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Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.

David: Gift from God (Kingdom Visionaries 2, Part 1)

“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. He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be his Father, and he shall be My son...And your house and your kingdom shall be established forever...” 2 Samuel 7.12-14, 16

From the beginning

It’s clear that ideas about dominion, kings, and a kingdom – even of a coming mysterious “Him-Whose-It-Is” King – were in the minds of God’s covenant people from the very beginning.

Adam and Eve understood that they were to exercise dominion, and that extending to all the creation. Abraham was promised that kings would descend from him, and he had at least one experience with a King of Righteousness and Peace to lead him to hope that such might be the monarchs who would be part of his legacy. His grandson, Jacob, prophesied of a coming kingdom for the people of Israel, and of a dynasty of kings, issuing from the tribe of Judah, that would continue until Shiloh appeared to rule all peoples. Moses further prepared the minds and hearts of the people of Israel for a king and kingdom by explaining that God would give them a king, and he would rule them according to His Law and for their good.

As we work our way through the Old Testament we can feel the momentum for and anticipation of a kingdom and kings building within the ranks of the people of God. Though certain tribes jumped the gun by wrongly naming Abimelech their king (Jdgs. 9.1-6), and though the people of Israel looked to the wrong tribe for the first king of all Israel – Benjamin instead of Judah – still, it’s hard to miss the fact that Israel expected a king and longed to be a kingdom, for this is what they understood the Lord had promised.

David and the kingdom

With the accession of David to the throne of Israel, the vision of God’s coming Kingdom takes on a new clarity and expansiveness.

I think it is safe to say that David’s vision of the Kingdom of God was grounded in the understanding of his forebears. David was a man of God’s Word. Thus, he would have been familiar with the ideas relating to a rule of God, through His people and over all the earth that previous generations of the people of God had glimpsed and pursued.

He would also have had the benefit of seeing at first hand the calamitous attempt of King Saul at establishing a rule over Israel on the strength of personality and wits along. David would have filed this episode under the “how not to” section of his preparation for reign.

But it was God’s direct revelation to David, through the prophet Nathan, that began to precipitate in his mind a clearer and more expansive vision of what God was planning to do, and how (2 Sam. 7). In his response to God’s Word through Nathan, we can discern four general parameters of David’s understanding which, as we shall see, guides all subsequent development of the vision of God’s Kingdom.

The kingdom as a gift from God

First, David understood that the Kingdom God intended to establish with him would come from God as a gift to His people, as a manifestation of His covenant faithfulness (2 Sam. 7.21, 24, 27). The kingdom would thus be of heavenly and eternal provenance, and in its giving would convey the intentions of its Giver, for His eternal purposes and economy.

Second, and as a consequence of the first parameter, this Kingdom would be rooted in and dependent upon eternal verities – truths and conditions existing in and emanating from a realm not of this world (vv. 21, 22, 25, 28). David would not be free to rule as he pleased. Rather, as Moses had earlier shown, the Word of God would be the guiding light of David’s reign.

Third, God’s intention for His Kingdom was that it should come to expression on earth and engage all the nations of the world (vv. 19, 23). This would come about through the agency of God’s king who would also be, in some mysterious sense, God’s son (v. 14).

Finally, there was to be continuous and vital interaction between God and the people to whom He would give His Kingdom, so that they might discern His will, know His presence, protection, and provision, and glorify Him in all their Kingdom activities. And central to this presence of God with His people would be the work of God’s king and son (vv. 23, 27, 29).

Now the idea of a king and kingdom began to take real shape. From David on, God’s covenant people would know what to anticipate, what to hope for, and what to seek with respect to His promised king and kingdom.

We’ll want to examine each of these parameters a bit more, looking to the psalms of David to see how his understanding developed as he sought and served the Lord throughout his reign as King of Israel.

Next steps

Have you mapped out your Personal Mission Field yet? Jesus was sent to “bring near” the Kingdom of God, and we have been sent in just the same way (Jn. 20.21). Download the free worksheet and map out the boundaries of your sector in the Kingdom of God. If ViewPoint is an important source of spiritual encouragement to you, we invite you to send a gift to help support this outreach. You can click here to donate online through credit card or PayPal, or send your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 19 Tyler Dr., Essex Junction, VT 05452.

Additional Resources

Download this week’s study, Kingdom Visionaries 2: David, The Prophets, Jesus.

Sign up for ViewPoint Leaders Training and start your own ViewPoint discussion group.

For a concise explanation of the Kingdom of God, and help in learning how to proclaim it, order a copy of T. M.s little book, The Gospel of the Kingdom from our online store, by clicking here.

Men, join the movement of men at prayer! Download our free brief paper, “Men of the Church: A Solemn Warning,” by clicking here.

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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