« PreviousContinue »
and knowing that God had sworn with an oath,” &c. So that herein he was a type of Christ, that he was both a prophet and a king. We have no certain account of the time when David was first endued with the spirit of prophecy; but it is manifest that it either was at the time that Samuel anointed him, or very soon after; for he appears soon after acted by this spirit in the affair of Gabith : And then great part of the psalms were penned in the time of his troubles, before he came to the crown ; as might be made manifest by an induction of particulars.
The oil that was used in anointing Darid was a type of the Spirit of God; and the type and the antitype were given both together ; as we are told, 1 Sam. xvi. 13. “ Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren; and the spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward :" And it is probable, that it now came upon him in its prophetical influences.
The way that this spirit influenced him was, to inspire him to show forth Christ, and the glorious things of his redemption, in divine songs, sweetly expressing the breathings of a pious soul, full of admiration of the glorious things of the Redeemer, inflamed with divine love, and lifted up with praise ; and therefore he is called the sweet psalmist of Israel. 2 Sam. xxiii. 1. « Now these be the last words of David : David the son of Jesse said, and the man who was raised up on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob, and the sweet psalmist of Israel.** The main subjects of these sweet songs were the glorious things of the gospel ; as is evident by the interpretation that is often put upon them, and the use that is made of thein in the New Testament ; for there is no one book of the Old Testament that is so often quoted in the New, as the book of Psalms. Joyfully did this holy man sing of those great things of Christ's redemption, that had been the hope and expectation of God's church and people from the beginning of the church of God on earth ; and joyfully did others follow him in it, as Asaph, Heman, Ethan, and others; for the book of Psalms was not all penned by David, though the greater part of it was. Hereby the canon of scripture was further
added to; and an excellent portion of divine writ was it that was added.
This was a great advancement that God made in this building; and the light of the gospel, which had been gradually growing from the fall, was exceedingly increased by it ; for whereas before there was but here and there a prophecy given of Christ in a great many ages, now here Christ is spoken of by his ancestor David abundantly, in multitudes of songs, speaking of his incarnation, life, death, resurrection, ascension into heaven, his satisfaction, intercession ; his prophetical, kingly, and priestly office ; his glorious benefits in this life and that which is to come ; his union with the church, and the blessedness of the church in him ; the calling of the Gentiles, the future glory of the church near the end of the world, and Christ's coming to the final judgment. All these things, and many more, concerning Christ and his redemption, are abundantly spoken of in the book of Psalms.
This was also a glorious advancement of the affair of redemption, as God hereby gave his church a book of divine songs for their use in that part of their public worship, viz. singing his praises throughout all ages to the end of the world. It is manifest the book of Psalms was given of God for this end. It was used in the church of Israel by God's appointment: This is manifest by the title of many of the psalms, in which they are inscribed to the chief musician, i. e. to the man that was appointed to be the leader of divine songs in the temple, in the public worship of Israel. So David is called the sweet psalmist of Israel, because he penned psalms for the use of the church of Israel ; and accordingly we have an account that they were actually made use of in the church of Israel for that end, even ages after David was dead; as 2 Chron. xxix. 30. “ Moreover, Hezekiah the king, and the princes, commanded the Levites to sing praises unto the Lord, with the words of David, and of Asaph the seer.” find that the same are appointed in the New Testament to be made use of in the Christian church, in their worship : Eph. v. 19. “ Speaking to yourselves in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs.” Col. iii. 16. “ Admonishing one another in
psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs.” And so they have been, and will to the end of the world be made use of in the church to celebrate the praises of God. The people of God were wont sometimes to worship God by singing songs to his praise before ; as they did at the Red Sea ; and they had Moses's prophetical song, in the 32d chapter of Deuteronomy, com, mitted to them for that end ; and Deborah, and Barak, and Hannah, sung praises to God; but now first did God commit to his church a book of divine songs for their constant use.
V. The next thing I would take notice of, is God's actually exalting David to the throne of Israel, notwithstanding all the opposition made to it. God was determined to do it,' and he made every thing give place that stood in the way of it. He removed Saul and his sons out of the way ; and first set David over the tribe of Judah ; and then, having removed Ishbosheth, set him over all Israel. Thus did God fulfil his word to David. He took him from the sheepcote, and made him king over his people Israel, Psal. lxxviii. 70, 71. And now the throne of Israel was established in that family, in which it was to continue for ever, even for ever and ever.
