God’s covenant with David in 2 Samuel 7 is part of a larger Exodus pattern in David’s life. In the Exodus, Moses and Israel escaped from Pharaoh and came to a wilderness place. They were attacked by Amalekites, but they defeated them. Jethro, the Gentile priest blessed them and then the covenant was established and instructions were given for building the tabernacle, which was built from the spoil of the defeated Egyptians. Just so, David escapes from the pharaoh-like Saul and comes to live temporarily in Ziklag outside the land, in Philistine territory. His people are attacked by Amalekites and he defeats them. Hiram, king of Tyre, blesses David and then God appears in a vision to establish His covenant with David and give instruction for building His house, which is built in large part with the spoil of David’s defeated enemies.
David is promised that his son would build the house of God and that his kingdom would be established forever. This covenant is initially fulfilled in Solomon, but, of course, pushes beyond to Christ who builds (and is building) the living Temple and whose kingdom has no end. Yahweh says, “I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son.” In Exodus 4, God called the people of Israel collectively His son, and so now Solomon is the son of God as the representative head, the embodiment of the corporate son of God. Likewise, Jesus Christ the Son is the head and complete embodiment of His corporate son-body, the Church.
Along these lines, Paul argues that those who are in Christ, that is, those who are in this corporate son-body under His headship, will be made alive in His resurrection, while those who remain in Adam will die. And he makes a big deal of the resurrection, going so far as saying, “if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.” Evangelical Christians place a heavy emphasis on the death of Christ, saying we must individually receive His death and payment on our behalf in order to be saved, but this is not what Paul says at all. We must be in Christ, members of His corporate body and partakers in His resurrection. In this is our hope and our salvation.
Further, the fact that Christ was raised from the dead bodily and sits at the right hand of the Father bodily demands that the kingdom of heaven is not a disembodied, spiritual realm, but a physical, incarnate, hands-on kingdom. It is a kingdom of eating and drinking, of singing, of speaking, and of doing. This is why Jesus taught us to pray, “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” It is here, and it is coming.