E. Confirmations (see Slide #20):
1. In terms of confirmation, the Davidic Covenant is confirmed in 2 Samuel 23 and also in Psalm 89:1-52. If you read through Psalm 89; it is a great Psalm and the whole Psalm is a meditation on the Davidic Covenant. This promise that God has made guaranteeing an eternal dynasty to David. So, take some time and read through those passages.
2. The second thing that we learn later on in Jeremiah 33, which we will look at in just a minute, the provisions of the Davidic Covenant will be fulfilled. God promises that He will fulfill them even though some of David's descendants are unworthy and disobedient and apostate; nevertheless, God is still going to ultimately fulfill those promises, Jeremiah 33:14-26.
Let's look at Jeremiah 33. The fun part of this is that you get to wander around the Bible. Now when I am doing this you should be writing notes in your margin of your Bible connecting these passages together. So back there where 2 Samuel 7:11 is, you should put in the margin to see Jeremiah 33:14-26. You should have 2 Samuel 23 and Psalm 89 also listed there in your notes in the margins there of your Bible. But in Jeremiah 33, a long chapter, but an important chapter. God comes along and makes His promise to the nation at the time. Jeremiah 33:1-3, He is talking to Jeremiah, "The Word of the LORD came to Jeremiah as second time while he was still shut up in the court of the prison, saying, 'Thus says the Lord who made it, the Lord who formed it to establish it (Yahweh is His name):'" and then He gives Jeremiah a promise related to prayer. "Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know."
Jeremiah 33:4-6, "For thus says the Lord, the God of Israel,…" notice how God identifies Himself specifically as the God of Israel. " Concerning the houses of this city and the houses of the kings of Judah, which have been pulled down to fortify against the siege mounds and the sword:" So this is written while the armies of Babylon are outside the walls of Jerusalem seeking to destroy them. And God says, "They come to fight with the Chaldeans, but only to fill their places with the dead bodies…" So they have done all this fortification to fight the Chaldeans. And God says in "My fury, (because of) all for whose wickedness I have hidden My face from this city." So they are going down because of Divine discipline. "Behold, I will bring it health and healing." This is future.
So God is bringing judgment, but there is also this promise of future blessing and a hope. God says, "I will bring it." Jeremiah 33:6-9 shifts from the present circumstances to the future restoration and hope. "I will bring it health and healing. I will heal them and reveal to them the abundance of peace and truth. I will cause the captives of Judah and the captives of Israel to return…"; so this is focusing on the future restoration of the nation. I will cause them to return "and will rebuild those places as at the first. I will cleanse them from all their iniquity by which they have sinned against Me, and I will pardon all their iniquities by which they have sinned and by which they have transgressed against Me."
Has that happened yet? No. This is yet future. There has not been this cleansing of the whole nation yet. Jeremiah 33:9-15, "Then it shall be to Me a name of joy, a praise, and an honor before all nations of the earth, who shall hear all the good that I do to them; they shall fear and tremble for all the goodness and all the prosperity that I provide for it." And then if we skip down to Jeremiah 33:15 this connects it to David. "In those days and at that time I will cause to grow up to David a Branch of righteousness…." The analogy He is using are the passages that the house of David refers to his father Jesse as a stump. You have cut down the tree; there is nothing left but a stump. Now, all of a sudden something new is going to grow out of this even though the house of David seems to have been cut off in the future it is destroyed in 586 BC, there will be a branch that grows out of this stump of Jesse. Now that is in another passage in Isaiah, but it picks up this same idea here.
Jeremiah 33:15-18, "'I will cause to grow up to David a Branch of righteousness; He shall execute judgment and righteousness in the earth. In those days Judah will be saved, And Jerusalem will dwell safely. And this is the name by which she will be called: THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.'" This is a future fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant. "For thus says the Lord: 'David shall never lack a man to sit on the throne of the house of Israel;…'" That is the fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant. "nor shall the priests, the Levites, lack a man to offer burnt offerings before Me,…" Now when we get into the Millennial Kingdom later on, we are going to see that there will be a restoration of sacrifices in the Millennial Kingdom.
Now that bothers a lot of non-dispensationalists; but you've got a real problem, if you are going to interpret Scripture literally, when you come to Ezekiel 40-48, which deals with the future temple that is built that is a clear description of a restored priesthood and a restored sacrifices. But the sacrifices there are not identical to the Levitical sacrifices. There are differences and that caused quite a bit of problem to the rabbis trying to reconcile Ezekiel with Leviticus because they wanted them to blend together and they are different because in the future Millennial Kingdom those sacrifices are not related to depicting salvation. They are related to the cleansing of the priest in ritual. We will get into all of that when we get there, but I just want to point out here that in Jeremiah 33:18 it is focusing on this future time when the Davidic promise. When the Davidic promise is fulfilled there is a restoration of those sacrifices.
And how long will this go on? Jeremiah 33:20-21, "Thus says the Lord: 'If you can break My covenant with the day and My covenant with the night, so that there will not be day and night in their season, 21 then My covenant may also be broken with David My servant, so that he shall not have a son to reign on his throne, and with the Levites, the priests, My ministers.'" So what He is saying is, just as it is impossible for the sun and moon not to do their thing, it is impossible for Me to break My covenant. So Jeremiah 33:14-26 reinforces that covenant.
