So far in our beginnings through Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles we’ve talked about the monarchy of Israel and Judah a couple of times.
Before the Kings came on the scene, everyone did as they saw fit (Judges 21.25). Unsurprisingly, this didn’t work and God raised Samuel to lead the people (1 Samuel 3.4). When he died his sons were installed but rejected by the people who demanded a king (1 Samuel 8.19-20).
I recently read that
Saul was the first king. He was of the tribe of Benjamin, which, in the days of the judges, had almost been annihilated. Tall, handsome, and humble, Saul began his reign with a brilliant victory over the Ammonites. Any misgivings about the new monarchy disappeared.
Sadly this did not last and pride crept into the rule of Saul. To cut a long story short Saul died in battle and grieved the Lord with how he ruled (1 Samuel 15.10). Following Saul’s rule David ruled, and ruled well. Solomon then ruled wisely and after his death, around 931 B.C., the monarchy then seems to descend into a huge mix of good king / bad king vacillation. Some good kings did bad things, some bad kings did good things.
As we read and study the monarchy we are left with a feeling that nobody – even David – ruled each and every day, every hour of every day, as God would like. We are left feeling that it’s ‘close but not close enough‘ to the ideal ruler and king that we need as people. We need someone with the (initial) humility of Saul, the (most of the time) heart of David, the wisdom of Solomon, the righteousness of Jehoshaphat (2 Chronicles 17.3-6), and the right relationship of Hezekiah (2 Chronicles 31.20).
The earthly monarchy, whilst fulfilling a role in this place and at this time, points us forward to the ultimate King that God will install over His people. Think on these verses today and anticipate the rule and rein of King Jesus:
- Revelation 19.16 speaks of Jesus and calls Him “King of kings and Lord of lords.”
- 1 Timothy 6 describes Jesus as “the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords…”
- On arrival into Jerusalem, Jesus was greeted with shouts of “…look, your king is coming…” (John 12.15).
- Finally, Jesus Himself said to Pontius Pilate that “You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” (John 18.37).