Sunday, October 19, 2008

Establishing a throne: Who sits on it?

This is the third in a continuing series entitled Establishing a throne where I'm looking at Isaiah 16:5. By way of introduction I asked Would Jesus be a Democrat or Republican?, concluding the question was the wrong thing to ask. Then I followed with How is it [a throne] established? looking at the role love plays in the formation of God's kingdom.

Now, let's look again at the passage, focusing on the second phrase.

In love a throne will be established;
in faithfulness a man will sit on it --
one from the house of David --

one who in judging seeks justice
and speeds the cause of righteousness.
-- Isaiah 16:5
The faithfulness of both the Father and Son are involved in the establishment of Jesus' throne. Throughout history Father God has made promises. He started in a broad way with Eve when He told her at the fall one of her descendants would crush Satan's head. He narrowed it to a nation when He told Abraham that all the nations of the earth would be blessed by one of his offspring. He restricted Himself even more by promising David he would have an heir on the throne forever. He finally focused it to a point in telling Mary that she, even though a virgin, would have a son who would take away the sin of the world and rule forever on David's throne.[1]

These series of promises over about 4,000 years were partly fulfilled by Jesus the first time He walked the earth. God was faithful to keep the promises to Eve and Abraham. Satan's head was dealt a crushing blow that blessed all mankind by the work Jesus finished on the cross. Because of this past faithfulness, we can be confident He will complete the yet unfulfilled promises to David and Mary. God will be faithful to establish Jesus kingdom.

Jesus' too illustrated He was faithful to do the whole will of God without wavering. Following the ancient plan, He started with the incarnation when He set aside the glory of heaven and took on flesh and daily followed it, even to death on the cross. Through His faultless obedience to the Father, He has proved His faithfulness to both God and humanity. His faithfulness has demonstrated His worthiness to rule.[2]

The final item of note is Jesus' humanity. He is not some other-worldly being that will rule, but a flesh and blood descendant of Adam, a man. So often we think of Jesus as a man during his first time on earth and then he becomes something else at the resurrection and ascension. No. He was a man with a resurrected body, but a body none the less. He ate. He drank. His disciples touched Him. He was not a ghost. He became nothing less with the ascension and He will continue to wear meat for eternity. This is the miracle of the incarnation. Not that God became man for 33 years but that He became man forever.[3]

1. Eve: Genesis 3:15
Abraham: Genesis 22:15-19, Galatians 3:15-18
David: 2 Samuel 7:16, 1 Kings 8:25, Psalm 89:3-4, Psalm 132:11-12
Mary: Luke 1:29-33, Matthew 1:21
2. John 5:19-30, John 17:4, Galatians 4:4-5, Philippians 2:6-11, 1 Peter 1:20, Revelation 5:9-10, Revelation 5:12-14
3. Luke 24:36-43, Acts 1:11, Colossians 2:9, Hebrews 7:23-25, Revelation 1:17-18, Revelation 1:31