Sometimes there are two fulfillments for one promise. 1 Kings 8:17-20 provides a perfect example of this principle:
“Now it was in the heart of David my father to build a house for the name of the LORD, the God of Israel. 18 But the LORD said to David my father, ‘Whereas it was in your heart to build a house for my name, you did well that it was in your heart. 19 Nevertheless, you shall not build the house, but your son who shall be born to you shall build the house for my name.’ 20 Now the LORD has fulfilled his promise that he made. For I have risen in the place of David my father, and sit on the throne of Israel, as the LORD promised, and I have built the house for the name of the LORD, the God of Israel.” (1 Kings 8:17–20 ESV)
So Solomon, quoting the promise God made to David in 2 Samuel 7:12-13, said that he was the fulfillment of that promise. Solomon was the son of David, building the House of the Lord.
Jesus in John 2 takes it a step further. He says:
“Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” 20 The Jews then said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?” 21 But he was speaking about the temple of his body.” (John 2:19–21 ESV)
Thus in a subsequent and ultimate sense, the promise of God to David in 2 Samuel 7 lands on the person and work of Jesus – the Greater Son of David. He builds the eternal House of God!
There is a sense in which that refers to his own body – the ultimate meeting place between God and humankind – but there is another sense in which that refers to the church, the Body of Christ. That is certainly how the disciples understood it. Peter said:
“As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, 5 you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
6 For it stands in Scripture: “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.” (1 Peter 2:4–6 ESV)
The church is the House of the Lord!
Built upon the Cornerstone of Christ and serving as a holy priesthood unto God. Jesus is the ultimate Son of David building the ultimate and eternal House of God! There were thus two separate, though related, fulfillments of this one incredible promise made to David back in 2 Samuel 7:12-13!
What a wonderful God we serve!
He always keeps his promises. He is faithful. He is reliable. He is generous and he is kind. He does what he says he will do – and sometimes he does more than we could ever ask for, hope for or imagine.
Thanks be to God!
Pastor Paul Carter
To listen to Pastor Paul’s Into The Word devotional podcast visit the TGC Canada website; you can also find it on iTunes.