The Kingdom Of God under the Kings
This phase of the kingdom did not come about as God would have liked. It came about out of discontentment and greed; for the elders of Israel desired to have a king to rule over them like other nations, because they were dissatisfied with their judges (1 Sam. 8:4-5). And so, what they wanted to do was plainly a rejection of God and of His system (His kingdom); for it was the Lord who raised up the judges, and by them they were delivered out of the hand of their enemies (Judg. 2:16-18).
Now you would think that God at this point would have rejected Israel for their rebellion. But in His sovereignty, He went along with them, as He would eventually bring forth His will in spite of their sin. When they chose Saul to be their king, he was not God’s first choice, but he was nevertheless divinely appointed—in my opinion, to humble the people and to make them ready for His choice of a king (1 Sam. 12:13).
Though this phase of the kingdom got off to a rocky start, and with wrong motives, it was nonetheless predicted, and was promised both to Abraham and Jacob. In Genesis 17:5-6, God said to Abraham,
“No longer shall your name be called Abram, But your name shall be Abraham; For I will make you the father of a multitude of nations. 6 “And I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come forth from you.
Then also in Genesis 35:10-11, God said to Jacob,
“Your name is Jacob; You shall no longer be called Jacob, But Israel shall be your name.” Thus He called him Israel. 11 God also said to him, “I am God Almighty; Be fruitful and multiply; A nation and a company of nations shall come from you, And kings shall come forth from you.
David, who came after Saul, was particularly linked to the kingdom of God. His kingdom has been called “the kingdom of the Lord” (1 Chron. 28:5; 2 Chron. 9:8; 2 Chron. 13:8), and it was promised by God that it would be established forever. In 2 Samuel 7:16, God said to David through Nathan the prophet,
“…And your house and your kingdom shall endure before Me forever; your throne shall be established forever.”
This promise is what we have called the Davidic covenant. It is God’s eternal and unconditional covenant with David: that one from David’s line would rule in the kingdom forever; this One of course is Jesus Christ.
This phase of the kingdom of God, under the kings, is a vital part of the overall kingdom. I would also like to point out that this phase, specifically under the glorious reign of Solomon is, I think, typical of the millennium phase; particularly as we see how the queen of Sheba was awed by his wisdom and achievements (2 Chron. 9:5-8). If Solomon’s kingdom was so great, think of how it will be under the reign of Christ in the Millennium.
After King Solomon’s reign there was a sharp decline of the kings and the nation of Israel, until finally the people were forced out of their land and were scattered. But regardless of the falling apart of the nation, the kingdom of God progressed through divinely appointed prophets.
The Kingdom Of God under the Prophets
During the period of the kings, the prophets were God’s messengers to the kings—who weren’t listened to very often. But after the kings, when the nation was scattered, the message changed: more and more they were talking about the future kingdom and the tribulations that would precede that kingdom.
Copyright © 2014 by Stephen Nielsen