Day 125: Covenant with David
2 Samuel 6:1-23 David had the Ark of the Covenant transported to Jerusalem accompanied by dancing, music, and great joy. Its installation would make Jerusalem the religious center of Israel. In this passage the Church Fathers saw a type of the Visitation of Mary to her cousin Elizabeth (TYPOLOGY!!). Mary is called the ARK OF THE NEW COVENANT because she, like the Ark of the Covenant, carried the WORD OF GOD, the very presence of the Lord. David is a type of Elizabeth’s unborn child (TYPOLOGY!!), John the Baptist, who leapt in her womb in recognition of the divine presence. (CCC 129-130, 2580, 2676)
Ch 7:1-17 David desired to build a Temple as a permanent sign of God’s presence among the people of Israel. However, through Nathan the Lord promised David that he would establish a dynasty that would last forever. God would be the father of the King of Israel, and the king would be a “son” of God in the sense of having a special predilection from the Lord-not to be confused with the Sonship of Jesus Christ, who, according to his divinity, is the ONLY-BEGOTTEN Son of God by nature. Selections from this passage from the first reading at Mass on the Solemnity of St. Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary. (CCC 238, 441, 460, 559-560, 709)
Ch 7:18-29 David’s prayer of praise reveals much about his spiritual depth and his virtues as a king who was chosen by God “after his own heart” (1 Sam 13:14). He expressed humility, trust in God’s Word and promises, and submission to God’s will. He prayed for his people and those of his household with a habitual desire to do God’s will. (CCC 215, 2465, 2578-2580)
Psalm 89 The Church prays this psalm at Mass on the Solemnity of Saint Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary-who was the foster father of Christ-because through him the Davidic monarchy would last forever. While David’s line of succession continued for a time, it ceased eventually due to the foreign occupation of the land of Judah and the disintegration of Israel due to its infidelity. Nevertheless, God always kept his covenants no matter how often Israel was unfaithful. After centuries of preparation and expectation, God sent his Son as the Messiah-king to save his people from their sins. Since Joseph was a descendant of David (cf. Mt 1:1-17, 20), Christ belongs rightfully to the house of David. (CCC 437, 559)
I will make him the first-born: Paul wrote of Christ, “He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the first-born from the dead, that in everything he might be pre-eminent” (Col 1:18). John describes the risen Christ as “the first-born of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth” (Rev 1:5). Christ is the “firstborn of the dead” in the sense that he is the first to rise from the dead among the whole human race. Again, Paul wrote that God the Father “predestined all people to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the first-born among the brethren” (Rom 8:29) and even “the first born of all creation” (Col 1:15). These references point to Christ’s filiation to his Father from all eternity and his bestowal of new life on all who accept him by virtue of his redemption. (CCC 709)
(*The Didache Bible RSV-CE Ignatius Edition, 2006)
Key Event 38: Ark Moved to Jerusalem (2 Samuel 6)
The Ark of the Covenant is the holiest object in all of Israel. As David brings the Ark to Jerusalem, he dances before it with joy. David also acts as a priest--wearing a linen ephod, offering sacrifice, and blessing the people. Luke will show subtle parallels between the Ark and the Blessed Virgin, the New Ark of the Covenant, as she visits Elizabeth on the outskirts of Jerusalem (Lk 1:39-56).
Key Event 39: Covenant with David (2 Samuel 7:1-29)
When David becomes king, he conquers Jerusalem, making it his capital. There he intends to build a temple for the Lord. In response, God makes a covenant with David, promising him an everlasting dynasty, but he reserves the building of the Temple to David's son Solomon.
David moves the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem, establishing the city as Israel’s religious center.
When David brings the Ark to Jerusalem, he dons “a linen ephod,” which is a priestly vestment, and dances before the Ark, which is a priestly act in Israelite religion (2 Sam 6:14).
When the Ark arrives in Jerusalem, he performs the priestly tasks of making burnt offerings and peace offerings, and even blesses the people “in the name of the Lord of hosts”-a prerogative reserved by the Torah to priests alone (Nm 6:22-26).
These actions make it clear that David sees himself as both king AND priest-like Melchizedek, the ancient ruler of Salem.
Davis’s relationship to Melchizedek has twofold significance.
It looks back to Melchizedek himself who, as we saw earlier, was believed by many early Jews to be SHEM, the firstborn son of Noah.
As a new Shem, David’s military conquests bring to fulfillment Noah’s blessing to Shem: “Let Canaan be his slave” (Gn 9:27).
