The moral and social bankruptcy of Israel at the end of the period of the judges at the dawn, or on the eve, of the monarchy, is Israel’s continued infidelity. A kingdom in which Yahweh is the king and the community is led by inspired judges in times of crisis-that structure, that institutional structure failed to establish stability, a stable continuous government. It failed to provide leadership against Israel’s enemies within and without. In their search for a new political order, the people turn to the prophet Samuel. Samuel warns of the tyranny of kings, the rapaciousness of kings, the service and the sacrifice they will require of the people in order to support their luxurious court life and their large harem, their bureaucracy and their army. The day will come, Samuel warns, when you cry out because of the king whom you yourselves have chosen; and Yahweh will not answer you on that day. The people won’t listen to Samuel, and they say quite significantly, no, we must have a king over us, that we may be like all the other nations, let our king rule over us and go out at our head and fight our battles. This is an explicit and ominous rejection, not only of Yahweh, but of Israel’s distinctiveness from other nations. And what, after all, does it mean to be a holy nation, but to be a nation separated out from, observing different rules then other nations. The king in Israel was not divine, or even semi-divine; monarchy is at best unnecessary and at worst it’s a rejection of Yahweh. Where the Mosaic covenant was contracted between Yahweh and the nation, the Davidic covenant is contracted between Yahweh and a single individual, the king.
The Davidic covenant is an eternal and unconditional covenant between Yahweh and the House of David, or the dynasty of David. Yahweh says that David and his descendants may be punished for sin. They certainly will be punished for sin, but Yahweh will not take the kingdom away from them as he did from Saul. Yahweh’s unconditional and eternal covenants with the patriarchs and with David do not prelude the possibility of punishment or chastisement for sin as specified in the conditional Mosaic covenant. The covenant with David, it’s a covenant of grant, it’s a grant of a reward for loyal service and deeds. Yahweh rewards David with the gift of an unending dynasty, in exchange for his loyalty.
Yahweh’s oath to preserve the Davidic dynasty, would lead eventually to a popular belief in the invincibility of the Holy City. The belief in Israel’s ultimate deliverance from enemies, became bound up with David and his dynasty. When the kingdom fell finally to the Babylonians, the promise to David’s House was believed to be eternal. The community looked to the future for a restoration of the Davidic line or Davidic king or messiah. The messiah simply means anointed, one who is “meshiach” is anointed with the holy oil, That is a reference to the fact that the king was initiated into office by means of holy oil being poured on his head. So King David was the messiah of Yahweh, the king anointed by or to Yahweh. And in the exile, Israelites would pray for another messiah, meaning another king from the House of David appointed and anointed by Yahweh to rescue them from enemies, and reestablish them as a nation at peace in their land as David had done. The Israelites hope for a messiah; it involved the restoration of the nation in its land under a Davidic king.
Had the leadership of Israel repented, but they stoned Stephen in Acts chapter 7, it would have started the next events on the prophetic calendar, namely the time of Jacob’s trouble; followed by the second coming of Christ. This is what Jesus Christ meant when he said he gave Peter the “keys” to the Kingdom. Peter had the ability to “unlock” and “open the door” to the Kingdom, he proclaimed the message they had to believe. However, an open door does no good if no one walks through it, and that is exactly what happened. The leadership of the Nation did not walk through it. The Pharisees sat in Moses’ seat as the authority over the Nation. The kingdom program did not happen, but it certainly will in a day yet future, when God resumes the kingdom program, and sets Israel at the forefront again.
What makes Paul’s good news unique and distinct? According to the secret that was revealed to Paul, Jesus Christ gave himself a ransom for all mankind: Jew and Gentile, not just MANY. It is man who needs to be reconciled to God, not the other way around. God is already reconciled to us, where our sins are concerned. Who are the “many” spoken of here? Israel! Israel’s sins were going to “be blotted out”; the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of Jesus, at his second coming. He was going to be their High Priest and King, sitting on the throne of David, ruling and reigning over the nation Israel. God raised him up in order for him to sit on that throne. Therefore, the issue where salvation is concerned today is not sin, but righteousness. The instance we take our stand with God, we are not only saved but sealed until the day of redemption of these earthly tents in which we dwell. Christ was delivered for our offences, and God raised him from among the dead for our justification, he was not raised to sit on a physical throne in these days, ruling over a physical nation called Israel, in a physical kingdom here on earth. The kingdom of heaven is not heaven, it is a kingdom designed in heaven, brought down to earth, and that is according to prophecy and has nothing to do with the revelation of the secret God kept to himself that Jesus Christ revealed to Paul. Our citizenship is in heaven, not earth. Our faith in the good news of Christ enables God to impute us with the faith of his son. Once we believe, and are sealed, it is not about us; our faith, but Christ’s faith.