On Wednesday nights, I will be leading my church through a series entitled “Virtue and Vice: Lessons from the Kings.” In this study, we will examine the kings of Israel, one by one. For this post, we will begin to lay the foundation for this study by examining God as King. After that, we will see His expectations for Israel’s kings in Deut 17:14–20. Thereafter, our study will begin with Saul and end with Israel’s anticipation of the greatest King of all, our Lord Jesus Christ.
In response to Israel’s asking Samuel for a king, God told Samuel that Israel had rejected Him as King (1 Sam 8:7; cf. Judg 8:22–23; 1 Sam 10:19; 12:12). Israel had no formal, human king up to this point in her history. God had been her King.
Consider a few points as to the nature of His rule as King…1
- God had always ruled as King over all beings, places, and things (1 Chron 29:12; Ps 103:19). His kingship is eternal (Ps 29:10; 145:13; Jer 10:10), and His creation carries on mostly by providence (Ps 148:8) but by occasional miracles as well (Dan 6:27; cf. Ps 135:6–9).
- God may be internally accepted and verbally acknowledged as King (cf. Ps 44:4; 74:12; 84:2–3), but the existence of His kingship and kingdom does not depend upon the assent of men (cf. Ps 75:4–7). It is not that His kingdom lives in them but that they live within His kingdom (and hopefully happily so).
- The kingdom of Israel and the church of Christ fall within this overarching universal kingdom of God.
- Like His Father (1 Tim 1:17), the Son is over eternity (Isa 9:6) and is the great Administrator of this kingdom (Col 1:17; Heb 1:2), upholding all things by the power of His word (Heb 1:3; cf. Col 1:17). He shares the Father’s throne even now (Rev 3:21).
A Point of Application
Just as God identified Himself as Israel’s King then, so also King Jesus shares the throne with the Father even now. Let us take hope in what we see of Him with the eyes of our hearts and not repeat Israel’s mistake of putting our ultimate trust in someone we can presently see. No other king or ruler will do, and we will see our Lord soon!
- For this section, see Alva J. McClain, The Greatness of the Kingdom (Winona Lake, IN; BMH Books, 1974), 22–36.