Introduction: In this chapter, God established a covenant with David for a kingship that would never end. This was a direct foreshadow of Jesus and one of the greatest covenants of the Old Testament. From God’s covenant with David, He reveals seven lessons about Jesus’ blessings.
First, David offered to build God a temple when God had never asked for this. David’s disobedience had just resulted in Uzzah’s death while transporting the ark. From David’s mistakes, God reveals that Jesus wants your obedience more than your sacrifice. Second, God rebuked David for presuming that He needed David to build him a temple to find His fellowship. Through His Word, He promised the Jews that they could find His fellowship in a temporary structure called the Tabernacle. David should have trusted in God’s promise that the Tabernacle was sufficient to find God’s fellowship. Jesus also offers His fellowship through His Word. You do not need to go to an ornate building or travel to a certain place to find His fellowship. If you trust in His Word and seek Him in prayer, you will find Him wherever you are. Third, God reminded David that He picked David as a lowly shepherd and protected him from his enemies to prepare him for service. Jesus has also called you when you were no one special. He has also provided for you and protected you. Like David, Jesus wants to empower you through humility to serve His Kingdom. Fourth, God promised to create an eternal kingdom through David’s descendants. Jesus would later be born into the line of David and become the King of Kings. Jesus wants to be your King of Kings. Like David did, Jesus wants you to submit to Him to receive His blessings. Fifth, David acted with great humility after realizing that he did not deserve God’s blessings. From his example, Jesus also wants you to be humble when He blesses you. Sixth, David praised God with great gratitude for His blessings. Like David, Jesus wants you to be grateful for His blessings in your life. Finally, David prayed for God to confirm his blessings for His kingdom and not David’s. Jesus has also offered you great powers through the Spirit to help others. Like David, Jesus wants you to accept and use His blessings to help others.
David plans to build a temple. After bringing the ark to Jerusalem, David instructed the prophet Nathan to build a temple for the ark: “And it came about, when David dwelt in his house, that David said to Nathan the prophet, ‘Behold, I am dwelling in a house of cedar, but the ark of the covenant of the Lord is under curtains.’ 2 Then Nathan said to David, ‘Do all that is in your heart, for God is with you.’” (1 Chr. 17:1-2; 2 Sam. 7:1-3). The King of Tyre in modern day Lebanon built a house for David out of cedar trees as an act of tribute (2 Sam. 5:11). David assumed that he needed to build a house for God in a similar act of tribute. He even collected the materials to build the Temple (see, 1 Chron. 29:2-9). David showed great wisdom in turning to a spiritual counselor named Nathan. Many of David’s prior mistakes came when he lacked the accountability of Spirit-led men. Nathan would later provide great wisdom to both David and Solomon. (e.g., 2 Samuel 12; 1 Kgs. 1:10, 12, 34, 38). Yet, in this case, neither David nor Nathan prayed to seek God’s will. David acted with the same presumption in transporting the ark. He presumed to know God’s will without ever asking for God’s guidance. God would need to rebuke David a second time for his acts.
God’s prior command to build a Tabernacle for Him. God never told the Jews to place Him in a permanent structure. Instead, He told Moses to build a traveling Tabernacle so that He could dwell with His glory amongst His people. “Moreover you shall make the tabernacle with ten curtains of fine twisted linen and blue and purple and scarlet material; you shall make them with cherubim, the work of a skillful workman.” (Ex. 26:1; Heb. 9:2). “Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.” (Ex. 40:34; Lev. 16:2; Nu. 7:89; 9:15-16). He sacrificed having His Temple on Earth until His promise to deliver the Promised Land from oppression was fulfilled through David. Uriah later prophetically proclaimed that he (like God) would dwell in a temporary structure while the battle for control of Israel continued: “Uriah said to David, ‘The ark and Israel and Judah are staying in temporary shelters, and my lord Joab and the servants of my lord are camping in the open field. Shall I then go to my house to eat and to drink and to lie with my wife? By your life and the life of your soul, I will not do this thing.’” (2 Sam. 11:11). God would eventually dwell in a Temple. But it was not David’s role to assume that God needed his help.
