When the LORD makes a covenant with David, He does so in the context of David's desire to build a permanent dwelling for the LORD's presence in Jerusalem. The LORD then responds to David's desire by speaking to him through the prophet, Nathan.
First, the LORD asks David about what his purposes are. By His question, the LORD affirms that He cannot be confined to a particular place, nor was it ever His intention to be confined. Indeed, the LORD confirms that He always intended to walk with His people (Gen. 28:15; Isa. 43:1, 2). That is, even though the LORD is present in every part of the creation, His relationship and presence with His redeemed people are unique. Yet, based upon verse 1, the situation with Israel is different; they have rest all around and are no longer moving about from place to place. Since they are settled in the land, it makes sense that the LORD would grant David's desire through his son, Solomon. But that is not the end of the story...
Beginning in verse 8, the LORD reminds David about His past purposes and the first reminder is that David is where he is strictly because of God's grace. David, the lowly shepherd boy from an obscure, family has ascended to the throne because the LORD blessed him on his way. So in verse 9, the LORD reminds David of His blessings as well. There are three blessings that are specifically named:
1) Close fellowship â€“ this is the result of God's sovereign love being placed upon David and all believers. That is, when the LORD gives His redemptive grace to a mere human, that grace means that, according to His working, our peaceful relationship with the LORD is repaired and is now one of closeness and unity.
2) Victory over enemies â€“ that is, the grace of God was effectual in David and in all believers. There were many times during the course of David's life that he nearly despaired of the LORD's blessing and wondered if there was no hope. Yet, victory was given and indeed, was never in doubt. David's struggles and near-death adventures served God's purpose in him to make him the man of God that he was called to be. God's grace is no different now as it is given to you.
3) A great name â€“ David was called a man after God's own heart as the Scriptures tell us. That is certainly a great name. David was the slayer of tens-of-thousands of God's enemies. That is a great name. David was the king of Israel. That is a great name. How much more so all those who are called the "children of God?" (Rom. 9:25, 26; Gal. 3:62)
And before the LORD reveals to David what His eternal purposes are, He emphasizes that, once again, the covenant promises are from a divine initiative. The LORD says that HE will appoint a place for His people, HE will plant his people in their place, and He will defend His people from the wicked ones. David had expressed his desire to build a house, but the LORD now reveals that He will build David's house. The significance of God's revelation is that He is revealing the means to accomplish His eternal purposes. Those means are: 1) David's posterity will have a special place in God's redemptive purposes, 2) The seed (a physical descendant) of David will be the one by whom blessing comes, 3) The LORD will set up his kingdom forever. That means that there is only one candidate who fully fulfills the promise - the Lord Jesus Christ.
These blessings and promises ultimately are your blessings and promises if, by faith, the Lord Jesus Christ is your King and Lord. "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God." (Rev. 21:3)