« AnteriorContinuar »
to the throne of Israel, notwithstanding all the opposition made to it. God was determined to do it, and he made every thing give place that stood in the way of it. He removed Saul and his sons out of the way; and first set David over the tribe of Judah; and then, having removed Ishbosheth, set him over all Israel. Thus did God fulfil his word to David. He took him from the sheepcote, and made him king over his people Israel, Psal. lxxviii. 70, 71. And now the throne of Israel was established in that family, in which it was to continue for ever, even for ever and ever. ...VI. Now first it was that God proceeded to choose a particular city out of all the tribes of Israel to place his name there. There is several times mention made in the law of Moses of the children of Israel's bringing their oblations to the place which God should choose ; as Deut. xii. 5, 6, 7, and so in many other places; but God had never proceeded to do it till now. The tabernacle and ark were never fixed, but sometimes in one place, and sometimes in another; but now God proceeded to choose Jerusalem. The city of Jerusalem was never thoroughly conquered, or taken out of the hands of the Jebusites, till David's time. It is said in Joshua xv. 63, “ As for the Jebusites, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the children of Judah could not drive them out : but the Jebusites dwell with the children of Judah at Jerusalem unto this day.” But now David wholly subdued it, as we have an account in 2 Sam. v. And now God proceeded to choose that city to place his name there, as appears by David's bringing up the ark thither soon after ; and therefore this is mentioned afterwards as the first time God proceeded to choose a city to place his name there, 2 Chron. vi. 5, 6, and chap. xii. 13. Afterwards God proceeded to show David the very place where he would have his temple built, viz., in the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. • The city of Jerusalem is therefore called the holy city; and it was the greatest type of the church of Christ in all the Old Testament. It was redeemed by David, the captain of the hosts of Israel, out of the hands of the Jebusites, to be God's city, the holy place of his rest for ever, where he would dwell; as Christ, the captain of his people's salvation redeems his church out of the hands of devils, to be his holy and beloved city. And therefore how often does the Scripture, when speaking of Christ's redemption of his church, call it by the names of Zion and Jerusalem! This was the city that God had appointed to be the place of the first gathering and erecting of the Christian church after Christ's resurrection, of that remarkable pouring out of the Spirit of God on the apostles and primitive Christians, and the place whence the gospel was to sound forth into all the world ; the place of the first Christian church, that was to be, as it were, the mother of all other churches through the world ; agreeably to that prophecy, Isa. ï. 3, 4 : “ Out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem : and he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people.” &c. 6: Thus God chose Mount Sion, whence the gospel was to be sounded forth, as the law had been from Mount Sinai.
VIL The next thing to be observed here, is God's solemnly renewing the covenant of grace with David, and promising that the Messiah should be of his seed. We have an account of it in the 7th chapter of the second book of Samuel. It was done on occasion of the thoughts David entertained of building God a house. On this occasion God sends Nathan the prophet to him, with the glorious promises of the covenant of grace. It is especially contained in these words in the 16th verse: “And thy house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee; thy throne shall be established for ever." Which promise has respect to Christ, the seed of David, and is fulfilled in hinc only: for the kingdom of David has long since ceased, any otherwise than as it is upheld in Christ. The temporal kingdom of the house of David has now ceased for a great many ages; much longer than ever it stood.
That this covenant that God now established with David by Nathan the prophet, was the covenant of grace, is evident by the plain testimony of Scripture, in Isa. lv. 1, 2, 3. There we have Christ inviting sinners to come to the waters, &c. And in the 3d verse he says, “Incline your ear, come unto me; hear, and your souls shall live ; and I will make with you an everlasting covenant, even the sure mercies of David.” Here Christ offers to poor sinners, if they will come to him, to give them an interest in the same everlasting covenant that he had made with David, conveying to them the same sure mercies. But what is that covenant that sinners obtain an interest in, when they come to Christ, but the covenant of grace ?