God desires obedience more than sacrifice. David had just allowed his people to act presumptuously in transporting the ark to the Tabernacle. His errors resulted in Uzzah’s death (2 Sam. 6:7). God wanted David’s obedience more than his sacrifice. “Samuel said, ‘Has the LORD as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams.” (1 Sam. 15:22). David’s fancy cedar home likely made him feel important before God. Yet, when David offered to sacrifice out of a prideful heart, God did not want what he offered: “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.” (Ps. 51:17). If you offer to sacrifice after seeking God’s will and with a humble heart, He will gladly bless your offerings to Him.
God rebuffs David through a vision to the prophet Nathan. Before David could build the Temple, God came to him in a vision and rebuffed David’s failure to consult His will: “3 It came about the same night that the word of God came to Nathan, saying, 4 ‘Go and tell David My servant, ‘Thus says the Lord, ‘You shall not build a house for Me to dwell in; 5 for I have not dwelt in a house since the day that I brought up Israel to this day, but I have gone from tent to tent and from one dwelling place to another. 6 In all places where I have walked with all Israel, have I spoken a word with any of the judges of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd My people, saying, ‘Why have you not built for Me a house of cedar?’’” (1 Chr. 17:3-6; 2 Sam. 7:4-7). God was not someone whom David needed to pity or take care of. His real throne is in heaven, not on Earth. Thus, He did not need David to build Him a home. “Thus says the LORD, ‘Heaven is My throne and the earth is My footstool. Where then is a house you could build for Me? And where is a place that I may rest?’” (Is. 66:1; Acts 7:48-49). God cared more about selecting David and his descendants to rule over Israel than building His Temple on Earth: ‘“Since the day that I brought My people Israel from Egypt, I did not choose a city out of all the tribes of Israel in which to build a house that My name might be there, but I chose David to be over My people Israel.’” (1 Kgs. 8:16). David did not need to build an ornate temple to find God’s fellowship. Instead, he could find fellowship if he faithfully read God’s Word and prayed for guidance in humility.
God’s Word is sufficient for mankind to enjoy fellowship with Him. God promised to dwell with His people through His Tabernacle. “Let them construct a sanctuary for Me, that I may dwell among them.” (Ex. 25:8). “I will dwell among the sons of Israel and will be their God. They shall know that I am the LORD their God who brought them out of the land of Egypt, that I might dwell among them; I am the LORD their God.” (Ex. 29:45-46). ‘“Moreover, I will make My dwelling among you, and My soul will not reject you. I will also walk among you and be your God, and you shall be My people.’” (Lev. 26:11-12; 2 Cor. 6:16). Thus, the Jews did not need to do anything more than build the Tabernacle to have God dwell with them. They could find fellowship by trusting in His Word. Believers also don’t need to go to a particular building to find fellowship with Jesus. Believers instead can find real fellowship by reading His Word in faith, repenting of sin, praying for the Spirit’s guidance, and opening their hearts to Him (Rev. 3:20).
God gave Solomon the right to build the Temple after the Jews defeated their enemies. God’s Temple was meant to be a place of peace. He would not let David build the Temple because of the amount of blood on his hands. Yet, He promised that David’s son Solomon could build the Temple: “8 But the word of the Lord came to me, saying, ‘You have shed much blood and have waged great wars; you shall not build a house to My name, because you have shed so much blood on the earth before Me. 9 Behold, a son will be born to you, who shall be a man of rest; and I will give him rest from all his enemies on every side; for his name shall be Solomon, and I will give peace and quiet to Israel in his days. 10 He shall build a house for My name, and he shall be My son and I will be his father; and I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel forever.’” (1 Chron. 22:8-9). ‘“You know that David my father was unable to build a house for the name of the LORD his God because of the wars which surrounded him, until the LORD put them under the soles of his feet. But now the LORD my God has given me rest on every side; there is neither adversary nor misfortune. Behold, I intend to build a house for the name of the LORD my God, as the LORD spoke to David my father, saying, ‘Your son, whom I will set on your throne in your place, he will build the house for My name.’”’ (1 Kgs. 5:3-5). Solomon later confirmed his right to build God’s Temple: “Now it was in the heart of my father David to build a house for the name of the LORD, the God of Israel. But the LORD said to my father David, ‘Because it was in your heart to build a house for My name, you did well that it was in your heart. Nevertheless you shall not build the house, but your son who will be born to you, he will build the house for My name.’” (1 Kgs. 8:18-19; 1 Chron. 22:7). Even when we think we are following God’s will, we must never act presumptuously. The will of God will be confirmed in His time, not our own.
