2 Samuel 7

These small group studies through the lives of David and Solomon contain outlines, cross-references, Bible study discussion questions, and applications.  Visit our library of inductive Bible studies for more in depth inductive studies on this and other books of the Bible you can use in your small group.

God’s Covenant with David – 2 Samuel 7 Inductive Bible Study

Teaching Points

1. The Lord had given him rest – David was certainly a great warrior. He was bold and skillful. Yet victory and peace was from the Lord.

2. David wants to build a temple for the Lord – David does not say directly that he wants to build a temple for the Lord (or at least not that is recorded in Scripture), but he clearly implies it. In chapter 6 we see that David wanted to bring the ark to Jerusalem. He was very excited about it, dancing and praising God. Here we see that David wants to build a temple for the Lord. His heart is in the right place. David had a clear understanding of who God was and who he was. This comes out in his statement to Nathan. It seems that David felt uncomfortable that he lived in a nice house, while God was still “living” in a tent.

We know (and David knew) that God is everywhere. The presence of His glory is primarily focused in His throne room in heaven. Nonetheless, the tabernacle (and later the temple) was important. Sometimes He met with man there through visions or direct revelation. Also the Shekinah glory dwelt there. In addition, it was the place where His people went to worship and sacrifice. Building a temple for the Lord was one way to give Him the glory and honor due to Him.

As a king, David must have had a lot on his mind. He had all the affairs of the kingdom to deal with. He was needed to mediate disputes, meet diplomatic delegations, form national policy, watch over the army and other branches of government, etc. But David was not too busy for God. He didn’t make perpetual excuses for why he couldn’t build the temple. Instead he took initiative to volunteer to make sure this job got done. No one asked him. No one mentioned it. He merely observed what needed to be done and decided to be the means by which it was accomplished.

Application: Never become too busy for God. If a king is not too busy to serve God, you shouldn’t be either. Also, be observant. When you notice that things need to be done, don’t wait to be asked. Take initiative to provide solutions for problems you observe.

3. Nathan thinks it is a good idea – Nathan is very supportive of David’s idea. It is notable that David shared his idea with a prophet first. Instead of just beginning the temple, he asked Nathan’s opinion. It seems that Nathan gave an answer without first taking it to the Lord in prayer. Later God showed him that the answer he gave was not from Him. Nathan shared his opinion. From man’s perspective it seemed reasonable and logical. But God had something else in mind.

Application: We should always go to the Lord before making important decisions or giving counsel to others about important issues. Do not just assume that you know the right answer. Do not just answer with your own opinion, no matter how sure you are of it.

II. 5-17

Teaching Points

1. The word of the Lord came to Nathan – God sometimes works in ways we don’t expect. Nathan then humbled himself and went back to David to give Him the real answer from God.

2. Verse 5 – It was a good and noble goal to build a temple for God, but David was not the one to do it.

3. Verses 6-7 – God does not actually need a “house.” For the past hundreds of years He didn’t have a house. There was no temple from the time of the Israelites in Egypt, in the wilderness, or in the time of the judges.

I think from these verses we can get the following principle: A temple benefits us more than it benefits God.

This is true about most things which we do for God. God in fact does not need us. He existed in eternity past before He ever created people. One example of this principle is seen in Psalms 50:10. In the Bible we are commanded to give. Giving is a good thing. Through giving we can honor God. Yet, does God need our giving? Certainly not. God can do His work without us if He chooses to. But He wants us to give because the process of giving to the Lord is good for us.

God had no need whatsoever to dwell in a temple. But a temple could be a place where people were reminded of God’s glory and the need to worship and glorify Him with their lives.

4. God’s plan for David (verses 8-9) – God chose David while he was a mere shepherd. He raised him up to become the leader of His chosen people. He gave him numerous victories over enemies. He was with David everywhere he went. He also was going to raise David up in the sight of other nations by giving him a great reputation.

Lessons:

  • God is sovereign.
  • He works in ways which we may not.
  • He delights in raising up the humble and lowly as this shows His power.
  • God can use anyone. We should not make excuses or think we are not important enough or qualified enough to be used by Him.
  • God being “with us” is the most important ingredient in true success.

5. God’s plan for the nation – God had a plan for David and He had a plan for the nation. These plans were interlinked. He planned to give Israel a firm root in the land which He had given them. He promised to give Israel peace. In the short term this could have been fulfilled during Solomon’s reign. But Israel will not have lasting peace until the millennial reign of Christ.

