We have here David’s solemn address to God, in answer to the gracious message he had now received from him. By faith he receives the promises, embraces them, and is persuaded of them, as the patriarchs, Heb. 11:13. How humbly does he here abase himself, and acknowledge his own unworthiness! How highly does he advance the name of God and admire his condescending grace and favour! With what devout affections does he magnify the God of Israel and what a value has he for the Israel of God! With what assurance does he build upon the promise, and with what a lively faith does he put it in suit! What an example is this to us of humble, believing, fervent prayer! The Lord enable us all thus to seek him! These things were largely observed, 2 Sam. 7:1-29 We shall therefore here observe only those few expressions in which the prayer, as we find it here, differs from the record of it there, and has something added to it.
I. That which is there expressed by way of question (Isa. this the manner of men, O Lord God?) is here an acknowledgment: “Thou hast regarded me according to the estate of a man of high degree. Thou hast made me a great man, and then treated me accordingly.” God, by the covenant-relations into which he admits believers, the titles he gives them, the favours he bestows on them, and the preparations he has made for them, regards them according to the estate of men of high degree, though they are mean and vile. Having himself distinguished them, he treats them as persons of distinction, according to the quality he has been pleased to put upon them. Some give these words here another reading: “Thou hast looked upon me in the form of a man who art in the highest, the Lord God; or, Thou hast made me to see according to the form of a man the majesty of the Lord God.” And so it points at the Messiah; for, as Abraham, so David, saw his day and was glad, saw it by faith, saw it in fashion as a man, the Word made flesh, and yet saw his glory as that of the only-begotten of the Father. And this was that which God spoke concerning his house for a great while to come, the foresight of which affected him more than any thing. And let it not be thought strange that David should speak so plainly of the two natures of Christ who in spirit called him Lord, though he knew he was to be his Son (Ps. 110:1), and foresaw him lower than the angels for a little while, but afterwards crowned with glory and honour, Heb. 2:6, 7.
II. After the words What can David say more unto thee, it is here added, for the honour of they servant? 1 Chron. 17:18. Note, The honour God puts upon his servants, by taking them into covenant and communion with himself, is so great that they need not, they cannot, desire to be more highly honoured. Were they to sit down and wish, they could not speak more for their own honour than the word of God has spoken.
III. It is very observable that what in Samuel is said to be for thy word’s sake is here said to be for thy servant’s sake, 1 Chron. 17:19. Jesus Christ is both the Word of God (Rev. 19:13) and the servant of God (Isa. 42:1), and it is for his sake, upon the score of his meditation, that the promises are both made and made good to all believers; it is in him that they are yea and amen. For his sake is all kindness done, for his sake it is made known; to him we owe all this greatness and from him we are to expect all these great things; they are the unsearchable riches of Christ, which, if by faith we see in themselves and see in the hand of the Lord Jesus, we cannot but magnify as great things, the only true greatness, and speak honourably of accordingly.
IV. In Samuel, the Lord of hosts is said to be the God over Israel; here he is said to be the God of Israel, even a God to Israel, 1 Chron. 17:24. His being the God of Israel bespeaks his having the name of their God and so calling himself; his being a God to Israel bespeaks his answering to the name, his filling up the relation, and doing all that to them which might be expected from him. There were those that were called gods of such and such nations, gods of Assyria and Egypt, gods of Hamad and Arpad; but they were no gods to them, for they stood them in no stead at all, were mere ciphers, nothing but a name. But the God of Israel is a God to Israel; all his attributes and perfections redound to their real benefit and advantage. Happy therefore, thrice happy, is the people whose God is Jehovah; for he will be a God to them, a God all-sufficient.
V. The closing words in Samuel are, With thy blessing let the house of thy servant be blessed forever. That is the language of a holy desire. But the closing words here are the language of a most holy faith: For thou blessest, O Lord! and it shall be blessed for ever, 1 Chron. 17:27. 1. He was encouraged to beg a blessing because God had intimated to him that he had blessings in store for him and his family: “Thou blessest, O Lord! and therefore unto thee shall all flesh come for a blessing; unto thee do I come for the blessing promised to me.” Promises are intended to direct and excite prayer. Has God said, I will bless? Let our hearts answer, Lord, bless me, 2. He was earnest for the blessing because he believed that those whom God blesses are truly and eternally blessed: Thou blessest, and it shall be blessed. Men can but beg the blessing; it is God that commands it. What he designs he effects; what he promises he performs; saying and doing are not two things with him. Nay, it shall be blessed for ever. His blessings shall not be revoked, cannot be opposed, and the benefits conferred by them are such as will survive time and days. David’s prayer concludes as God’s promise did (1 Chron. 17:14) with that which is for ever. God’s word looks at things eternal, and so should our desires and hopes.
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