God still blessed David for his offer to serve Him. Even though David did not seek God’s will in building a house, God blessed David by building David’s house instead. As one commentator observes: “David wanted to build God a temple. God said, ‘Thank you David, but no thanks. Let Me build you a house instead.’ This was a greater promise than David’s offer to God, because David’s “house” (dynasty) would last longer and be more glorious than the temple David wanted to build. God honored what David gave Him, even though he only gave it to God in his sincere intention. There are some things that we want to give God but are prevented from giving. In these cases God receives the intention as the gift.” (David Guzik on 2 Samuel 7).1 There is a lesson for all believers from David’s well-intentioned yet misguided service attempt. God will bless your misguided attempts to serve Him. Refusing to serve Him at all is a far bigger sin.
God selected David to be King and provided for him. After humbling David, God revealed that He elevated David from a lowly sheepherder to be King over Israel and protected him from his enemies so that he could bless all of Israel: “7 Now, therefore, thus shall you say to My servant David, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, to be leader over My people Israel. 8 I have been with you wherever you have gone, and have cut off all your enemies from before you; and I will make you a name like the name of the great ones who are in the earth. 9 I will appoint a place for My people Israel, and will plant them, so that they may dwell in their own place and not be moved again; and the wicked will not waste them anymore as formerly, 10 even from the day that I commanded judges to be over My people Israel. And I will subdue all your enemies. Moreover, I tell you that the Lord will build a house for you.” (1 Chr. 17:7-10; 2 Sam. 7:8-11). God previously told Samuel to pick the youngest member of Jessie’s family, a lowly shepherd, and anoint him as Israel’s King (1 Sam. 16:11-12). God reminded David of these things so that David would trust Him in faith. Like David, God also wants to empower you through faith to serve His Kingdom.
God built David’s reputation by defeating his enemies. Here, God promised “I will make you a name like the name of the great ones who are in the earth.” (1 Chr. 17:8). When Saul was king, God built up David’s reputation during his battles: “Then the commanders of the Philistines went out to battle, and it happened as often as they went out, that David behaved himself more wisely than all the servants of Saul. So his name was highly esteemed.” (1 Sam. 18:30). After making David king, God continued to faithfully build his reputation: “So David made a name for himself when he returned from killing 18,000 Arameans in the Valley of Salt.” (2 Sam. 8:13). “I pursued my enemies and overtook them, and I did not turn back until they were consumed.” (Ps. 18:37; 144:10). But, God built David’s reputation for His glory, not David’s. If God has blessed you, are you using those blessings for His Kingdom or your own?
God empowered David so that God’s promises to Israel could be fulfilled. God explained that He built David up so that He fulfilled His promise to deliver the Promised Land to His people: “10 I will also appoint a place for My people Israel and will plant them, that they may live in their own place and not be disturbed again, nor will the wicked afflict them any more as formerly,” (1 Sam. 7:10). God made His promise to deliver Israel to the Jews hundreds of years earlier to Abraham: “The LORD appeared to Abram and said, ‘To your descendants I will give this land.’” (Gen. 12:17(a); 13:15; 15:18; 17:8; 24:7). Hundreds of years later, God repeated this promise to Moses: “You will bring them and plant them in the mountain of Your inheritance, the place, O LORD, which You have made for Your dwelling, the sanctuary, O Lord, which Your hands have established.” (Ex. 15:17; 23:20, 23). God has also empowered you with gifts. He wants you to use them to help others to make it to God’s eternal Promised Land.
David received his training to be Israel’s king through his work as a shepherd. All of the great patriarchs were shepherds before they became leaders. David’s training as a shepherd gave him all of the skills that he would need to be a great king. “He also chose David His servant and took him from the sheepfolds; from the care of the ewes with suckling lambs He brought him to shepherd Jacob His people, and Israel His inheritance. So he shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart, and guided them with his skillful hands.” (Ps. 78:70-72). Jesus also came as the Good Shepherd to find His sheep who are lost to sin. “But He answered and said, ‘I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.’” (Matt. 15:24). His leaders were also called upon to love His sheep. “As a shepherd cares for his herd in the day when he is among his scattered sheep, so I will care for My sheep and will deliver them from all the places to which they were scattered on a cloudy and gloomy day.” (Ezek. 34:12). Do you have a love in your heart for those who are lost to sin and suffering in spiritual blindness?
