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A Reminder About Some of the Points in Lesson 6
The Promises of God - 2
God promised Abraham that in him and his seed (descendant) all families of the earth would be blessed. Lesson 5 showed that the one descendant who would bring blessing to the earth was Jesus. This is the subject of clear teaching in the New Testament. “The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. The Scripture does not say "and to seeds," meaning many people, but "and to your seed," meaning one person, who is Christ.” (Galatians 3.16)
Abraham is used as an example of faith, and we are told that if we want to show our faith we must live our lives as Abraham did, trusting God and being obedient to His will.
The nation of Israel who descended from Abraham were slaves in Egypt. They were led out of Egypt by Moses after ten terrible plagues had forced the Egyptians to recognise that there was a God in heaven who was in control of world affairs. The Book of Exodus (the name means ’departure’) tells us about these events
At last the nation of Israel settled in the land of Canaan where Abraham had lived. Their first king was Saul, and the second was David, who wrote many of the Psalms.
The Promise To David
In the Psalms David says that God had made a special promise to him.
“The LORD swore an oath to David, a sure oath that he will not revoke: "One of your own descendants I will place on your throne—“ (Psalm 132.11)
David, when his kingdom was established and the nation was at peace, wanted to build a temple or a house of worship for God. The prophet Nathan was sent to David to tell him that although God did not want him to build a house, God would establish David’s royal house, and one in his royal line would rule over his kingdom for ever.
“When your days are over and you rest with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, who will come from your own 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. I will be his father, and he will be my son. When he does wrong, I will punish him with the rod of men, with floggings inflicted by men. But my love will never be taken away from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you. Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.’" (2 Samuel 7.12-16)
There are three important points in these verses:-
- The promise did not refer to Solomon, David’s son, because God said that the ’throne of his kingdom’ would be established forever. Although Solomon was noted for his riches and for his wisdom, he certainly did not reign forever. In verse Nathan the prophet tells David that God would be the father of this great king who would come in his line. ’I will be his father, and he will be my son’ (2 Samuel 7.14).
- The king would rule on David’s throne ’When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom.’ (2 Samuel 7.12)
- God declares that He will bring it to pass (2 Samuel 7.12)
The Teaching Of The Prophets
The same points are emphasised throughout the Bible. Read the following passage from the book of the prophet Isaiah which is often quoted at Christmas time and see the same three points.
“For to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.” (Isaiah 9.6-7)
The same points are stressed
- ’Of his government ... there will be no end.’
- ’On the throne of David and over his kingdom.’
- The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this’.
Jesus Was The One Promised
There is no doubt as to who the great king in the line of David will be. The angel Gabriel appeared to Mary before the birth of Jesus and told her,
’He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.’ (Luke 1.32-33)
Notice the same three points again:
- The kingdom would be established forever.
- He would rule on David’s throne.
- God would bring it to pass.’
Mary’s Song Of Rejoicing
Later in the same chapter Luke records a wonderful song of rejoicing in which Mary praised God for His promises. A remarkable feature of it is that although the angel told Mary that the child would be born to fulfil the promise God made to David, Mary thanked God for the promise that He had made to Abraham. She must have realised by her understanding of the purpose of God that both of these promises would be fulfilled in the same individual.
“He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful to Abraham and his descendants forever, even as he said to our fathers."(Luke 1.54-55)
There can be no doubt that the kingdom, which Jesus came to proclaim, was a real kingdom on the earth. He would be the king and his followers would also have positions of rulership. Jesus told his disciples:
’When the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.’ (Matthew 19.28)
It was the purpose of God in the beginning to fill the earth with His glory and with peace:
“.. as surely as I live and as surely as the glory of the LORD” (Numbers 14.21)
This will happen when Jesus returns to the earth as King.
One of the main points that Peter made in his address on the Day of Pentecost was that Jesus was the great descendant of David that God had promised. Peter referred to the Psalm we have already quoted to show that David looked forward to the establishment of the Kingdom with Christ as king:
"Brothers, I can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried, and his tomb is here to this day. But he was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that he would place one of his descendants on his throne” (Acts 2.29-30)
The apostle also explained that the resurrection of Jesus was a sure sign that the promise God had made to David would be fulfilled.
“God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact.” (Acts 2.32)
Peter said that David understood that the time would come when the Almighty would say to the Lord Jesus Christ:
" `The Lord said to my Lord: "Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet." ’ "Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ." (Acts 2.34-36)
Paul summed up the wonderful hope, which the Bible offers when he was speaking to the people of Athens:
“For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead."(Acts 17.31)
- In the Bible God has revealed His purpose with the earth.
- God told Abraham and David that the one through whom this purpose would be fulfilled would be in their line.
- Jesus was the one promised.
- He will rule the world in righteousness when the kingdom of God is established.
- This hope, based on the foundation of Old Testament teaching, was contained clearly in the message of Jesus and the apostles.
Relevant Passages For Bible Reading