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Day 7. Reigning on David's Throne (Isaiah 9:6-7)
Saturday, First Week of Advent
Giovanni Battista Cima da Conegliano, 'Christ on the Throne' (before 1505), tempera and gilding on wood panel, 7.8 x 5.9 in., Pushkin Museum of Fine Art, Moscow.
Read again in your Bible: Isaiah 9:1-7
Yesterday we read of this Child to be born:
"For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders." (Isaiah 9:6a)
Before he comes, God's people have borne:
"... the yoke of his burden,
the staff for his shoulder,
and the rod of his oppressor." (Isaiah 9:4)
But Messiah has broken that cruel oppression, taken the burden off their shoulders and moved the responsibility for good government onto his own shoulders (Isaiah 22:22; Revelation 3:7).
Today we read more about his government.
"Of the increase of his government and
peace there will be no end.
He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this." (Isaiah 9:7)
The key word "government"35 tells that he will not only conquer but then remain to reign as king and extend blessings to his people. In some political circles, "government" is a bad word because of its tendency to overreach, oppress, and tax people. But wise, just governing is godly, "instituted by God" (Romans 13:1). The Glorious Kingdom of the Messiah brings shalom and blessing upon his people.
Verse 9 tells us several things about his government.
1. His Kingdom Is the Fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant
Nearly 1000 years before Jesus' birth, God had promised to David through Nathan the prophet that one of his descendants would always sit upon the throne of Israel.
"Your house and your kingdom will endure
forever before me;
your throne will be established forever." (2 Samuel 7:16)
Clearly, Jesus, the Son of David, the Davidic Messiah, fulfills the Davidic Covenant. (For more see https://www.jesuswalk.com/david/09_davidic_covenant.htm, Day 1, and Day 15).
2. His Kingdom Will Continue to Increase
His Kingdom will increase,36 it will grow, as more and more people claim him as their Lord and kneel before him.
3. His Kingdom Will Bring Peace
His Kingdom will bring the peace of the Messiah, the shalom37 that we talked about on Day 6. He will heal the nations, restore their relationships with their King, and bring health, wellness, security, prosperity, and completeness. He is the Prince of Peace, our All in All.
4. His Kingdom Will Never End
His Kingdom will never end, it will be eternal. As we read in Daniel (see Day 25):
"His dominion is an everlasting dominion that
will not pass away,
and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed." (Daniel 7:14)
Great civilizations come and go. World powers may last for a few decades, even a few hundred years, but then they fall before another ascendant power. Jesus' kingdom, however, will reign forever! As Isaac Watts put it in 1719:
" Jesus shall reign where'er the sun
does its successive journeys run,
his kingdom stretch from shore to shore,
till moons shall wax and wane no more."38
5. His Kingdom Will Be Just and Righteous
His Kingdom will be just and righteous. (See more on Day 12.) Sometimes I hear Christianity watered down to a kind of lovey-dovey, peace-to-you religion where everything is okay and people are accepted, sins and all. No. If you've read the Old Testament prophets you know that justice is vital to God. He demands truth. The prophet Amos proclaims:
"Let justice roll down like waters,
and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream." (Amos 5:24)
Jesus cleanses us from sin to put it away from us, not for us to continue to wallow in it. He calls us to repentance.
Good government exists "for the people," for the sheep. Shepherds (an ancient Near East metaphor for rulers) who oppress God's people are roundly condemned.
"Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel.... Ah, shepherds of Israel who have been feeding yourselves! Should not shepherds feed the sheep? You eat the fat, you clothe yourselves with the wool, you slaughter the fat ones, but you do not feed the sheep. The weak you have not strengthened, the sick you have not healed, the injured you have not bound up, the strayed you have not brought back, the lost you have not sought, and with force and harshness you have ruled them." (Ezekiel 34:2-4)
Judgment Day will come for many who have governed corruptly.
For the many billions around the world who live under political or economic oppression, Christ will bring justice and equity to his world when he comes.
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6. His Kingdom Will Come by His Own Hand
It is good to work to end poverty and oppression, to help the sick and suffering, to help make our world better. It pleases our Lord because it demonstrates his love. But let's not kid ourselves. While we can and should emulate the model of his Kingdom in our actions, we will not "help" him establish it. He will do that all by himself, by his own zeal,39 "in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet" (1 Corinthians 15:52a). His zeal for his people and for his own righteousness will one day cause Christ to suddenly intervene in earth's history, return a second time to judge the earth, and call us to join his government as he reigns with his saints.40 Come soon, Lord Jesus!
Father, I thank you that you are just, not capricious. Righteous, not corrupt. We ask you to bring good government, righteous governance to planet Earth in Jesus Christ your Son. Come soon, O Lord, for we are struggling under the oppression of men. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.
Q7. (Isaiah 9:6-7) Why is a never-ending Kingdom an
anomaly in world history? Why is a just and righteous government so rare? What
justice will Jesus bring to you when he comes?
 "Government" is miśrâ, "rule, domain," found in the Old Testament only here in verses 5 and 6 (TWOT #2288a; Holladay, p. 217).
 "Increase" (NIV, KJV), "continually grow" (NRSV) is marbeh, "abundance, increase," from the verb rābâ, "be(come) great, many, much, numerous," from which we get our word "Rabbi" or "great one" (TWOT #2103b), "for the increase" (Holladay, p. 214).
 "The general meaning behind the root sh-l-m is of completion and fulfillment -- of entering into a state of wholeness and unity, a restored relationship," encompassing the ideas of "peace, prosperity, well[ness], health, completeness, safety" (G. Lloyd Carr, shālôm, TWOT #2401a).
 Isaac Watts, "Jesus Shall Reign Where'er the Sun." Published in The Psalms of David in 1719.
 "Zeal is qinʾâ, "ardor of jealousy, zeal, anger" (Leonard J. Coppes, TWOT #2038a); "Passion ... jealousy (Holladay, p. 320). Young (Isaiah 1:345) notes that the word itself means "ardor." It is sometimes used to signify not merely God's deep love for His people, but also His jealousy on their behalf, and His jealousy for His own honor.
 Daniel 7:18; Romans 8:17; 2 Timothy 2:12; Revelation 20:4.
Copyright © 2022, Ralph F. Wilson. <pastorjoyfulheart.com> All rights reserved. A single copy of this article is free. Do not put this on a website. See legal, copyright, and reprint information.
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