How God Keeps His Promises, Despite Impossible Circumstances


Every year of our lives, we are faced with circumstances that sometimes appear impossible to overcome. We have two choices: we can become discouraged and give up, or we can trust in the Lord–who has the ability to overcome any difficult circumstance.

We see this ability demonstrated over and over again, by the lives of real people–in the Old Testament. David, though he was a man who failed miserably in many of the decisions that he made during his life, the Lord was still faithful to keep the promises that He had made to this imperfect man.

Some of the ways in which the Lord brought about the fulfillment of His promises–are truly miraculous. Though some obstacles were clearly impossible for men, with God nothing is impossible.

2 Samuel Chapter 7 begins with David at rest in his own house. He realizes that he lives in a beautiful home while the Lord dwells in a tent. David determines that He will build God a house. Instead, the Lord tells David: I will build you a house.

This chapter is widely accepted by many scholars, the Midrash, and the Qumran, as being Messianic.[1] With this in mind, it is certain that the house that God is going to build for David is a line of descendants that will result in the coming of the Messiah. We see an indication of this from the New Testament Gospel of Luke:

Luke 2:4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David

There are 16 Old Testament prophecies that describe the Messiah as coming from one of David’s descendants. The primary source for this is the Book of 2 Samuel Chapter 7.

2 Samuel 7:1-13 Now it came to pass when the David was dwelling in his house, and the LORD had given him rest from all his enemies all around, 2 that the king said to Nathan the prophet, “See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells inside tent curtains.” 3 Then Nathan said to the king, “Go, do all that is in your heart, for the LORD is with you.”4 But it happened that night that the word of the LORD came to Nathan, saying, 5 “Go and tell My servant David, ‘Thus says the LORD: … 12 “When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.” ’ ”

The Lord is pleased by the desire of David’s heart to build a beautiful dwelling for God on earth. However, David will not be permitted to build the Lord a house because he has been a man of great bloodshed. The Old Testament records 17 battles that David fought during the 40 years of his reign as king. There are another 10 confrontations not listed here, that David had with Saul and his men, in which many men died.

1. David vs. Goliath, Philistines (Part 1) – 1 Samuel 17.
2. David vs. Saul – 1 Samuel 18-20.
3. David vs. Philistines (Part 2) – 1 Samuel 23:1-5.
4. David vs. Geshurites, Girzites, Amalekites (Part 1) – 1 Samuel 27.
5. David vs. Amalekites (Part 2) – 1 Samuel 30.
6. David vs. Benjaminites (Part 1), Civil War – 2 Samuel 2-4.
7. David vs. Jebusites (Jerusalem) – 2 Samuel 5:6-10.
8. David vs. Philistines (Part 3) – 2 Samuel 5:17-20.
9. David vs. Philistines (Part 4) – 2 Samuel 5:22-25.
10. David vs. Ammonites (Part 1) and Arameans – 2 Samuel 10.
11. David vs. Ammonites (Part 2) – 2 Samuel 11-12.
12. David vs. Absalom (Civil War against David’s Eldest Son)- 2 Samuel 13-18.
13. David vs. Sheba (Civil War), Benjaminites (Part 2) – 2 Samuel 20.
14. David vs. Philistines (Part 5) – 2 Samuel 21:15-17.
15. David vs. Philistines (Part 6), 1st Battle at Gob – 2 Samuel 21:18.
16. David vs. Philistines (Part 7), 2nd Battle at Gob – 2 Samuel 22:19.
17. David vs. Philistines (Part 8), Battle in Gath – 2 Samuel 22:20-22.

David loved the Lord fervently. This is reflected in the many Psalms that he wrote for the Lord. Luke records the detail that the Lord Himself testified that David was a man after His own heart, who will do all His will.

Acts 13:22 And when He had removed him, He raised up for them David as king, to whom also He gave testimony and said, “I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will.”

It should be noted that although David was responsible for the death of many men and the scriptures record his sins and failures, the Lord still views David as a man who will do all His will. Salvation is not a matter of being good enough for God to accept us. It is a matter of our determination to believe what God said concerning salvation and to do all that He requires. The Lord has testified in the Bible that He will accept any person who comes to Him, through the death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ. He will not accept anyone by any other means. Because David was relying on the salvation of the coming Messiah, he was considered saved by the future sacrifice that the Savior would make. We should understand that just as we are saved by looking back to the cross for our salvation, those in the Old Testament were saved by looking ahead to the cross for their salvation.