In addition, in appearing as the new Melchizedek of the new Salem, David points forward to the coming King of kings, another Anointed One descended from Melchizedek’s royal line who will, like him, enter Jerusalem as king AND priest-only this King will offer a sacrifice superior to David’s and Melchizedek’s, his body broken for the world and his blood poured out for the forgiveness of sins.
A Priest According to Melchizedek
When David established his throne, he did so in Melchizedek’s city and acted in the role of priest-king, wearing a linen ephod (a priestly garment), offering sacrifices, and dancing before the Ark of the Covenant.
At the end of his reign, David wrote a brief coronation ode for his son Solomon, in which the son of David was hailed in these terms “The Lord says to my lord: ‘Sit at my right hand, till I make your enemies your footstool’” (Ps 110:1), and is given the following promise: “The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind, ‘You are a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek’” (Ps 110:4).
God swore an oath to David and to his line forever that they were members of a priesthood far more ancient and greater than the priesthood of Levi inaugurated at Sinai.
In Psalm 110, David bequeathed this priesthood to his son Solomon.
It is this priesthood, after the order of Melchizedek, the priesthood of the faithful firstborn son, that will be the priesthood of Jesus Christ, the eternal, faithful, firstborn son of God (Heb 7).
The Davidic Covenant
With the Ark of the Covenant firmly dwelling in the capital city of Jerusalem, “The Lord gave David rest from all his enemies roundabout (2 Sam 7:1), and David proposes to begin construction of a permanent sanctuary for the Lord.
Noble though his desire was, God himself prevents David from building him a “house”.
Instead, he promises to build David a “house”-that is, a dynasty-that will endure forever.
Through the prophet Nathan, the Lord makes a covenant with David in these words:
“...The Lord declares to you that the Lord will make you a house. When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come forth from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be his father, and he shall be my son. When he commits iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, with the stripes of the sons of men; but I will not take my steadfast love from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before you. And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me; your throne shall be established forever.” (2 Sam 7:11-16)
Significantly, God promises to make David’s kingdom everlasting, highlighted in the narrative by the THREEFOLD REPETITION of “FOREVER.”
Even if David’s heir should fall away (as Saul had done), the Lord promises fidelity to the house of David.
With the Davidic covenant, God’s covenant family is expanded from a NATION with Moses to a KINGDOM with David.
This is the LAST MAJOR COVENANT of the Old Testament and extends the fulfillment of God’s promises to Abraham.
With the Davidic Kingdom, God’s promise to Abraham that he would be the father of kings is fulfilled.
That promise will find its ultimate fulfillment in the New and Everlasting Covenant when Jesus, the son of David and Son of God, is seated at the right hand of the Father in majesty (Mk 16:19).
(*Walking With God: A Journey Through The Bible by Tim Gray and Jeff Cavins)
Golly, Praise the Lord!
This is SO GOOD
There is so much to talk about
Psalm 89 is the way in which David gets to be really real with his prayer
The whole first half of the prayer is “God you are faithful”
“God you are good”
“God you have lifted me up”
“God you have given me a strong arm”
“God all my enemies are defeated”
The second half of the psalm is “God now I have lost everything”
“God I am defeated”
“God I am put to shame”
“God I am put to disgrace”
At the VERY END, what does David say?
He says, “Blessed be the Lord forever amen and amen”
David models for us this HONESTY IN PRAYER
He comes before God in VICTORY
He comes before God in DEFEAT
He comes before God in JOY
He comes before God in GRIEF
This does not mean David is EVER BEING FALSE
David is ALWAYS being HONEST before the Lord
2 Samuel Ch 6: David brings the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem
Remember all the way back in Exodus, when God commanded Moses to have the people create the Ark
Inside the Ark of God are the TEN COMMANDMENTS
Inside the Ark of God is the STAFF OF AARON
Inside the Ark of God is a container with the MANNA, THE BREAD OF HEAVEN
So, to review, Inside the Ark of God, we have the WORD OF GOD (TEN COMMANDMENTS)
Inside the Ark of God, we have the SIGN OF THE PRIESTHOOD (AARON’S STAFF)
Inside the Ark of God, we have the BREAD FROM HEAVEN (MANNA)
ALL THESE THINGS WILL BE MASSIVELY IMPORTANT (Can you figure out why yet? Oh, it has something to do with...TYPOLOGY!!)
Even though the Ark of God is now being brought to Jerusalem, which is great, how do they transport it?
This is where the Temple is ultimately going to be built
Uzzah, who is with his brother Ahio and they are the sons of Abinadab, are bringing the Ark of the Lord to Jerusalem
As they are dancing and rejoicing bringing the Ark to Jerusalem, the oxen stumble
Uzzah reaches out his hand to steady the Ark and GOD KILLS HIM
How UNFAIR is that?
