Manifestation of The Heavenly Kingdom (3) God as the King of Israel
The everlasting Lord of Heaven wants to manifest His glorious Kingdom on earth. So He picked the Israelites as His chosen people, and He would be their God. This was more significant and noble than even being the King of Israel. ¡§I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians.¡¨ (Exodus 6:7) Even though Moses was the leader of the Israelites, and brought them out from the oppression of the Egyptian Pharaoh, he did not become their king as a consequence, but served in the capacity of God¡¦s servant and a prophet. ¡§Since then, no prophet has risen in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face.¡¨ (Deuteronomy 34:10) It was as if God wanted the Israelites to understand that their being under the rule and guidance of the Lord was in sharp contrast to the other nations of the time. Rule by a sovereign king falls far short of rule by God.
As well, God granted the Law to the Israelites through Moses. These laws and decrees were the standards and regulations by which God¡¦s chosen people were to inhabit His Kingdom, so that they might know the prescribed order within the Kingdom, and would diligently follow these without deviation, thereby they could live serenely on the land given by God. ¡§Hear now, O Israel, the decrees and laws I am about to teach you. Follow them so that you may live and may go in and take possession of the land that the Lord, the God of your fathers, is giving you.¡¨ (Deuteronomy 4:1) God also wanted these people to know that despite His divinity, He was still close to His people, unlike the rulers of the other nations, whose lofty status kept them apart from the general public, or who might even oppress the masses. ¡§What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the Lord our God is near us whenever we pray to Him? And what other nation is so great as to have such righteous decrees and laws as this body of laws I am setting before you today?¡¨ (Deuteronomy 4:7-8) Moses knew the will of God. He realized that Jehovah as the God of Israel was superior to any method of governance. The togetherness of the Lord was more precious than a system of sovereign authority. Therefore, when the people crafted a golden calf for worship, God expressed His unwillingness to go with them to Canaan. (Exodus 33:3) Moses never ceased to beg God for His personal presence in their journey, because the Lord¡¦s presence with them was proof of Israel¡¦s blessing and the distinction between them and all the other population of the earth. (Exodus 3:15-16)
From the time the Israelites left Egypt to the period of the Judges, God¡¦s people never adopted the reign of kings, although, as per God¡¦s plan, Israel would soon see the creation of a kingdom, with a monarch chosen by God to govern and lead the people as His representative. We deduce this from God introducing the conditions for crowning a king through Moses. (Deuteronomy 17:14-20) By my personal observation, the reason for the delay in establishing a system of kingship was the failure of a sovereign pleasing to the will of God to appear. It can be seen that at the time of the Judges, God continually raised up judges to rescue the people from foreign oppression, yet did not raise up a king to rule them. Although the judges had numerous sons, for example Gideon had 70 sons of his own (Judges 8:30), Jair had 30 (Judges 10:4), Ibzan had 30 (Judges 12:9), Abdon had 40 (Judges 12:14) ¡V and even from among the sons of Eli and Samuel - none was chosen by God as a worthy exemplar for the people to be crowned a king pleasing to the will of God. We only note that the critique of the Lord for the period of the Judges was: ¡§In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit.¡¨ (Judges 21:25)
By: Daniel To