The Big Story of the Bible, Part 6 - Chapter 5: Kingdom
October 6, 2022 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments
Posted in: Pastoral Encouragement
In Chapter 4 of the Big Story of the Bible, God formed the nation of Israel by rescuing them out of Egypt, entering into a covenant with them at Sinai, and then establishing them in the Promised Land under Joshua’s leadership. It is from this nation that the promised seed of the woman would come. In the next chapter of the Big Story, we see this nation reject God, again; but God works this rejection into the story of the promised one to come. Chapter 5 is called Kingdom and covers the biblical books of 1 & 2 Samuel, 1 Chronicles, and the poetry books of Psalms through Song of Solomon (the writings of David and Solomon).
In 1 Samuel 8:6 the people of Israel tell Samuel the prophet, “Give us a king to judge us.” God explains to Samuel, “They have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them” (v. 7). I stated last week that Israel in the Old Testament serves as a mirror for us, revealing how the human heart tends to drift away from God. In rejecting God as king, Israel shows us our tendency to resist the rule of God in our life. Since the Fall in the Garden of Eden, humans look for ways to avoid God. We desperately need the seed of the woman to crush the head of the serpent and rescue us from our sinful inclination to rebel.
At first, God gives the people what they want. Israel gets Saul as king. He is taller and stronger than other men. He is a powerful military leader and decisive. But, just like Israel, Saul ignores God and takes matters into his own hands. Samuel pronounces to Saul, “Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, he has also rejected you from being king” (1 Sam. 15:23).
Did God make a mistake in appointing Saul as king? No. One of the things we learn from the Big Story of the Bible is that God allows evil, sin, and trying circumstances in this world in order that the glory of the goodness of his redemption and deliverance is made all the more magnificent. God uses even the rejection of Israel and Saul to draw attention to the king of his own choosing. Fleshing out more details about the promised seed of the woman, God reveals that he has planned that this promised one would be a benevolent king who lays down his life for his sheep.
David is a foreshadow of the coming Deliverer-King. He was a man after God’s heart (Acts 13:22). To David God makes the promise, “I will raise up your offspring after you, and I will establish his kingdom… Your throne shall be established forever” (2 Sam. 7:12, 16). Once again, God narrows the family line of the Promised One. First, he was the seed of the woman, Eve. Then, he is the offspring of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. At the end of Genesis, Judah is set apart as the forefather of the Promised One (Gen. 49:10). Now, the Promised One will be a descendent of David.
Jesus is the promised king. His first recorded words in the Gospel of Mark are, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel” (1:15). The Gospel invites us not only to receive the cleansing forgiveness of Christ’s blood, but also the benevolent rule of Christ’s kingship. This is the blessing for God’s people.
David not only is a foreshadow of the promised king, but he also demonstrates submission to the promised king. Like you and me, David drifted from faithfulness to God and sought blessing and fulfillment apart from God when he committed adultery with Bathsheba (2 Sam. 11). After being convicted of his sin (2 Sam. 12), David pens one of the most beautiful, repentant psalms in Psalm 51. He acknowledges his sin and appeals to the mercy of God. Psalm 51, as a confession of sin, is a declaration of submission to God as king. David submits to God’s righteousness, his truth, and his mercy. Psalm 51 demonstrates for us how we come to submit to our king, against whom we have rebelled.