This was the fifth solemn establishment of the covenant of grace with the church after the fall. The covenant of grace was revealed and established all along. But there had been particular seasons, wherein God had in a very solemn manner renewed this covenant with his church, giving forth a new edition and establishment of it, revealing it in a new manner. This was now the fifth solemn establishment of that covenant. The first was with Adam, the second was with Noah, the third was with the patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the fourth was in the wilderness by Moses, and now the fifth is this made to David.
This establishment of the covenant of grace with David, David always esteemed the greatest smile of God upon him, the greatest honor of all that God had put upon him; he prized it, and rejoiced in it above all the other blessings of his reign. You may see how joyfully and thankfully he received it, when Nathan came to him with the glorious message, in 2 Sam. vii. 18, &c. And so David, in his last words, declares this to be all his salvation, and all his desire; as you may see, 2 Sam. xxiii. 5 : “ He hath made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things and sure: for this is all my salvation, and all my desire."
VIII. It was by David that God first gave his people Israel the possession of the whole promised land. I have before shown, how God's giving the possession of the promised land belonged to the covenant of grace. This was done in a great measure by Joshua, but not fully. Joshua did not wholly subdue that part of the promised land that was strictly called the land of Canaan, and that was divided by lot to the several tribes; but there were great numbers of the old inhabitants left unsubdued, as we read in the books of Joshua and Judges; and there were many left to prove Israel, and to be thorns in their sides, and pricks in their eyes. There were the Jebusites in Jerusalem, and many of the Canaanites, and the whole nation of the Philistines, who all dwelt in that part of the land that was divided by lot, and chiefly in that part of the land that belonged to the tribes of Judah and Ephraim.
And thus these remains of the old inhabitants of Canaan continued unsubdued till David's time; but he wholly subdued them all. Which is agreeable to what St. Stephen observes, Acts vii. 45 : “ Which also our fathers brought in with Jesus (i. e. Joshua) into the possession of the Gentiles, whom God drove out before the face of our fathers, unto the days of David.” They were till the days of David in driving them out, before they had wholly subdued them But David entirely brought them under. He subdued the Jebusites, and he subdued the whole nation of the Philistines, and all the rest of the remains of the seven nations of Canaan : 1 Chron. xviii. 1, “Now after this it came to pass, that David smote the Philistines, and subdued them, and took Gath and her towns out of the hands of the Philistines.”
After this, all the remains of the former inhabitants of Canaan were made bond servants to the Israelites. The posterity of the Gibeonites became servants before, hewers of wood, and drawers of water, for the house of God. But Solomon, David's son and successor, put all the other remains of the seven nations of Canaan to bond service, at least made them pay a tribute of bond service, as you may see, 1 Kings ix. 20, 21, 22. And hence we read of the children of Solomon's servants, after the return from the Babylonish captivity, Ezra ii. 55, and Neh. xi. 3. They were the children or posterity of the seven nations of Canaan, that Solomon had subjected to bond, service.
Thus David subdued the whole land of Canaan, strictly so called. But then that was not one half, nor quarter, of the land God had promised to their fathers. The land that God had often promised to their fathers, included all the countries from the river of Egypt to the river Euphrates. These were the bounds of the land promised to Abraham, Gen. xv. 18: “In that same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt, unto the great river, the river Euphrates.” So again God promised at Mount Sinai, Exod. xxiii. 31: “ And I will set thy bounds from the Red Sea even unto the sea of the Philistines, and from the desert unto: the river; for I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hand; and thou shalt drive them out before thee.” So again, Deut. xi. 24: “Every place whereon the soles of your feet shall tread, shall be yours; from the wilderness, and Lebanon, from the river, the river Euphrates, even unto the uttermost sea, shall your coast be.” Again, the same promise is made to Joshua, Josh. i. 3, 4: “Every place that the sole of your feet shall tread upon, have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses; from the wilderness and this Lebanon, even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and unto the great sea, towards the going down of the sun, shall be your coast.” But the land that Joshua gave the people the possession of, was but a little part of this land. And the people never had had the possession of it, till now when God gave it them by David.
