Title: Kings: A King like the Promised King
Text: Joshua-2 Chronicles
Introduction: Open your Bible to the Table of Contents. I’m guessing in all your years of sermon listening, you’ve never had a preacher pick the Table of Contents to go to… The Table of Contents is at the very beginning of your Bible.
We began our journey in Genesis. See it there? The 1st book of the Bible!
Review: what got us here: This sermon series is entitled, “His Story”. My premise is that the Bible is one story: His Story. If you think about it, the story begins with him and it will end with him. He really is the main topic and focus throughout the Bible. I began with an introductory sermon on the subject.
|1.||Intro: His Story||The Bible|
|3.||The Fall||Genesis 4-11|
|4.||The Patriarchs||Genesis 12-50|
|5.||Israel: A New Nation||Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy|
|6.||Kings||Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1&2 Samuel, 1&2 Kings, 1&2 Chronicles|
Then, I opened the series on the Creation account. John 1 tells us that Jesus created everything – He simply spoke creation into existence. Nothing was created that has been created that was not created by him. Nothing. Colossians tells us: 15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
We went from covering 3 chapters in our first message on creation to 8 chapters of Life in the Fall. There was perfection. Then, there was sin and all of creation was marred. The relationship between God and man was fractured – broken. Then, we covered 38 chapters when we looked at the Patriarchs. God was at work saving his people all along. You see this pattern emerge as you work your way through the texts.
- A desire to return to the garden’s perfection. There is always the promise of the land. For Israel, it is the land flowing with milk and honey.
- A promised man who would come and restore these things. Repeatedly, men would arise who would be types of this man. These men would be examples, patterns, illustrative of this promised man. But, none would be him. They would give us examples of the Promised One, but none was a perfect fit.
Well, last week we covered 5 books in one sermon: The Pentateuch. The story of the Pentateuch is basically how God took one man (Abraham) and made a nation. Today, we’ll go even bigger, still growing, to cover 8 books of the Bible in one sermon: from Joshua to 2 Chronicles.
The storyline flows from their conquest of the Promised Land to becoming a nation, possessing the land and experiencing the blessings as God had promised Abraham. Today we will see the pinnacle for this nation. It will reach its zenith and come closest to experiencing the promise of God. But that is it. It will quickly dissolve and come unraveled. They will become like Adam and Eve. They will fail to live up to their promise, their commitment to God.
But, in this moment, God will show them, and us, more of what this promised deliverer will look like.
At this point you might be asking if I’m planning to preach the whole Bible – covering every book. Well, yes and no. No in that I will not be covering every book. But yes, in that I am doing my best to show that this book called the Bible is really just one story. We’ll start in Joshua 24 and work through some of the texts in 1 & 2 Samuel. Turn to the Joshua passage… 24.
Transition: For our purposes today, I’d like to just summarize some of these books with the intent of offering direction. I want you to see the bigger picture here. Oh, there are wonderful stories that fill our storyline. These stories offer us teaching lessons – examples for us to follow or avert. And I may touch on one or two of these stories, but for now, let’s hit highlights. Let’s look at Joshua first.
I. Joshua: as we continue the story, the Nation of Israel did move into the land after their 40 years of wilderness wondering. It wasn’t easy. This is much of what the book of Joshua is all about – the conquest of the Promised Land. The really sad part about this story is that we find the people of Israel did not totally displace the previous inhabitants as God had commanded them. The Canaanites then became a constant source of trouble for Israel and were a real hindrance to them for their entire history.
ill.: I felt a bit of this as we traveled across Israel last summer. One can’t help but notice the tension as you enter into an Arab controlled area. There are these check points. Some places we didn’t go – not because we weren’t allowed, but because it wasn’t safe. There is a lot of land that Israel controls, but there is also a lot land in Israel where the Arabs are in control – very similar to what it was like over 3,000 years ago when they first settled the land. I have a couple of photos of Jericho, from miles away. I really would love to see Jericho and visit the ancient city with its walls knocked down. But you can’t at this time. It is too dangerous. I also have some pictures of a van. It has these cage like wire over the windows and dents all over the hood and fenders. We were told that it was a van of someone who lives in an Arab section of Israel. The people throw rocks at the van as it drives through the streets to work and also returns back home.
But more than dangerous, the religious practices of those people plagued Israel, too. They were a constant source of leading the people astray to worship the Baals and Ashteroths. They would build these images and offer sacrifices to the pagan gods of the people there in the land.
And even though the book of Joshua concludes with a renewal of the covenant – Joshua challenging them to follow God whole-heartedly; the people would fail in their commitment time and time again. Rd Joshua 24.14-26
II. Judges: so they move into the land, and are then led by Judges. That’s the next book: Judges. It is a relatively short time in their history. Judges is mostly recognized for the cycle of sin Israel finds itself in. they made the commitment to follow God, but they don’t put away their idols.