It’s so hard to understand
What is being communicated here?
Remember back in Leviticus, when the Ark was being fashioned, how was the Ark to be transported?
The Ark was to be transported ONLY BY THE PRIESTS
The priests would NEVER actually EVEN TOUCH the Ark
The priests would NEVER even LAY A HAND upon the Ark
The Ark was gold-plated acacia wood
The priests would take the gold-plated poles and place them through the gold-plated rings and transport the Ark
EVERYONE KNEW THIS
THE PEOPLE KNEW THIS
DAVID KNEW THIS
EVERYONE WHO IS SUPPOSED TO TRANSPORT THE ARK KNEW THIS
THEY KNEW THE COMMANDMENT OF GOD
What do they do?
They put the Ark on a CART that is PULLED BY OXEN
This is SO IMPORTANT
The Ark is the HOLIEST THING that they have
They are NOT OBEYING THE LORD in transporting it
Here is Uzzah who KNOWS he is disobeying God, even though he is trying to protect the Ark
This is a VERY CRITICAL THING
We can hear this story and think, “How unfair!”
His physical life was ENDED in this moment
But then we realize, WHAT IS THE PRICE OF SIN?
THE PRICE OF SIN IS OUR ETERNAL LIVES
WHEN WE CHOOSE SIN
WHEN WE CHOOSE TO DISOBEY GOD
How do we define sin?
Sin is when we say, “God, I know what you want, but I am going to do what I want.”
Sin is DISOBEDIENCE
Uzzah did the same thing and had PHYSICAL DEATH
We think that is very unfair
Whenever we say to God, “God I know what you want, but I’m going to do what I want to do,” then THAT IS SPIRITUAL DEATH
EVERY TIME WE SIN, WE ARE CHOOSING TO SPIRITUALLY DIE
That is NOT unfair
This is a great example of how PHYSICAL DEATH can be an analogy/metaphor for SPIRITUAL DEATH
When we say, “God, I don’t want you. I want to do what I want to do,” then we are CHOOSING SPIRITUAL DEATH
WE CHOOSE IT!!
The Ark is left at the house of Obededom the Gittite
David is afraid and ANGRY AT GOD for striking down Uzzah
David says, “How can the Ark of the Lord come to me?” (Does this sound familiar? Perhaps someone in the New Testament says something similar, hmmm? 🤔)
So David leaves the Ark at the house of Obededom the Gittite’s house
So what happens at Obededom’s house?
EVERYTHING IS BLESSED
Everyone is having babies!
There is fruitfulness not only with his family members but with his flocks and even his servants who lived there
THERE IS A LOT OF LIFE
WHEREVER GOD IS PRESENT THERE IS A LOT OF LIFE
So David renews his decision to bring the Ark of the Lord to Jerusalem
This time, as they begin to transport the Ark, they go 6 paces and David sacrifices an Ox and a fatling
David recognizes that they are not just transporting some BOX
They are transporting the ARK OF THE LORD
And David sings and dances
DAVID LEAPT AND DANCED (SO NOW I GOTTA CUT LOOSE...FOOTLOOSE….KICK OFF YOUR SUNDAY SHOOOOOEEEES!!! 😎)
The Kevin Bacon version of Footloose, not that silly reboot nonsense 🤪
David is singing and dancing before the Ark of the Lord WITH JOY
This is a part of Catholic Theology that our Christian brothers and sisters may not have heard before
MARY, the MOTHER OF GOD, is often referred to as the NEW ARK OF THE COVENANT
What was inside the Ark of the Covenant?
THE TEN COMMANDMENTS
THE STAFF OF AARON
THE MANNA FROM HEAVEN
What was present inside the NEW ARK OF THE COVENANT that we read in the Gospel of Luke Ch 1?
JESUS HIMSELF who is...
THE WORD MADE FLESH
THE GREAT HIGH PRIEST
THE TRUE BREAD FROM HEAVEN (John Ch 6)
We recognize that in the womb of Mary, the NEW ARK OF THE COVENANT, is JESUS CHRIST
This is such a parallel that is NOT A COINCIDENCE
Go back to 2 Samuel Ch 6
What did I say about David’s quote after Uzzah is struck down by God?
What does Elizabeth say to Mary when she visits her in the hill country of Judea?
“Who am I that the Mother of my Lord should come to me?”
What did David say at Obededom the Gittite’s house?
WHERE IS OBEDEDOM’S HOUSE?
THE HILL COUNTRY OF JUDEA!
David says, “Who am I that the Ark of my Lord should come to me?”
