Grace Bible Church
Robert R. McLaughlin Bible Ministries
The Tree of Life is a weekly teaching summary.
The Tree of Life from the week ending 03/23/08
The Davidic Covenant.
The relationship between Abraham, David and the believer in the Church-age.
We are ready for the third covenant, the next of Israel's unconditional or unilateral covenants: The Davidic covenant which emphasizes the seed for client nation Israel. Within the covenants we have God's promise of the Jewish race - Abrahamic covenant. The land for Israel - Palestinian covenant, the promise seed - or client nation Israel.
The Davidic Covenant refers to God's promises to David through Nathan the prophet. It is found in 2Sa chapter 7 and later summarized in 1CH 17:11-14 and 2CH 6:16. This unconditional covenant, made between God and David, promises David, and Israel, that the Messiah would come from the lineage of David and the tribe of Judah, and would establish a kingdom that would endure forever. The Davidic Covenant is unconditional, meaning that God does not place any conditions of obedience upon its fulfillment. The promises are made on God's faithfulness, and do not depend on David or Israel's faithfulness.
The Davidic Covenant centers on key promises that are made to David:
1. God reaffirms the promise of the land that He made in the first two covenants with Israel. 2SA 7:10 “I will also appoint a place for My people Israel and will plant them, that they may live in their own place and not be disturbed again, nor will the wicked afflict them any more as formerly,”
2. God promises that David's descendant, or seed, will succeed Him as king of Israel and that David's throne will be established forever. This promise is seen in 2 Sa 7:12-13, “When your days are complete and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your descendant after you, who will come forth from you, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.”
The provisions of the covenant are summarized in 2SA 7:16 “And your house and your kingdom shall endure before Me forever; your throne shall be established forever.” The promise that David's house, kingdom and throne will be established forever are significant because they show that the Messiah will come from the lineage of David, and that He will establish a kingdom from which He will reign. The covenant is summarized by the words house, promising a dynasty in the lineage of David;kingdom, referring to a people who are governed by a king; throne, emphasizing the authority of the king's rule; and forever,emphasizing the eternal and unconditional nature of this promise to David and Israel.
Therefore, in spite of all the demonic and religious attacks made upon Israel, they will still prevail. If this is true about Israel, it is true about the Church, the bride of Jesus Christ. It doesn’t matter how many attacks are made upon God's people, upon you, inevitably the attacks will not prevail. We all need to realize this as never before, we are a part of an eternal dynasty. You are a part of the Davidic dynasty because through faith alone in Christ alone, you are a spiritual child of Abraham.
In GAL 3:6-7, the apostle Paul writes: Even so Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.Therefore, be sure that it is those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham. Those who put their trust in Christ (not in the law) are like Abraham: Children of faith.
GAL 3:8 And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles [the non-Jew] by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “All the nations shall be blessed in you.” In other words, it was all laid out beforehand in Scripture that God would set things right with non-Jews by faith. The Apostle is saying that people were saved hundreds of years before the Mosaic Law or the Ten Commandments were given. Therefore, following the Mosaic Law or the Ten Commandments cannot save you, as many teach.
GAL 3:9-10, So then those who are of faith are blessed with Abraham, the believer. For as many as are of the works of the Law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not abide by all things written in the book of the law, to perform them.” Paul is saying being saved by your faith alone in Christ alone is not a new doctrine. Anyone who tries to live by his own effort, independent of God, is doomed to failure.
GAL 3:11 “Now that no one is justified by the Law before God is evident; for, The righteous man shall live by faith.”The obvious impossibility of carrying out such a program with the Law, and not being able to be perfect, should make it plain that no one can sustain a relationship with God that way. The person who lives in right relationship with God does it by embracing what God arranges for him, such as the unconditional or unilateral covenants, which is what God did for the Jews. Doing things for God is the opposite of entering into what God does for you. Man’s soul is empty unless he is in right standing with God, it is then that he is fully alive, really alive (HAB 2:4). Our Lord came so that we could have real and eternal life, more and better life than they we ever dreamed of.
GAL 3:12 However, the Law is not of faith; on the contrary, “He who practices them shall live by them.” Keeping rules does not naturally evolve into living by faith, but only perpetuates itself in more and more rules.
GAL 3:13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us, for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree.” Christ redeemed us from that self-defeating, cursed life by absorbing it completely into Himself. When our Lord was nailed to the Cross: He became a curse, and at the same time dissolved the curse.
GAL 3:14 in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. Because of that, we can see that Abraham's blessing is present and available for non-Jews also. We are all able to receive God's life, His Spirit, in and with us by believing, just the way Abraham received it.
