The Lord’s Covenant with David

Open Your Bible

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….


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.

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

  1. Audrey Flores says:

    Wow. Yet again this study is humbling in such amazing and incredible ways!! All my life I’ve heard I’m only good enough if I do xyz. So I too have always skimmed the covenant to look for what I must do. But David didn’t have to do anything and neither do we. He is simply so great and loves us so much that we need to just love and trust Him and repent to receive more than what we can imagine. So incredible

  2. Heather says:

    This is so good. This rule follower often needs to be reminded of this message. I don’t deserve anything. God’s favor on me has nothing to do with my behavior and everything to do with His grace. So thankful to be loved by Him!

  3. Shana says:

    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.

    1. Darcy says:

      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!

    2. Cathy says:

      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 !

  4. Kari says:

    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.

  5. Lana says:

    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?