Manifestation of The Heavenly Kingdom (4) A King After GodíŽs Own heart
3 Times in the past I shared with you in this space ideas pertaining to the manifestation of the Heavenly Kingdom. We first explored the root of earthly kingdoms, which originated from mankindíŽs self-preservation and self-expansion after leaving God. The motivation of NimrodíŽs establishment of cities and nations was his desire to create a mighty kingdom on earth in order to spread his own name. Later, God called upon Abraham, who lived by faith. Not only was an outlet for GodíŽs determination for salvation found from his person, but his descendents the Israelites were also chosen to be separated from all other nations to be a sacred people. They would manifest GodíŽs plan for a glorious kingdom. The Lord would be their God, and will be King forever more.
The so-called period of Rule by GodíŽs Authority started when the Israelites left Egypt. Through Moses, God saved His people from the hand of Pharaoh, then guided and protected them as they made their way through the wilderness. Jehovah was their warrior. (Exodus 15:3) God decreed to the Israelites His laws and precepts, so that they would know how to become subjects pleasing to His will. Later God led them to war through Joshua, so that they could claim Canaan, the Promised Land as their inheritance. Throughout this time, they had the Commander of the Army of Jehovah as their leader. (Joshua 15:4) Unfortunately, the Israelites did not fully obey the command of God and totally eliminate the Canaanites. Instead, basking in a serene existence they made a covenant with the Canaanites, so that the angel of the Lord finally left them. (Judges 2:1-5) From thence a period of spiritual darkness descended. When the Israelites were oppressed by the other nations and cried out to the Lord, God raised up judges to save them on many occasions. Yet He did not set up kings to rule over them.
Since the Israelites rejected God as their King (1 Samuel 8:7-9), and they saw Nahash, king of the Ammonites coming to attack them, they pressured Samuel to set up a king for them. In fact, Jehovah was already their King. (1 Samuel 12:12-13) Then Saul was chosen by God to be the first king of Israel. From my own observation though, the plea by the Israelites for a king was not a move that conformed to GodíŽs timing or will. On the surface, it appeared that God acceded to their wish. In fact, it went against GodíŽs will because at that time, a man after GodíŽs own heart had not appeared. Consider the following: (1) Although God, through Samuel, had warned the Israelites of certain dire consequences if a king was set up, they still insisted on having a king over them like the other nations. (1 Samuel 8:19-20) (2) The tone of GodíŽs reply to their entreaty sounded rather disheartened. (1 Samuel 8:7, 22) (3) Later God even dispatched thunder and rain to expressly show that this affair of asking for a king was a grave sin (1 Samuel 12:17-18) (4) Soon after Saul was set up as king, his spirituality declined rapidly, and God indicated that his reign would not endure. (1Samuel 13:14) Then Saul repeated committed mistakes, so that Samuel was troubled and sorrowful. That caused God to regret setting him up as king, to the extent that his kingship was finally stripped away and given to David. (1 Samuel 15:10-11)
The Lord chose David to succeed Saul, calling him a man after GodíŽs own heart. He put David through all manner of trials and tribulations so that, as a result of these moldings and refinements, David would exhibit the characteristics of God. In the history of the Old Testament, we cannot find another king who had to endure as much testing as David did before ascending to the throne. David was indeed the precursor of the King of kings, Lord of lords, Jesus Christ, foretelling how Christ had to first suffer iniquities before receiving glory, and completing GodíŽs plan of salvation according to His will. As well, David desired to build a holy temple on earth for the Lord, so that GodíŽs rule and togetherness may be manifested in form among His people. This relates to GodíŽs intent to establish His Everlasting Kingdom. ThatíŽs why God promised David, ížI will raise up your offspring to succeed you.íĘ (2 Samuel 7:12) God meant that He would raise up from among DavidíŽs descendants a man who was after the LordíŽs heart even more than David íV that is Jesus Christ, the Son of God. For He would indeed be King, and would establish the House of God, a spiritual temple, that is the church. And He would set up an Everlasting Kingdom, and become its King forever. ThatíŽs why there was this promise to David, ížYour house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.íĘ (2 Samuel 7:16)
By: Daniel To