I will eventually get the subject of this series – Life in the Millennium. But for now I’m content to establish some introductory understanding concerning the foundations of this Messianic Kingdom, as well as learning a great deal myself.
I think one of the greatest benefits to the church today would be to experience the lifestyle and culture of the first century church. I’m getting a “guy” to work on a time machine. Okay, it’s not a time machine, but it does make snow cones. Consistently, I find that I’m trying to place myself into the story – after the crucifixion when the resurrected dead are wandering the streets of Jerusalem, during those 40 mysterious days of teaching after Christ’s resurrection, into the upper room waiting for the Promise of the Father, into the house gatherings of the apostles for prayer and the breaking of bread. That’s what a good story does right? It seeks to place the reader into the storyline so that the reader begins to think, act, and feel like one of the characters. And this story is the best story ever written. It includes, Fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love, miracles… (the grandpa from The Princess Bride – the shinning year of 1987). The plot line is simple enough for a child to grasp, yet so profoundly intricate that it strikes the intellectual mind with wonder.
One day as David is wandering around in his villa of cedar, he suddenly realizes the ark of the covenant is dwelling inside a curtained tabernacle. The injustice of the situation begins to dawn on him. Nathan the prophet tells him to do what is in his heart to do – build a permanent house wherein God would dwell. David is told by the Lord that he would not be the one to build the temple but that his seed would complete the endeavor (2 Sam. 7:12, 14). God then swears an everlasting oath to David, known as the Davidic Covenant. This covenant ensures David that the following 3 things would be perpetuated 1) his seed, 2) his throne, and 3) his kingdom.
I. David’s Seed
The Lord tells David, “[I] will make you house. When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your father, I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body…” (2 Sam. 7:11b-12). David’s “house” is meant to be understood as his posterity – physical descendants (some translate house as “Royal dynasty”). Here, David is promised that he will have a child (Solomon), yet to be born, who will succeed him. His line will always be the royal line with the right to rule. No other family will inherit the kingly linage of the Davidic seed. This seed is the same seed that is spoken of who will crush the head of the serpent (Gen. 3:15). In one sense, it speaks of the ongoing generations of David’s descendants, yet also points to a future Seed who will embody the fullness of a King-Priest anointing and bring about the final defeat of the serpent. God has preserved a physical seed throughout history to bring about both the redemption of mankind and the Messianic Kingdom; both fulfillment’s are found in the man Christ. Gen 49:10 The scepter shall not depart from Judah, Nor a lawgiver from between his feet, Until Shiloh comes; And to Him shall be the obedience of the people. This is what is spoken of in Acts 2 during Peter’s discourse concerning the resurrection of Jesus. His case is that Christ, as the Son (Seed) of David must be resurrected in accordance with the oath God had sworn. Christ could not rule on David’s throne if He were a disembodied spirit, for David’s throne is in Zion – the city of David (1 Kg 8:1). Therefore, Christ has risen to fulfill all that God had spoken, part being, he was given a resurrected body capable of sitting on an earthly throne.
II. David’s Throne
2 Sam 7:13b …I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.
Provision is made through oath that David’s throne would continue forever (2 Sam 7:16). The throne speaks not only the political power committed to David’s seed but the geographic locale whereupon this seed would preside. This is an important and oft overlooked provision. As previously mentioned the throne of David rests in the city of David – Jerusalem. David’s throne was meant to be understood as the seat of exulted earthly power centered in Jerusalem. God chose Israel to make a name for Himself (2 Sam 7:23) through which He would establish His government in the earth. He sent His Son to sit on that seat (Ps. 2:6). Mary is told that her Son would be given the throne of His father David and that He would in fact reign over the house of Jacob forever (Lk 1:32). Jesus is both Messiah (1st coming) and King (2nd coming).
No where in scripture does it say that David’s throne is in the heart of believers or in heaven. To come to one of these conclusions requires the symbolizing of many passages to form an uninspired idea that somehow David’s throne evaporated and entered the heart of believers through the cross. This idea came through a misunderstanding, and further denial, of both the Dadivic Covenant and earthly millennial kingdom. The Davidic Covenant presents several problems for those who seek the allegorical or spiritual interpretation of the its provisions. Foremost is the fact that both David and Solomon understood it as literal (2 Sam 7:18-29; 2 Chron. 6:14-16); moreover there is not clear scriptural basis for understanding David’s throne to be in heart of a believer nor of it being synonymous with the heavenly Father’s throne.
III. The Kingdom
2 Sam 7:16 …your kingdom shall be established forever
David is further promised that his kingdom will forever perpetuate. When this promise was given it would by nature of its longevity demand to be supreme on the earth. In theory, the armies of Israel would have no fear of their enemies going into battle because of the knowledge that their kingdom would not be thrown down. Even if it were not supreme initially it would simply outlast all other kingdoms to become so. An eternal entity cannot be subject to a temporary one. Even Rome, in it’s millennial rule of glory, would and was, simply outlasted by this Davidic Kingdom. The destruction inititated in 70 AD and completed in 135 AD was undone through the re-establishment of Israel in 1948. Although evil has purposed time and time again to ‘stamp out’ the Jewish people, there will always be a remnant left to humbly receive Yeshua at His coming (see Mt. 23:39). Jesus is the only one to fulfill this promise since He is both naturally ‘Son of Daivid’ and divinely eternal. It is implied that one king will rule this kingdom forever (see also Mic. 4:7). By understanding the promise to Mary concerning Christ’s throne (Lk 1:32), the Father’s purpose to have His Son as King (Ps. 2:6), and the prophecy in Daniel 2:44 of a kingdom which will never be destroyed it can be deduced that this covenant finds its fulfillment in Christ at His Second Coming. Further, we are told by Isaiah that through this given Son, there would be no end to the increase of His peace and government when He sits upon the throne of Daivid’s kingdom (9:7).
In summary, the three provisions of this covenant are find their rest in Christ at the establishment of His millennial kingdom.