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April 10 Today’s Reading: 2 Samuel 22-23
God’s Covenant — Our Comfort
2 Samuel 23:5
Can you and I say, as David sang in the 22nd chapter we have just read, the Lord is my Rock, my Shield, my Tower, my Refuge, my Savior. Blessed are they who have a well grounded assurance of their covenant interest in Christ. This is, indeed, the comfort of our souls.
As David lay dying, he found no comfort for his heart in himself, his family, or his kingdom. Though he was the richest, most powerful king in the world, though he was used of God for much good, for the comfort of his soul and the sustenance of his heart he looked to nothing but the covenant made between the Persons of the Holy Trinity on his behalf before the world began. Read again the last words of David and learn the comfort of the covenant.
“Although my house be not so with God” — It matters not whether we take the words “my house” to refer to David’s kingdom, his family, or his earthly life, the lessons are clear.
1. So long as we live in this world, in this body of flesh, things are never altogether right with God’s saints. Nothing here is really as we desire.
2. Grace does not run in blood lines, only sin (John 1:12-13; Rom. 9:11-16).
3. The afflictions of God’s people, both personal and domestic, are fruits of covenant grace (Psalm 89:30-34; 2 Corinthians 4:17-5:1).
4. The sins of a faithful man’s family are not an indication of evil in him, or a bar to his usefulness in the kingdom of God. David was God’s anointed king, prophet, and hymn writer, a preacher and a psalmist in Israel in spite of the fact that he had a wife like Michal and sons like Amnon and Absalom.
“Yet the Lord hath made with me and everlasting covenant ordered in all things and sure.” — This is not the covenant of works that the Lord God made with Adam, which he broke and we broke in him (Romans 5:12-18). It is not the covenant of circumcision, which God made with Abraham (Genesis 17). That was a Jewish covenant and has been forever abolished by God’s own word (Galatians 5:4). Certainly, it is not the legal Sinai covenant that God made with Israel through his servant Moses, for that legal covenant has passed away (Hebrews 8:6-7). The law of God found its end in Christ (Romans 10:4). The covenant, curse, and constraint of the law have been abolished for God’s elect. The covenant in which David found his comfort was the covenant of grace, and life, and peace made with him in the Person of Christ, the covenant Surety (Hebrews 7:22), before the world began.
It is an everlasting covenant, both ways. It was established in eternity and shall stand throughout eternity (Proverbs 8:23-31). It is an unconditional covenant of grace (Psalm 89:19-35; Jeremiah 31:31-34).
“Ordered” and “Sure”
“Ordered in all things and sure” — It is an ordered covenant. Whatever the covenant required, it also gave (Ephesians 1:3-14; 2 Timothy 1:9). It is a sure covenant. Its mercies are “the sure mercies of David.” They are sure to all who are heirs of the covenant, sure to all the elect, all the redeemed, all the called, all who believe. This covenant by which all God’s elect are saved is an immutable covenant (Psalm 89:30-37). No matter what is done to or done by God’s elect, the covenant stands firm.
“All My Salvation”
“This is all my salvation!” — Christ, the Surety of the covenant, Christ who is the covenant (Isaiah 49:8) is all our salvation (1 Corinthians 1:30). In a very real sense, all of God’s elect were completely saved in eternity, when the covenant of grace was made. All who dispute that fact must argue against the very words of Holy Scripture. Read Romans 8:29-30 and 2 Timothy 1:9. This is not a point of logic. It is plainly declared in these two texts that God’s elect were saved in eternity. We rejoice to declare with David that our salvation springs from, depends upon, and is determined by God’s covenant (Jeremiah 32:38-40).
“All My Desire”
“And all my desire, although he make it not to grow” — “It is the desire of every believer who knows anything of the covenant of grace and the scheme of salvation by it, to be saved this way, by and through the covenant of grace, and not of works” (John Gill). “Let me have an interest in this covenant and the promises of it, and I have enough. I desire no more” (Matthew Henry). To be an heir of this covenant is to be elected by grace, loved of God, adopted as his Son, redeemed by Christ, forgiven of all sin, accepted in the Beloved, an heir of God, sealed by the Spirit, and forever one with Christ, “the fulness of him that filleth all in all!”
Here is the comfort of God’s covenant: Our sins cannot destroy our hope. They should not haunt us with fear in the hour of death. And they cannot rob us of our everlasting inheritance in Christ (Psalm 32:1-5; Ephesians 1:11). In the very teeth of his sins David trusted Christ. Believing God, he was confident that God would not impute his sin to him. He had his covenant to assure him of it. How sweet to my soul covenant grace is this day!