“I have found David my servant; with my sacred oil I have anointed him. . . . My faithful love will be with him, and through my name his horn will be exalted. . . I will also appoint him my firstborn, the most exalted of the kings of the earth. I will maintain my love to him forever, and my covenant with him will never fail. I will establish his line forever, his throne as long as the heavens endure.” (Psalm 89:20-29).
When a loved one is laid to rest, the family gathers together and recounts stories of happier times and proud moments. It’s not uncommon to speak of unfulfilled dreams and regrets of what might have been.
The Jews were in mourning for their nation. After centuries of rebellion and warnings from their prophets, the time for repentance was over. God sent King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon to destroy Jerusalem and the temple. What happened? God had promised to establish David’s line forever, making Jerusalem the throne of the King of Kings. In the end, his descendant, King Zedekiah, watched the murder of his sons before being blinded, chained, and carried off into exile. He was the last king of Judah.
But, God is faithful to his covenant. By preserving a remnant, he maintained David’s line, and 580 years later Jesus came into the world. He described the Kingdom of God in the Sermon on the Mount and assured his followers that his Kingdom was not of this world. When he was crucified, he wore a crown of thorns, and the charge against him stated: “INRI” meaning ”Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews”.
When the exiles pleaded with God to remember his promise, they would never have foreseen that a carpenter from David’s line would rule as King of Kings and Lord of Lords forever. We await his second coming, when we will be received into his kingdom forever.
“God your ways are higher than our ways, your plans exceed our understanding. The birth of Jesus fulfilled a promise to establish your kingdom forever, not only for the Jews, but for the Gentiles also. We await the final coronation when every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.” Amen.
Mindi Oaten’s painting “The Builder who Restores” is from God’s Garden of Grace collection.