The Long Promised King

Why Jesus is My Hero #48 of 52

On Thursday voters across London were turning out to choose their candidate for Mayor, and there were also many local council elections across the country. Yet however enthusiastic we are about the concept of democracy, it can sometimes be hard to get especially excited about local elections – sometimes there’s a sense that we’re voting for people we’ve never heard of into positions of very limited authority (but as somebody who’s about to do a Bible study on Romans 13 next week, let me encourage you that you should still vote!)

Yet there is one leader that we should be very enthusiastic about – God’s anointed king, his Messiah. King David was one of Israel’s greatest kings, ruling a united nation at a time of unprecedented political and economic power, and who most importantly had a healthy relationship with the Lord God. David has this bright idea that he’d like to build God a house – a temple for his name to dwell in – but it turns out that God has other ideas. God turns it around and says he’s going to build David a house instead – an eternal dynasty that will know no end:

“Moreover, the Lord declares to you that the Lord will make you a house. When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom for ever. I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son. When he commits iniquity, I will discipline him with the rod of men, with the stripes of the sons of men, but my steadfast love will not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away from before you. And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure for ever before me. Your throne shall be established for ever.'” (2 Samuel 7:11-16)

This passage is the foundation for all of the Messianic expectation that follows in the rest of the Old Testament – this sure and certain promise from God that he’s going to raise up a ruler in the line of David to sit on the throne forever. Superficially it looks like it might be referring to David’s son Solomon, and indeed there certainly is a partial fulfilment through him. But at the same time there is much about the ruler described here that seems to go beyond any merely human king.

When Jesus shows up on the scene in Mark 1 he announces “The kingdom of God is at hand” – because at last, after years of waiting, the king of that kingdom has arrived. Read the book of 1 and 2 Kings sometime and you find yourself being perpetually frustrated, as king after king fails to obey God as they ought, bringing ruin and disaster on themselves and the nation as a whole in the process. It’s heartbreaking to see the prosperity that Israel had under Solomon, only to see him throw it all away as his heart turns away in idolatry and goes after the foreign gods of his many wives. As much as we like to complain about our leaders, it’s God’s grace and mercy to give them to us for our good. But our supreme good is found in our supremely good leader – Jesus Christ, the true son of David. He’s the one king we can depend on – his heart remains eternally true to his Father in heaven, and through his resurrection from the dead we know he will never die again. Unlike the temporary prosperity enjoyed under Solomon’s reign, the blessings of being part of Jesus’ kingdom will never end, because his godly rule will never cease.

That’s why Jesus is my hero – because he’s exactly the kind of ruler I need: one who will remain wholly true to the Lord his God for all eternity, selflessly ruling over his kingdom for good forever.