- A Time of Blessing
- A Warning of Failure
- Sinful Rebellion
- God Punishes their Rebellion
- They Repent and Pray for Salvation
- God sends a Savior, Deliverer
And the reason they fall into sin is because they are envious of their neighbors and want to be more like them. This leads to their ultimate rebellion against God – they reject him as their king and want a king of their own – a king to rule over them just like the other nations have. And that leads us to Samuel and his story…
III. Samuel: probably the most famous and most popular Judge is Samuel. In some respects, it is very understandable wanted a different leadership. Samuel leads them faithfully as a judge and prophet; however, his sons are evil and wicked. And it is during his time of leadership that the People of Israel ask for a King. Look with me in 1 Samuel 8. In 1 Sam 7.3ff you read the end of a cycle, then, they ask – not they demand a king like the people around them. rd 8.1-9; God tells Samuel that they’re not rejecting him, but rather, they’re rejecting God. They’re acting like they always do… they chase after the things they see – their hearts follow their eyes.
The irony in this to me is that God warns them through Samuel how bad it is going to be. But they don’t care.
ill.: have you seen those commercials where they promote some medication that is going to get you back out into life? And then they close with a few warnings: this medication has been known to cause anal leakage, uncontrolled drooling and hair to grow between your toes. Don’t take this medication if you are a male or a female or have been known to sleep at night or have at times grown hungry if you’ve not eaten in three days.
I see these commercials and think I don’t ever want to have to take that medication! It sounds like the side effects are worse than the ailment!
exp.: rd 8.10-19; He is going to make you his slaves… Oh, that’s ok… we want a king!
The truly most amazing part of all of this is that God was still so good to his people. Yeah, the first king blew it. And, to be honest they all blew it to some degree or another. Still, in their rejection of God… He never turned his back on them. Turn to 1 Samuel 12.
- In verses 1-5 Samuel defends his ministry and the integrity of heart before them.
- In verses 6-11 Samuel reminds them of their continued descent into sin in spite of God’s continued deliverance. He would save and they would run back to sin.
- In v 12-13, Samuel reminds them of their foolishness to ask for a king like the nations.
- In v 14-18, Samuel warns of their rebellion and give a demonstration, a sign of God’s great power.
- In v 19, the people acknowledge the sin, in fear of God’s great power. And they cry out in fear…
Follow with me in v20-22 and see the incredible mercy of God.
6. In v23-25, Samuel confirms his commitment to God’s people to love and pray for them.
God gives them what they ask for in a king and it turns out pretty bad. Saul’s story is one of selfishness and pride. It is one of impatience and a lack of faith. Saul’s story ends up as it had been foretold – just like the people were warned. It is all pretty sad and the people are no better off for it.
But God uses this moment with them to give them a little taste of what he wanted for them. 1 Samuel is all about this first king, Saul and his horrible failure as King. But then God chooses another man, David. This man – again, chosen by God – will be a type of King they’re to look for in the Promised King. He’s in 1 Samuel, but his reign as King begins in 2 Samuel.
We meet David when he’s pretty young. It would be so much fun to spend a lot of time on this man… David, but we just don’t have time this morning.
Can I pause for a moment this morning and say that having a king was never the problem. God had actually set up rules and regulations for a king for Israel in Deuteronomy 17. The problem wasn’t a king, per se. It was Israel’s rejection of God. It was their desire to be like the other nations around them and not to be distinct and different.
But that was all a part of the bigger story. For in this new King, God would show the people of Israel a little of what is to come. He would offer them hope in what they see. God demonstrates this by establishing his covenant with David.
The pattern of covenant is repeating itself in this story. There are many of the same elements as we’ve seen before with Abraham. Turn to 2 Samuel 7. In 2 Samuel 7 we find elements to the covenant promises God gave to Abraham. Rd 2 Sam 7.8-19
12 Now the Lord said to Abram,
- “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.
- 2 And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.
- 3 I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
8 Now, therefore, thus you shall say to my servant David, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts,
- I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, that you should be prince over my people Israel. 9 And I have been with you wherever you went and have cut off all your enemies from before you. And I will make for you a great name, like the name of the great ones of the earth.
- 10 And I will appoint a place for my people Israel and will plant them, so that they may dwell in their own place and be disturbed no more. And violent men shall afflict them no more, as formerly, 11 from the time that I appointed judges over my people Israel. And I will give you rest from all your enemies. Moreover, the Lord declares to you that the Lord will make you a house. 12 When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.
