1 & 2 Samuel: Day 24

The Lord’s Covenant with David

by

Today's Text: 2 Samuel 5:1-25, 2 Samuel 6:1-23, 2 Samuel 7:1-29, 1 Corinthians 12:12-20, Hebrews 10:19-22

Scripture Reading: 2 Samuel 5:1-25, 2 Samuel 6:1-23, 2 Samuel 7:1-29, 1 Corinthians 12:12-20, Hebrews 10:19-22

I’ve always assumed that a covenant is an if/then agreement. If you do x, then I’ll do y. If you fail to do x, then I’m entitled to y. Since dissecting legal mumbo-jumbo isn’t really my thing, the idea of a covenant always felt a little sterile to me.

Maybe that’s why I typically paid little attention to the Old Testament covenants. God’s covenant promises are mentioned in many places, so I did plenty of glossing over them. The biggies include the Noahic Covenant found in Genesis 9, the Abrahamic Covenant in Genesis 12, and the Mosaic Covenant in Exodus 19.

Because I only skimmed these passages, I thought the covenants were cut-and-dried versions of this: If God’s people obey the law, they get blessed; if they fail to obey the law, they get cursed. Certainly, there are blessings that come with obedience, and consequences that come with rebellion—but that isn’t the bottom line. It’s not how God does business.

God’s covenants are not equal partnerships. God gives infinitely more than He ever plans to receive.

We see this clearly in God’s covenant with David (2 Samuel 7). God had been blessing David since childhood, but here, He makes it official. God promises David these things: fame and prestige, deep roots, safety and security, legacy, and a bright future.

God promised big! This is the “then” portion of God’s covenant with David. But what was the “if”? What did David have to do to earn these lavish gifts? Well, for starters he had to….

(Crickets.)

Nothing. There is no “if” to qualify God’s “then.” David doesn’t have do his part for this covenant agreement to stand. God promises David that His “faithful love will never leave him” (v.15). He gives generously out of His extravagant love, not legal obligation. And David’s response is awestruck worship.

“This is why you are great, Lord God. There is no one like you, and there is no God besides you, as all we have heard confirms.”
- 2 Samuel 7:22

David enjoyed what I missed when I zoomed past the previous covenants: God doesn’t love us out of obligation. There is no way for the scales to be equal when man enters into a covenant with the God who created him.

The covenants of the Old Testament are like neon signs pointing to something bigger and better. They set the table for the fulfillment of God’s covenant of grace, perfected in the finished work of Christ on our behalf.

“In the same way he also took the cup after the supper and said, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood; it is shed for you.”
- Luke 22:20

The covenant Jesus offers us is this: we bring our nothing, and He gives us everything. The scales are forever tipped in our favor. May we learn to stop glossing over the goodness of our God. Instead, let us respond in worship to the God who gives extravagantly.

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Erin Davis is an author, blogger, and speaker who loves to see women of all ages run to the deep well of God’s Word. When she’s not writing, you can find Erin chasing chickens and children on her small farm in the Midwest.

  • Reading this today, just touches my heart. Last night (Aug 25, 2017) was my first night alone. What I mean is, my parents dropped me off Friday morning to my university. Oh how I was so lonely. I cried in my dorm room, but met with a Christian Fellowship group on campus! While reading this devotional this morning, the verse “I have been with you wherever you have gone…” 2 Samuel 7:9 sincerely touched my heart! It’s scary being away from our parents and friends to going into a whole new environment by yourself! But because of his love and his promises to us, I’m not so alone or sad any more.

    • Darcy

      Shana, as a mom who sent both kids off on their new seasons, I appreciate your transparency and I’ll be praying for you to thrive and be a light in your college life!

    • Cathy

      Yes Shana, you were just added to my prayer list. I remember over 40 years ago sitting in my dorm room in utter awe of my ‘aloneness’. I wish I’d been more aware of the depth of Our Father’s live then. I pray that you feel His presence in the highs and lows & that he reveals his plans for you to use your amazing gifts for His glory. Much love !

  • Wow, thank you Erin for this super understandable devotional! You’ve changed my entire reading of the Old Testament. And the Luke 22:20 verse, your explanation of that helps immensely. My pastor says it every month before communion and I never really gave it much thought, this covenant. But you’ve brought an entirely new life to this word throughout the Bible for me. Thank you so much for this blessing.

