This chapter is the clearest Messianic prophecy thus far in 2 Samuel. The prophesy is initiated by a “noble” desire of David to build the Lord a house. After having established residence in the dwelling King Hiram had built for David; which took nearly seven years, David contemplates all the pomp and splendor he enjoys, while seeing the Lord’s Presence is relegated to a “tent” with curtains.
David expressed this to Nathan who, even though the prophet, wasn’t in a “divine mode” (so to speak) and responds based on “for the Lord is with you” and says “do all that is in your heart”.
A word to prophets and those who operate in the prophetic, note these vital truths; One, we do not always walk in the prophetic anointing; remember we have this treasure in an earthen vessel. Two, God may be “with” someone, but that does not necessarily validate they should do “all that is in” their hearts. God operates redemptively with a bigger picture in mind when we’re willing to settle for something significantly less than His ultimate BEST. So it could have been with David, had not Nathan had ears to hear and boldness to correct what he had spoken.
God reasons with Nathan, who in turn shares God’s heart and bigger picture with David.
The reasoning’s foundation is based on the fact He had never asked for a “house” as David thought, in fact it wasn’t even Solomon’s Temple; there was another “house” He had in mind. Paul reminds us that those who have accepted the Lord Jesus as Savior are the very house which He spoke of to David. If one could build a house for God, how large would it have to be? There isn’t one! Making that declaration was what, in part, caused Stephen’s murder.
There is controversy over “who” is being referred to in this prophetic declaration. With the reference “If he commits iniquity”; many say the “word of the Lord” was referring to Solomon; yet earlier the Lord God says “I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.” This obviously and historically cannot refer to Solomon. Keep in mind that when this “word” was given; Solomon wasn’t born and his mother Bathsheba wasn’t even in the picture.
There are excellent Hebrew scholars who have researched the words and have arrived at a plausible answer to this dilemma.
Keep in mind that often time’s prophecy has a present and distant future application. So it is here. David was encouraged by what he heard and had no problem with realizing the “word” spoke totally of the coming Messiah, or the Seed of Abraham, now the Seed of David; Jesus!
First in verse 14, it would be more accurately translated “he suffered for the iniquity of mankind”. We see that prophetic declaration throughout the Old Testament; of particular note is Isaiah 9:7, Zechariah 6:12 and Isaiah 53:4. They along with others give a graphic picture of what the Messiah would look like and His work would accomplish on the cross for all mankind.
Second in verse 14 as well, “I will chasten him with the rod of men and with the blows of the sons of men”. This phrase ought to be translated “he was chastened with the rod of men due to their transgressions” and “the blows of the sons of men they should have received”.
After having received and delivering this “word”, David “sat before the Lord”. Can you imagine having just received that “word” and realizing he and his Seed would be responsible for eternal salvation of all mankind? David knew it dealt with a “future” time; “You have also spoken of Your servant’s house for a great while to come.” (vs. 19)
David knew he had better keep his mouth shut in this holy moment. He acknowledges that God was “great”, there was “none like” Him and God chose to “redeem for Himself as a people” Israel, while yet just one man and one woman of faith. God is awesome (thanks Rich Mullins)!
It came down to a fifty-five word prayer, recorded in verses 28 and 29. It’s a great prayer to pray!