NT Connect: Hebrews 4:1-4
Weekly Reading: 2 Samuel 23-24; 1 Kings 1-4
A Better David
David’s reign as king over God’s people began on such a high note. He was a man after God’s own heart, and the Lord promised that one of his descendants would reign forever on his throne (2 Samuel 7). Yet, as David’s story progressed, it became clear that he was far from perfect. He seduced Bathsheba and murdered Uriah. He failed to bring justice to his daughter Tamar. David’s life was mixed. He did much good, but it was tainted by some incredible evils. Like David’s life, 2 Samuel ends on a mixed note. In his pride David, ordered a census. He wanted to know how great and powerful he had become, but his actions offended the Lord for David’s census directly disobeyed God’s command. However, David finished out 2 Samuel by preparing a place for the Temple.
1 Kings begins with the hope that Solomon will succeed where his father David had failed. Perhaps, this new king would be completely faithful to God. Our readings will show that this is not to be the case. Indeed, each subsequent king in David’s line will fail to live up to even David’s standard. As 1-2 Kings records wicked king after wicked king, one pressing question comes to the fore: has God forgotten his promise to David? Will the Lord been unfaithful to his covenant?
As the Old Testament ends, it leaves us on edge, wondering if God will be faithful to his promise. Where the Old Testament ends in ambiguity, the New Testament begins with a resounding “yes” to this question. God will be faithful to his promise to David. Matthew 1:1 begins, “The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David. . .” Christ Jesus is how God will fulfill his promise to David. Jesus is the true Son of David who will faithfully reign over God’s people and usher in God’s reign.
With subtle allusions to Psalm 2 and Psalm 110, Hebrews 1:1-4 demonstrates that Jesus is the long-awaited son of David and, more than that, he is the Son of God. The language of sonship and inheritance in Hebrews 1:2 points to similar language in Psalm 2:8 about how the future king from David’s line will rule over all things. Hebrews 1:4 speaks of Christ as seated “at the right hand of the Majesty on high,” which is language drawn from Psalm 110:1, 5. Jesus is the promised son of David.
Jesus is also the Son of God. As the Son, he is as much God as the Father is God. The Son was a part of creation and continues to sustain the world (Hebrews 1:2-3). The Son “is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature” (Hebrews 1:3). He is greater than the angels, for he is the Son (Hebrews 1:4).
God’s promise to David has not failed. God always will be faithful. His loving-kindness never will fail. Jesus Christ stands as the greatest testament to God’s faithfulness to his promises and to his people.