Saved forward and back

The reason that God could say that David is a man after His own heart and will do all His will, is that He is a shining example of a man who knows what to do when sin occurs. David’s prayer of repentance, in Psalm 51, after he took Bathsheba and had her husband Uriah killed, is a perfect example of what a person who sins should do when he fails. David came to the Lord and admitted his sin. He did not blame anyone else or God. David took responsibility for his actions and humbly asked the Lord to forgive him. He was forgiven and restored every time he sinned and then came before the Lord in true repentance.

A model prayer for true repentance

Psalm 51:1-4 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin! 3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. 4 Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment. (ESV)

There were also consequences for David’s many battles in which thousands of men died: He would not be permitted to build the Lord a House at Jerusalem.

When we sin and come to the Lord humbly in sorrow, and we are willing to turn away from our sins and do our best not to commit these sins again—the Lord will always forgive us. We may find however, that although the Lord has forgiven us, there will be people who will not forgive us. We may suffer the loss of friends, family, possessions, a career and money—as a result of our sins. In David’s case: because his life was filled with so much violence, the Lord would not allow him to represent Him in building His house. Much in the same way that Moses struck the Rock twice when the Lord told him to strike it only one time (see Prophecy 28), neither Moses nor David could go any farther after they misrepresented the Lord.

The proper attitude that is required in approaching the Lord:

Our God is a God of peace. He hates violence and bloodshed. He only resorts to the outpouring of His wrath, when evil men and women stubbornly refuse to turn from their sins and rebellion against Him. The Lord is also Holy. He is perfect in every way, and He has absolutely no tolerance for sin.

David wrote that those who come to the LORD for their Salvation must do so with fear (deep respect), rejoicing (worship), and trembling (awareness of His Holiness).

Psalms 2:11 Serve the LORD with fear, And rejoice with trembling.

The Book of Leviticus establishes the manner and attitude in which we must come to God.

Leviticus 10:3 And Moses said to Aaron, “This is what the LORD spoke, saying: ‘By those who come near Me I must be regarded as holy; And before all the people I must be glorified.’ ” So Aaron held his peace.

To regard the Lord as Holy means to understand that He is perfect in every way. He is completely Good, and it is impossible that He could ever do wrong. All that God asks of us is all that He asks of Himself.

Although critics of the Bible constantly highlight the moments in the history of man when God brought judgement, there are far more examples of His grace and mercy, and constant provision and care for all people. In reality, God is always far more patient with us than we are with other people. Our sense of justice in punishing evil provokes us to retribution, while God waits for the guilty, giving as much time as possible for the hard and obstinate heart to change.

Ezekiel 33:11 Say to them: “As I live,” says the Lord GOD, “I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die…

Isaiah 1:18 “Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the LORD, “Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool. 19 If you are willing and obedient…

Numbers 14:18 The LORD is longsuffering and abundant in mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression; but He by no means clears the guilty.

Many have criticized God for His order of the total destruction of the Canaanites. What these critics have not realized is that from the time that God told Moses that He would destroy these people until their eventual destruction, there was a period of nearly 900 years.

In Genesis 15, God informs Abraham that He will destroy the Amorites, but not until their “iniquity is complete.” He will give them adequate time to repent.

Genesis 15:16 “But in the fourth generation they shall return here, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.”

This verse was given to Abraham at about 1926 B.C.

God orders the total destruction of the Amalekites, in 1 Samuel Chapter 15, by King Saul.

1 Samuel 15:1 Samuel also said to Saul, “The LORD sent me to anoint you king over His people, over Israel. Now therefore, heed the voice of the words of the LORD. 2 Thus says the LORD of hosts: ‘I will punish Amalek for what he did to Israel, how he ambushed him on the way when he came up from Egypt. 3 Now go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them. But kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’ ”

This order came about 1028 B.C.

God gave the Canaanites 900 years to repent and come to Him before He ordered their destruction.

