Psalms and the life of David – GIFT session 7

For the complete series of studies see here

Session 7

The present and future king

Up until now we have looked at David’s life and drawn parallels with his experience and our own. We have learnt much about praying in situations where we are betrayed or trapped or up against the odds. But there is also another side to David’s life that we haven’t yet considered – how the life of David points forward to the coming of the greater king – Jesus, Son of David, Messiah.

We can this aspect of David’s life when we come to the covenant the Lord makes when David is established as king (2 Samuel 7). A covenant is an agreement where the Lord makes promises out of His own mercy and goodness, not through any merit of our own. It is through the covenants of the Bible that the Lord reveals His totally undeserved grace and binds Himself to act upon our behalf. And with any covenant there is blessing for those who respond in faith and obedience, and punishment for those who disobey and reject what the Lord wants for their lives.

We don’t have opportunity here to go into the whole background of the covenant the Lord makes in 2 Samuel 7. Suffice to say, it builds on the promises the Lord makes to Abraham in Genesis 12:1-7 and to the people of Israel through Moses in Exodus 19-20. Each new covenant is a stepping stone towards Jesus, and this covenant with David is no exception.

So let’s take some time now to read through 2 Samuel 7:1-17 and look more closely at what the Lord promises. If we study it carefully, we find that the Lord promises four things:

  • A name which will make David great (verse 9)
  • A place for God’s people (verse 10) and a kingdom (verse 12)
  • Rest from enemies (verse 12)
  • Offspring, literally a “seed” (verse 12)

To some degree these promises are fulfilled in the lives of David and Solomon. But it doesn’t take too much knowledge of the Old Testament to see how these promises point forward to the life of Jesus. So how were these four promises made to David fulfilled by Jesus? You may want to look at the following verses:

How does knowing the Old Testament background help us appreciate the significance of these verses?

So, turning back to the psalms, whenever we read a royal psalm about a king we always need to have two perspectives in mind. First of all, the way in which the psalm literally describes the reign of David, or another king, and secondly, how it points forward to the reign of Jesus.

Let’s look at Psalm 21

  1. An important theme of this psalm is victory. In what way has Jesus already been given victory? In what way is this victory still to come?

  2. Reflect on verse 4. What difference does God’s gift of eternal life make to you?

  3. Look at verses 6 and 7. How should our faith in Jesus give us confidence in a fast changing and uncertain world?

  4. Look verses 8-12. Why is it so important to believe in future judgement?

  5. What is the psalmist’s response to the victory of the king? (verse 13). What is your response?

As we finish, let’s go back to 2 Samuel 7:18-29, and as you hear it read, reflect on your own response to the greatness and goodness of the Lord shown to us through His holy covenants.

For the complete series of studies see here

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