Christ Godís King
The Book of God has been providentially arranged in the order in which we have it for a purpose. The Lord has not given us a record of the various historic events recorded in Holy Scripture in a chronological order. To the natural mind, the order in which the various Books of the Bible are arranged might appear confusing. If Job was written before Genesis, why does it appear in the middle of the Old Testament rather than nearer the beginning? If 2 Timothy was written after Romans, why does Romans appear as the first of Paulís Epistles?
I am personally convinced that one reason for the arrangement of Scripture in the order in which we have it in the Sacred Volume is that the order in which the Books of the Bible are presented is providentially intended to set before us the progressive order of Divine Revelation. For that reason it is very helpful, as we read and study Holy Scripture, to see the connection of each Book in its setting with the other Books of Inspiration.
††††† In Genesis, the Book of Beginnings, the Lord God made a covenant with Abraham and his seed in which he promised him an everlasting inheritance of grace in Christ. That inheritance was typically set forth in the land of Canaan.
††††† In Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy God gives us the instructions of his holy law, by which he declares that he will give that inheritance, fulfill his covenant, and bestow his grace only upon a perfectly holy people in a way that is altogether righteous and just, without any compromise of his own holy character. But we are sinful people, a race altogether void of holiness. Does that shut the door of hope against us? Not at all.
††††† Before the Books of the Law are closed, Moses who represents Godís law throughout the Bible died, declaring that there is no hope of Godís covenant and its promises being accomplished by our obedience to the law. Moses could not bring Israel into Canaan. And we can never find rest by our obedience to Godís holy law, because we have no ability to obey it. Righteousness cannot come by the law (Gal. 2:21). ďBy the deeds of the law There shall no flesh be justified in his sightÖMan is justified by faith without the deeds of the lawĒ (Rom. 3:20-28).
††††† When Moses died, God raised up Joshua, a great type of the Lord Jesus Christ, to deliver Israel and bring them into the possession of the land of Canaan. In the Book of Joshua Canaan typifies the rest awaiting Godís elect in the final consummation of salvation in resurrection glory (Heb. 4:1-11). By the hand of Joshua God gave Israel all that he promised to Abraham in covenant mercy (Josh. 21:43-45; 22:4; 23:14). All of that, of course, was typical of the fact that Christ, our Joshua, has obtained for Godís elect (the whole Israel of God) all the blessings of grace and glory promised us in the everlasting covenant by the merits of his own blood and righteousness (Heb. 6:20; 9:12).
††††† The next Book of the Bible is Judges. In the Book of Joshua the land of Canaan was typical of our heavenly inheritance with Christ. But in the Book of Judges Canaan typifies the believerís present experience of grace. The land was filled with enemies; and throughout the days of the judges Israel was engaged with their enemies. Even now, all the blessings of covenant grace are the rightful property of all who trust Christ. But we have countless enemies within, with whom we have unceasing warfare (Rom. 7:14-23; Gal. 5:17-23).
††††† Joshua speaks of heavenly glory. Judges describes our present experience. Then, the Book of Ruth shows us how the Lord our God will accomplish his purpose of grace for us by Christ, our lawful, Kinsman Redeemer. We lost everything in our Father Adam. But our great Boaz has recovered all for us in total compliance with and full satisfaction of all the demands of Godís holy law.
††††† Then, in 1 and 2 Samuel, the Lord shows us that our Redeemer, our Savior, that One into whose hands the Lord God has entrusted the everlasting deliverance of his people is the King of Glory, into whose hands the Lord our God has put all dominion over all flesh, that he might give eternal life to all his people. Here David typifies our Savior as Godís great King established upon his throne.
2 Samuel covers the same time in history as 1 Chronicles. In 1 Samuel three men are prominent: Samuel, Saul, and David. 2 Samuel is a Book about one man, Godís servant David; but that one man is set before us throughout the Scriptures as an eminent type and picture of our Lord Jesus Christ. In fact, many of the passages of Inspiration where Davidís name is used cannot be interpreted as applying to David himself in a strict sense. They do apply to David; but it is obvious that they look beyond David to Another.