This large country did not only include that Canaan that was divided by lot to those who came in with Joshua, but the land of the Moabites and Ammonites, the land of the Amalekites, and the rest of the Edomites, and the country of Zobalı. All these nations were subdued and brought under the children of Israel by David. And he put garrisons in the several countries, and they became David's servants, as we have a particular account in the 8th chapter of 2d Samuel; and David extended their border to the river Euphrates, as was promised; see the 3d verse: “ And David smote also Hadadezer the son of Rehob, king of Zobah, as he went to recover his border at the river Euphrates.” And accordingly we read, that Solomon his son reigned over all the region on this side the river, 1 Kings iv. 24: “ For he had dominion over all the region on this side the river, from Tiphsah even unto Azzah, over all the kings on this side the river.” This, Artaxerxes, king of Persia, takes notice of long after, Ezra iv. 20: “There have been mighty kings also over Jerusalem, which have ruled over all countries beyond the river; and toll, tribute, and custom was paid unto them.”
So that Joshua, that type of Christ, did but begin the work of giving Israel the possession of the promised land; but left it to be finished by that much greater type and ancestor of Christ, even David, who subdued far more of that land than even Joshua had done. And in this extent of his and Solomon's dominion was some resemblance of the great extent of Christ's kingdom; and therefore the extent of Christ's kingdom is set forth by this very thing, of its being over all lands, from the Red Sea to the sea of the Philistines, and over all lands from thence to the river Euphrates, as Psal. lxxii. 8:“ He shall have doininion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth." See also 1 Kings viji. 56.
IX. God by David perfected the Jewish worship, and added to it several new institutions. The law was given by Moses, but yet all the institutions of the Jewish worship were not given by Moses ; some were added by divine direction. So this greatest of all personal types of Christ did not only perfect Joshua's work, in giving Israel the possession of the promised land, but he also finished Moses's work, in perfecting the instituted worship of Israel. Thus there must be a number of typical prophets, priests, and princes, to complete one figure or shadow of Christ, the antitype, he being the substance of all the types and shadows. Of so much more glory was Christ accounted worthy, than Moses, Joshua, David, and Solomon, and all the great prophets, priests, princes, judges, and saviours of the Old Testament put together.
The ordinances of David are mentioned as of parallel validity with those of Moses, 2 Chron. xxii. 18:“ Also Jehoiada appointed the offices of the house of the Lord by the band of the priests the Levites, whom David had distributed in the house of the Lord, to offer the burnt-offerings of the Lord, as it is written in the law of Moses, with rejoicing and with singing, as it was ordained by David.” The worship of Israel was perfected by David, by the addition that he made to the ceremonial law, which we have an account of in the 23d, 24th, 25th, and 26th chapters of the first book of Chronicles, consisting in the several orders and courses into which David divided the Levites, and the work and business to which he appointed them, different from what Moses had appointed them to ; and also in the divisions of the priests the sons of Aaron into four and twenty courses, assigning to every course their business in the house of the Lord, and their particular stated times of attendance there ; and appoint ing some of the Levites to a new office, that had not been appointed before ; and that was the office of singers, and particularly ordering and regulating of them in that office, as you may see in the 25th chapter of 1 Chronicles; and appointing others of the Levites by law to the several services of porters, treasurers, officers, and judges. And these ordinances of David were kept up henceforth in the church of Israel, as long as the Jewish church iasted. Thus we find the several orders of priests, and the Levites, the porters, and singers, after the captivity. So we find the courses of the priests appointed by David still continuing in the New Testament; so Zacharias the father of John the Baptist was a priest of the course of Abia; which is the same with the course of Abijah, appointed by David, that we read of, 1 Chron. xxiv. 10.
Thus David as well as Moses was made like to Christ the son of David, in this respect, that by him God gave a new ecclesiastical establishment, and new institutions of worship. David did not only add to the institutions of Moses, but by those additions he abolished some of the old institutions of Moses that had been in force till that time; particularly those laws of Moses that appointed the business of the Levites, which we have in the 3d and 4th chapters of Numbers, which very much consisted in their charge of the several parts and utensils of the tabernacle there assigned to them, and in carrying those several parts of the tabernacle. But those laws were now abolished by David; and they were no more to carry those things, as they had been used to do till David's tim