But about the Son he says,
“Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever; a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom”
Background music: Michael W Smith, Christmas at Wildwood from Every Christmas
People love the grandeur of royalty. But monarchical rule is somewhat foreign to us Americans. In fact, it was in revolt of despotism that the United States was born.
But, if you are a people, and you have bad leadership (and I do mean bad), and everyone else around you has a king, what do you suppose you want, too?
When Israel’s judge and prophet Samuel grew old, he appointed his sons, Joel and Abijah, as Israel’s leaders. But his sons did not follow his ways. They turned aside after dishonest gain, accepted bribes, and perverted justice (1 Samuel 8:1-22).
So, all the elders of Israel gathered together and confronted Samuel at Ramah. They said to him, “You are old, and your sons do not follow your ways; now appoint a king to lead us, such as all the other nations have.”
But when they said, “Give us a king to lead us”, this displeased Samuel. So he prayed to the Lord. And the Lord told him, “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king. As they have done from the day I brought them up out of Egypt until this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are doing to you. Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will claim as his rights.”
Samuel told all the words of the Lord to the people who were asking him for a king. He honestly warned them of the dangers of their desire. They could expect the king to rule over them harshly. (You can read God’s extensive warning through Samuel in 1 Samuel 8:11-18.)
Even with the dire details, the people refused to listen to Samuel. “No!” they insisted. “We want a king over us. Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles.”
Samuel listened to all the people had to say. Then he repeated it before the Lord. The Lord granted their request and replied, “Listen to them and give them a king.”
God had a King-of-Perfection already prepared. But the people rejected God as their King. They wanted a king of their own choosing, like all their neighbors. And they certainly didn’t want to wait on God’s timing for His Messiah to be born into the world.
God gave them over to their desires. And they suffered the consequences, as forewarned.
A total of 42 kings reigned over Israel and Judah. Only three reigned over the mostly “united” kingdom of Israel. Subsequently, 19 reigned over the northern kingdom of Israel and 20 over the southern kingdom of Judah. Each of these kings ruled only for a time. And each of these kings failed the people. But to David, God promised an eternal King who would reign justly (2 Samuel 7:16).
God, the Father, would pass on His Kingdom to His Son, the Promised Seed, through a covenant with the royal line of David. A kingdom the Gates of Hades would come against—and yet endure.
The King came, born of a virgin as promised, in the days of Caesar Augustus.
The kingdom of God came near. And Jesus has been heralded its King, the Anointed One of God. He is the eternal King of Righteousness, whose kingdom will have no end.
May every knee bow before Him—the King prepared of God. And may it begin this Christmas.