Jeremiah 33:25-26 comes back to that same imagery, 'If My covenant is not with day and night, and if I have not appointed the ordinances of heaven and earth, then I will cast away the descendants of Jacob and David My servant,…" Notice Jacob, that is Abrahamic Covenant. So that verse He is connecting the promise to Jacob with the promise to David. Then He says, "so that I will not take any of his descendants to be rulers over the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. For I will cause their captives to return, and will have mercy on them." So this is tied to that return, which is what Deuteronomy talks about in Deuteronomy 30. So these are the passages that confirm what was stated earlier in the Davidic Covenant. The last part of this deals with the extent of the covenant. We looked at the confirmations and the other passages, which I will look at in a minute.
1. The extent of the covenants forever and everlasting according to Revelation 20, as well as Isaiah 9:6-7. That is the Messianic passage related to the fact that the Messiah will be born, son of David, He will be called the Everlasting King in Isaiah 11:11. I don't have time, because it is already 8:30 p.m., to go into Isaiah 11:11. We will look at that when we get to the New Covenant next time in terms of the two restorations of Israel. But we see that the extent of this covenant is forever and everlasting.
2. The house of David, as I pointed out, is reduced to a stump; it is impoverished; it becomes nothing but God will restore it. This is seen in passages like the one I just stated in Jeremiah 23:5-6.
Now we just read something similar to this in Jeremiah 33. In Jeremiah 23:5 we read, "Behold, the days are coming," says the LORD, "That I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness;…" This is a common image of the Davidic Messiah. "A King shall reign and prosper, and execute judgment and righteousness in the earth." In Jeremiah 23:6, "In His days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell safely; Now this is His name by which He will be called: THE LORD OF RIGHTEOUSNESS." That is almost identical to what is stated there in Jeremiah 33:15-16.
And then in Jeremiah 30:8-9, "'For it shall come to pass in that day,' says the LORD of hosts, 'That I will break his yoke from your neck, and will burst your bonds; Foreigners shall no more enslave them. But they shall serve the LORD their God, and David their king, Whom I will raise up for them.'" That is not a reference to the Messiah. That is a reference to the resurrected David who will reign over Jerusalem in the Millennial Kingdom. "They shall serve the LORD their God, and David their king, Whom I will raise up for them." So this is again an illusion to even resurrection.
Now next time we will come back and start with the New Covenant and there is a lot to cover on the New Covenant. We will get into that next week. Were there any questions?
Question: This is from a listener in New York: "Under the OT monarchy each king was instructed to make a copy of the law for himself. Do we know which portion of the Pentateuch that would have been comprised of?
Answer: Probably the whole five books of Moses.
Question: What about when the Book of the Law was found and read to King Josiah, what would that have consisted of? The Mosaic Law was the constitution for the nation Israel believer or nonbeliever alike, but how could anyone but a believer be expected not to violate the first amendment?
Answer: Well, in terms of Josiah, when they rediscovered the Law, that was primarily Deuteronomy. And the Law had been lost for at least a generation, a couple of decades or more. Nobody knew the Law according to the passage in Kings. But even unbelievers were expected to obey the Law because you had unbelievers in the nation. That is part of the distinction between the spirituality of the Church Age and the OT. They are all treated as being able to understand the Law.
Question: Earlier in your talk you were referring to the fact that the Mosaic Covenant was only made with the Jewish people, with Israel. The Scripture verse that you were referring to made mention to the aliens among them. "Those who chop your wood" and so on and so forth. But the covenant was being made with all of them, so were those aliens at that point embraced as Israel?
Answer: They are not viewed as foreigners. They are viewed as Gentiles who have come in and become part of Israel, like Ruth. But the covenant is made with Israel. When you go through the prophets, and the prophets list a lot of condemnations for all the different nations. You read through Isaiah and you read the headings in your study Bible and there is the judgment on Babel and the judgment on Edom and the judgment on Moab and the judgment on Phoenicia and on and on and on. And I did this as part of a course years ago. I went through and listed all of the things for which Gentiles are condemned. They are never condemned for anything that is unique to Mosaic Law. The Jews are condemned for not observing the Sabbath, for not observing the Sabbatical Year, all of the other things that are distinct to the Mosaic Law. The Gentiles are condemned for that which is related to the Noahic Covenant or the Creation Covenant and that is idolatry and that is it. So the point is that the Mosaic Covenant is made with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. There were those who lived in Israel and some were becoming proselytes at various stages. Those would have been considered aliens until they completely converted, which would be indicated by the males with circumcision.
All right, let's close in prayer.
"Father, thank You for this opportunity to study these things this evening and to reflect upon Your Word and Your plan and Your promises to Israel; that these are eternal and everlasting and that even though Israel may be apostate today, may not be trusting in Jesus as Messiah; nevertheless, You are still faithful to them. You will fulfill Your promises to them; and we as Christians have a responsibility to continue to bless the Jewish people and Israel and to treat them in grace because they are Your chosen people. Father, we pray that You would help us as we study through these things and think about it; read through these passages in Scripture to see these distinctions on how You treat and deal with Israelites in the OT versus church age believers today. We pray this in Christ Name, Amen."
Elaborates the seed aspect of the Abrahamic Covenant, the Messianic seed aspect rather than the national seed.