Advent, the Christian season that starts the Christian calendar and focuses on the coming of Jesus, starts today! Throughout Advents (ending on Christmas Day), I’m posting thoughts about the coming of Jesus and explaining some things about Christmas that might not be clear to you.
Have you ever wondered why Jesus is referred to as the son of David in the New Testament and why David figures so prominently in the gospel narratives of Jesus’ birth?
The connection with King David, along with the reason why the gospels mention over and over that Jesus was the “son of David” goes back to the covenant that God made with David in 2 Samuel 7:8-16:
8 “Now then, tell my servant David, ‘This is what the LORD Almighty says: I took you from the pasture, from tending the flock, and appointed you ruler over my people Israel. 9 I have been with you wherever you have gone, and I have cut off all your enemies from before you. Now I will make your name great, like the names of the greatest men on earth. 10And 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 11 and have done ever since the time I appointed leaders over my people Israel. I will also give you rest from all your enemies.
12 When your days are over and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, your own flesh and blood, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 14 I will be his father, and he will be my son. When he does wrong, I will punish him with a rod wielded by men, with floggings inflicted by human hands. 15 But my love will never be taken away from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you. 16 Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.’”
These promises, made 1,000 years before Jesus came on the scene are in the minds of the people who were waiting on the Messiah. They were looking for someone who would fulfill the royal expectations of this Davidic Covenant.
For us, as we look back, we understand Jesus as the One who fulfills and will completely fulfill these promises. In fact, waiting on David is one of the central ways we can understand what is involved in trusting God.
We’re waiting on God to fulfill the promises made to David. They’re our promises! We are the ones who are waiting on the defeat of all the enemies of David. We’re the ones who are trusting in the fact that an eternal throne is established and the crown is put on the head of our Savior that will never fail.
This hope and expectation of final defeat of enemies may be why the most quoted Old Testament passage in the New Testament is Psalm 110:1:
1 The LORD says to my lord:
“Sit at my right hand
until I make your enemies
a footstool for your feet.”