David trained David as lowly shepherd to care for His people2
As the shepherd for God’s people, David put their needs before his needs. A true shepherd puts the needs of the sheep before his or her needs. David later showed his shepherd heart by asking God not to punish God’s sheep for his sins. “Then David spoke to the LORD when he saw the angel who was striking down the people, and said, ‘Behold, it is I who have sinned, and it is I who have done wrong; but these sheep, what have they done? Please let Your hand be against me and against my father’s house.”’ (2 Sam. 24:17). “David said to God, ‘Is it not I who commanded to count the people? Indeed, I am the one who has sinned and done very wickedly, but these sheep, what have they done? O LORD my God, please let Your hand be against me and my father’s household, but not against Your people that they should be plagued.”’ (1 Chron. 21:17). Like David, will you place the needs of others before your own and repent of your sins?
God is sovereign over all creation and every government. These events also show that God is sovereign and has control over kings, nations, and all time. Daniel explained: “It is He who changes the times and the epochs; He removes kings and establishes kings; He gives wisdom to wise men and knowledge to men of understanding.” (Da. 2:21). “He makes the nations great, then destroys them; He enlarges the nations, then leads them away.” (Job 12:23). “Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket, and are regarded as a speck of dust on the scales; behold, He lifts up the islands like fine dust.” (Is. 40:15). “All the nations are as nothing before Him, they are regarded by Him as less than nothing and meaningless.” (Is. 40:17). “The LORD is King forever and ever; nations have perished from His land.” (Ps. 10:16). “You shall multiply the nation, You shall increase their gladness; . . .” (Is. 9:3(a)). “All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, but He does according to His will in the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of earth; and no one can ward off His hand or say to Him, ‘What have You done?’” (Dan. 4:35). Even in hard times, do you trust that God is fully in control?
God’s eternal covenant through David. In a foreshadow of Jesus, God also promised to create an eternal kingdom through David’s descendants: “11 When your days are fulfilled that you must go to be with your fathers, that I will set up one of your descendants after you, who will be of your sons; and I will establish his kingdom. 12 He shall build for Me a house, and I will establish his throne forever. 13 I will be his father and he shall be My son; and I will not take My lovingkindness away from him, as I took it from him who was before you. 14 But I will settle him in My house and in My kingdom forever, and his throne shall be established forever.’’’ 15 According to all these words and according to all this vision, so Nathan spoke to David.” (1 Chr. 17:11-15; 2 Sam. 7:12-17). In the Old Testament, God promised five great covenants with His people. His Covenant with David was His last covenant to be fulfilled before Jesus. He promised His five great covenants (the number of grace) through: (1) Noah (Gen. 9:11); (2) Abraham (Gen. 12:1-3); (3) Moses (Ex. 19:5-6); (4) David (1 Chr. 17:11-15; 2 Sam. 7:12-17); and (5) Jeremiah (Jer. 31:31-34). His promise to Jeremiah was for a New Covenant, which Jesus later fulfilled (Lk. 22:20; Heb. 8:7-8; 9:15; 1 Cor. 11:25; 2 Cor. 3:6).
Jesus is the fulfillment of God’s covenant of an eternal Kingship through David. On many occasions, God repeated His promise of an eternal kingship through David: ‘“I will establish your seed forever and build up your throne to all generations.’ Selah.” (Ps. 89:4). “So I will establish his descendants forever and his throne as the days of heaven.” (Ps. 89:29). “He gives great deliverance to His king, and shows lovingkindness to His anointed, to David and his descendants forever.” (Ps. 18:50). “I also shall make him My firstborn, the highest of the kings of the earth.” (Ps. 89:27). “For thus says the LORD, ‘David shall never lack a man to sit on the throne of the house of Israel;”’ (Jer. 33:17). “For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this.” (Is. 9:6-7). “A throne will even be established in lovingkindness, and a judge will sit on it in faithfulness in the tent of David; moreover, he will seek justice and be prompt in righteousness.” (Is. 16:5). “Behold, the days are coming,” declares the Lord, ‘When I will raise up for David a righteous Branch; and He will reign as king and act wisely and do justice and righteousness in the land. In His days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely; and this is His name by which He will be called, ‘The Lord our righteousness.’”’ (Jer. 23:5-6). Jesus was born into the line of David (Matt. 1:1). He came to fulfill God’s covenant with David as the eternal King of Kings: “He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.” (Lk. 1:32-33). “And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, ‘King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.’” (Rev. 19:16). You may declare Jesus to be your Lord. Yet, is He Lord over every aspect of your life?
