Devotional

The Forever Kingdom

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2 Samuel 7:12-16

We are just finishing the Christmas celebrations of the birth of our Saviour, Jesus. This was just the beginning of God’s perfect plan for a kingdom promised long ago in the Old Testament (Psalm 45:6, Daniel 4:2-3). We have seen some of that unfolding over the past two millennium, but for the fulfilment, we still wait. I heard a message recently about waiting. The speaker used David the shepherd-boy-anointed-king as an example. For 14 years he waited for the earthly kingdom he had been promised. Throughout that time he endured intense jealousy and out-right threats to his life from Saul, the existing king.

The first hint of an eternal kingdom was given in the Garden of Eden when, veiled in language Adam and Eve could not possibly have understood, though perhaps the serpent did, God promised enmity between man and the serpent’s offspring. He promised that man would crush the serpent’s head giving the clue as to who would win the battle (Genesis 3:14-15).

Hundreds of years later the nation of Israel became an official kingdom. Rejecting God as their leader they had cried for a king, just as the nations around them had kings. Samuel records the sequence of events which put Saul, then David on the throne (2 Samuel 7:1). God knew this was a temporary arrangement; it would seem that in giving them the desires of their hearts the nation also gained leanness of spirit, as they had in the desert (Psalm 106:13-15).

Since the beginning God revealed Himself as a covenant God. What did that mean? God made promises to man throughout human history, many of which carried with them binding conditions. For example God promised Abraham his descendants would be as numerous as the dust of the earth (Genesis 13:16). The condition was belief that Sarah would bear this child (even in her old age). Did God mean what He said? Now at this moment in time God declared to David, through the prophet Nathan, the continuation of that promise “I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, who will come from your own body and I will establish His kingdom forever!” (2 Samuel 7:12-13).

As history has shown, the physical kingdom of Israel fell to foreign powers. Was God mistaken? Wrong? Or did we misunderstand the scope of this covenant – something much larger than life, a spiritual covenant? In Samuel’s records the covenant is two-fold, both immediate and future. For example, immediately following David’s death, David’s son Solomon did indeed build the temple (:13). Later Jesus was acclaimed as “Son of David” (Matthew 21:9).

Looking towards the future, let us remember that twice, as was God’s custom, He reiterates the promise “Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before Me; your throne will be established forever” (2 Samuel 7:16). Since the advent of Jesus and all that His life revealed to us about the purposes of God, we now understand this to be a Messianic promise, reflecting the faithful love of the Father through Jesus Christ, whose reign is celebrated in Revelation: “To Him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honour and glory and power forever and ever!” (Revelation 5:13).

Reflection:

Just to summarize – Jesus who is of the tribe of Judah, the Kingly tribe of Israel, still reigns over that promised Kingdom and one day is coming again to earth to establish a millennial reign, according to promise (Revelation 20:6). This earthly reign will preceded the heavenly reign which will last forever and ever: ”The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ and He will reign forever and ever” (Revelation 11:15). Will you be part of that “Forever Kingdom”?

by Marilyn Daniels (MarilynDaniels.net)

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