If- Condition

 in the

Davidic Covenant



THE ABRAHAMIC COVENANT is the foundation of the Davidic Covenant. It is also the foundation of the New Covenant (Lk. 1:72; Acts 3:25; Gal. 3:16). The blessings and conditions of the Abrahamic Covenant were continued through succeeding generations because this covenant was made to Abraham and to “…thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant…” (Genesis 17:7). It was conditional for his seed.


It may interest you to know how the Davidic Covenant originated. God take the initiative but He always needs something to initiate with. Some teachers tell us there are mysteries in these covenants that human minds cannot penetrate, but the Bible certainly reveals the reasons for them. God not only tells us what, He tells us why. As we saw how the Abrahamic Covenant originated with Abraham’s obedience to God’s call, so we shall learn how the Davidic Covenant began.

When King Saul had persistently disobeyed the commandments of the Lord, God told the prophet Samuel:


It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king: for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments. .And it grieved Samuel: and he cried unto the Lord all night. (I Sam. 15:11)


Samuel delivered God’s message to the unfaith­ful king, and said:


    And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. [23] For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king. [24] And Saul said unto Samuel, I have sinned: for I have transgressed the commandment of the Lord, and thy words: because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice. [25] Now therefore, I pray thee, pardon my sin, and turn again with me, that I may worship the Lord. [26] And Samuel said unto Saul, I will not return with thee: for thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, and the Lord hath rejected thee from being king over Israel.

 (I Sam. 15:22-26)


Now, if the facts of language can prove anything, this language forcefully reveals God’s reason for Saul’s rejection as Israel’s king. Saul’s rebellion against God’s commandments was as the “sin of witchcraft . . . and idolatry.” The same satanic spirit that works in witchcraft and idolatry also works in those who rebel against and disobey God’s commandments. There was no excuse here for “inherent weakness,” or “compulsive complex,” or anything else. Modem religious psychology could learn a great lesson here. Samuel also told Saul:


Thou hast done foolishly: thou hast not kept the commandment of the Lord thy God, which he commanded thee: for now would the Lord have established thy kingdom upon Israel for ever. But now thy kingdom shall not continue: the Lord hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the Lord hath commanded him to be captain over his people, because thou hast not kept that which the Lord commanded thee. (I Sam. 13:13, 14)


 Samuel repeated God’s reason’s for Saul’s rejection. There was no mysterious predestination in the reasons. Saul was rejected and dethroned “because” he failed to obey the covenant commandments. Samuel told him God would have “established thy kingdom upon Israel forever” if he had obeyed. God doesn’t play favorites. He has wise reasons for His choices. “But now thy kingdom shall not continue: the Lord hath sought him a man after his own heart.” David was chosen to fulfill the conditions that Saul failed to keep. God would have done the same for Saul that He did for David if he had not been disobedient.


 Paul, in Acts 13:22, referred to Saul’s rejection and David’s selection:

And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfill all my will.


David, like Abraham, possessed remarkable spiritual qualities. Not only did he desire to do God’s will but he had intense thirstings for God. “As the hart panteth after the waterbrooks, so panteth my soul after thee, 0 God.” “My soul thirsteth for God for the living God.” “My soul followeth hard after thee” (Ps. 42:1,2; 63:8).

With these facts before us, who cannot see that the Davidic Covenant had a conditional basis? Eternal Security teachers use the term “sovereign will” when speaking of God’s predestinating purpose. But when God was looking for a man to be His king over Israel. He was searching for a man who would obey the commands of that sovereign will. The search ended when He found David. Christ was born to Israel to accomplish promises made to Abraham and David. He was the seed of Abraham and the seed of David (Gal. 3:16; Rom.l:3).

Salvation is of the Jews, but this salvation came as a result of promises given to men who had obeyed the conditions of covenants made to them. Therefore, the fulfillment of these covenants could not be unconditional when the original covenants were conditional.

From Cain and Abel, to the Abrahamic Covenant, to the Sinaitic Covenant, to the Davidic Covenant, repetition of the if-condition in the covenants never ceased. The prophets gave it continual emphasis.