The Amalekites and the entire Canaanite culture were amongst some of the most evil people that have ever lived on the earth; and still, the Lord gave them 900 years to repent before He destroyed them all. How many of us would allow someone to hurt and offend us for 900 years before we would unleash our wrath on them? God is Good and extremely patient with sinners. He will wait for a very long time before He will take action. The Lord has given all mankind more than 6,000 years to repent, and only a small number have done so. There will come a time in the very near future when the Lord will wait no more.

Genesis 6:3 And the LORD said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh…”

See the chapter in this book: “Understanding the Wrath of God

David will not build God a House:

The task of building the Lord’s house in Jerusalem will pass to David’s son, Solomon. David will assemble many of the materials that will be used in the construction of the Temple, but he will not be allowed to begin the actual building himself.

It was because David desired with all of his heart to build the Lord a house, that the Lord determined instead—to build David a house. Not a house of brick and mortar but one of flesh and blood: A line of descendants that would lead to the Messiah.

As we examine Jesus’ genealogy, we see that He is descended from David’s line:

Luke 2:4-5 Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child.

Matthew 1:1 The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham:

Jesus geneaology Luke

Jesus geneaology Matthew

The curse upon Jeconiah

Do not miss one important detail here in Matthew’s genealogy of Jesus this man called Jeconiah, number 28.

Matthew 1:11 Josiah begot Jeconiah and his brothers about the time they were carried away to Babylon.

In the Book of Jeremiah, the king of Israel, Jeconiah, was such an evil man that the Lord cursed his entire line of descendants. The Lord said that not one of his sons would ever sit on the throne as the king of Israel.

Jeremiah 22:24-30 “As I live,” says the LORD, “though Coniah (nickname for Jeconiah) the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, were the signet on My right hand, yet I would pluck you off; Thus says the LORD: ‘Write this man down as childless, A man who shall not prosper in his days; For none of his descendants shall prosper, Sitting on the throne of David, And ruling anymore in Judah.’ ”

As a result of the Lord’s pronouncement, none of Jeconiah’s line of descendants could ever be the King of Israel.

The Problem is that Jeconiah is in Joseph’s line. If Jeconiah’s descendants are cursed by God and none of Jeconiah’s descendants can be the king of Israel, then Jesus could not be the king of Israel.

At first glance, it appears that the Lord has created a tremendous problem for Himself. Number one: the Lord said that His Son, the Savior of the world, would come through a line that descended from Abraham and David. Then, He cursed that line because of Jeconiah’s evil.

In Matthew’s genealogy of Jesus—listing the names of those in His line, there is Abraham, David, and then Jeconiah. Finally, Joseph—Jesus’ father is listed. Satan probably imagined that God’s plan of salvation was ruined by this lineal curse upon Jeconiah. God could never bring the Messiah into the world through any progeny of Jeconiah, of which—Joseph was part of.

Except for one important fact: Acts 15:18 Known to God from eternity are all His works.

Long before God ever called one of these men in the Messiah’s line, He knew about Jeconiah and the fact that his descendants would be cursed. Very often, the Lord will allow an event to appear hopeless just so that He can display His mighty power to us.

Joseph was not Jesus’ biological father, therefore, Jesus was not included in this curse. He was born of the Holy Spirit; His Father was God. Jesus received His legal right to the throne of David through Joseph’s line. He received the physical right—by blood, as the King of Israel, through Mary’s Line. Jesus is not a part of the cursed line of Jeconiah, because Joseph is the stepfather of Jesus.

When most people read the genealogies found in the Bible, they don’t pay much attention to them. Jesus said that not one jot or tittle of the Bible is insignificant. These seemingly boring parts of scripture are very often, where some of the most exciting details are found. It is by a careful and prayerful study of the Word of God that we find the deep and hidden things that many people miss. See Prophecy 3 for an exciting study on the first ten descendants of Adam.

Of great personal significance for you and I is the fact that the Lord already knows about all the events of our life also. As a result, no one is able to stop the Lord’s plan to bless our life.

Mary’s genealogy reveals that Jesus is qualified to be the Messiah—through her family line, found here in Luke Chapter 3.

