Well, that's quite a long title for a short post.
In any case: The apparent problem is this. 2 Sam 7 seems to promise an eternal kingdom to David, unconditionally. To be sure, David's son (and later sons) will suffer discipline when they sin, but Yahweh promises never to remove his love from the house of David as he did with Saul. 1 Ki 2, by contrast, seems to indicate that the continuance of the Davidic dynasty depends on the kings' faithfulness to the law: "If your sons guard their way, to walk before Me in truth with all their heart and with all their soul, there shall not be cut off a man from befor me on the throne of Israel" (v 4).
What do we do with that tension? It cannot be resolved except by the gospel. The continuation of the Davidic dynasty was dependent upon adherence to the law, yet failures did not keep Yahweh from raising the Davidic dynasty from the dead (which happens several times in Kings). Paul sees the gospel as addressing precisely this question, and his presentation of the gospel can be seen as an answer to precisely this tension: What the law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did. The law could not preserve the Davidic dynasty, because the Davidic kings were flesh. But where the Law failed, Yahweh bared His arm and took things into His own hands.
posted by Peter J. Leithart on Saturday, August 21, 2004 at 09:54 AM
Permission is given to use material on this site, provided the source is cited, blog entries are republished in full, and the author is notified in advance.