Sunday, December 4, 2016

An Old Story That Looks Ahead

The books in our Bible called 1 & 2 Samuel, 1 & 2 Kings and 1 & 2 Chronicles are essentially writings of history.  They tell the story of God's people living in the Promised Land under the rule of their kings, beginning with their first king, Saul, and ending with the defeat of the divided kingdom and the journey of God's people into exile.  1 Chronicles 17:14 says,

"So David reigned over all Israel, and he administered justice and equity to all his people."

This verse is historical information and it shows us the people of God at one of the high points in their history.  They are God's chosen people, living securely in the land God promised to them hundreds of years earlier.  They have a godly king who has defeated all of the enemies around them.  Their king rules over all of the land and he does so in fairness to all of God's people. 

It must have been a very good time for the people of Israel, but as the chapters that follow make clear, it didn’t last.  Their downfall was bumpy, painful and heartbreaking, as God's chosen people were conquered and carried from the very place God promised would be theirs. 

But this verse in 1 Chronicles does more than record history.  It also points our vision forward, towards a day that is to come.  David is the king chosen by God to rule over His people and he rules in a way that appears to line up with what is right and true.  But
David is a human king, filled with the failings common to so many of us, facts that the books of Samuel, Kings and Chronicles do not hide.  As we look at David here we are invited to look beyond David, to another coming King.  To Jesus, the King of Kings.

David is a king whose story points us to the end of the story.  A King is coming and He will rule over all of creation.  Similar to the way David defeated his enemies and secured the borders of Israel this King will defeat all His enemies.  When He comes fully into His Kingdom there will not be a single enemy of God having any kind of power anywhere in all of creation. 

This King will perfectly administer justice, although in the most unlikely of ways.  For "his people," or those who have faith in Jesus as their Savior, He will bear the punishment their sin deserves, and give them a place inside His kingdom, where His people will joyfully live with Him forever.

This Christmas let us remember that the event we celebrate, the birth of the baby Jesus, ultimately ends in the reign of the King of Kings.  David's story points us forward.  May you look towards the baby Jesus and see the King.  May He be your Savior and your King.

Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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