GAL 3:15-16, “Brethren, I speak in terms of human relations: even though it is only a man's covenant, yet when it has been ratified, no one sets it aside or adds conditions to it. Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He does not say, ‘And to seeds,’ as referring to many, but rather to one, ‘And to your seed,’ that is, Christ.”
The promises were made to Abraham and to his descendant. The Scripture, written in the careful language of a legal document, says to your descendant, (singular), referring to Christ. Therefore in GAL 3:26-27, “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ [a reference to the baptism of the Spirit not water baptism] have clothed yourselves with Christ.” Your baptism in Christ was not washing you up for a fresh start. It involved dressing you in an adult faith wardrobe, the life of Christ, the fulfillment of God's original promise and the fulfillment of the Davidic covenant referring to David's descendant, the Lord Jesus Christ.
GAL 3:28 “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
In Christ's family there can be no division between Jew and non-Jew, slave and free, male and female. That is, we are all in a common relationship with Jesus Christ.
GAL 3:29 “And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise.”
Because of the fact that the Jews or the nation of Israel would bring forth the promise seed, the Lord Jesus Christ, they have always been the target of attacks from Satan and the kingdom of darkness, but as we have noted, these attacks will not prevail.
So, the Davidic covenant is another unconditional or unilateral covenant taught in the word of God. This is the promise again given to David concerning his descendant, the Lord Jesus Christ. Satan tried his best to stop this, starting with GEN 3:15. The lineage of David came down to only one person in the entire world left alive whom the Lord could come through. This brings us to what is known as the Coniah curse. So, again some background: The Davidic Covenant says that the seed of the woman, the humanity of Christ, will descend from the tribe of Judah through the family of David (2SA 7:8-17; PSA 89:20-37). The two lineages of our Lord originate from David and Bathsheba. Their son Solomon's line, which is traced in Matthew. This line ends with Joseph, the legal, but not real father, of our Lord's humanity. That's another reason for the virgin birth for it is this line that has the curse on it because of one of His descendants named Jeconiah, also called Jehoiachin and eventually called Coniah. His kingship lasted for only 3 months and 10 days before he surrendered to Nebuchadnezzar who took him to Babylon and imprisoned him for 36 years. He was a coward and had negative toward doctrine. Because of that, there is the Coniah Curse. The Coniah curse is when our Lord said that Coniah would never have a son that will rule in fulfillment of the Davidic dynasty's great covenant, the Davidic covenant. So one of the linages of our Lord’s humanity is through Solomon's line, which is traced in Matthew. Again, this line ends with Joseph, the legal, but not real father, of our Lord's humanity.
The other lineage, Nathan's line, is found in Luke and ends with Mary, the source of the true humanity of Christ. Joseph again is not the real father of the humanity of Jesus Christ. This was an amazing way in which God fulfilled His word. Once again, Satan thought he had defeated God by perverting the line of David, but Satan had no idea how the virgin birth would fit into the plan of God magnificently and bring glory to God.
Coniah was 18 when he succeeded his father, and was king of Judah for three months and ten days; the 20th king from David. Because of a young and weak leader and because the Jews had become negative toward doctrine, Jerusalem was an easy prey to Nebuchadnezzar. Judah was invaded and judged for their negative volition toward Bible doctrine for three or four years by the Chaldaean, the Ammonites, and the Moabite armies sent by Nebuchadnezzar (as Jehovah's executioner of judgment) in consequence of Jehoiakim's, Coniah's father, and later Coniah’s for their rebellion toward God. If there is no response to the first four cycles of discipline, put on a client nation, God eventually removes that client nation from history. Rev 17-18 teaches this under the principle of evil one destroying evil two. Negative volition, apostasy, and passive arrogance or indifference creates the vacuum which attracts the persecution of active arrogance and historical disaster. Evil demands evil and cruelty demands cruelty, and therefore arrogance demands the function of active arrogance against it. This has always been the pattern of history and therefore, part of the historical trend, which explains the Jewish holocausts and the rise and fall of nations and empires. If a client nation reaches the point of religious degeneracy, then some other nation will wipe it out. This is a part of God's plan to preserve the human race so that it will not self destruct. Political degeneracy persecutes and destroys religious degeneracy. However, when Divine judgment falls on a nation, and the nation has a pivot of mature believers, that pivot is secure. The pivot is always preserved, even though it also shares in the difficulties of the disaster. While the pivot is secure, the spinoff, or the apostate believers, is always destroyed by historical catastrophe. This is how God administers the sin unto death to apostates. Historical disaster separates the pivot from the spinoff. If the pivot is too small and the spinoff is too large, then the nation is destroyed. But if the nation is destroyed, the pivot is preserved through the disaster (ISA 28:5-6). In fact, the book of lamentations is a book written by a believer who was a part of the pivot in Israel and who observed as his people were being taken in to slavery! When the establishment means of deliverance fail, response to Bible teaching is the last hope. If the pivot is large enough, not only is the client nation delivered from historical disaster, but a large pivot of mature believers means great blessing by association to the client nation and to all nations around it.
