Day 24

The Lord’s Covenant with David

from the 1 & 2 Samuel reading plan

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

BY Guest Writer

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….


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.


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.

Post Comments (43)

43 thoughts on "The Lord’s Covenant with David"

  1. Lana says:

    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.

  2. At Peace says:

    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!

  3. Allison Joy says:

    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!)

  4. Karen From Virginia says:

    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

  5. Jennifer Peck says:

    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.

    1. Karen From Virginia says:

      I believe in the fullness of time,God will. Keep trusting. He’s worthy

    2. aprilinsydney says:

      Thank you Jennifer. I have been feeling so beat down and your comment has encouraged me this morning.

      1. Jenn says:

        IMHO you’ve got the right anwesr!

  6. Christine says:

    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.

    1. aprilinsydney says:

      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

      1. Christine says:

        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!

        1. aprilinsydney says:

          Thank you – I’ll have a look. X

          1. Melvina says:

            Thanks for sharing. Your post is a useful cornoibutitn.

  7. Diane Huntsman says:

    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.

    1. churchmouse says:


      1. truthseeker says:

        and AMEN !

  8. Sarah says:

    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

    1. Lana says:

      This is so helpful! Thank you!

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