Day 18

Key of David, Come

from the reading plan

2 Samuel 7:8-16, Isaiah 52:7-10, John 12:12-13, Revelation 3:7-8, Revelation 1:12-18

O Key of David and sceptre of the House of Israel;
you open and no one can shut;
you shut and no one can open:
Come and lead the prisoners from the prison house,
those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death.

God doesn’t waste words, nor does He ever misuse them. Throughout the Old Testament, God made permanent and eternal promises. Sometimes this is puzzling because the people to whom God made the promises passed away or because they abandoned the Lord altogether. But when God uses the term forever, He means it, and we should believe it as true. We see a magnificent example of this in the story of David. 

God told David, “I will raise up after you your descendant, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He is the one who will build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever” (2Samuel 7:12–13). If you know the story, this sounds almost true. God did raise up Solomon who built the temple, the “house for God’s name.” But then he fell away from God, and in the end, the kingdom of Israel was divided and then exiled. So how is the second half of this promise true? 

During the time of exile, the prophet Isaiah picked up the thread and reiterated God’s promise: “For the LORD has comforted his people; he has redeemed Jerusalem….See, my servant will be successful; he will be raised and lifted up and greatly exalted” (Isaiah 52:9,13). We catch another glimpse of the fulfillment of God’s promise to David. God meant what He said and would fulfill it in His time. 

When Jesus was born in the city of David and called “Son of David,” we pick up the thread again. Here is a king but not like any king we’ve seen before. He rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, not a stallion. Isaiah told us that He would be “so disfigured that he did not look like a man, and his form did not resemble a human being,” (Isaiah 52:14) anticipating His torture and crucifixion. So, too, this king died, and it seemed like God’s promise had come to an end again.

But, of course, the thread is picked up again. Jesus is a king that is not held by death, and He proclaimed, “I am the First and the Last, and the Living One. I was dead, but look​—​I am alive forever and ever!” (Revelation 1:17–18). God’s promise was fulfilled forever in Christ, “the Holy One, the true one, the one who has the key of David” (Revelation 3:7). He is the final and perfect and ruling king for all time, just as it was promised.

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