For those who are regular readers you know that I have been slowly making my way through Learning about the Old Testament. This isn’t one of those early read books that I often get into, but one that forces me to take my time and think so I’ve been reading through it more slowly than I initially was. It’s good to think about the theology of the Old Testament, it is a foundation for New Testament theology.
The last time we met we learned about The Judges and why they were needed. Today we’ll be looking at the introduction of kingship. Israel so desperately wanted to be like the nations around them. Maybe they thought it would make them safer from attack, I don’t know… I haven’t delved into the book yet! 🙂 Same is the word of the day for the Write 31 Days challenge which I why I’m putting this post on a Monday rather than on my normal Thursday.
The Introduction of Kingship
HUH! New thing learned. I always thought that God “gave in” to Israel’s demand to have a king, but Harman taught me that God knew that Israel would one day have a king. He had prepared for it long before it happened.
Genesis 17:6, NASB: “‘I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make nations of you, and kings will come forth from you.”
Genesis 35:11 NIV 11 And God said to him, “I am God Almighty; be fruitful and increase in number. A nation and a community of nations will come from you, and kings will be among your descendants.
Shocker. Being the same as the other nations, this desire didn’t surprise the Lord. He had already planned it out. In Deut. 17:14-20 he even laid out what the king should be like. He didn’t want the king of Israel to be the same as the kings of the nations surrounding them.
So God himself laid the groundwork for Israel to have a king. I find that interesting as I never understood that before. God himself put into place The Introduction of Kingship.
So the Elders of Israel demanded of Samuel a king. They had all the wrong motives, but the request in and of itself wasn’t wrong. Their reasoning
- fear of Samuel’s sons taking his position when he passed on. These were boys who were not following the Lord.
- Insecurity. They wanted a king to lead them in battle. Their faith in God was not very strong.
- lack of patience. They wanted a king NOW, not when God willed it, but because they simply wanted a king.
Their demand was actually a breach of the covenant between God and the Israelites. He could have acted differently toward them but instead he showed them mercy. He gave them a king, the kind of king they wanted. And so Saul was made king. The people were delighted. In the end he was shown to be the wrong sort of King, but even that paved the way for the right sort of King. The king they found in David.
We are told David was a man after God’s own heart. He loved God. He didn’t live out his love perfectly (do any of us) but God was so loved by David. When David sinned it grieved him when it was pointed out to him.
David’s kingship did the following for Israel
- Stability. No switching out of Judges, just one man with his team of trusted men, leading the country.
- removed the Philistine threat. The land God promised them was fully realized under his leadership.
- established a lasting dynasty. This dynasty was fulfilled in Jesus Christ.