Replacement Theology or Fulfillment Theology- #26– The Sure Mercies of David!
David was a man “after God’s own heart” and as a result, God made a marvelous promise to David:
“When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 14 I will be his Father, and he shall be My son.” (2 Samuel 7:13-14).
He also promised:
“My covenant I will not break, Nor alter the word that has gone out of My lips. Once I have sworn by My holiness; I will not lie to David: His seed shall endure forever, And his throne as the sun before Me; It shall be established forever like the moon, Even like the faithful witness in the sky.”
So, YHVH said He would set David’s royal seed on the throne, and he would rule forever!
It is critical to note that God said “I will not alter the word that has gone out of my lips.” Now, this means that if God set the time for the establishment of David’s seed to sit on the throne, and David’s seed came at that determined and promised time, but, as a result of Jewish unbelief God changed the time for that enthronement, then most assuredly God altered the Word of His promise! It is specious to say that God postponed the kingdom plans by 2000 years – and counting – and yet, that is not a radical alteration of the Plan!
I well remember that in my first formal debate, with a Dispensationalist, I cited Psalms 89, and God’s promise to not alter His promise. My opponent responded that just because God delayed the time of fulfillment, that this does not constitute an alteration of His plan! I responded by asking that if he and his wife planned a trip to Hawaii, and saved for 10 years, but that at the 9th year, 11th month, the husband walked in and said “Honey, the car broke down, and it will take all our money to fix it. We will have to save another 10 years, but hey, that does not mean we have changed out plans!” Would that indeed not be an alteration of plans? I asked my opponent if he could convince his wife that it was not a change of plans. I got no answer. But, the answer is clear and undeniable!
So, when God set the time for the kingdom (Daniel 2 / 9 / 12) and that time came (Mark 1:15; 4:17) if God postponed that kingdom for two millennia, then He most assuredly did alter the plan. There is no way around that, and it is a fatal fact for Dispensationalism. But, back to the promise to David.
Isaiah 55| The Sure Mercies of David Versus Replacement Theology
Notice another OT prophecy made concerning David:
“Ho! Everyone who thirsts, Come to the waters; And you who have no money, Come, buy and eat.
Yes, come, buy wine and milk Without money and without price. Why do you spend money for what is not bread, And your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good,
And let your soul delight itself in abundance. Incline your ear, and come to Me. Hear, and your soul shall live; And I will make an everlasting covenant with you— The sure mercies of David. Indeed I have given him as a witness to the people, A leader and commander for the people. Surely you shall call a nation you do not know, And nations who do not know you shall run to you, Because of the Lord your God, And the Holy One of Israel; For He has glorified you.” (Isaiah 55:1-5).
Notice a few quick points:
1. YHVH called on Israel to seek the food and drink that would truly satisfy– not the literal food and drink, but, the food of the soul. One cannot keep from being reminded of Jesus’ word: ‘Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness” (Matthew 5).
2. God said He would make an everlasting covenant with Israel, and that covenant would be nothing less than the fulfillment of His promises to David – the “sure mercies of David.”
3. That One, in whom the Covenant would be personified would be the leader of the people, but, in addition to being the leader of Israel, He would also call to Him a people that did not know God and nations that did not know Him! As Isaiah 49:6 says, it would be too small a thing for Messiah to redeem the tribes of Jacob. He would also call the Gentile nations to Him to experience salvation!
Of course, Dispensationalism says the “Sure Mercies of David” have not yet been given to Jesus, since the kingdom has been postponed. Walvoord and Zook claim that although Paul cites Isaiah 55 and ties it to the resurrection of Jesus, that it will, “find its ultimate fulfillment in the Millennium” (John Walvoord and Roy Zuck, The Bible Knowledge Commentary, (Wheaton, Ill., Victor Books, 1983)390). That is patently not Paul’s point in Acts 13:34!
Note that Paul said, “We declare to you glad tidings– that promise which was made to the fathers. God has fulfilled this for us their children, in that he has raised up Jesus, as it is written in the Psalms.” He then adds the citation of Isaiah to the list of God’s promises to the Fathers that had been fulfilled in Christ. There is not one word about a postponed kingdom. No hint that one day, the promise to give the “real” sure mercies of David would be fulfilled. Paul affirmed the fulfillment of God’s promises to the fathers, and those were the OT promises.
Now, if Dispensationalism is true, and that God’s promises to Israel had been postponed, how could Paul affirm that God had been faithful to His promises to Israel– and particularly the promise to raise up the Messiah and give him the sure mercies of David?? Paul was saying different from Peter who said on the day of Pentecost that God had promised David that He would raise up the Christ to sit on the throne of David. Just like Paul, Peter affirmed “this Jesus has God raised up” in fulfillment of those OT promises. Thus, Peter and Paul agree that God had given Jesus the throne of David through the power of the resurrection! Nothing could more assuredly falsify Replacement Theology!
So, what we have is that the apostle Paul, who, need we be reminded, proclaimed nothing but the hope of Israel, stating that God had given to Israel– to Jesus- the “sure mercies of David.” Since that promise to give the sure mercies of David was nothing less than to raise Messiah up to sit on David’s throne, this serves as prima facie proof that Israel’s promises– the promises to the fathers– had not been “replaced” with promises to the church. The promises to the fathers had not been postponed or altered. They were being – even when Paul spoke– fulfilled in Christ and his body. This is an utter rejection of the Dispensational charge of Replacement Theology, and is the purest, undeniable form of Fulfillment Theology!
More to come!