The Everlasting King
Read 2 Samuel 7:8-17
“I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.”
Israel was in desperate need of a king. In their longing to be like other nations, Israel rejected God’s leadership and begged God for a king like other nations and so they were given Saul. However, instead of being the great leader they desired, Saul proved inept. His life and reign were characterized by rash decisions, lack of faith, and disobedience to God’s commands. He would ultimately be plagued by bouts of deep depression, mental illness, and paranoia as he became more obsessed with killing David than leading the nation.
But even as Israel had abandoned following God, God had not forsaken Israel. After the death of Saul, Israel descended into civil war. Through the work of the sovereign hand of God, David was able to bring peace and establish his position as the next king over Israel. consequently, in contrast to the reign of Saul, God made a covenant with David that not only would he enjoy God’s blessing upon his reign, but he would establish an eternal dynasty through David. In this promise, God not only promised a successor to David, but one would come, who would be from his line, who would establish an eternal kingdom. As we read the covenant it is important to recognize that the focus is not on the many descendants of David who would follow him on the throne, but the covenant would be realized in one specific descendant. Notice throughout the verses, he does not refer to “them” but to “him.” In these words, God promised David four important elements. First, he would establish an eternal dynasty where his throne and kingdom would be secure forever (vs 12-13). Second, he will give him a “seed” (verse 12, translated by the word “descendant” in the NASB). This echoes back to the garden and then to Abraham, where the seed does not just refer to descendants but a specific person who will bring about the final embodiment of the promise. Third, he promises him an eternal Kingdom, one that will not pass away but endure before God forever. Last, as most remarkable, He will be the son God.
This promise, grounded in the Abrahamic Covenant, gave birth to the hope of Israel, that there would come one day a Messianic King, one who would establish this eternal kingdom. This promise then became the hope and longing of Israel. Year after year, when they were in exile and looking for hope, they longed for their king.
Today people are likewise looking for a leader who will bring hope. As our country descends into a civil war, not a war of guns and artillery, but a war of words and ideology, we are looking for someone who can bring unity, to establish peace, and renew our hope. The problem lies in where we look. We keep looking to a political party or a powerful leader. But in the end, they will fail, whether Democrat or Republican, for ultimately, they are sinful individuals who will falter. However, just as Israel found its hope in the promise, so also, we find our hope in the same promise. There will be a day in the future when Jesus, the Messianic King, will return and establish his kingdom. When he comes, he will fulfill the promise made to David and bring hope not only to Israel, but to all humanity. When politicians fail to provide answers, when they become driven by their own personal pursuit, when they fail to promote what is right, it only serves as a reminder that our hope is not found in men or women. Our hope is found in Christ who came as the king and will return to establish his kingdom and he is the hope of humanity.