Revelation 5:9-10 (KJV) And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth…
One of the wonders of the Believer’s journey is knowing that one day we will be ushered into a life beyond our wildest expectations. Our ability to comprehend the splendor of being a part of God’s Kingdom is somewhat limited because we try to understand from our finite perspective. However, God has given us a glimpse into how this will one day arrive at the consummation of the ages wherein we shall be “kings and priests and we shall reign on the earth” (Rev. 5:10).
Understanding The Text
Although it is believed by many that the Scriptural text will occur at a date in the future, we are not here to engage in a theological debate. Our purpose is to observe a theological parallel which allows us to better understand how the Infinite mind of God has been working throughout history. We begin our brief observation with the twelve tribes of Israel prior to the creation of the monarchy beginning with Saul and ending with Solomon.
Prior to Saul becoming king, the twelve tribes of Israel were governed by tribal leaders (or judges) who were often seen as both judicial and military leaders. As time continues, the twelve tribes decide they want to “have a king to judge us like all the nations” (1 Sam. 8:5). God agrees to allow them to have a king and Saul was chosen from among the people (1 Sam. 9:15-16). Although Saul himself eventually falls short of the desired character for kingship, his reign represents the beginning of the process toward kingdom building (1 Sam. 9:1-15:35).
David enters the scene in 1 Sam. 16 as Saul has demonstrated that he was not capable of continuing the transitional process from a tribal system toward a monarchical system. Under David’s reign, he consolidates the twelve tribes and centralizes the government while simultaneously engaging in successful military conquests both effectively and efficiently. David establishes a local government and a royal cabinet to assist him with governing the daily affairs of the kingdom (ref. to 2 Sam. 8:6-18; 2 Sam. 20:23-26; 1 Chron. 18:14-17). As David’s reign comes to an end, we observe expansive growth and influential power within the kingdom among the surrounding nations.
Solomon’s reign ushers in a new season of kingdom advancement and expansion, administrative structure, as well as peace and prosperity (1 Kgs. 4:1-34). Because of David’s success as a military leader, Solomon was able to focus primarily on the consolidation of the kingdom and fortification of all surrounding areas which his father had conquered. However, the crowning achievement of Solomon’s kingship was the building of the Lord’s Temple (1 Kgs. 6:1-9:9), which represented the consummation of a new way of life for God’s people.
What is the first thought to enter your mind when you think about the Kingdom of God?
Why Is This Important To Us?
This is important to us because each of the three phases of the physical establishment of the Nation of Israel represents three phases of our spiritual journey. The first phase is represented by Saul’s reign. The spiritual parallel is observed when the Jewish people were chosen to represent God to the rest of the world wherein the overall purpose was to demonstrate how God intended for His creation to exist in relation to Him and to each other. Regardless of the level of Saul’s zeal, disobedience would cause him to be removed from the throne. Likewise, regardless of the level of the Jewish people’s zeal, as a result of their disobedience, God would choose “One after His own heart, and the Lord has commanded Him to be Captain over His people because you have not kept that which the Lord commanded you” (1 Sam. 13:14).
The second phase is represented by David’s reign. The spiritual parallel is observed when Jesus comes and appoints twelve apostles to work with Him during His three years of ministry. The Kingdom had been ushered in with His appearance and Christ had established His “royal cabinet” to assist Him with governing Its daily affairs. Subsequently, Christ gives His life on Calvary’s cross. Through His act, Christ successfully engaged in the battle of the ages as He conquered the devil, death, and the grave (1 Cor. 15:35-57). Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection ushered in a new era wherein He brought together people from all walks of life and consolidated them into one family: God’s family (2 Cor. 5:17-21). As Christ physically exits the earthly scene, we observe the coming of the Holy Spirit, Who empowers the apostles to continue to demonstrate the expansive growth and influential power of the Kingdom within the surrounding areas, which culminated in the birth of the Church (Acts 1:8; 2:1-4; Mt. 28:18-20).
The third phase is represented by Solomon’s reign. The spiritual parallel is observed as the Holy Spirit is establishing the Church and fortifying It against future aggression from Its enemy. The Lord has provided the “gifts” to the Church for ecclesiastical government in the form of “some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ” (Eph. 4:11-12). The worship of God had transcended from a physical location and tradition to the spiritual manifestation of God’s people becoming the “temple of the living God” wherein the Spirit of God would “dwell in us and walk in us” (1 Cor. 6:19-20; 2 Cor. 6:14-7:1). As time has continued, the Church has grown exponentially and Its influence can be observed in the surrounding nations as a symbol of a new way of life leading to the imminent consummation of the ages and the coming manifestation of the Kingdom of God.
This is a glimpse into the Kingdom of God that should cause the people of God to forcefully advance His Kingdom through our everyday lives (Mt. 11:12). Each of our lives serves a far greater purpose than we could possibly fathom. This mission is not something to be taken lightly. It is of the utmost importance that we embrace it and run with all of our might towards the end. So, in closing, I have one question, “What will you do”?