††††† Look, for example, at 2 Samuel 7. The repeated use of the word ďforeverĒ in this chapter makes it clear that Godís promises concerning the throne, and kingdom, and seed spoken of in this chapter cannot be fulfilled in any earthly throne, or kingdom, or man. The promises must and do find their fulfillment in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God and the Son of David, and his Church and Kingdom (7:12-16). David, as Godís anointed and enthroned king over all Israel as a nation, was typical of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is Godís anointed and enthroned King in Zion, over all the Israel of God, his Church.
††††† Do not misunderstand me. I do not suggest that there is no application of these promises and the rest of what is written in 2 Samuel to David personally and to all Godís elect in this world, who are, like David, sinners saved by the grace of God. Clearly, David is representative of all Godís people in this world. His life and experiences were representative and typical of ours. But the ultimate fulfillment of Davidís typical life and dominion as Godís anointed king must be found in Christ. This is not my interpretation of this Book, but Godís.
††††† Compare Psalm 16:8-11 and Acts 2:22-36, and this will be obvious. Peter tells us plainly that Davidís words in Psalm 16 find their ultimate accomplishment in Christ, and that David knew that when he penned that Psalm (Acts 2:30). Yes, the words were Davidís words. Yes, he spoke of his own hope of the resurrection. They speak of our hope, too. But the Holy Spirit specifically tells us that Psalm 16 finds its ultimate fulfillment in the Lord Jesus Christ.
I want us to look at David as a type of Christ, Godís King. David describes the character of Godís King in 2 Samuel 23:1-5. Godís King is here described as ďthe man who was raised up on highĒ (Phil. 2:8-11). He is ďthe anointed of the God of Jacob.Ē He is the man by whom the Spirit of God speaks. Christ our King is ďjust, ruling over men in the fear of God.Ē He is ďas the light of the morning, when the sun riseth, even a morning without clouds, as the tender grass springing out of the earth by clear shining after rain.Ē Christ is the Light of the world. He sprang out of the earth in humiliation, as the tender grass. He arose from the dead as the Sun of Righteousness, with healing in his wings. Our King is one with whom God has made an everlasting covenant ordered in all things and sure. He has no desire but the fulfillment of that covenant, the glory of God in the salvation of his people.
††††† The King here described is Christ. While David was a man in whom these things were exemplified to a great degree, he was not the King in whom these things are completely found. This King is Christ our Savior.
††††† Abner described the work of Godís King in 2 Samuel 3:18. ďBy the hand of my servant David I will save my people Israel out of the hand of the Philistines, and out of the hand of all their enemies." This is exactly what the Scriptures everywhere assert concerning Christ (Dan. 7:14; Matt. 1:21; John 17:2; Acts 5:30-32). He has a people, Godís Israel, his elect. He came into this world, lived, died, arose, and ascended on high to save his people from all their enemies. He is now enthroned with universal power and dominion to give eternal life to his people. Save them he willóBy RedemptionóBy RegenerationóBy Resurrection!
††††† Godís King is the Man anointed by him to be King. David was anointed as king over Israel three times: first in his fatherís house, then over Judah, and finally over all Israel. The Lord Jesus Christ is as King by God himself (Ps. 45:7; Heb. 1:9): first in his Fatherís house, then at his baptism, and finally in the hearts of chosen sinners.
A King in Exile
Though he was Godís anointed king while he was in exile, Saul ruled over the people. óThough Christ is King over all his people, he is a despised and rejected King; and the Prince of this world, the Prince of darkness, holds sway over the hearts of the Lordís people until they are saved by his grace.
The King Acknowledged
At Godís appointed time all of Judah were gathered to David and gave themselves to their king (2 Sam. 2:4; 1 Chron. 12:18). This is what happens in the joyful experience of conversion. The Lord God graciously causes chosen sinners to bow to Christ as their Lord and King with gladness, devoting themselves to him in adoration, love, and praise (Ps. 44:4; 110:1-3).
