God's Seventh Covenant with Man
c. 600 BC.

David’s Concern for the Ark
(2 Samuel 7)

    When King David was settled in his palace, and the Lord had given him rest from his enemies on every side, he said to Nathan the prophet, “Here I am living in a house of cedar, while the ark of God dwells in a tent!”  Nathan answered the king, “Go, do whatever you have in mind, for the Lord is with you.”  But that night the Lord spoke to Nathan and said: “Go, tell my servant David, ‘Thus says the Lord; should you build me a house to dwell in? I have not dwelt in a house from the day on which I led the Israelites out of Egypt to the present, but I have been going about in a tent under cloth.  In all my wanderings everywhere among the Israelites, did I ever utter a word to any one of the judges whom I charged to tend my people Israel, to ask: Why have you not built me a house of cedar?’

The Lord’s Promises

    “Now then, speak thus to my servant David, ‘The Lord of hosts has this to say: It was I who took you from the pasture and from the care of the flock to be commander of my people Israel.  I have been with you wherever you went, and I have destroyed all your enemies before you.  And I will make you famous like the great ones of the earth.  I will fix a place for my people Israel: I will plant them so that they may dwell in their place without further disturbance.  Neither shall the wicked continue to afflict them as they did of old, since the time I first appointed judges over my people Israel.  I will give you rest from all your enemies.  The Lord also reveals to you that he will establish a house for you.  And when your time comes and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your heir after you, sprung from your loins, and I will make his kingdom firm.  It is he who shall build a house for my name.  And I will make his royal throne firm forever.  I will be a father to him, and he shall be a son to me.  And if he does wrong, I will correct him with the rod of men and with human chastisements; but I will not withdraw my favor from him as I withdrew it from predecessor Saul, whom I removed from my presence.  Your house and your kingdom shall endure forever before me; your throne shall stand firm forever.’”  Nathan reported all these words and this entire vision to David.

King David’s Prayer

    Then King David went in and sat before the Lord and said, “Who am I, Lord God, and who are the members of my house, that you have brought me to this point?  Yet even this you see as too little, Lord God; you have also spoken of the house of your servant for a long time to come: this too you have shown to man, Lord God!  What more can David say to you?  You know your servant, Lord God!  For your servant’s sake and as you have had at heart, you have brought about this entire magnificent disclosure to your servant.  And so – “Great are you, Lord God!  There is none like you and there is no God but you, just as we have heard it told.  What other nation on earth is there like your people Israel, which God has led, redeeming it as his people; so that you have made yourself renowned by doing this magnificent deed, and by doing awe-inspiring things as you cleared nations and their gods out of the way of your people, which you redeemed for yourself from Egypt?  You have established for yourself your people Israel as yours forever, and you, Lord, have become their God.  And now, Lord God, confirm for all time the prophecy you have made concerning your servant and his house, and do as you have promised.  Your name will be forever great, when men say, “The Lord of hosts is God of Israel,’ and the house of your servant David stands firm before you.  It is you, Lord of hosts, God of Israel, who said in a revelation to your servant, ‘I will build a house for you.’  Therefore your servant now finds the courage to make this prayer to you.  And now, Lord God, you are God and your words are truth; you have made this generous promise to your servant.  Do, then, bless the house of your servant that it may be before you forever; for you, Lord God, have promised, and by your blessing the house of your servant shall be blessed forever.”