Why are so many rulers corrupt and prone to failure? Lord Acton’s famous proverb is often proven correct: “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Where is a good king?
In many parts of the modern world, we have forgotten what kingly rule is like. For this reason, it is often difficult to catch the nuance of passages that speak of kings. In the Bible, kings reigned over every domain of life in their land; they had real authority that was to be used for the good of the people. In Israel, the kings saw themselves as mediating God’s justice and righteousness.
King David is perhaps the most revered king in the history of ancient Israel. David’s powerful rule gave Israel a glimpse of hope. And while David was a man after God’s own heart, he was far from the perfect king. As promising as David was, his failures left the people longing for a greater king. O come, eternal king!
The ancient cries of the people and their prophets rang out through history until the calming voice of an angel declared to Mary, “You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of his father David” (Luke 1:31–32).
At last, Jesus has come. He is the only King for whom absolute power is wielded with absolute purity and sacrificial love. Jesus is the long-awaited King who rules in righteousness and justice. His life was lived in perfect righteousness, something that you and I cannot do. And his sacrificial death on the cross for our sins satisfied the justice of God, something we do not deserve. That is the good news of the kingdom.
Where is a good king? Jesus is a good King, and His rule will never end. He is the son of David and the Son of God, the king whose throne and dominion is everlasting (Luke 1:32–33). Let our longings cease. Let us praise our eternal King!
Written by Matt Capps