Kingdom of David
"The scepter shall not depart from Judah,
nor the ruler’s staff between his feet,
until the tribute comes to him;
and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples."
Genesis 49:10 ESV
"…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. When your days are fulfilled and you life down with your fathers, I will raise up your offsprings after you, who shall 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."
2 Samuel 7:11-13 ESV
"Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In his days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely. And this is the name by which he will be called: “The LORD is our righteousness.”
Jeremiah 23:5-6 ESV
Have you ever picked up a book or sat down to catch a movie that you’ve heard so much about only to realize that, after a few minutes of reading or watching, you can’t start with this particular book or movie? We live in a golden age of grand storytelling in media. Books that once could have just been stand-alone stories now have sequels and prequels galore; superhero movies and TV shows share the same interwoven storylines, spanning multiple decades of “real-life” time between the first and last episode; it’s as if every storytelling source has adopted the mindset to make it all connect.
Sometimes, that can be overwhelming, especially if you’re not ready to fully commit to the story at hand. However, when a story grabs your attention and pulls you in - you know the feeling - you’re willing to put in the effort required to see the whole story unfold. Movies about intergalactic heroes, books about spell-casting students, and more capture the imagination of their audiences, but no stories do so quite like God’s Word, the original Metanarrative. This is a concept I’ve come to appreciate as I’ve grown in my own consumption of stories: according to the New World Encyclopedia, it’s defined as:
“a theory that tries to give a totalizing, comprehensive account to various historical events, experiences, and social, cultural phenomena based upon... universal truth or... values.”
Countless human authors have attempted to craft their own versions, though none compares to God’s Metanarrative, and contained within any good metanarrative, you’ll find that prophecy and its fulfillment plays a key role.
The Old Testament is filled with so many prophecies related to the coming Messiah, the promised Redeemer of God’s people. If you read yesterday’s devotional about Christ coming from Abraham’s family tree, you got a glimpse of His divinely mysterious human nature; today’s devotional focuses on His royal descent.
In Genesis 49:10, we read as Israel (formerly known as Jacob) blesses his sons as his life draws to an end. As he bestows blessing upon his fourth son, Judah, Israel makes reference to the fact that not only will great royalty be born to Judah’s descendants, the great royalty will come from him as well. David, the great king, would come first, and from David would come to Jesus, the One God would establish as the High King above all kings forever, meaning that Judah’s royal line would continue on for eternity. In 2 Samuel 7, we see a similar prophecy as the Lord speaks to His prophet, Nathan, instructing him what to tell David, who had at this point become king. When David’s time is done, the Lord says that He “will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come from [you] . . . and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.” This same sentiment is repeated by the prophet Jeremiah, who refers to the coming Messiah as “The Righteous Branch” that would grow from the “tree of David.” Jeremiah 23:6 ends in a particularly powerful way:
And this is the name by which He [Jesus] will be called: “The LORD is our righteousness.” Jeremiah 23:6 ESV
When Christ came, born to Mary and Joseph, He not only brought us hope and salvation, He fulfilled these - and so many other - prophecies that spoke of His coming. The Gospels speak of Jesus’ royal lineage often, like in John 7, where He is referred to as “the Christ [who] comes from the offspring of David,” or again in Luke 1, while the angel Gabriel is speaking with Mary and tells her that the son she will bear
“will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the LORD God will give to Him the throne of His father David, and He will reign over the house of Jacob [that is, Judah’s father] forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.” Luke 1:32-33 ESV
Later, in chapter 7 of the book of Hebrews, the author states that “it is evident that our LORD was descended from Judah…”; even in Revelation 5, the book that speaks of His second coming, the apostle John relays this message from his dream-like vision: “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the root of David, has conquered…”
Without question, Jesus Christ descended from Judah and David, establishing His lordship and right to rule. Having grown up hearing these words from the Hebrew Bible read all throughout their childhood, the people of Israel understood the significance attached to these fulfilled prophecies. My hope and prayer is that we begin to see that same significance and that it increases both our understanding and our expectation for the promised King who came once and is coming back again!
“In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary.”
Luke 1:26-27 ESV