We have spoken already of the covenant with Noah, Abraham, and Moses. We shouldn’t think of these as new covenants replacing a previous covenant. Rather, in each generation God continues to renew his commitment to His people. And he continues to ask the people to renew their commitment to him. This commitment includes an ever growing number of people. The fourth phase of this gradual expansion is the Kingdom of David.
David’s story is told in the two books of Samuel. He is the 8th son of Jesse from the little town of Bethlehem. He is a shepherd who is anointed king while still a young boy. The Israelites at the time are at war with a neighboring nation called the Philistines. God is with David to help him defeat Goliath, a gigantic Philistine warrior. David goes on to win many battles and eventually become king of the Jews, with his capital in Jerusalem. The people experience a period of peace and prosperity.
Many years later the Kingdom of Israel collapses because of bad leadership and sinfulness. The Jews are deported to the city of Babylon, the global superpower of it’s day. When Babylon falls to king Cyrus of Persia, the Jews are able to return from exile and rebuild their country. The little nation of Israel never rises to global importance. It becomes a crossroads between warring nations including Greece and Rome. Yet the Jewish people hold out hope that if they are faithful to God, they will be a great nation again. They await a new Anointed One (Messiah or Christ) who will sit on the throne of David. They know that God always keeps His promises, and He promised King David:
When your days have been completed and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring after you, sprung from your loins, and I will establish his kingdom. He it is who shall build a house for my name, and I will establish his royal throne forever. I will be a father to him, and he shall be a son to me. (II Samuel 7:12-14a)