- God took Abraham from Ur and placed him in a new land. He took David from shepherding sheep in the field to be a shepherd of God’s people.
- God promises Abraham descendants – who he will build into a nation. He does the same for David – his house will be a dynasty and the promised one will come from this long line.
- He promised this land to Abraham’s descendants. He promised David to establish and firmly root God’s people in this land.
- He promised Abraham to make his name great. He does the same for David there in v 9.
- God promised to bless the nations through Abraham and he does the same for David. You pick up on this in v 19.
Israel will reach its highest point of success under David and Solomon. Israel will experience that land flowing with milk and honey under David’s reign. But it will soon be lost.
IV. 1 & 2 Kings: The Kingdom is divided after Solomon. The Northern Kingdom will have 19 Kings over the next 200 years. Nary a one will be good. Every single King of the Northern 10 tribes led the Israelites to rebel against God and worship idols. Their demise will come by 722 BC when the King of Assyria conquered and carry off their people. Forced intermarriage happens and the Jewish descendants disappear. A new people will emerge known as Samaritans. This happens in 2 Kings 17.
As for the Southern Kingdom, there are only two kings of all the kings worth noting who followed God anywhere near what David did: Josiah and Hezekiah. There was a hand-full of kings who were ok, or repented and tried to do right after being bad. But for the most part, David is the example of the man who is to come.
Let me offer you a note about Kings and Chronicles.
- 1 & 2 Kings: the book of kings was probably written during the exile to explain their exile. Isn’t it odd how we as humans reject God for so long and then are shocked when God disciplines? Some theologians think that the writer probably used Deut. 12 as a litmus test for those kings. Where they failed and where they succeeded can be measured against Deuteronomy 12.
- 1 & 2 Chronicles: the book of Chronicles was written after the exile with the goal of encouraging those who were returning to the Promised Land to live a life faithful to God. The goal, of course, would be to not repeat history!
We didn’t mention Ruth, though Ruth plays a huge part in the genealogical line of the Messiah.
This idea of Kingship is one main source of our understanding of the Messiah. The Messiah, the anointed of God, when he comes, he will be King – not ‘a’ king, but ‘the’ King (King of Kings). We must understand that this king isn’t an earthly king though. He won’t be like the kings of today or even of those from previous centuries or millennia.
When Jesus came and died in the flesh a century after David, he conquered Satan. He was the Snake Crusher they’d all been waiting for. His rule today isn’t over a land as much as it is over the hearts of a people. Oh, many in Israel wanted him to be king. They wanted it badly as they threw down their palm branches and coats to create the red carpeted Triumphal Entry of the King. But when he wasn’t what they thought he should be, they killed him.
They missed it when he came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” Mark 1.14-15;
Zechariah prophesied it when he said in Luke 1
68 “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,
for he has visited and redeemed his people
69 and has raised up a horn of salvation for us
in the house of his servant David,
70 as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old,
71 that we should be saved from our enemies
and from the hand of all who hate us;
72 to show the mercy promised to our fathers
and to remember his holy covenant,
73 the oath that he swore to our father Abraham, to grant us
74 that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies,
might serve him without fear,
75 in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.
76 And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High;
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,
77 to give knowledge of salvation to his people
in the forgiveness of their sins,
78 because of the tender mercy of our God,
whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high
79 to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
Zechariah is saying that this promised King is now here. But he isn’t a king like you think.
Simeon understood as he held the Baby King in his arms:
29 “Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace,
according to your word;
30 for my eyes have seen your salvation
31 that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and for glory to your people Israel.”
This statement by Simeon is acknowledgement that the Kingdom of God has arrived as announced by Isaiah.
Application: So, what do I want you to take away with you this morning?
- What seems a mess, isn’t really a mess at all. What they wanted, as they saw it, God was using to teach us. It was a part of His great master plan. Remember this as you look at our world today and think: what a mess! God is not finished working his plan.
- King David was meant to show us what the Promised King would look like. He was what theologians call: A type. He was a man after God’s own heart. Yes, he failed – and that should teach us valuable lessons, too. But more than that, he pointed to the future King who would come.
- An Edenesque existence will one day be restored. The height of David’s reign displayed the potential for a return to the Garden. Never were the Israelites closer to the land flowing with Milk and Honey than when David obediently led his people as their king. That is only a taste of what is to come!
- Next week we’ll talk about the Prophets – another role assigned to the Messiah (Prophet, Priest, King). The prophets worked tirelessly to stop the decay and decline of their nation. They did everything they could possibly do to get the Kings to return to God and to return the people to God. They always held out the hope before the people of a perfect king who would lead his people to restoration and renewal. They of course, never saw that King, but he did come – and his name is Jesus!