Oh and remember how David LEAPS AND DANCES WITH JOY before the Ark of the Covenant
What happens when the sound of Mary’s voice reaches Elizabeth’s ears?
Elizabeth says, “The infant in my womb leaped for joy!”
This is one of the reasons the Catholic Church declared that Mary is the NEW ARK OF THE NEW COVENANT
Because Jesus is the FULFILLMENT of EVERYTHING in the Old Testament
THIS IS SO AWESOME
2 Samuel Ch 7 we have David who wants to build a Temple for the Lord
David likes his house made of Cedar, a palace really
The Ark of the Lord is in a TENT
At first, Nathan the Prophet says, “Do all that is in your heart, for God is with you.”
But then the prophet Nathan has a vision from the Lord
David has shed too much blood
So David’s descendant will build the Temple for God
This is going to define a lot of the rest of David’s life, especially when we read further into Chronicles
Chronicles is going to be a chronicle of David gathering materials for the building of the Temple (Fr. Mike said materials for the Ark in the podcast, but I’m pretty sure he meant to say the Temple because that’s what happens in Chronicles...yes, I read ahead to make sure don’t worry 😉)
God says, “I will build you a house, David.”
“I will make of you a Kingdom, David.”
“You want to make a great name for me and a great house for me? I appreciate it. I am going to make a great name and a great house for you, David”
THIS IS ALL FULFILLED IN THE MESSIAH, JESUS CHRIST
We will get there soon in Chronicles, don’t worry
Chronicles is pointing towards the establishment of the TRUE MESSIAH and the establishment of TEMPLE WORSHIP
1 Chronicles Ch 9 has one verse that highlights the context that 1 and 2 Chronicles are written in
Remember, Chronicles is the LAST BOOK in the Jewish Scriptures
This is written by Ezra the scribe, who is recounting the history of Israel after all the DEVASTATION Israel experienced
After all the PERSECUTION Israel experienced
After all the HORRIBLE KINGS AND DIVISION Israel experienced
After the EXILE IN BABYLON that Israel experienced
This is REMARKABLE
We are going to be reading the history of 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings WHILE WE ARE READING 1 and 2 Chronicles
Why is this important?
2 Samuel & 1 and 2 Kings are the ON THE GROUND HISTORY written within the lives of Israel and the account of Israel getting divided, their failures, and their awful kings
1 Chronicles is written after ALL OF THAT STORY has been written and even after the Babylonian Exile
Keep this in mind
If you are writing the history of, say the United States (or whatever country you are in right now) for the last 100 years
Imagine that starting tomorrow for the next 70 years we have horrible devastation in whatever country you and I are living in
After those 70 years, we are rebuilding the country that was completely lost and decimated by a foreign power
We would write a DIFFERENT STORY
It wouldn’t be a WHITEWASHING OF HISTORY
It would have a DIFFERENT EMPHASIS, a DIFFERENT KIND OF STORY
That is a great way to understand the difference between the way in which 2 Samuel & 1 and 2 Kings are being written compared to how 1 and 2 Chronicles are being written
2 Samuel & 1 and 2 Kings are ON THE GROUND HISTORY
1 and 2 Chronicles are written LONG AFTER THE FACT OF DEVASTATION
WE ARE HERE TO PAINT A PICTURE OF THE LIFE YOU COULD BE LIVING
The line that reveals this and is SO CRITICAL is 1 Chronicles Ch 9: “But Judah was carried away to Babylon because of their unfaithfulness”
One of the things that Ezra the Scribe wants to highlight is ALL OF THIS HAS TO DO WITH UNFAITHFULNESS
So when we come back to Jerusalem in Judah we have to tell the story so that you will not again be like our ancestors were
So that you will not be unfaithful like they were
That’s how we will be setting the scene for 1 and 2 Chronicles
Long day, eh?
PRAY FOR EACH OTHER
PRAY FOR FR. MIKE
Prayer by Fr. Mike: “Father in Heaven we give you praise and glory. We thank you for hearing this Prayer of David, this prayer of a heart that has been lifted up, and a heart that has been thrown down. A heart that has been exultant in joy and a heart that has been broken in sorrow. A heart that has been triumphant in victory, and a heart that has been devastated in defeat. And this is our hearts too, Lord. We come before you however our day is going, however our week is going, however the season of our life is going right now. We come before you in victory and in defeat. We come before you in joy and we come before you in grief. Because your love encompasses all things. Joy and grief. Victory and defeat. Weakness and strength. And so we come before you because you are a good, good Dad. Please receive us into your heart. Receive us into your embrace this day. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.”