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God’s Covenant With David
Fall Quarter: Covenants With God
Unit 2: Called Into Covenant With God
Sunday school lesson for the week of October 22, 2017
By Rev. Earnestine W. Campbell
Scripture Lesson: 2 Samuel 7:1-6, 8-10, 12-16
Background Scripture: 2 Samuel 7:1-16; Psalm 89; 1 Chronicles 22:6-8
Purpose: To discern how God has guided our lives with purpose and faithful love
Key Verse: Your dynasty and your kingdom will be secured forever before me. Your throne will be established forever. (2 Samuel 7:16)
History of the Books of Samuel
The Adult Bible Studies’
writer provides the following history narrative:
The two books of Samuel and the two books of Kings were originally one book each. They narrate the history of Israel from the call of Samuel to be a prophet to the conquest of Judah and exile in Babylon around five centuries later. Using later accounts that the books were compiled during the sixth-century B.C. At the time of their writing, the Davidic dynasty that God had promised in this week’s readings had collapsed. Its kings no longer ruled.
Here’s why the Davidic Dynasty collapsed:
Hearing the Word
- The two books of Kings identified the corruption that thoroughly plagued Israel and Judah throughout their histories, especially among the royalty.
- Injustice and idolatry prevailed. The promises of God and his blessings were ignored, forgotten, or willfully rejected.
- Even the ark of the covenant, housed in the grand Temple that David wanted to build and Solomon built in Jerusalem, could not ensure God’s presence and aid for people who did not live up to the expectations of God’s covenant (Jeremiah 7:3-4).
2 Samuel 7:1-6, 8-10, 12-16
The writer believes that the author of Samuel most likely lived during this time of turmoil or had keen insights into this catastrophic period of Judah’s destruction. The reference of Samuel 8 is used as a background to detail the context of their challenges of leadership transition from judges to kingship. The Israelites wanted a king to rule over them instead of God as their ruler. Their desire was an open rejection to God’s kingship. The people are warned against having a king (Samuel 8:11-18). There is always hope. The writer coins David, a king, as a “model ruler,” and says that his kingship 500 years earlier provided the symbolic possibility of hope and God’s renewal of promises and blessings.
Who was David?
The writer tells us the following:
- Considered a legendary figure by many scholars.
- His story goes back to the shepherd boy who played the lyre and sang psalms to soothe the troubled King Saul; killed the giant Goliath with a slingshot; the hunted victim of Saul’s anger and resentment; and the ideal king who defeated Israel’s enemies, set up his throne in Jerusalem, and forged peace and unity among the 12 tribes of Israel.
- A complicated David arises – an affair with the married Bathsheba, impregnating her and arranging the death of her husband.
- Disorder and rebellion in his own family.
Teacher: Ask the class where they find “model” leaders in today’s society or throughout history. What are their characteristics that are beneficial to society?
2 Samuel 7:1
The writer continues with the background story of the military and political climate before examining the lesson scripture and states that: David was anointed by the people of Judah in Hebron to be the “king over the house of Judah (2 Samuel 2:4) after Saul’s and Jonathan’s deaths; there were conflicts with the tribes of Israel and becoming the king over the consolidated tribes of Judah and Israel (2 Samuel 2:12–5:5); defeated the local Jebusites, and built a capital city within its bordering earthen walls. David battled in wars against the Philistines that were threatened by his growing power, and they were defeated (2 Samuel 5:6-25). Afterwards, he sent his troops to Kiriath-jearim to retrieve the ark of the covenant (“covenant chest”) to be brought to Jerusalem (1 Samuel 4-6). David entered into a period of peace and rest and God’s protection. He settled in his palace and found rests from his enemies with God.
David felt troubled because he lived in a house made from cedar while the “ark of God remained in a tent.” In the text, he engaged in conversation with the Prophet Nathan. Nathan gave David his blessings to proceed with what he wanted because God was with him. The story continues with God speaking to Nathan with an account of him as the “ark of the covenant” moving from place to place, but not asking to have a house built of cedar. What is God expressing to Nathan about David’s disturbed spirit for the need to build a proper house for the Ark of the Covenant?
God gives instructions to Nathan about David’s concern: “So then, say this to my servant David: This is what the Lord of heavenly forces says: I took you from the pasture, from following the flock, to be leader over my people Israel. I’ve been with you wherever you’ve gone, and I’ve eliminated all your enemies before you. Now I will make your name great – like the name of the greatest people on earth. I’m going to provide a place for my people Israel, and plant them so that they may live there and no longer be disturbed. Cruel people will no longer trouble them, as they had been earlier…” God only wanted for David to remember his glorious works and his protection.
The scripture continues to explore God’s answer to the David building his house: “When the time comes for you to die and you lie down with your ancestors, I will raise up your descendant – one of your very own children – to succeed you, and I will establish his kingdom. He will build a temple for my name, and I will establish his royal throne forever…”
Teacher: Ask the class to share an experience where God’s establishment of protection was evident.
Humanity has always experienced times of unrest, disturbances, and times of peace. In examining the Biblical text, we discover that God still provides deliverance, protection, and keeps his covenant. “Your dynasty and your kingdom will be secured forever before me.” Your throne will be established forever (Verse 16).
Dear God, let us embrace your presence, commands, and live in reverence, awe, and faithfully to your covenant and love. Amen.
Rev. Earnestine W. Campbell serves as the Associate Director for Connectional Ministries. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The “Adult Bible Studies, Series Fall 2017” book is used for the content of this lesson.