  • Oh and one last thought. This study has taught me that when you curse another, you are actually cursing yourself. A curse doesn’t have to be something we read about in fairytales. Sometimes it can be mean thoughts or words as we saw with Mechal. Our curses hurt ourselves more than they hurt the other person. This study has given me a greater perspective on the “do onto others” verse. That’s why it’s so important to ask God to help us with our hearts. How many times have we cursed ourselves with mean thoughts about another?

  • This study has been so. Good. One huge takeaway for me is that nothing is more important than a pure heart. And even at times when our hearts may falter, God is there to remind us (like Abigail did with David) to get back on track.

    I love this discussion about covenants and Sarah’s breakdown was particularly helpful. “I do x, I do x. Out of love to get nothing.” What is something God asks of us? To love our God and neighbors. I am kind, I am kind. Out of love to get nothing. This is one way we can make a covenant with God and keep our hearts pure. And sometimes this is really hard to do, especially when someone isn’t being kind back. But like David, we should ask God for help. Help change my perspective. Help make my heart pure. And realize the miracle when God does just that. Thanks SRT. Loving this study.

  • David leaped and danced in worship with such joy and praise to God. I love that he danced, even at the risk of others laughing at him. This morning I was thinking about how I have no rhythm and even have trouble keeping the beat when I clap. Yet, I understand how wonderful it feels to let go and just praise God. Michal watched David and despised him in her heart. Sometimes I think that people who don’t understand the deep, deep love of Jesus also don’t understand why we are willing to risk looking foolish to praise God. The world looks at us with disgust. Still, we must keep on dancing and praising God. He is worthy!

  • Allison Joy

    Yes. The phrase often heard is “you can’t out give God.” But the reason we can’t out give God is not because God promises earthly blessing greater than we we give. The reason we can’t out give God is because He has already given us everything.

    I’m also reminded of a parallel between David and Jesus that I had not thought of before. I’m thinking of the hymn “Praise Him, Praise Him,” where it says “prophet and priest and King.” David was also prophet, priest, and king. He was a prophet in some of the Psalms, speaking about the crucifixion in Psalm 22:16-18 (really much of the Psalm, but particularly those verses), he was obviously king, and here in II Samuel 6:17-18, we see him acting as a priest and offering sacrifice. (Okay. confession time. I thought David was acting as a prophet in I Samuel, but that was Saul, after he went out with the prophets, in I Samuel 10:10-11. So then I had to look it up, and I wasn’t even thinking about the Psalms, but it fits!)

  • Karen From Virginia

    Celebrating this covenant keeping God. I want to always be amazed at such love. Usually my first response is to kind of be surprised that His vast love will never run out. There’s so many good parts of these Scriptures but I love the focus on His covenant with David and with us.
    May my worship always reflect passion and amazement of this beautiful God we serve

  • Jennifer Peck

    In 2 Samuel 5, David is 30 years old and now king of Israel. He was likely between the ages of 16-19 years old when he boldly defeated the giant Philistine, Goliath. Yet that victory was just the beginning of years of war with the same enemy- the Philistines. I am reminded that sometimes it will take years of battles and then a breakthrough from God to conquer an enemy (sin, struggle, trial). 2 Samuel 5:20 says, “The Lord has broken through my enemies before me, like a breakthrough of water.” My prayer is that I will battle my enemies until God breaks through and brings victory.

  • Christine

    Thank you, Erin! I made lots of notes in my journaling Bible today! I tend to get caught up in details like building a house of cedar, Michal despising David, or Uzzah being struck down. I miss the big picture. May God continue to bless you and your work.

    • aprilinsydney

      Hi Christine (and anyone else), could I just ask… what pens, etc do you use for journaling in your bible? I’d like to start but the pages are so thin I don’t want the inks to bleed through. Thank you x

      • Christine

        Hi April!
        First, I bought a Bible with slightly heavier pages, so I’m not sure how these will work for you. I haven’t found any pens that don’t show through at all, but I’ve found two that I can live with. I ordered them online after reading a ton of pen reviews (thrilling reading – haha). They are both extra fine point (0.5) as I write in tiny print. One is Uni-ball Jetstream and the other is Pilot Acroball (comes in a fun variety of colors). It’s a start. I hope this helps.

        There are also some good blogs that might be helpful. Just to a search and enjoy the inspiration. :) Happy journaling!

  • Diane Huntsman

    The thing I’m beginning to grasp very clearly is the fact that God owes me nothing.. my unspoken yet obvious deals I make with God to bless my life if I do my best to tow the line in obedience to Him is foolishness and narcissistic at best.. I should want to live in obedience to Him out of love and gratitude for all He’s already done.. living according to His blueprint is just wise and serving Him is simply saying I love you back, God, for loving me first and giving Your Son that I might live.. far too often in my life it’s all about me and what I want to get from God when in reality it should be way more about Him, just simply being in awe of Him.. oh self, you’re far too alive.. that I may decrease and that He may increase, now that’s the prayer I need to be praying daily.

