The Promise of a King to Rule
During the reign of King David (c.10th century BC), we find that important elements of God’s promise to Abraham were fulfilled: God’s blessing and deliverance came to the Jewish people in Egypt, a nation had been established between the Nile and the Euphrates. At this time David then spoke with Nathan the prophet about building a “house” (temple) for God. Nathan responded by informing David that God did not dwell in buildings; furthermore, using the word “house” with a double meaning, he told David that God would establish his “house” (kingdom) forever.
One of the central promises throughout the Old Testament is the promise that God’s kingdom would come – a promise that became particularly hoped for after the nation of Israel had been conquered and God’s people exiled. Thus, in Acts 1:6, after Jesus rose from the dead, the disciples great hope was that now God’s kingdom would finally and permanently be established, as they asked Jesus: “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?”
Indeed, Jesus taught His disciples and us to pray just that way – your kingdom come, you will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Why? Because this is what the human heart longs for and searches after. The kingdom of God is language that describes the loving, righteous, intimate rule of God over our lives and this world. And thus it describes our relationship with Him renewed and restored. It further describes the realities we all long for – a place where peace, justice, truth, goodness, and beauty reign.
No more heartache. No more abuse. No more death. No more crying. No more pain. Rather, life with God as His people, in His place, under His rule – forever.
And so God’s people waited.
(This reflection is taken from our Advent Devotional guide. For further reading and accompanying study questions, download the full guide here.)