VI. Now first it was that God proceeded to choose a particuJar city out of all the tribes of Israel to place his name there. There is several times mention made in the law of Moses of the children of Israel's bringing their oblations to the place which God should choose ; as Deut. xii. 5, 6, 7, and so in many other places ; but God had never proceeded to do it till now. The tabernacle and ark were never fixed, but some. times in one place, and sometimes in another; but now God proceeded to choose Jerusalem. The city of Jerusalem was never thoroughly conquered, or taken out of the hands of the Jebusites, till David's time. It is said in Joshua xv. 63. “ As for the Jebusites, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the children of Judah could not drive them out: But the Jebusites dwell with the children of Judah at Jerusalem unto this day.” But now David wholly subdued it, as we have an account in 2 Sam. v. And now God proceeded to choose that city to place his name there, as appears by David's bringing up the ark thither soon after ; and therefore this is mentioned afterwards as the first
VOL. II. 0
time God proceeded to choose a city to place his name there, 2 Chron. vi. 5, 6, and chap. xii. 13. Afterwards God proceeded to show David the very place where he would have his temple built, viz. in the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.
The city of Jerusalem is therefore called the holy city ; and it was the greatest type of the church of Christ in all the Old Testament. It was redeemed by David, the captain of the hosts of Israel, out of the hands of the Jebusites, to be God's city, the holy place of his rest for ever, where he would dwell ; as Christ, the captain of his people's salvation, redeems his church out of the hands of devils, to be his holy and beloved city. And therefore how often does the scripture, when speaking of Christ's redemption of his church, call it by the names of Zion and Jerusalem ? This was the city that God had appointed to be the place of the first gathering and erecting of the Christian church after Christ's resurrection, of that remarkable pouring out of the Spirit of God on the apostles and primitive Christians, and the place whence the gospel was to sound forth into all the world ; the place of the first Christian church, that was to be, as it were, the mother of all other churches through the world ; agreeably to that prophecy, Isa. ii. 3, 4. “ Out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem : And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people,” &c.
Thus God chose Mount Sion, whence the gospel was to be sounded forth, as the law had been from Mount Sinai.
VII. The next thing to be observed here, is God's solemnly renewing the covenant of grace with David, and promising that the Messiah should be of his seed. We have an account of it in the 7th chapter of the second book of Samuel. It was done on occasion of the thoughts David entertained of building God an house. On this occasion God sends Nathan the prophet to him, with the glorious promises of the covenant of grace. It is especially contained in these words in the 16th verse : « And thy house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee; thy throne shall be established for ever." Which promise has respect to Christ, the seed of David, and
is fulfilled in him only : For the kingdom of David has long since ceased, any otherwise than as it is upheld in Christ. The temporal kingdom of the house of David has now ceased for a great many ages ; much longer than ever it stood.
That this covenant that God now established with David by Nathan the prophet, was the covenant of grace, is evident by the plain testimony of scripture, in Isa. lv. 1, 2, 3. There we have Christ inviting sinners to come to the waters, &c. And in the 3d verse he says, “ Incline your ear, come unto me; hear, and
your souls shall live ; and I will make with you an everlasting covenant, even the sure mercies of David.” Here Christ offers to poor sinners, if they will come to him, to give them an interest in the same everlasting covenant that he had made with David, conveying to them the same sure mercies. But what is that covenant that sinners obtain an interest in, when they come to Christ, but the covenant of grace ?
This was the fifth solemn establishment of the covenant of grace with the church after the fall. The covenant of grace was revealed and established all along. But there had been particular seasons, wherein God had in a very solemn manner renewed this covenant with his church, giving forth a new edition and establishment of it, revealing it in a new manner. This was now the fifth solemn establishment of that covenant. The first was with Adam, the second was with Noah, tho third was with the patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the fourth was in the wilderness by Moses, and now the fifth is this made to David.
This establishment of the covenant of grace with David, David always esteemed the greatest smile of God upon him, the greatest honor of all that God had put upon him ; he prized it, and rejoiced in it above all the other blessings of his reign. You may see how joyfully and thankfully he received it, when Nathan came to him with the glorious message, in 2 Sam. vii. 18, &c. And so David, in his last words, declares this to be all his salvation, and all his desire ; as you may see, 2 Sam. xxiü. 5. “ He hath made with me an everlasting covo cnant, ordered in all things and sure : For this is all my salva. tion, and all my desire.