2 Samuel 7:1-17, Jeremiah 23:5-6, Luke 1:30-33
I love a good hero in a movie. Whether it’s Aragon of Lord of the Rings, William Wallace of Braveheart, or Aslan of The Chronicles of Narnia, a great hero keeps us watching, longing for good to triumph over evil through the hero’s actions.
If you’ve ever read the Book of Judges, you left longing for a better leader. The downward cycle of sin under the judges is hard to stomach. There is a need for a leader to turn things around, to lead God’s people with integrity and strength.
In Israel’s history there was no leader like King David. His name appears more times in Scripture than any other king. He is even mentioned in the last chapter of the last book in the Bible. David was titled by God Himself as a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22).
What made David such a great king? Was it his purity? No. He committed adultery with Bathsheba. Was it his loyalty? No. He had his best friend murdered to cover his adultery. Was it his parenting skills? No. His household was a mess. Was it his wisdom? Well, these decisions along with many others he made seem to be anything but wise. And it certainly wasn’t his obedience to the law of God! Yet, in 2 Samuel 7, we see God make a covenant with David, promising that the throne of his kingdom will be established forever.
Why David? First, because God is gracious. He does not love us based upon our merits but based upon His grace and in spite of our demerits. Second, because despite all his shortcomings, David responded to that grace time and time again with a humble, dependent love for God. He is Israel’s greatest king, but he, like the judges, still leaves us yearning.
Jesus spoke of the Kingdom of God more than any other topic. The kingdom of God is a place where God dwells with His people. It is a place where good news is proclaimed to the poor, liberty comes to the captive and the oppressed, sight is restored to the blind, and God’s favor rests on those who love Him (Luke 4:18-19). Most of all, the Kingdom of God is a place where Jesus reigns as King. He is the King we long for.
Where David—the best king Israel had—failed, Jesus mightily prevailed. He is the King who perfectly trusted and obeyed the Father. He never gave in to a single temptation. He never took advantage of others. He did no harm to His people but was, and still remains, loyal to them. His decisions are always wise, true, and for the good of those He loves. He does not oppress but seeks our good. Jesus leads us with a royal power to protect us, while willingly laying down His life to save us.
Christ is not a King who keeps His subjects at a distance. No, He welcomes us into His presence with joy. And best of all, He is the Prince of Peace who tears down hostility between God and man, and between man and his enemies. Jesus is the hero we need in this broken world filled with hate. The Righteous Branch of David is our wise King. He sits on His throne and pours out peace into our anxious hearts.
So, let us sing with joy this season:
Come, Thou long expected Jesus
Born to set Thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us,
Let us find our rest in Thee.
Israel’s Strength and Consolation,
Hope of all the earth Thou art;
Dear Desire of every nation,
Joy of every longing heart.
Born Thy people to deliver,
Born a child and yet a King,
Born to reign in us forever,
Now Thy gracious kingdom bring.
By Thine own eternal Spirit
Rule in all our hearts alone;
By Thine all sufficient merit,
Raise us to Thy glorious throne.
– Charles Wesley
Written by David Henderson