Back to the Davidic covenant which is another unconditional or unilateral covenant taught in the word of God that we are noting. In Psa 89 we read, “I will sing of the lovingkindness of the Lord forever; To all generations I will make known Thy faithfulness with my mouth.” Through the word of God which abides forever in 1PE 1:25, and shall not pass away in MAT 24:35, David is forever telling everyone how faithful God is. David says, I'll never quit telling the story of your love, how you built the cosmos and guaranteed everything in it. Your love has always been our lives' foundation. Then David quotes what the Lord said in 2Sa 7 in PSA 89:3-4, “I have made a covenant with My chosen; I have sworn to David My servant, I will establish your seed forever, And build up your throne to all generations. Selah.” This is the promise again given to David concerning his descendant, the Lord Jesus Christ. Satan has tried his best to stop this. Ever since GEN 3:15, Satan has had his eye on what God was doing. GEN 3:15 is when God said to Satan “And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel.”
The Davidic Covenant says that the seed of the woman, the humanity of Christ, will descend from the tribe of Judah through the family of David (2SA 7:8-17; PSA 89:20-37). So, the two lineages of our Lord originate from David and Bathsheba. Their son Solomon's line, given in Matthew, which ends with Joseph, the legal but not real father of our Lord's humanity.
In JER 22:28-30, “Is this man Coniah a despised, shattered jar? Or is he an undesirable vessel? Why have he and his descendants been hurled out And cast into a land that they had not known? O land, land, land, Hear the word of the Lord! Thus says the Lord, ‘Write this man down childless [meaning none of Coniah's sons will ever sit on the Davidic throne], A man who will not prosper in his days; For no man of his descendants will prosper Sitting on the throne of David Or ruling again in Judah.’”
First of all, Josiah was king; his second son, Jehoiakim, was made what they called a vassal to Nebuchadnezzar after the fourth cycle of discipline at the battle of Carchemish. He was actually like aslave to a rich man. As a reversionist, Jehoiakim destroyed copies of Scripture, and so in JER 36:29-31 his death was prophesied. His son was Coniah, who in 597 BC ruled for three months and ten days. He was made a prisoner for thirty-six years. So the curse of Coniah is that Coniah would never have a son to sit on David's throne in fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant. Yet he was in the line of David. This curse was fulfilled with the virgin birth, when Joseph (from Solomon and Coniah's line) became the legal, but not the real father. Another reason Matthew traces Solomon's line of the genealogy of Christ through Joseph and Luke traces Nathan's line of genealogy of Christ through Mary.
Again, this is a remarkable account of how God's grace provided for us a Savior, Jesus Christ our Lord, and this is why two genealogies are listed in the New Testament. If Jesus had been the real son of Joseph, He never could have sat on the throne of David. He would be under the curse, and yet He had to be the legal son of Joseph to have the right.
God had to devise a plan by which He would be the legal heir of the throne but that He would not be in the line of David descending through Jeconiah or Coniah. So we have Jehoiakim, and then his son Coniah, called Jeconiah, called Jehoiachin, and the Lord said Coniah will never have a son that will rule in fulfillment of the Davidic dynasty's great covenant, the Davidic covenant. Coniah did have several sons, Shealtiel is the one who becomes pertinent, but Shealtiel never ruled. He was born in Babylon. He would never go back and rule in Jerusalem. However, Shealtiel would a adopt son called Zerubbabel (HAG 2:21-23). Now, Zerubbabel would go back as a great leader, but he would never sit on David's throne.
Shealtiel, son of Coniah, king of Judah, is said to be the father of Zerubbabel, according to 1CH 3:17-19 and MAT 1:12; but son of Neri and father of Zerubbabel, according to Luke 3:27. Now, no genealogy would assign inferior ancestry to the true son and heir of a king and, we may assert with the utmost confidence that Luke gives us the true state of the case when he informs us that Shealtiel was the son of Neri and a descendant of Nathan the son of David. From the insertion of Shealtiel in the Royal lineage, after the childless Coniah, we can say with confidence that Solomon's line was next to the throne of David.
So, since Zerubbabel's true line comes down from Nathan, Zerubbabel would have a son who would reign forever, and that son would be the product of the virgin Mary, our Lord Jesus Christ. But the line of Coniah, Shealtiel and before him Jehoiakim; they are cut off! They are under the three generation curse.