In the beginning of our reading today, the LORD appears to Solomon right after he finished building the Jerusalem Temple. I find it very interesting what the LORD says to Solomon.
The LORD makes reference to the covenant He had made with Solomon’s father David in 2Samuel 7:11-16. Both in 2Samuel 7 and here in 2Chronicles 7 , we have both the unconditional and conditional aspects of the Covenant which are both equally emphasized. In 2Samuel 7:15,16, the LORD promised David that He would never take the royal dynasty away from David’s family like He did with Israel’s 1st king, Saul. In 2Chronicles 7:18, the LORD makes the same kind of unconditional promise to Solomon.
At the same time, in both 2Samuel 7:11-16 and here in 2Chronicles 7, the conditional aspect of the Davidic Covenant is mentioned as well. For example, the LORD says to Solomon these words:
“As for you, if you walk before me as David your father did, and do all I command, and observe my decrees and laws, I will establish your royal throne, as I covenanted with David your father when I said, “You shall never fail to have a man to rule over Israel” (2Chronicles 7:17,18).
As the Davidic Covenant worked itself out in Israel’s history, we see both its unconditional and conditional aspects come to the fore. When the kings of Judah were faithful, their kingdom was both secure and blessed by the LORD. When they were not, the LORD disciplined them and even judged them to the point of exiling them from the land of Judah (2Chronicles 36:11-21). As a result, there was no Davidic king over Judah. Did God break His covenant with David. No, He did exactly what He said He was going to do. If David’s descendants were going to be faithless and disobedient, He was going to judge them. And He did.
The unconditional aspect of the Davidic Covenant was fulfilled through Jesus Christ. He was a descendant of David (Mathew1:1-16). Christians believe that it is through Him that the Davidic Covenant/Promise was fulfilled. In 2Corinthians 1:20, we read these words, “For no matter how many promises God has made, they are ‘Yes’ in Christ. And so through him the ‘Amen’ is spoken by us to the glory of God.” Jesus is the greater David (Ezek. 37:24-28) who fulfills all of the promises of God. He will reign not only as Israel’s king forever but also as the King and Lord of the world (Phil. 2:9-11).
This balance of the unconditional and conditional aspects of God’s covenantal dealings with His people can be seen in all of His covenants, whether Abrahamic, Mosaic, Davidic or the New Covenant. There is no doubt the LORD will accomplish His redemptive purposes for the world. But if we want to participate in these purposes and in His promised blessings we need to be faithful. “Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience” (Heb.4:11). In Christ’s love and service, Pastor John.