Israel, Here to Stay

By Pastor Teck Uy

How long will Israel be able to endure the onslaught of her enemies? Will she ever survive all these attempts to annihilate her from the face of the earth? These are questions that many have been asking for years. Especially in this heavily weaponized world that we are living in, their survival seems to be uncertain. However, the Lord has repeatedly assured the Israelites that they are here to stay. Through the prophet Jeremiah, the Lord declared, “‘If you can break my covenant with the day and my covenant with the night, so that day and night no longer come at their appointed time, then my covenant with David my servant-and my covenant with the Levites who are priests ministering before me-can be broken and David will no longer have a descendant to reign on his throne” (Jer. 33:20-21). While these were very comforting words for the Israelites, these were certainly not unexpected because these were restatements of covenants the Lord had made with David and his forefathers.

But what were the promises of God to David that constituted the Davidic Covenant? In the Davidic Covenant, God gave David fivefold promises. The first promise was that God will make his name great. God said, “I will make your name great, like the names of the greatest men of the earth” (2 Samuel 7:9). David became a mighty warrior. He won many battle “and David became famous after he returned from striking down eighteen thousand Edomites in the Valley of Salt” (2 Sam. 8:13). 

The second promise was for God will give him a land. He said, “And I will provide a place for my people Israel and will plant them so that they can have a home of their own and no longer be disturbed. Wicked people will not oppress them anymore, as they did at the beginning” (2 Sam. 7:10). Although Jerusalem was heavily fortified, David was able to conquer it. “David then took up residence in the fortress and called it the City of David. He built up the area around it, from the supporting terraces inward” (2 Sam. 5:9)

The third promise was that God will give him rest from war. God had said, “I will also give you rest from all your enemies” (2 Sam. 7:11). When he was starting out as the king of Israel. David was busy in the battle field. But because God was with him, he defeated all his enemies. “After the king was settled in his palace and the Lord had given him rest from all his enemies around him” (2 Sam. 7:1).

The fourth promise was that God will give him a son to build a temple. God said, “When your days are over and you rest with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, who will come from your own body, and I will establish his kingdom. He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever” (2 Sam. 7:12-13). While David wanted to build the temple himself, God restrained him because he had shed too much blood. Instead, his son, Solomon, was tasked to build the temple. After the temple was built, God acknowledge it saying. “I have chosen and consecrated this temple so that my Name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there” (2 Chro.7:16).

The last promise was that God will give him an enduring kingdom. God promised, “Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever” (2 Sam. 7:16). In announcing the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ, the angel of the Lord said to Mary, “You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.” (Luke 1:31-33). Jesus is the King of kings and the Lord of lords and he reigns forevermore. Hallelujah!

But why were the descendant of David suffered and are still suffering to these days? Although God’s covenant with David was unconditional, he warned David’s descendants saying, “I will be his father, and he will be my son. When he does wrong, I will punish him with the rod of men, with floggings inflicted by men. But my love will never be taken away from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you “ (2 Sam. 7:14-15).

While God is faithful to all his promises, he demands that we live the life that will give glory to his name. Sin is a reproach and God will deal with it accordingly. Indeed, sin will bring death to any of the good promises of God. But as the apostle Paul had said, “But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 15:57). Glory to God!