††††† Thank God for our great King, the Lord Jesus Christ. He is a King like no other, King of kings and Lord of lords. Christ our King is himself God almighty. Yet, he is one of us and one with us (Deut. 17:15; Heb. 2:17). ďThe King is near of kin to usĒ (2 Sam. 19:42).
††††† Christ our King is saving his people from all their enemies. The Lord God promised Israel that David their king would save them from all their enemies. Typically he did so. From the day that he slew Goliath to the day that he went to glory, we never read of David being defeated by any foe. He went forth conquering and to conquer; and conquer he did. So it is with Christ our King. He vanquished Satan, cast out our enemy and accuser, and bound him with the mighty chain of his omnipotence, and has made us more than conquerors by his grace (John 12:31-32; Rev. 20:1-3). He triumphed over death, hell, and the grave as our Substitute. He did it for us.
"Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it" (Col. 2:14-15).
As "David took the strong hold of Zion" (5:7), the Lord Jesus took his place on the throne of God to save his own (Rom. 14:9; Heb. 9:12; 10:9-14).
††††† The King of Glory comes to chosen, redeemed sinners in saving mercy, enters their hearts, binds the strong man and casts him out, sitting up his throne in their hearts. Christ came "that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear" (Lk. 1:74). And he never fails to accomplish his purpose (Isa. 9:6-7; 1 Cor. 15:25).
††††† He who is the King of Glory reigns upon the throne of grace. In the story of Mephibosheth (chap. 7) the Holy Spirit gives us a marvellous picture of the grace of God flowing to sinners through Christ our King. He takes the fallen sons of men, helpless, lame, and poor, men who are his own enemies, and makes us to sit at the Kingís table as the Kingís own sons ďto eat bread at his table continually.Ē This grace, Godís boundless, infinite grace comes to us, as it did to Mephibosheth, because of a covenant made with our great King David (Christ) long before we were born.
As I said in the beginning, David is also typical of us, Godís people in this world. That is the next thing I want us to see. David was a man after Godís own heart (1 Sam. 13:14). He was not such a man by nature. David was, like us all, a fallen, depraved, sinful man by nature. Yet, grace made him a man after Godís own heart. When the Lord God looked into Davidís heart, he saw in that man a man after his own heart.
In spiritual things the heart is the matter of utmost concern. We must not neglect our outward conduct. We must not fail to maintain good works. We must not ignore our responsibilities in outward things. But true religion is an inward thing. We can get everything right on the outside and yet be lost. Things must be made right on the inside. "The Lord looketh on the heart!" Will we ever learn that? God is not impressed with those things that impress men. Our Lord Jesus said to the Pharisees, "Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God" (Lk. 16:15).
God looks on the heart. God searches the heart. God demands heart faith, heart obedience, heart worship. God requires the heart. He says, "My son, [give me thine heart], and let thine eyes observe my ways" (Pro. 23:26). God alone knows the heart, and the heart alone knows God. The heart is the matter of primary concern.
When the Lord God looked upon David's heart and declared him to be a man after his own heart, what did he see? What did God see in David's heart that set him apart from other men? When the Lord looked upon David's heart, he saw in David a heart conquered by his grace, ruled by his Spirit, trusting him.
We are not told when, or where David began to believe God, only that he did. At some point in time, when he was still a young man, David committed himself to the Lord God. Like Abraham before him, like his father, Jesse, David believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness. To believe God is simply to trust him, to take him at his word.
Hereís the lesson.óThere is only one way you and I can please God. There is only one way any sinner can ever be pleasing to the holy Lord God; and that is by faith in Christ (Heb. 11:5-6; Rom. 3:31). If we would walk before God accepted and well-pleasing in his sight, we must walk before him in faith, trusting his Son, and his Son alone as our Savior, trusting Christ alone for the totality of our acceptance with God (1 Cor. 1:30-31).
