Week 3, Lesson 4: Preparing for a King

Welcome back, Bible students! Did you know a King is coming? Of course you know that, but did you know God made a covenant with His people ensuring it? Oh yes, the Davidic covenant, to which the three previous covenants point. Ready to dive in? 

We are talking about God’s faithfulness after all, so start in Psalm 105:7-11. The psalmist harkens back to God’s covenant with Abraham and reminds us He remembers it forever, it is confirmed, and it is everlasting. He has never defaulted, and He is not starting now! 

Yesterday we looked at the Abrahamic, the Mosaic, and the new covenants and determined, like a 3-legged stool, each one is necessary, and each plays a distinct role in God’s plan. Collectively, they point toward a covenant of triumph, the Davidic covenant. 

Pick up the Biblical narrative in 1 Chronicles 17. There we find the prophet Nathan and King David discussing the king’s desire to build a temple. In verse 4, God says no, then the writer of 1 Chronicles goes on to record God’s blessings and goodness to David (verses 7-8), as well as promises (verses 9-10). We will pick up the Biblical account there. Read verses 11-15. Notice: 

  • God will establish David’s descendants 
  • God will establish a king and a kingdom 
  • God will establish a throne forever 
  • God will establish these things as everlasting 

But three conditions are necessary to fulfill Nathan’s prophecy: 

  1. Israel must be in her land. If not, there is no kingdom to be had. 
  1. Israel’s historical mission, given in the Abrahamic covenant, must not fail. God uniquely called Abraham and his descendants to be the vehicle of world redemption. It must happen. 
  1. Israel’s destiny must be a national one, not just a spiritual one. God needed a physical nation from which to love the world, so He placed real, physical people in the real, physical land called Israel, and national salvation must come. 

Should any of the three fail, God would be a liar and would be unfaithful. Yet, from 70 AD to 1948, there was no Jewish homeland, much less a king and kingdom, so God’s promises seemed empty. Glimmers of hope arose in 1948 when Israel was reborn and Jews began returning in droves. 

Even still, though the Jews rule Israel once more, the foundation for the Davidic covenant is not solid. In fact, to this day, Gentiles continue to hold sway over Jerusalem (Luke 21:24, Romans 11:25). Lots of study to be had there, but suffice it to say, the kingdom Nathan prophesied does not come about until later in the future. Fulfillment of the Davidic covenant is still to come! 

But lest we forget God’s faithfulness to His people, please read Isaiah 46:8-10 and Romans 11:28-29. How strong are God’s assurances? What hope do those verses give you that the Davidic covenant will indeed be fulfilled? 

You remember Ezekiel 37 from our study of the Jewish people being brought back to the land. Please re-read Ezekiel 37:24-28. Notice who will be king. Do you find that odd? How will a dead king rule in the future? (We will come back to that.) Meanwhile, what does that passage teach us about covenants (verse 26) and God’s relationship with His people (verse 27)? Finally, how will God be known to the nations at that time (verse 28)? 

Hold your thoughts and now turn to Revelation 22:16. Here, Jesus proclaims Himself to be the Root and Offspring of David. It is Jesus who comes to establish David’s descendants. It is Jesus who comes as King to establish a kingdom. It is Jesus who reigns, and it is Jesus who fulfills the Davidic covenant. So, what about King David who is supposed to be king according to Ezekiel 37? 

At times in Scripture, there are forerunners…those who carry the characteristics of someone else. In the Old Testament, Isaac was a forerunner of Jesus as he went to the altar as a sacrifice, and Joseph was a forerunner of Jesus as he bore the suffering brought by others but forgave them fully. In the New Testament, John the Baptist was a forerunner of Jesus, preaching the need for repentance. Likewise, David is a forerunner of Christ. He was an earthly king after God’s own heart, and it was through David’s line that the Messiah came. That is why Revelation 22:16 identifies Jesus as the Root and Offspring of David.  

However, there are a few more pieces to the puzzle. For example, what is Jerusalem called in Jeremiah 3:17? Who will gather there? Is there a similarity with Zechariah 14:16? If so, what? What is the festival being celebrated in Zechariah 14:16? 

The Feast of Tabernacles is a direct reference to the Millennial Kingdom, and so is the fulfillment of the Davidic covenant! It is the time of Jesus’ 1,000-year reign following the tribulation and the establishment of the Kingdom. Jesus will reign from Jerusalem and nations will come to celebrate the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. It is the time of Israel’s spiritual recovery, bringing final fulfillment to Ezekiel 37! Jewish eyes will finally be open to see their Messiah, and all Israel will be saved, as Romans 11:26 says! 

But what prevents it from happening? Well, Ezekiel’s war, the rapture, and the tribulation stand in between current day and the Millennial Kingdom. At just the right time, though, there will be a trigger! The way will have been prepared for the King, but only one thing will bring Him home! 

In Israel, we will stand on the Mount of Olives where many things took place, and important things will take place in the future. But I hope one Biblical account you remember is Jesus’ lament over Jerusalem as He looked out over the Holy City from the slopes of the Mount of Olives. He came to His people as Messiah, yet they missed it. While looking for a powerful political leader riding on a strong stallion who would free them from the tyranny of the Romans, they missed the Savior who entered Jerusalem on the back of a donkey to present Himself as the sacrificial Lamb of God. 

That lament is recorded in Matthew 23:37-39. Stop. Read it slowly and meditate upon it. 

As promised, He will come again as King, but the trigger is an invitation from the Jewish people. What are the words of the invitation Jesus is waiting to hear from them? 

No sense, though, in waiting only for the Jews to do their part. We have a part to play as well! Revelation 22:16, which we read earlier, not only calls Jesus the Root and Offspring of David, but also the Bright and Morning Star.  

Follow closely: 

  • Numbers 24:17 describes a Star rising out of Jacob (Israel). Jesus is the Bright and Morning Star who rose out of Israel. 
  • 1 Peter 1:19 references a morning star that rises in our hearts. Could it be that Bright and Morning Star who makes His residence within us? I think so! 
  • Revelation 3:21 indicates those who overcome will sit with Jesus on His throne. Could it be that one day we will sit with the Bright and Morning Star, the Root and Offspring of David, the King of Kings who will rule from Jerusalem? 

Indeed, Revelation 20:4-6 gives us that assurance! Specifically, what does verse 6 say? Who takes part in the first resurrection? Who is free from the second death? (We may face physical death, but never spiritual death…the second death.) Who reigns with Him for a thousand years? 

The Morning Star rising in our hearts is none other than the Star rising out of Jacob who will take His position on the throne during the Millennial Kingdom, and we will reign with Him!  

Since that is so, as that Morning Star rises within us, we should pray for Israel to fulfill the destiny to which God has called them. Their final purpose is to utter the invitation, Baruch haba b’Shem Adonai…Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! 

God will be faithful in Israel’s future when, by faith, the eyes of His uniquely called people are open and they welcome Him back home!

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