When your days are over and you go to be with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, one of your own sons, and I will establish his kingdom. He is the one who will build a house for me, and I will establish his throne forever. I will be his father, and he will be my son. I will never take my love away from him, as I took it away from your predecessor. I will set him over my house and my kingdom forever; his throne will be established forever.’” (1 Chronicles 17:11-14 NIV)
David wanted to build a permanent home for the ark of the covenant, a house for God. This passage is a part of God’s response to David’s plan. God told David he would not be the one to build a house for God. Instead, it would be one of David’s offspring who would build the house. And God promised David that he [God] would build a house for him [David].
There is a play on words in this passage that is easy for us to miss today. We use the word “house” to refer to a building that people live in. Ancient Israel did as well. But they also used the word to refer to a family. God’s promise that he would build a house for David was a promise that his family would be established and continue down through the generations. While David was looking to build a physical structure for God to dwell in, God made a promise concerning David’s future offspring. One of whom would build a house for God. One whose kingdom and throne would be established forever; an everlasting kingdom.
A Coming Fulfillment
In the short term, this was looking forward to Solomon, who built the temple in Jerusalem that David had wanted to build. But Solomon’s kingdom and throne did not last. He ruled for 40 years and then died.
The promise God made to David was looking well beyond Solomon. A thousand years later, a descendant of David was born in Bethlehem. He is the one whose kingdom and throne God established eternally. And he is the one building a house for God (Eph. 2:19-22). God’s promise to David was fulfilled in the person of Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God, who now rules forever over an everlasting kingdom. A kingdom that will never end.