David rejoiced in Godís electing love (6:20-21). In chapter 6 we see him leaping and dancing before the ark of God. He knew what that ark represented. He knew that that ark represented Godís redemption of his people by the blood of Christ, the Lamb of God. He could not get beyond the wonder of Godís grace to him. Therefore, he humbled himself before the people, before the Lord, with joy and gladness. His wife, Michal, saw it and despised him for his worship. And David told her that the source of his joy was something she could not understand, because she had not experienced it. The source of his joy was Godís electing mercy, love and grace (Ps. 65:4).
Throughout his life, David, being a man of faith, a man who believed God, humbly bowed to the will of God. When the Lord killed Uzzah, David acknowledged that the fault was his. ďThe Lord our God made a breach upon us, for that we sought him not after the due orderĒ (1 Chron. 15:13). When he wanted to build a house for God, the Lord refused to allow it; but did permit him to gather the materials with which his son would build the temple. David was overwhelmed by Godís goodness to him (7:18-22). He said, ďDo as thou hast said, and let thy name be magnified foreverĒ (7:25-26). When the Lord God killed his infant son, David washed his face and worshipped God. David exemplifies the fact that faith bows to Christ. Faith humbles itself beneath the mighty hand of God. Faith submits to the will of God. Even when his beloved son Absalom was slain because of the evil David had done, and when thousands perished under the judgment of God because of his stubborn pride in numbering Israel, though his heart was broken, though his soul was crushed by the experiences, David bowed to the Lord God. That is called ďfaith.Ē
Though David was a believer, though he was a man after Godís own heart, he was a sinner still in constant need of grace. Chapters 11 and 12 tell us the sad, sad story of Davidís terrible fall and its consequences. Here is a constantly repeated lesson, a lesson we must learn, a lesson from which we need to learn much.óGodís saints in this world are sinners still, sinners saved by grace. Chosen in electing love, forgiven by blood atonement, accepted in the Beloved, and saved and kept by pure, free, sovereign, indestructible, omnipotent grace! Let us make no excuse for our sin or our sins. Let us, instead, acknowledge and confess our sins, and trust our Savior still, as David did (Ps. 51:1-5). Let us also rejoice in the forgiveness of sin by Godís free grace through the blood of his darling Son, as David did (Ps. 32:1-5; Rom. 4:8; 1 John 1:7-2:2)..
††††† Believing God, David died in peace, falling back and resting upon Godís everlasting covenant and its immutability (23:5). Dying in the Lord, dying in faith, he was, is, and shall forever be a blessed man. ďBlessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth.Ē Blessed are all who die as David died, believing God.
The Kingís Return
Remember when David was anointed as king over Judah, seven years passed before he was anointed king over all Israel. So, after the complete, perfect accomplishment of Godís purpose of grace he whom God raised up and exalted shall be acknowledged as King by all in his glorious second advent. We have a picture of our Lordís return in chapter 19.
††††† David had been away from Jerusalem for some time because of Absalomís revolt. Now that the rebel was dead, the people longed for Davidís immediate return (19:10). When David heard how they longed for his return, he sent messengers saying, ďIím on my way back to you. And the people said, ďCome onĒ (19:14). "So the king returned, and came to Jordan. And Judah came to Gilgal, to go to meet the king, to conduct the king over Jordan" (19:15).
††††† That is a pretty good picture of our Redeemer, our great King and us (Rev. 22:1-13, 20-21). When, at last, our great Savior and King does return, when our ďLord the King is come again in peace,Ē we will go out to meet him in the resurrection (1 Thess. 4:13-18; 1 Cor. 15:51-58).
 Whenever we read the messianic psalms or any other prophetic portion of Holy Scripture (Ps. 40; 69; etc.), we must not imagine that the writer is not speaking of his own, present experience. He is. As he does, the passage certainly relates to us and to our experience. But the fuller, more glorious, ultimate message of the passage is the person and work of our Lord Jesus Christ.