Jesus Is King

Val Blog

There aren’t an incredibly long list of kings ruling today, and if they are a king (or queen), they are mainly figureheads with constitutional power, but not absolute power. Belgium, Kuwait, Spain, Thailand, Tonga, are just a few nations with modern-day kings. The only three I could find with absolute power rule in Saudi Arabia, Swaziland and Oman.

 

Kings in the older systems (and today as well) were there to take care of the people. They were there to make sure that there was a system in place that could provide for and protect their people in good times and bad. Bad times were often times of famine and war, and those kinds of bad times could topple a king, as he was seen as ineffective.

There were definitely good kings throughout history – kings who had absolute power and made life better for their people:

  • Suleiman I of the Ottoman Empire.
  • James I of England.
  • John III of Poland-Lithuania.
  • Meiji of Japan.
  • Gustav II Adolf of Sweden.
  • Augustus of Rome.
  • Cyrus II of Persia.
  • Frederick II of Prussia.

But if you’re like me, it can seem like so many kings had a bad rep.

 

If you look at the Old Testament there were 33 kings who did evil in the sight of the Lord, and only 5 good kings. That should tell us something:

Absolute power has the power to corrupt absolutely.

David is considered the best king Israel ever had, a man after God’s own heart. But he was an incredibly flawed person, and even he did something profoundly corrupt by essentially having Bathsheba’s first husband, Uriah, murdered.

So, let’s take a look at several of Israel’s kings.

 

God’s People Request A King

It is believed that the Israelites came out of Egypt in the 13th century BCE. The Israelite’s were unique compared with other peoples at the time. They followed God as their leader, not a king. But after living for several centuries with judges and priests to rule over them, they wanted a king.

But this was not what God wanted for them. God had led the people through Moses and Aaron, and then through priests and judges raised up to govern the people.

Their request for a king was a rejection of God’s way of leadership over them. 

The priest Samuel was a leading light for them, and they trusted him. But they didn’t have a lot of love for his children who they said did not follow his ways. In Samuel’s time, the people began to worry about who the next leader would be.

The Israelites wanted a king in order to be like all the other nations, but God had created Israel as a unique people. He was their leader.

When the Israelites wanted a king like other nations had, they were rejecting their unique, set-apart position as God’s people.

Israel, whose God was to be the only God, was envious of the nations who followed false gods. But they insisted. So, they chose Saul.

 

Saul’s Strong Start

Saul was born circa 1076 BCE in the land of Benjamin in Israel. He became the first King of Israel circa 1046 BCE where he united tribes and defeated enemies such as the Ammonites, Philistines, Moabites, and Amalekites.

While some people didn’t love the choice at first, he won a decisive battle against the Ammonites as one of his first kingly moves, and his first act was to forbid retribution against those who had previously contested his kingship. A very kingly move indeed.

 

Enter: David

Fast forward to the battle with the Philistines and Goliath, the giant. The mighty king is confounded by his enemy until a young shepherd boy comes along, using his wit – and God’s great plan – to bring down a giant and set himself up to be king of the land.

David. Of all the kings of Israel, David is the one after God’s own heart. What does that mean? Let’s look at the Psalms*:

  • Humble – Lowborn men are but a breath, the highborn are but a lie; if weighed on a balance, they are nothing; together they are only a breath. Psalm 62:9
  • Reverent – I call to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies. Psalm 18:3
  • Respectful – Be merciful to me, O Lord, for I am in distress; my eyes grow weak with sorrow, my soul and my body with grief. Psalm 31:9
  • Trusting – The LORD is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid? Psalm 27:1
  • Loving – I love you, O Lord, my strength. Psalm 18:1
  • Devoted – You have filled my heart with greater joy than when their grain and new wine abound. Psalm 4:7
  • Recognition – I will praise you, O Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonders. Psalm 9:1
  • Faithful – Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. Psalm 23:6
  • Obedient – Give me understanding, and I will keep your law and obey it with all my heart. Psalm 119:34
  • Repentant – For the sake of your name, O Lord, forgive my iniquity, though it is great. Psalm 25:11

*Ten Reasons David is Called “A Man After God’s Own Heart” – Ron Edmondson

He was repentant, but he was flawed. His rein ended in a mess, with his own son coming against him.

 

The Rise And Fall Of Solomon

Solomon, the son of David’s infidelity, asked for wisdom. Although he received it (Proverbs is an exceptional book), he ended up bringing the whole country into idolatry through his many foreign wives.

Even the best king in the Bible wasn’t a truly good king. He wanted to be one, but you could say: “He was only human.”

 

The Messiah: The Promised Deliverer

No, we had to wait one thousand years until a small boy was born in a humble stable, in very unusual circumstances, in the backwater of the Roman empire – Judea.

This man would become king. But not in the way one might expect. And that was unfortunate for those who had been waiting. Because, sadly, some of them missed it. Missed Him.

All through its long, troubled history, the people of Israel, stubborn as they were, had been waiting for someone to come and save them. You got to give them credit, they toughed it out, year-on-year. Waiting and believing. Hanging together, holding to their beliefs and traditions while mightier kingdoms fell around them into dust and forgetfulness. A sturdy people, believing that the God of the universe would save them one day. He would come and rescue them from all the meanness of life, the cruelty and savagery.

And then along comes Jesus, the beginning and the end, the Alpha and Omega, the one who holds all the universe together… and he blows all their stereotypes to bits.

He eats with sinners, he breaks the sabbath, he chats with the ladies, he washes his friend’s feet. He was the opposite of a religious person. He wasn’t doing it to thumb his nose at religion or authority – he came with all authority. He was showing us a better way. The way of love.

If most earthly kings lead from a place of brokenness, allowing their fears and insecurities to drive them, Jesus leads from a place of supreme authority and love. He came to save, not to destroy.
He came to SERVE and his currency – his power – is love.

This is the true good king. And this is the One we serve, the One in whom we have placed all our hope. God always wanted to be our King, and in Jesus his Kingship was re-established.

 

What king do you want?

So, in light of the frailty of men and women – which one of us can say we are above the sin that lies at the heart of man? Sure, most of us are pretty nice people, but we are all given to sin.

So what king do you want? A king that might be able to provide a good quality of life? Or, a king that can save your life – forever. One, that if you choose Him as king of your life will never leave you or forsake you. A king that came to serve, not lord it over you and crush you.

This is the King I serve, and this is the King I want. Jesus is King of my life. And I would submit that He is the best King we could ever hope for.

 

Colossians 1: 15-22 says:

“He is the divine portrait, the true likeness of the invisible God, and the firstborn heir of all creation. For in him was created the universe of things, both in the heavenly realm and on the earth, all that is seen and all that s unseen. Every seat of power, realm of government, principality, and authority—it all exists through him and for his purpose! He existed before anything was made, and now everything finds completion in him. He is the Head of his body, which is the church. And since he is the beginning and the firstborn heir in resurrection, he is the most exalted One, holding first place in everything. For God is satisfied to have all his fullness dwelling in Christ. And by the blood of his cross, everything in heaven and earth is brought back to himself—back to its original intent, restored to innocence again! Even though you were once distant from him, living in the shadows of your evil thoughts and actions, he reconnected you back to himself. He released his supernatural peace to you through the sacrifice of his own body as the sin-payment on your behalf so that you would dwell in his presence. And now there is nothing between you and Father God, for he sees you as holy, flawless, and restored.”

 

Val Circle

Valerie McIntyre
December 19, 2019

One Reply to “Jesus Is King”

Brilliant Val. Well written. Well said.

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