In the prayer we call “the Lord’s Prayer” which Jesus taught His disciples, He makes reference to the Kingdom of God….a kingdom that belongs to Him “Thy Kingdom” (Matthew 6:10). This little phrase carries great meaning for it recognizes not only God’s ownership but the glory that ownership bestows on His kingdom! Forever! This kingdom will never end, according to Luke 1:33.
Moses wrote some rather detailed instructions about God’s kingdom (Deuteronomy 17:14-20). Until Samuel died God was revered as the King of Israel but when he was old the Israelites asked Samuel to appoint a king over them. Clearly they wanted a visible leader. Knowing Samuel wouldn’t live forever, caused them concern.
Their request displeased Samuel who had leaned heavily on the Lord to lead this unpredictable nation. 1 Samuel 8:4-6. The Lord explained it to Samuel: “It is not you they have rejected; but they have rejected Me as their king” (1 Samuel 8:7).
Hundreds of years later Jesus taught His disciples to pray that God’s kingdom would come. During His life-time the nation was under Roman rule. They had a puppet king in Herod, who thought little of the careful instructions God had given to Moses. In actual fact those details were ignored as early as the reign of Solomon! Solomon was rich, with many horses. He also had many wives some of whom had come from foreign countries including Egypt, a nation specified by God as a danger to their spiritual well-being.
Comparing the kingdom of God in Samuel’s time with the kingdom Jesus taught His followers to pray for, we recognize a significant similarity – it is a spiritual kingdom, one that follows the leadership of the invisible King, God. Does Jesus want to take them back to the “good old days”? Of course not – those days were not without their challenges and disasters when people failed to follow God.
The angel, announcing the birth of Jesus to Mary, specified her baby would be king. “The Lord will give Him the throne of His father David” (Luke 1:32). With His birth the Kingdom came, but there is a present tense today, as well as future. John wrote of his revelation:
”Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say ‘Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of His Christ’ “ (Revelation 12:10).
Jesus was looking ahead. He had in mind the Kingship of God would be stabilized in the hearts of repentant and surrendered individuals through the power of the indwelling Spirit of God – a significant difference from the old ways. “And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever; His kingdom will never end!” (Luke 1:33). His Kingdom began at the resurrection. Jesus told His disciples at the last supper He would not share a meal with them until they were in His Father’s Kingdom (Matthew 26:29) Note how that took place on the shores of Galilee after a post-resurrection fishing miracle (John 21:13).
What do you know about the Kingdom of God?
Where is the Kingdom of God?
What part in the Kingdom of God do you play?
Are you thankful to be a part of the Kingdom?
Written by Maryilyn Daniels.