6. More of God’s plan for David –

  • Establish David’s house (family)
  • A dynasty (12)
  • A temple builder. David’s descendant would build the temple.
  • A perpetual dynasty (David’s dynasty lasted until the Babylonian exile.) His line still survived. Jesus came from the line of the Davidic kings and will finally fulfill this promise.
  • A relationship. David already had this father/son relationship with God. Solomon would also have it.
  • Mercy and lovingkindness which will not be taken away.

From these verses we get an in depth look into the goodness of God. We can see His love for David. He cared about David and his future. God was not obligated to do any of this. It wasn’t because David deserved this care. It was solely God’s choice. This passage reminds us that God is relational. He desires to have a personal relationship with His people. Certainly we can see that in the New Testament in verses such as John 1:12. But even in the Old Testament we see that God had a father/son-like relationship with David and Solomon. In the Old Testament God’s holiness and glory are often emphasized. The Israelites emphasized these aspects of God’s character so much that they wouldn’t even utter God’s name (YHWH) or write it. They considered it was too holy. He is holy. He is awesome. In this passage we see that this holy, awesome God is willing to have a relationship with His people.

We are spiritual children of Abraham if we have faith in God. And we are spiritual children of David when we have this living, vibrant relationship with Him. How did David develop this personal relationship with God? What do we learn from David that we can use to improve our own personal relationship with God?

From this passage we are also reminded about God’s sovereignty. He made promises that could take thousands of years to fulfill. The promise in verse 16 about his kingdom enduring forever hinged on David’s line remaining unbroken from father to son for around a thousand years! What if one man in that chain died childless? Obviously the odds would not be in favor of these promises being fulfilled. But God is all-powerful. Time is nothing to Him. Of course many of you have heard of the big bang theory which evolutionists believe in. There is another “big bang” theory, which maybe you haven’t heard. God said it and “bang” it happened! God’s words are powerful. His promises will all come true.

III. 18-29

Teaching Points

1. David went in and sat before the Lord – It seems that David entered the tabernacle and had an intimate conversation with the Lord. Here is another reminder of the close, personal relationship David had with God. Do you have this same personal relationship with God? Do you take initiative to spend time with Him?

2. Who am I, O Lord? – One of David’s best characteristics which we have seen throughout our study of his life, is his humility. I believe that his humility was sincere. He grew up as a poor shepherd in a small town, the youngest of many brothers. He fully understood and accepted that his rise to become king of Israel was all God’s doing. He did not take the credit for it even partly. Perhaps God chose David partly because of his humble background so that he would fully give thanks to God instead of taking credit for himself.

God not only gave David a present; He also gave him a future. How did David feel about all of this? He was overflowing with gratitude. He felt his own inadequacy deeply and realized he didn’t deserve any of this. His response is to give all the praise and glory to God. Read and discuss verse 22.

Cross-References

Matthew 23:12, Romans 12:3, Proverbs 11:2 – Verses on humility.

Application: What can you learn from David’s response that you can apply to your own life? How do you respond when things go well? What promises has God made to us that we should be thankful for?

3. Verse 23 – David understands his responsibility. It is his job to shepherd and lead God’s chosen people. This is not a task to take lightly. If we are leaders in a church or fellowship, our job too is to watch over those we are sharing with. These are people whom Jesus gave His very life for. We must take our responsibility toward them very seriously.

4. Verse 23-24 – The nation of Israel was God’s. He chose them for Himself. He established them for Himself. He even put David over them for His own sake. This was not David’s kingdom or his people. They belonged to God, not to David. David was merely a steward, a caretaker, a shepherd. Perhaps his job as a shepherd could also remind him that now he was still a shepherd. The sheep of the nation of Israel were God’s and it was his job to lead them toward the Lord. We should have the same view toward whatever God has given us: children, disciples, students, fellowship, etc.

5. David’s request (25-29) – David asked God to confirm His word forever. In others, “You promised it. Now do it!” It was a bold prayer. But it was based on God’s already made promise so it was appropriate. We can pray boldly when we stand upon the Word and claim God’s promises.

6. Verse 28 – You are God and your word is trustworthy! David had confidence in God’s power and His character to fulfill His promises. God was powerful enough to do and trustworthy enough not to change His mind.

7. The chief end of David – The chief purpose of David’s life was to glorify the Lord forever (26).

Application: What can you learn from this passage about how to pray?

Next: David and Mephibosheth

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