The Davidic Covenant

By Shawn Tomlin

The third of these office covenants is up for discussion this week. The Davidic Covenant, or Kingly Covenant, was made, not with the entire nation of Israel, but with those that came to rule over the entire nation of Israel. In that way it was similar to the Levitical Covenant. Before we get into that let’s get some background first. 

In the book of 1 Samuel 8:5 the nation of Israel ask Samuel to appoint a king to rule over them. There was a problem with this and it wasn’t the “wanting a king” part but the fact that they wanted “a king to judge us the same as all the other nations have.” They wanted a king that resembled all the other nations but Israel was a nation, a people, set apart by God. His Holy Law ruled over them, not pagan ideals, and a king “like all the other nations” wouldn’t uphold God’s Law and judge His people according to His Law. Israel chose Saul, who looked the part, but at the end of his reign was reduced to a disturbed and paranoid shell of his former self. He didn’t regard the Law of God. 

Then there was David, who was God’s choice as king. He didn’t look the part but as 1 Samuel 13:14 says, David was “a man after His own heart.” David found favor with God and not only that but also the same line that bore David would eventually bear the Messiah, Jesus Christ.

Even the great Solomon, like his father before him, were sinful men who needed a Savior

The record of the covenant between God and David is found in 2 Samuel 7:12-13. It reads “When your time comes and you rest with your fathers, I will raise up after you your descendant, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He is the one who will build a house for my name, and I will establish his kingdom.” As with many biblical prophecies, there is fulfillment in near and far senses. In one sense, Solomon was the fulfillment, but even the great Solomon, like his father before him, were sinful men who needed a Savior. Luckily, their need is found in the far fulfillment of this covenant, Jesus Christ. If you read that passage again, you can’t help but see Jesus all over it.

As I mentioned in the introduction, there is a similarity between the Davidic and Levitical Covenants. Both of these covenants were not meant for every person within Israel, but for certain individuals within that nation. The purpose of this covenant was to guard the Law and judge God’s people according to this Law. Like the Levitical priests, the king was to uphold the Law of the Mosaic Covenant, and when the people failed at the Law, to judge them accordingly and point them back toward their God.

David had great faith, and that can be seen in the Psalms. Solomon’s wisdom spans scripture in Proverbs and Ecclessiates. The problem was neither of those men were the One True King. They did, however, point toward the True King to come, Jesus Christ. David had an affair with a woman married to his friend whom he had sent to the frontline to ensure his death and Solomon, who should’ve been upholding God’s Law, married countless wives from other nations and engaged in pagan worship. They were sinners, but they were both saved in the faith they showed in the hope of the Promised Seed to come. The fulfillment of the Adamic, Noahic, Abrahamic, Mosaic, Levitical, and Davidic covenants. All through the Covenant of Redemption. Our prophet, priest, and king, Jesus Christ.   

Lee Jones