  • A contract is quid pro quo – I do x, you do y. Out of obligation to get the quid pro quo (the thing bargained for). A covenant is I do x, I do x. Out of love to get nothing. <3

  • Wow! How can anyone sit still after remembering the great grace and love of our Father? ❤️

    • Holly

      Amen!! I got chills reading this. No wonder God described David as a man after His own heart.

    • Karen From Virginia

      Amen! I wonder the same. I often pray for my church for this issue because once you are aware of how amazing grace is and what Jesus has done how can you just watch people worship and not participate?

  • Sabrina Moreau

    “God’s covenants are not equal partnerships. God gives infinitely more than He ever plans to receive.”
    Wow. I will read this many more times but will likely never fully grasp the magnitude of this truth. Wow.

  • Melanie Bisson

    I’m really starting to understand why people feel the urge to dance at service! How awesome is this?! I, too, am a perfectionist and while my job and full time school responsibilities have forced me to relax, my walk with Christ that started at the beginning of the year has also pushed me to always do right by Him for all that He has done for me. But it doesn’t have to be like that. I don’t have to obsess about my attempts to be sin free. I just need to be with Him and give thanks. He doesn’t waiver. The covenants are there. Amen!!

    • Erin Davis

      Oh, Melanie! Please dance away. Let worship bubble up in you without holding back. He is truly worthy !

  • My soul lifted! I have such a wonderful God! ❤️❤️ beautiful message!

  • Wow! God is faithful not just to David but to me too. Now that’s something to shout about. Like David, the shepherd of his fathers sheep; I bring nothing to the table. God prepared and brings everything needed. His mercies are new everyday …. then sings my soul❤️

  • churchmouse

    My father had favorites. I’m not dissing my dad. It’s just the truth. He had five sons and they had a common interest in sports. And I was a girl and a book nerd. His favoritism extended to the grandchildren – he attended as many of the the grandsons’ ball games, often traveling great distances. Our two daughters, his grand daughters… He attended one tennis match, one dance recital. And when our daughter had her first child – a girl – he never visited her in the hospital, which was one block away from his home. I called him every day to remind him she was there. He didn’t go. So… I relish in the fact that my God is not like that. These passages where God speaks so eloquently and passionately about His love for His children, regardless of their gender or their ability or anything at all – well I just want to be like David and dance! God’s love is so extravagant! He is indeed a good good Father. I love Him so. And… the evening before my dad died , he did say he had wished he had treated our girls differently. While I appreciate him saying that, he missed out on a 30 year relationship that could have been. The sadness that still comes with that statement compels me to pray for all those who feel ‘less than’ in their family of origin. The family of God has open arms, and none wider than the Father. Come to Him. No, run to Him! He wants to dance with you!

    • Courtney

      Praying over you and your daughters! Yes we serve a good good father who loves us so much. Thank goodness our Heavenly Father isn’t like our earthly one! I want you to know how loved you are!!! Thank you for your great insight daily !

    • Lana

      He wants to dance with you!!!! How I love this!!!!

  • Sally Cressman

    “May we learn to stop glossing over the goodness of God.” Lord, help me to do that today and the next day. Help me to chew on your goodness resulting in praise and worship.

  • Kelly R Smith

    I can never hear this message enough. I am so performance driven, always grasping for perfection in order to gain favor. This ideology led me to doubt God when my right behavior didn’t result in a pain-free life. When I finally began to understand and accept God’s unconditional love, I stopped performing in hopes of earning God’s blessings. His love is faithful even if we are not. That fact inspires me to be faithful, not because I have to but because I am so loved.

    • PursuedByHim

      …not because we have to, but because we are loved…unconditionally! Praise God for his grace and mercy!

    • Momandorder

      Amen

    • CC

      I have been right there with you in my doubts of God when my “right behavior didn’t result in a pain-free life!” I, too, am slowly beginning to understand more and more of God’s unconditional love and what it means to rest in His grace!

    • Emily B.

      Amen and amen! So thankful that we don’t have to earn God’s blessings or our place in His heart.

    • Tochi Heredia

      Thank you for sharing this, Kelly! Such a profound truth, and you said it so clearly

    • Karen From Virginia

      It’s a daily fight to remember truth that we are saved by faith through grace. The flesh constantly wages war.

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