Few Jews in the first century expected the Messiah to suffer, die, and rise again from the dead, as we see in Peter’s response to Jesus’ definition of His messianic vocation as including suffering (Mark 8:31–33). But for our Savior, this aspect of the Messiah’s work was absolute. He had to suffer, for it was part of God’s plan of salvation. This plan, we have seen, goes all the way back to eternity past when the three persons of the Trinity covenanted together to redeem a people for the glory of God. Such a redemption had to take place if we were to be restored to fellowship with the Lord, for in Adam we broke the Lord’s covenant. We could not do this ourselves, so the Lord pledged to Noah to preserve the earth as a place where he could fulfill the promise to Abraham that God would take on the curse for our disobedience. This promise, in turn, was furthered by the covenant made with Israel through Moses, for its legal system pointed to the necessity of atonement for reconciliation with God.
But there was one final aspect of God’s plan that was revealed before Christ came and that took place when the Lord entered into a covenant with David. One of the places where Scripture records that covenant is found in today’s passage, which opens with David’s desire to build a house—a temple—for God. The story is quite incredible, as it reveals how the glory of the Lord was a greater concern to David than his own glory as the king of Israel. David saw that it was not right for God to dwell in a tent—the tabernacle—while he enjoyed a more lavish residence—a palace of cedar. So, he purposed to give the Lord the home He deserved (2 Sam. 7:1–3).
But God did not choose David to build a house for Him. Instead, David’s son would construct a house for the Lord. Moreover, God would build a house for David. This promise, as 2 Samuel 7 reveals, referred not to the building of a physical house for David but rather a ruling house, a royal line that would inherit reign over God’s kingdom forever (vv. 4–17).
David’s son Solomon built a physical house for the Lord (1 Kings 5–6), but the covenant with David refers finally to a son of David even greater than Solomon. This descendant would be disciplined by God with the rod of men for the sins of David’s line and, ultimately, for the sins of all God’s people (2 Sam. 7:1–17). This anointed king—this Messiah—is Jesus, who suffered, died, and rose again to save His people.