Why did God choose David's royal line to be a permanent dynasty in Israel?

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Even from the beginning it was already chosen, God had already chosen Judah to be the tribe where… The rulers were going to come from Judah. And so, God had already chosen that. Now, originally the first king, though, was not chosen from there but chosen from Benjamin — Saul. And he looked like the king. He would have been, for Hollywood casting, it would have been Saul. He was taller than everyone, and when you look at him, that's the way a king should look. But God said, "but man looks on the outward appearance, but God looks on the inward heart." And what it says about David is that David was "a man after God's own heart." That's why he chose him. And then the Scriptures also said that David's heart was fully after the Lord; he was fully dedicated to the Lord in every way. And so, he wanted to build God a house. But when Nathan the prophet came back to him, God's response was, "I'm going to build you a house, and it's going to be an eternal house." And by "house" there, he wasn't talking about a temple. He was talking about an eternal dynasty. And even in Old Testament times they understood that, not that there was just going to be one king after another. Even just a few hundred years after David, under the prophet Isaiah, it was understood that this eternal dynasty was going to be through Messiah. So, Messiah would come through David. But if you notice, every king after David, he's basically compared to David, and they'll say, "He did right in the eyes God, but he didn't fully follow after the Lord, like their father David did." So, David is the great example of what a king should be, and again, it's because of David's heart toward the Lord. He was fully obedient toward God, and so this is why his house was chosen forever. And even though there's a warning that, if your sons disobey, I will punish them; for your sake, you will always have a person sitting upon the throne. And again, that was going to be seen as Messiah ultimately.

Answer by Dr. Russell T. Fuller

Dr. Russell T. Fuller is Professor of Old Testament Interpretation at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.