Dec. 18. History of God’s Relationship with Man Continued

After a period of time following the death of Moses, God communicated with judges who led the Israelites. The Israelites were a stubborn people who spent a lot of time complaining. They came to their judge, Samuel and demanded a king so they could be like the nations around them.

God allowed them to have the king that He selected (I Sam. 9:17). That earthly kingdom began with Saul, David and Solomon. It continued through a long succession of kings, both good and bad. Because of their disobedience, God allowed their enemies to conquer them. Eventually the Israelite nation no longer functioned as a nation. They became subjects to other nations and lived oppressed lives.

David had been a very popular king. During the time of Israel’s rebellious ways, God sent prophets to relay messages of warning and hope to their various rulers. They prophesied that there would be a new kingdom of David established in Jerusalem, the city of David. It would be headed by the Messiah or Deliverer, who would sit on David’s throne in the last days (Joel 2:28-32). The Jewish people and their leaders looked forward with much anticipation to that time when they would be delivered from the oppressions of the world.

All of that sounded great EXCEPT there was a serious flaw in their understanding of the purpose of the new kingdom. God was speaking of a spiritual kingdom that we know as the church (Mt. 16:18, 19). They were expecting a physical kingdom that would free them from their civil oppressors. That became very evident during the earthy life of Christ.