Samuel continued the pressure:

    And Samuel spake unto all the house of Israel, saying, If ye do return unto the Lord with all your hearts, then put away the strange gods …from among you, and prepare your hearts unto the Lord, and serve him only: and he will deliver you … If ye will fear the Lord, and serve him, and obey his voice, and not rebel against the commandment of the Lord, then shall both ye and also the king that reigneth over you continue following the Lord your God: [15] But if ye will not obey the voice of the Lord, but rebel against the commandment of the Lord, then shall the hand of the Lord be against you, as it was against your fathers.  

(I Sam. 7:3; 12:14, 15)


Samuel made everything depend upon their con­tinual covenant obedience. He would not have accepted a one-act-of-faith from them. He specified that they must “continue” to follow the Lord. If they continued to keep the covenant, then Jehovah was ready to go into action for them against their enemies. Jehovah was Israel’s War-God. David understood that the covenant God gave him was conditional. He stressed this fact to Solomon upon his accession to the throne. David gave him God’s message about his reign:

Solomon thy son, he shall build my house and my courts: for I have chosen him to be my son, and I will be his father. Moreover I will establish his kingdom forever, if he be constant to do my commandments and my judgments, as at this day. Now therefore in the sight of all Israel. . . and in the audience of our God, keep and seek for all the commandments of the Lord your God. …And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind.. – if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off forever. (I Chron. 28:6-9).


When Solomon had built his temple, God made this covenant with him:


Concerning this house which thou art in building, if thou wilt walk in my statutes, and execute my judgments, and keep all my commandments to walk in them; then will I perform my word with thee, which I spake unto David thy father. (I Kings 6:12)

The Lord appeared to Solomon the second time…. And the Lord said unto him, I have heard thy prayer and thy supplication, that thou hast made before me. . .. And if thou wilt walk before me as David thy father walked, in integrity of heart, and in uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded thee, and wilt keep my statutes and my judgments: Then I will establish the throne of thy kingdom upon Israel for ever, as I promised to David thy father…. But if ye shall at all turn from following me, ye or your children, and will not keep my command­ments and my statutes which 1 have set before you. ..: then will I cut off Israel out of the land which 1 have given them. …and Israel shall be a proverb and a byword among all people: And at this house, which is high, every one that passeth by it shall be astonished, and shall hiss; and they snail say. Why hath the Lord done thus unto this land, and to this house? And they shall answer. Because they forsook the Lord their God. (1 Kings 9:2-9)


Solomon understood that God’s covenant with him was conditional. At the dedication of his magnificent temple, Solomon offered his prayer to the “Lord God of Israel . . who keepest covenant and mercy with thy servants that walk before thee with all their heart. ” He prayed for God’s blessings upon the nation “if the people obeyed the covenant conditions (1 Kings 8:1-61).


When Solomon broke covenant with God and went into idolatrous sin, God executed His threat against him for his apostasy. God told him:


Forasmuch as this is done of thee, and thou hast not kept my covenant and my statutes, which I have commanded thee, I will surely rend the kingdom from thee… Howbeit I will not rend away all the kingdom; but will give one tribe to thy son for David my servant’s sake. (1 Kings 11:11-13)


Now here is a passage from II Samuel 7: 12-16 from which Eternal Security teachers argue that the Davidic Covenant was unconditional. God told David:


And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men: But my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I put away before thee, And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever.


Is there a contradiction between the various pas­sages? Is the Davidic Covenant conditional in one Scripture and unconditional in another? The Eternal Security teachers do not quote the conditional passages I have quoted.

This passage they quote does not teach uncon­ditional salvation, as they claim. God promised David that his kingdom would not end, as Saul’s did. God promised: “I will set up thy seed after thee.”

Hebrew authorities say this is used in the collective sense.

I will set up thy seed after thee, used collec­tively for the whole descendants. . . . The chain of Messianic promises which for ages had been broken. . .was now renewed by the addition of a new and important link… This is the oath which God sware by His holiness to David the cove­nant which He made with him respecting the perpetuity of his royal seed and kingdom.

God carried out His threats against Solomon and Israel for breaking His covenant, but He always found a faithful remnant through whom He kept His promise to David.

It is a dangerous and deceptive error to teach unconditional salvation from this Scripture.


If Solomon did not obey the covenant’s if-conditions, David said: “He will cast thee off forever”. Let those consider this who believe they are eternally saved and yet continue to break God’s covenant of salvation by their persistence in sin.

Salvation is of the Jews. The Davidic Covenant was conditional. Multitudes of Jews will never be saved because they continually broke the Jewish covenants of salvation.




Reproduced with permission




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