Mary’s genealogy is listed in the reverse, with the later descendants first:

Mary’s Genealogy goes all the way back to Adam, to show us that Jesus died for every person who has lived on the earth—good and bad.

Messiah must be approved by genealogy

Notice that Abraham and David’s name are listed in Mary’s line, qualifying Jesus to be the Savior of the World. If Jesus could not prove that He was descended from Abraham and David, He could not be the Savior, no matter what He said or did. In 70 A.D., when Titus came into Jerusalem and destroyed the city, the Roman soldiers burned the Temple to the ground. All of the genealogical records that confirmed who was descended from whom, were destroyed. As a result, after 70 A.D., no one could prove that they were qualified to be the Messiah. This was the Lord’s way of making it clear to the world that His Messiah had already arrived—in fulfillment of all the Old Testament prophecies; no others need apply.

Today, not one person can prove whether or not they are in this line of descendants, which would qualify them to be the Messiah. Only Jesus met the strict requirements set forth in the Old Testament. No other person in all of human history has met these prerequisites, except Jesus.

In this 151st Prophecy of the Messiah from the Old Testament, we see the great care that God has exhibited, to ensure that His word was fulfilled specifically as He has said. By examining the two genealogies from Matthew and Luke, we can see that this prophecy has been perfectly fulfilled, by bringing Jesus through the house and lineage of David.

This prophecy from Psalms 132:11 is a corresponding prediction with 16 other prophecies—all announcing the Messiah as a descendant of David.

Prophecy 49
The Messiah will be from the seed of David.

Prophecy 51
The Messiah’s kingdom established under David will continue forever.

Prophecy 55
The Messiah will come from the seed of David.

Prophecy 56
The kingdom of the Messiah will be established under David and will continue forever.

Prophecy 130
The kingdom of the Messiah shall be from David’s line and will last forever.

Prophecy 142
The Messiah will be both David’s son and his Lord.

Prophecy 151
The promise to David that his descendant will be the Messiah and sit upon his throne forever.

Prophecy 152
Jerusalem shall be the dwelling place of the Messiah, from where He shall reign upon David’s throne over the whole earth forever.

Prophecy 178
The Messiah will come to earth to establish a kingdom upon the throne of David.

Prophecy 180
The Messiah shall come as a Branch out of David’s lineage, the Netzer, a Nazarene.

Prophecy 272
The Messiah is given the promise of resurrection by God, called “The sure mercies of David.”

Prophecy 292
The Messiah will be both David’s Son and God’s Son, a King and the great Jehovah God, who created the universe.

Prophecy 293
The Messiah shall be born a descendant of David. He will be raised up (literally, raised from the dead) and be Israel’s King in the future.

Prophecy 297
The Messiah shall be a Branch out of the line of David.

Prophecy 300
The Messiah will fulfill the office of His father David, by being a teaching Shepherd over one flock.

Prophecy 334
The Messiah will be proclaimed as King and The Son of David, at Jerusalem.

It is apparently very important to the Lord that the Messiah—be from the House of David. This is due to His promise to David that—One who would come from his line would rule Israel forever.

2 Samuel 7:12 “When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom.

2 Samuel 7:16 “And your house and your kingdom shall be established forever before you. Your throne shall be established forever.”

When the Lord makes a promise, He intends on keeping it. Not one promise in all of the word of God has ever failed. Everything that He has said, He has done. All those things that He has promised us are certain to happen, just as He said. Our God keeps His word, and He will never be found to fail in any prophecy or promise that He has made.

Joshua 23:14 14 And now I am about to go the way of all the earth, and you know in your hearts and souls, all of you, that not one word has failed of all the good things that the Lord your God promised concerning you. All have come to pass for you; not one of them has failed. (ESV)

[1] Baldwin, p. 213; cf. also Gordon, I &II Samuel, p. 236; Brueggemann, First and Second Samuel, p. 257; Carlson, p. 127). Judging from 4QFlor (ilegium), a midrash on 7: 10b- 14a, the Qumran sectarians also detected clear messianic overtones in Nathan’s oracle. (Expositor’s Bible Commentary)

Categories: Following Jesus, Overcoming trials, Transcendent Knowledge

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