Jesus came to fulfill the Davidic covenant as our King of Kings3
God would discipline the descendants of David out of love. Christ cannot sin (2 Cor. 5:21). Yet, David’s other descendants would sin. God warned that the eternal kingship would not exempt them from discipline, just as a loving father disciplines a wayward son. In the parallel account of these events, the prophet Samuel recorded: “14 I will be a father to him and he will be a son to Me; when he commits iniquity, I will correct him with the rod of men and the strokes of the sons of men,” (2 Sam. 7:14). In a similar way, God disciplines His people out of love: “Thus you are to know in your heart that the LORD your God was disciplining you just as a man disciplines his son.” (Dt. 8:5). “It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline?” (Heb. 12:7). “But when we are judged, we are disciplined by the Lord so that we will not be condemned along with the world.” (1 Cor. 11:32). If God has disciplined you, have you changed your ways for Him?
God will not forsake you when He disciplines you. God removed the kingship from Saul’s line because of his rebellion (1 Sam. 15:23). Yet, even though God would discipline David’s descents, He promised never to forsake them and remove their right to the kingship: “I will not take My lovingkindness away from him, as I took it from him who was before you.” (1 Chr. 17:14; 2 Sam. 7:15). Sin would, however, limit the extent of their blessing to the land of Judah: ‘“However, I will not tear away all the kingdom, but I will give one tribe to your son for the sake of My servant David and for the sake of Jerusalem which I have chosen.”’ (1 Kgs. 11:13). “So the LORD was very angry with Israel and removed them from His sight; none was left except the tribe of Judah.” (2 Kgs. 17:18). “But I will not break off My lovingkindness from him, nor deal falsely in My faithfulness.” (Ps. 89:33). God also promised that He will never leave or forsake His people. “Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the LORD your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.” (Dt. 31:6; Heb. 13:5). Yet, like David’s descendants, sins may prevent you from experiencing the fullness of God’s blessings. If you have sinned, repent and never lose hope. Moreover, don’t engage in open rebellion and squander the fullness of His blessings.
David’s humility when presented with God’s blessings. David showed that he was a Spirit-led king by accepting God’s blessings in humility: “16 Then David the king went in and sat before the Lord and said, ‘Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my house that You have brought me this far? 17 This was a small thing in Your eyes, O God; but You have spoken of Your servant’s house for a great while to come, and have regarded me according to the standard of a man of high degree, O Lord God. 18 What more can David still say to You concerning the honor bestowed on Your servant? For You know Your servant.” (1 Chr. 17:16-18; 2 Sam. 7:18-21). David knew that God did not select him out of merit. Instead, He picked David out of grace and to keep His Word.
Allow God to humble you so that He can also exalt you without pride. God had to humble David as a servant before He could exalt him. He did this so that David would serve without pride. He also wants you to allow Him to humble you through your suffering so that He can exalt you either in heaven or on Earth without any pride. “Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.” (Matt. 23:12; Lk. 14:11; 18:14). “He has brought down rulers from their thrones, and has exalted those who were humble.” (Lk. 1:52). “Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.” (Ja. 4:10). “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time,” (1 Pet. 5:6). “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.” (Matt. 5:5; KJV). Your suffering is one way for God to humble you. Are you staying humble so that He can later exalt you without pride?
Give thanks for God’s great and unique character. David celebrated that there was no one like God who could see into the future (1 Chr. 17:17). We should also celebrate that our God is outside of time and can tell us the future with both knowledge and authority: “The LORD of hosts has sworn saying, ‘Surely, just as I have intended so it has happened, and just as I have planned so it will stand,”’ (Is. 14:24). “to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose predestined to occur.” (Acts 4:28). “Who is like You among the gods, O LORD? Who is like You, majestic in holiness, awesome in praises, working wonders?” (Ex. 15:11). “He said, ‘O LORD, the God of Israel, there is no God like You in heaven above or on earth beneath, keeping covenant and showing lovingkindness to Your servants who walk before You with all their heart,’” (1 Kgs. 8:23). ‘“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,’ declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.” (Is. 55:8-9). When God makes promises to you, He will keep them. Yet, you can’t have faith in His promises if you have never studied them. Besides Jesus’ promises of salvation (Jo. 3:16), how many other promises do you know?
David’s praise for God the redeemer. After recognizing God’s blessings, David praised God as redeemer of His people: “19 O Lord, for Your servant’s sake, and according to Your own heart, You have wrought all this greatness, to make known all these great things. 20 O Lord, there is none like You, nor is there any God besides You, according to all that we have heard with our ears. 21 And what one nation in the earth is like Your people Israel, whom God went to redeem for Himself as a people, to make You a name by great and terrible things, in driving out nations from before Your people, whom You redeemed out of Egypt? 22 For Your people Israel You made Your own people forever, and You, O Lord, became their God.” (1 Chr. 17:19-22; 2 Sam. 7:22-24). As a role model to all believers, David constantly praised God for His mercy and grace.
David praised God for His blessings4
God is a living God who redeems His people. Part of David’s prayer recognized that God picked David as part of His long plan of redemption, dating back to Egypt (1 Sam. 7:23). “You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God redeemed you; therefore I command you this today.” (Dt. 15:15). “And He will redeem Israel from all his iniquities.” (Ps. 130:8). Like David, you should celebrate Jesus as your redeemer: “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, For He has visited us and accomplished redemption for His people,” (Lk. 1:68). “who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.” (Tit. 2:14). Have you praised Jesus your redeemer?
Praise Jesus for all your undeserved blessings. Like David did, God wants you to praise Him for His mercy and grace: “The LORD lives, and blessed be my rock; and exalted be God, the rock of my salvation,” (2 Sam. 22:47). “My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge; my savior, You save me from violence.” (2 Sam. 22:3). “The Rock! His work is perfect, for all His ways are just; a God of faithfulness and without injustice, righteous and upright is He.” (Dt. 32:4). “The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” (Ps. 18:2, 31, 46; 19:14). Are you praising Jesus for all that He has done for you?
David’s request that God confirm His blessing for God’s glory. Finally, David confirmed God’s covenant by repeating it and requesting that God bless him and his descendants as God promised: “23 ‘Now, O Lord, let the word that You have spoken concerning Your servant and concerning his house be established forever, and do as You have spoken. 24 Let Your name be established and magnified forever, saying, ‘The Lord of hosts is the God of Israel, even a God to Israel; and the house of David Your servant is established before You.’ 25 For You, O my God, have revealed to Your servant that You will build for him a house; therefore Your servant has found courage to pray before You. 26 Now, O Lord, You are God, and have promised this good thing to Your servant. 27 And now it has pleased You to bless the house of Your servant, that it may continue forever before You; for You, O Lord, have blessed, and it is blessed forever.” (1 Chr. 17:23-27; 2 Sam. 7:25-29). David showed his humility by repeating the words “your servant” ten times. He also did not ask to confirm God’s blessings out of a lack of faith. Instead, David prayed for God’s Word to be confirmed for God’s glory.
Pray for God to confirm His blessings for His glory to be magnified. Like David, God wants you to pray for God’s blessings to be confirmed so that God will be glorified: “Establish Your word to Your servant, as that which produces reverence for You.” (Ps. 119:38). “Thus says the Lord GOD, ‘This also I will let the house of Israel ask Me to do for them: I will increase their men like a flock.”’ (Ez. 36:37). Like David, believers are given great power to confirm God’s blessings. For those believers who pray in faith, Jesus has given us the legal equivalent of a power of attorney to pray in the name of Jesus Christ. “Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.” (Jo. 14:13-14). “You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.” (Jo. 15:16). “In that day you will not question Me about anything. Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you.” (Jo. 16:23). The name is so powerful that the archangel Michael was able to drive Satan away merely by rebuking him in Jesus’ name (Jude 1:9). The blessings that come from your prayers may draw others to God. They may also heal the sick or comfort the brokenhearted. Are you using the powers that Jesus has given you to bless others in need? If not, you are like the servant who buried his God-given talents (Matt. 25:18).
Prayer in Christ’s name while doubting or mindless repetition may not be answered. Yet, if you pray with doubt about the power of Christ’s name, your prayers are worthless and will not be answered: “But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” (Jam. 1:6-8). Likewise, mindlessly invoking Jesus’ name in prayer will be meaningless to God (Matt. 6:7). Do you believe in the power of prayer?